The Longest Run is one of those films that can't wait until funding is found before shooting. You either do it now or not at all. And Marianna Oikonomou (Food for Love) did. It is an important story unfolding in a juvenile prison in the city of Volos, in Greece, where the director enjoyed access – which is not a common occurrence at all. The film was already presented at the 10th International Dok Leipzig Co-Production Meeting in October 2014.
Here is an interview that the director, Marianna Oikonomou, gave me at the 17th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in the aftermath of receiving the award for best Doc in Progress in March 2015.
The story follows two teenagers, a Syrian from Kobani and a Yazidi from Northern Iraq, who spend their long days in a juvenile prison in Greece, accused of smuggling illegal immigrants, while their parents experience the war in their home countries. The Longest Run follows their lives before, during, and after their court case and exposes the tragic phenomenon of professional smugglers forcing underage illegal immigrants to transport people across the border from Turkey to Greece, thus making them smugglers themselves. This means that innocent young boys can serve sentences up to 25 years in a foreign country while their parents are equally ‘confined’ in their war-stricken countries.
The project garnered the top prize in Docs in Progress, receiving 17.000 euro in editing and post-production funding, but still needs a distributor, pre-sales, and more funding.
Here is a 7-minute demo of this interesting film: