The Film

DeanKarnazes5The Road to Sparta, the first feature-length documentary from Barney Spender and Roddy Gibson, tracks four runners, including “UltraMarathon Man” Dean Karnazes as they take on the ultimate footrace: the Spartathlon.

Taking place between Athens and Sparta, a distance of 246 kilometres in the searing heat of Greece, the equivalanet of six marathons back to back, the race creates a unique set of difficulties for each of the runners.

Finishing the race is no certainty for any of them.

Rob Pinnington NemeaThe fifth runner in the story is Pheidippides, the man sent by the Athenians in 490 BC to ask the Spartans for military help against the Persians. It is that run that is celebrated and replicated every year with the Spartathlon.

His story is told through the verse of the acclaimed American poet AE Stallings, specially written for the film, and the fresh, vibrant score from Greek band Old House Playground.

Two years in the making and set against a current backdrop of fear and crisis in Greece, The Road to Sparta is a love letter to an extraordinary race and an equally remarkable band of human beings.

The Road to Sparta runs 60 minutes in duration.

 

AWARDS

SATISFIED EYE FILM FESTIVAL 2018 – EPSOM
Best Documentary – Winner

Satisfied Eye trophy

 

ENGINUITY FILM FESTIVAL 2018 – LAS VEGAS
Best Director – Winner

BestDirectorDoc

 

MOTION PICTURES FILM FESTIVAL 2018 – LAGOS
Best Poetry – Winner

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OTHER AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS

PELOPONNESE INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2019
Official Selection

OFFICIALSELECTION-PeloponnisosInternationaldocumentaryFestival-2019

 

OUT OF THE CAN FILM FESTIVAL 2018 – DERBY
Best Documentary – Runner-up
Best Original Music – Runner-up

out of the can

 

ROME INDEPENDENT PRISMA AWARDS 2018
Official Selection

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MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2018
Official Selection

MIDFF 2018 Selection 3

 

ENGINUITY FILM FESTIVAL 2018 – LAS VEGAS
Best Writing – Runner-up
Best Female Voiceover – Runner-up
Best Trailer – Runner-up

 

LONDON GREEK FILM FESTIVAL 2018
Best Documentary – Runner-up

LGFF2018_LAUREL_Odysseus_winner

 

UK SPORTS JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATION AWARDS 2016-2017
Best Documentary – Highly Commended

Crests

 

ATHENS ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL 2016
Official Selection

 

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE ROAD TO SPARTA

“The heat boils off the screen. The discomfort twists the subjects’ ill-used features. It’s a classy piece.”
Donald Clarke, Irish Times

“Enlivening and deeply touching. Combining Greek history, music, and poetry the film extends beyond pure athleticism to culminate in a viewing experience that is both immersive and highly gratifying.”
Documentary Drive

The Road to Sparta makes for highly entertaining and engaging viewing. The music sets the tone and the story lets you in. A beautifully told account of the human will to succeed against all odds.”
Gillies Mackinnon, Film director (Hideous Kinky, A Simple Twist of Fate)

“Fascinating stories of heroic endeavour both contemporary and ancient are interwoven skilfully in this engaging and beautifully filmed documentary.”
Helen Hawken, Documentary producer (Big Brother)

“A real heart-pumping lesson in near flawless documentary filmmaking. A great film.”
Chris Hastings, Artistic Director Satisfied Eye Film Festival

The Road to Sparta brilliantly captures the essence of a race that has no equal on the planet, with stirring intensity.”
Dean Karnazes, Runner and Author

 

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