(Press Release) – “The Athlete” (“Atletu”) is the story of the remarkable life and career of Abebe Bikila (1932-1973), who became a hero to both his native country of Ethiopia and the continent of Africa, being the first Sub-Saharan African to win an Olympic Gold Medal. He won the gold as a barefoot marathon runner in Rome in 1960. He then repeated the feat in 1964 in Tokyo, winning a consecutive gold medal. Following a devastating injury, with grit and determination, resolve and an ingrained and unconquerable optimism, Bikila competed in new sports, archery (at the Paralympics in England) and dog sledding, winning The Ridderrennet in Norway.
The filmmakers are Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew, both of whom are credited as writers, directors and producers. Frankel is a Berlin-based New Yorker known for aural-visual creations. Lakew was born in Addis Ababa, studied film at the University of Montana and makes New York his home. “The Athlete” is the feature film debut for both. Lakew also stars as Bikila in this biopic, which was filmed on locations from the Arctic to the Equator, and meshes newsreel footage within its narrative sequences.
“The Athlete” is a tale of courage, of a true champion among men.
The film has won International Film Festival awards in Edinburgh, Stockholm, Rotterdam, the Berkshires, Nashville, Minneapolis and Tarifa (Spain). Now, local audiences have an opportunity to see it as part of a monthly series of screenings of festival award-quality films called Film Festival Flix at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, CA and Laemmle Noho 7 in North Hollywood, CA
On Wednesday, November 7th and Thursday, November 8th red carpet arrivals at 7PM and the film will screen at 7:30PM, followed by filmmaker interview. The price of a ticket affords entry to the entire evening, including a ticketholder reception.
“The Athlete” (“Atletu”). A film by Davey Frankel and Rasseles Lakew. Stars Lakew, Dag Malmberg, Ruta Gedmintasand Abba Wakka Sessalegn. An AV Patchbay/ Cinema Aethiopica production with Instinctive Films. In Amharic and English, with English subtitles. 85 minutes. At Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101 On Wednesday, November 7th at 7:30PM. OR At Laemmle Noho 7, 5240 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601 On Thursday, November 8th at 7:30PM. Ticketholders gain access to red carpet photos, filmmaker interview, and reception. Tickets: $ 11.00. Available online at www.filmfestivalflix.com or at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena box office 626-844-6500 or at Laemmle Noho7 in North Hollywood box office 310-478-3836
FILM FESTIVAL FLIX THEATERS AND TIMES
Wednesday, November 7th
Laemmle’s Pasadena Playhouse
Thursday, November 8th
Laemmle’s North Hollywood
Monday, November 12th
Salt Lake City
Brewvies Cinema Pub
Tuesday, November 13th
Denver Comedy Works
Wednesday, November 14th
Monday, November 19th
Tuesday, November 20th