Freedom to Run with Director Q&A

Dir: Dr Cairsti Russell and Stephen Sheriff
85 mins

Freedom to Run, a feature-length documentary by Glaswegian filmmakers Dr Cairsti Russell and Stephen Sheriff, follows the Palestinian running group Right to Movement (RTM) and a group from Glasgow as they train for and run both the Palestine and Edinburgh marathons.

The two groups of runners support each other as they run both the Palestine and Edinburgh Marathons and on this journey, the runners discover they are not so different, but they live very different lives.

Q&A Panel

Cairsti Russell is co-producer/co-director of Freedom to Run. She is also a sociologist at the University of Glasgow and is a member of the University of Glasgow Media Group. Her research interests relate to media, war and audience reception, particularly in relation to Israel and Palestine. She is currently working on a new research project that investigates digital rights in Palestine. This project seeks to explore how attacks on digital rights impact on journalism from the region.

Stephen Sheriff is a creative producer working in arts and heritage and a BAFTA nominated filmmaker, based in London. Stephen is co-director/co-producer of Freedom to Run.

Mohammed Ghalayini is a Manchester-based Palestinian scientist who was visiting family in Gaza when disaster struck in October 23. He lived through the Israeli attacks on the territory for two months, moving houses and districts along with his extended family in an attempt to avoid the bombs. Whilst there he co-founded Amplify Gaza Stories, to bring the voices of Palestinians inside Gaza to those outside. Mohammed will introduce other sport-based Palestinian solidarity initiatives.

Jawad Qasrawi is co-organiser of small park BIG RUN in Sheffield, which supports projects in Palestine. He’s also a keen runner, having participated in the Palestine marathon in 2023, and the son of a Palestinian exile.

Leonie Nimmo has held Palestine in her heart since she first visited in 2002. She’s since been involved in various campaigns, sold fairly traded Palestinian products and organised educational tours to the West Bank and Israel.

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