Abbotsford filmmaker debuts documentary on Polar Bear Marathon

Run of the North depicts extreme marathon in Churchill, Manitoba

Simon Cutlip of Tadoule Lake

Abbotsford filmmaker Jake Bergen celebrated the official premiere of his new documentary Run the North on Monday in Churchill, Manitoba.

Run the North depicts the Polar Bear Marathon, an extreme marathon which takes place in the sub-zero temperatures of Churchill, the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.”

Each year, the run brings together a motley group of adventurers from across the continent and even overseas, each with their own stories of what drives them to do something most people would consider crazy.

The film not only digs into the psyche of the athletes and examines the factors that drive them, but gives a glimpse into the achievements of young First Nations runners who are striving to improve their own lives and communities.

Albert and Edna Martens, who organize the Polar Bear Marathon each year, have been working in remote northern First Nations communities for more than 10 years.

As a result of their work, a number of young runners from the Sayisi Dene Nation at Tadoule Lake, Manitoba, have been inspired to make the trip to Churchill to run.

Run the North premiered at this year’s Polar Bear Marathon.

Bergen wants to give the upcoming screenings to the people of Churchill as a gift to thank them for their graciousness and hospitality during the filming of the documentary.

The film is now being submitted to film festivals for consideration “in the hopes that its message can have a broader reach as it shares the healing and hope that can positively affect other northern communities,” Bergen said.

Visit runthenorth.com for more information.