Strong To The Finish, a proposed feature documentary by Emmy Award winning Brain Farm, this film will follow the triumphs and heartbreaks of 40-yearold Brian Hunter and his young family as he attempts this audacious border-to-border crossing, the equivalent of running nearly 60 marathons in 60 days.
More than simply a colossal feat of endurance, Brian’s run is all about heart. Upon learning about the masses of homeless children in the frigid city of Ulaanbaatar (UB), Brian feels called to help. Abandoned by his father as a young boy and stricken with Polio, he knows something of the pain they feel. But what could he do? Far from a professional athlete yet an avid runner, Brian decides to use his love for running to put the global spotlight on this human crisis happening on the other side of the planet. And so a plan is hatched.
With only three months left to prepare, Brian furiously trains at home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while working with wife Lissa to tackle the daunting expedition logistics. Pressure mounts. Bills pile up. His body protests the endless training, while doctors warn him of the dangers of continuing. Yet Brian pushes on.
A character-driven film, Strong to the Finish juxtaposes Brian’s idealistic family life, both at home and as they join him on the expedition, against the harsh reality of life on the street in Mongolia.
Tracing a west-to-east path across this picturesque country, Brian, his family and a nine-member support team travel through rugged mountains, vast steppe and the harsh Gobi desert experiencing sandstorms, rain, snow and hail—sometimes all in one day. Along the way, they encounter endangered species like snow leopards and musk deer, and meet locals, coming to better understand the beauty of the Mongolian culture through their eyes. Meanwhile Brian continually battles extreme exhaustion and self doubt as he struggles to reach the finish line.
What happens during this ten-week expedition across Mongolia will be nothing short of life changing for Brian, his family, the street orphans, and everyone else touched by his inspiring journey.
The Runner – Brian Hunter
A wise man once said: “It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” And nothing could more accurately describe the path of Brian Hunter’s life. Abandoned by his father as a young boy, Brian lived with his single mom in Waco, Texas, where they struggled to make ends meet. He was so sickly, endlessly in and out of hospitals, that he had to be home schooled. A misdiagnosis of Polio had his legs shackled with braces, relegating Brian to the sidelines where he watched as the other kids played. But not for long. During middle school, he and his mom moved to Boulder, Colorado, and his life changed when he saw the mountains for the first time. “It was like emerging from below the water and taking a deep breath of air,” he says.
Although his family tree is plagued with illness, addiction, and mental disease, Brian refused to let those things define him. Instead, he turned to the mountains to rebuild himself. Before long, Brian was rock climbing and mountain biking all over Colorado. By the end of high school, he had successfully summited Washington’s 14,411-foot Mt. Rainier two times. After graduation, Brian eventually began working as a rock and alpine climbing guide and outdoor education instructor in Colorado and then Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Over the years, he’s competed in numerous adventure races, long-distance mountain bike races, and, recently, ultra marathons. Although his wife Lissa and their two school-age children are extremely supportive of Brian’s mission, his employer was not. Instead of giving him the two months off he requested, the boss dropped an ultimatum: Give up your Mongolian plans or lose your job. Brian chose option number two. Brian, 40, now lives with his family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is training and planning for his epic run, and is an accomplished motivational speaker.
The Filmmakers – Brain Farm
Brain Farm Digital Cinema is an Emmy Award winning Production Company specializing in the highest quality action and adventure filmed entertainment.
Well known for their films like That’s it That’s All and The Art of Flight, Brain Farm has committed to help raise awareness and cast a spotlight on this important issue.
Its roster of directors, producers, cinematographers and specialists are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to “get the shot” and “tell the story” so that every project is as memorable and engaging as it is groundbreaking.
Brain Farm has already helped get this project to where it is, and part of the campaign funds will allow them to craft the raw footage from Brian’s run into a world-class feature documentary.
The PR – be.Media House
be.Media House is a company fueled by passion; a multi-platform social business with a focus on philanthropy, culture, and lifestyle. As an umbrella brand, they specialize in publishing, production and events – bringing compelling content across media channels as diverse as print, digital, audio, and TV that appeal to a global audience. Not only do they create content and exposure for their third-party partners and inspirations but they contribute top quality assets to leverage philanthropic missions and humanitarian causes of those who set out to make the world a better place.