Directors: Kate McKenzie, Scott Townend
Runtime: 77 minutes
The winner of audience awards at festivals in Edmonton and Sudbury, this inspirational documentary introduces viewers to an extraordinary group of women who are bringing change to Afghanistan one stride at a time. Filmmaker Kate McKenzie teams with legendary marathon runner Martin Parnell on a mission to enable and empower the Afghan women who risk it all in order to participate in a running competition whose route must be kept secret due to security concerns. The result is a testament to these competitors’ courage as well as an illuminating look at a country that contains many more stories besides the ones of hardship and conflict that dominate the news.
Kate McKenzie is Director & Founder of Worldviews Productions, a digital media production company specializing in stories of hope and innovation through a constructive journalism approach. Her most recent project is the feature length documentary film The Secret Marathon which premiered at Cinéfest Sudbury to a sold our crowd, followed by the Edmonton International Film Festival, also to a sold out crowd, where it won the Audience Choice Award for best documentary. The film has also inspired The Secret 3K, an annual run/walk in multiple cities across Canada and around the world to promote gender equality and safe and inclusive spaces. Kate is also the Manager of ATB X a business accelerator where Kate helps businesses achieve growth. As a published author, exhibiting fine artist and professional public speaker, Kate is passionate about sharing meaningful stories across a variety of mediums. Her TEDx talk about the Power of Positive News has had nearly 10,000 views. Kate has a Masters in Digital Media from Ryerson University and a Bachelors in Education with a specialization in experiential learning from the University of Lethbridge.
We all have a story to tell. For Scott Townend, his just happens to be about telling stories. He may not have known it early on, but he’s been a filmmaker his whole life. What started off with the family VHS camera and the magic of capturing a moment in time, eventually became a decision to go to film school, followed by a career working as a writer, director, producer and editor. He’s worked on feature films, television, music videos and commercials, most recently completing the feature length documentary The Secret Marathon, which premiered at Cinefest Sudbury to a sold out crowd, followed by the Edmonton International Film Festival, also to a sold out crowd, where it won the audience choice award for best documentary. Both screenings ended in with an overwhelming standing ovation. Scott has completed hundreds of productions over the past 15 years working as a professional filmmaker, and after all that time, he still feels that there is magic in telling a good story. For that reason, this is most likely just the beginning of his.
Canadians for Women in Afghanistan is the Kingston chapter of the national organization, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, a registered Canadian charity.The Kingston chapter, founded in 2003, has raised over $300,000 at its galas and smaller events and through direct donations from our generous community.The chapter holds an annual fund-raising gala, featuring distinguished speakers, which is its main method of raising dollars.The organization both nationally and locally has a two-fold mission – to raise funds to support girls, women and education in Afghanistan and to raise awareness among Canadians about the plight of Afghans. One example of its programs is the operation of a school in Kabul for 400 disadvantaged girls, covering all costs including the provision of a daily hot lunch. The chapter also created The Shafia Fund to support individual students in Afghanistan as they pursue their studies – in memory of the slain Shafia women.The chapter is still going strong preparing for the 2020 activities.