Sanjay Rawal: Filmmaker

Sanjay Rawal worked in the human rights and international development sectors for 15 years and in over 40 countries before focusing his love for photography and story-telling onto filmmaking. His first two shorts Ocean Monk (2010) and Challenging Impossibility (2011) were screened at over 120 festivals including Tribeca, St. Louis and Locarno. Sanjay then directed his first feature, Food Chains (2014), which premiered at the 2014 Berlinale and then screened at Tribeca before securing domestic distribution from Screen Media. The film chronicled the battle of a small group of farmworkers (the CIW) against large supermarkets and fast food chains. The film was produced by Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser and narrated by Forest Whitaker. Food Chains had a robust opening release in 26 cities in November 2014 and went on to screen in 1100 more through its theatrical, semi-theatrical & community screening tour. It won a host of awards including a James Beard Award as well as the BritDoc Impact Award as one of the most important films of 2015. A lifelong runner, Sanjay was happy to lose the pounds he gained eating Mexican food in farmworker towns and take on a project about running.

My Goal of the Day: Become a better person than I was yesterday.

My Thought of the Day: Aspire to the unattainable.

My Action of the Day: Always move forward in everything.

What do you love most about Your City?    

 My city is what the world will one day become – people from every economic strata and every nationality seeing the humanity in each other before the difference.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?    

 Waffle Delight at The Smile of the Beyond vegetarian diner in Queens

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Meditating in front of my shrine at home.

10:00 AM – Grabbing my latte at La Colombe in Tribeca.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?     

I’m not a power lunch type of guy anymore. I’m happy with Ippudo Ramen at lunch – or at Odeon just for the fries.

7:00 PM -  Finishing dinner before heading to the gym. I know, wrong order of activities!

11:00 PM – I’m usually finishing up a set of stretches before a quick meditation.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I can’t do it every day – but the Masala Latte at Panorama of My Silence Heart Café in Queens is my indulgence. I only get there a few times a week. But I crave it every day!

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

My favorite IG account is @baloointhewild, but he doesn’t post enough.

What should everyone try at least once?

I’m a big proponent of going outside your comfort zone. So I feel everyone should try an ultra-marathon at least once – if not habitually.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I love getting lost on the Northern Californian coast – in traditional Pomo, Wiyot, Yurok and Tolowa territory.

3100: Run and Become Opens in New York October 26
A new documentary about endurance, enlightenment, and why we run


Just in time for the New York City Marathon, a new documentary about why we run--set in New York’s Self Transcendence 3100--opens Friday, October 26 at the Village East. 

Not a typical sports movie, 3100: Run and Become is an uplifting, intimate portrait of endurance runners — from countries and cultures all over the world--and what motivates them. 

3100: Run and Become follows Ashprihanal Aalto, an unassuming Finnish paperboy, in his attempt to complete his 14th Self-Transcendence 3100, the world’s longest certified footrace, which takes place each summer in Jamaica, Queens. The 3100 encourages runners to discover the limits of their capacities--and to try to go beyond them. And go beyond, they must: the small group of competitors come from all over the world to run a distance that approximates a US cross-country run -- a total of 3,100 miles in 52 days – 5,649 laps around one city block in Jamaica, Queens.

Ashprihanal, who has run at least 53,000 in New York city since he began competing in 3100s, begins a quest that takes viewers from the heart of this astonishing event in New York to places around the world where ancient cultures have held running sacred for millennia: the Kalahari Desert, Arizona’s Navajo Reservation, and to the mountain temples of Japan. Through the heroic stories of three other runners (Shaun Martin, a Navajo runner and Board Member of Wings of America; Gaolo of the San Bushmen of the Kalahari; and Gyoman-san of the Monks of Mt. Hiei, Japan) 3100: Run and Become presents a portrait of endurance and transformation. Beyond competitiveness and athletic prowess, they run not for glory but for spiritual enlightenment, universal oneness --or because they simply have the responsibility to run.

3100: Run and Become is directed by Sanjay Rawal (Food Chains) and produced by Tanya Ager Meillier (Alias Ruby Blade, Capitalism: a Love Story). It was edited by Alex Meillier (Alias Ruby Blade, Obscene) and shot in 4K by Sean Kirby (Racing Extinction, We are X, Long Strange Trip). The film’s soundtrack, composed by Michael A. Levine, features an original song recorded by Roberta Flack, her first after suffering a stroke in 2016.
Instagram: @3100film
Facebook: facebook.com/3100film
Twitter: @3100_film