About this submission

"Stride" was inspired by a deeply personal experience from my senior year of high school. I went from being a varsity runner with hopes of competing collegiately, to falling very ill in my last season, unable to run for the remainder of the year.

During that idle period of time I discovered my passion for filmmaking; this story mirrors my experiences, the sadness and despondency I felt during my pivot away from running, as well as the candid and supportive father-son relationship dynamic I have with my own dad as he was the one who unwaveringly kept me motivated through this difficult period of my life.

The film seeks to explore the resilient nature of the human condition in tidalwaves of adversity and grief, and through a dramatic character-driven narrative, calls on the audience to reflect upon their own bittersweet coming-to-terms with the uncontrollable.

Alazar Aklilu
Washington, DC, USA
Alazar Aklilu is an Ethiopian-American filmmaker with a propensity to tell stories that center themes of personal ambition, resilience, and hope within marginalized communities. Passionate about storytelling, in conjunction with social responsibility, he's determined to create feature length projects which thrill, inspire, and entertain audiences around the world. Projects he has helped produce or been a part of have screened at the Pan African Film Festival, AFI Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival, and the Chicago International Film Festival. His experiences include being a development intern at AMC Networks (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead), Big Beach Films (The Farewell), and the Virginia Film Festival. Currently, he works as a Digital Producer for U.S. News & World Report and develops personal projects in his free time.

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