There will be a new documentary series coming to espnW this summer, with filmmaker Daniele Anastasion picked as the first-ever recipient of the new Film Fellowship program. This program, sponsored by Walmart, intends to work with filmmakers who intend to tell “a woman-centric sports story ” and help them bring that to the screen. Anastasion’s series will be four short films called “Run Mama Run,” focusing on Sarah Brown, a top American 1500-meter runner who’s expecting a baby March 21 and yet is continuing to train and hopes to make the U.S. Olympic team for the Rio Games this summer. Here are more details from espnW on what this will look like:

The docu-series, “Run Mama Run,” will follow Brown as she comes off the best track season of her career and continues with tailored workouts in hopes of making the Olympic team, all while pregnant with her first child. Due in March with a baby girl, the episodes will chronicle her journey through pregnancy and into postpartum training. Anastasion will take viewers through Brown’s workout and nutrition regimen as she pushes her body to the limits with the help of her husband and trainer, Darren Brown.

“I’m thrilled about this fellowship and excited to tell Sarah’s story,” said Anastasion. “I’m especially grateful to espnW and Walmart for supporting films about strong women.”

Episodes of “Run Mama Run” will roll out on from April to August and screen in full in the fall at the 2016 espnW: Women + Sports Summit. Additionally, Anastasion will chronicle her directorial journey on She will also serve as a judge for Bentonville Film Festival (BFF)’s 10 Brands, 10 Stories Short Film Competition, and will participate in the 2016 Bentonville Film Festival in Bentonville, Arkansas as a featured speaker. Walmart is also a sponsor of the Bentonville Film Festival and shares the festival’s mission to champion diversity and inclusion.

That’s certainly an interesting and unusual story, and Anastasion is a proven filmmaker. She’s directed films on a Libyan warlord and population growth and environmental consequences in Madagascar, and previously co-directed a 30 for 30 short for ESPN on a 16-year-old member of the Yup’ik indigenous people in Alaska who travels across the tundra to compete in an all-Yup’ik basketball tournament, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month and will air on ESPN’s SportsCenter in March. She also has a wide variety of writing and producing credits, and she’ll be working closely with the lauded ESPN Films team. We’ll see what she does with the Brown story, but this seems like something worth keeping an eye on. If this inaugural series goes well, that might help establish this new Film Fellowship program, and set it up for long-term success.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.