I'm Not a Runner

When five ‘ordinary’ women who haven’t run in years decide to take on the New York Marathon, they run head first into the challenge of conquering personal self-doubt and striving for the seemingly unattainable. Along the way they discover unexpected joys, along with the inevitable pain that comes with striving for a goal that at times seems impossible.
‘I’m Not a Runner’ is an independent documentary, shot entirely on location in South Australia and New York City. Over the course of fifteen months, we follow the physical, emotional and societal barriers these brutally honest women (aged 35-73) face in their race just to make it to the starting line.

  • Johnny Taranto
    Director
  • Johnny Taranto
    Writer
  • Johnny Taranto
    Producer
  • Anna Liptak
    Key Cast
  • NAMAARAALEE BRAUN
    Key Cast
  • JODIE HAMILTON
    Key Cast
  • ANN COLLINS
    Key Cast
  • MARIKA YAKOUB
    Key Cast
  • MARGARET LIPTAK
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Female, sports, adventure, documentary
  • Runtime:
    52 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 18, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    90,706 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Australia
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia, United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • SBS Australia
    National
    Australia
    November 6, 2021
    Australian Television Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Flame Distribution
    Distributor
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Hotel, Airline, Ship, Video / Disc, Free TV, Paid TV, Console / Handheld Device
Director Biography - Johnny Taranto

Johnny has primarily worked in television as a producer across a range of programming. His speciality is comedy and he has had a major influence across a number of highly successful Australian televison programs.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

On one level the story arc of ‘I’m Not a Runner’ is quite easy to characterise.

‘A motley crew of naïve amateurs look to take on a huge challenge on a grand stage in the hope of achieving an epic goal. Along the way they encounter obstacles, setbacks, doubts and uncertainty, until they reach a triumphant conclusion’.

This narrative is not just the story of ‘I’m Not a Runner’ as seen through the lens; it’s also the story behind the making this film.

For me, the title, ‘I’m Not a Runner’ is apt. Before Anna and James approached me to ‘help out’, I was ‘Not a Director’. I knew a little bit about filmmaking but what I certainly didn’t know was that witnessing people challenging their self-perception is a totally captivating experience.

What started out as, ‘helping out’, eventually became three unpaid years of my life. Writing, shooting, editing, and everything ‘inbetweening’ to bring this film to life. With no money, no experience, no industry support and no ability to say ‘No’, we just kept putting one-foot in front of the other. Just like our Runners.

Now that we have crossed the line, I’ve had to ask Siri, ‘what do you write in a director’s statement’. She suggested waxing lyrical about camera technique, cinematic style, evocative mood creation and emblematic influences. Siri will be most disappointed. We didn’t have the luxury of considering such things. For us, the greatest cinematic challenge was finding focus and remembering to hit the ‘red button’.

For all the things we didn’t have, there was one thing we do have. We have Heart.

It comes in the form of six strong, open, honest, warm and real women. Their strength in sharing their weaker moments. Their honesty in disclosing their doubts. Their relentless authenticity in allowing themselves to be themselves. This is the beating heart of the film.

To be entrusted with their stories was indeed a great privilege. Respecting and doing justice to that trust has been a driving force behind this film from the very beginning.

Anna, Namaaralee, Jodie, Marika, Ann and Margaret are in many ways quite ‘ordinary’. Yet they are heroes to the people that know and love them and they are the heroes of this film. It’s my hope that other ‘ordinary’ people come away from this film tempted to challenge what they believe they are capable of, and ‘prove themselves wrong’.