Loyzo Smolinsky, who has worked behind the scenes on Saturday Night Live and The Leftovers, is hoping to make his screenwriting debut with Marathon, a film about marathon runner Vanderlei de Lima.

Marathon: The Story Of Vanderlei de Lima

In 2004, Lima competed in the Athens Olympics and was leading the Marathon Men’s Final race when a protestor attacked him, dragged him to the side of the road and derailed his trajectory with four miles to go. Lima was able to recover, but failed to maintain his lead. Lima did, however, manage to earn a Bronze Medal – the first marathon medal ever won by a Brazilian. Lima’s tenacity and willingness to keep going despite the freak attack and his humility on the podium helped make him a Brazilian national hero. He was also awarded the special Pierre de Coubertin medal for his demonstration of Olympic spirit.

Now, Smolinsky, along with director Aluizio Abranches (From Beginning to End), director of photography Ueli Steiger (The Day After Tomorrow), editor Kate Amend and composer Carlinhos Brown, are hoping to bring Lima’s story to the big screen with Marathon. The filmmakers have already cast two leads: Brazilian actor Joao Gabriel Vasconcellos is set to play Lima, and Brazilian actress Marieta Severo has signed on to play Dona Arora.

Like many independent filmmakers, Smolinsky has taken to Kickstarter with a campaign to raise at least $15,000 on the crowd-funding site. The Kickstarter campaign was launched on Friday, Nov. 7, and will continue for one month. Donations will go towards “film legal fees, travel and meetings for the development period of the project, including funding, casting and distribution.”

Backers will be thanked with rubber wristbands and t-shirts, adorned with the film’s tagline, “You can stop my body, I am not my body.”

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