The Secret Marathon

A movement for equality


Creative Team

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Scott Townend

Scott Townend graduated from the film program at Sait, in Calgary Alberta, and has since been working for over a decade as an Alberta based filmmaker. Scott has created hundreds of videos in his career, ranging from large scale, often multi year corporate productions with clients such as The Government of Alberta, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and MacEwan University, right across the spectrum into the creative world of music videos, television and feature films. Some of these productions have even earned him a few awards at both the Edmonton International and Calgary International film festivals for best director and best editor, as well as nominations for the Best of Alberta Film Awards and best editor at the AMPIA awards for a feature length film. Accolades aside, Scott holds true to the reasons he got into film in the first place, claiming: “filmmaking for me will always simply be about the art of telling a good story.”

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Kate McKenzie
Co-Director, Executive Producer & CAST MEMBER

Kate McKenzie is an artist, author, educator, professional speaker, and filmmaker. She is the founder and director of Worldviews Project where she has worked with clients including TEDxYYC, The Calgary YMCA, imagiNation 150, The Natural Step Canada and Calgary Centre for Global Community. She is the also the director and producer for documentary web-series “The Optimist's Guide to Canada.” Kate recently completed her Masters in Digital Media at Ryerson University and is currently the Studio Manager for the Transmedia Zone, a storytelling and media incubator at Ryerson University.

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Martin Parnell

Keynote speaker, author of "Marathon Quest" and "Running To The Edge", world class endurance athlete and philanthropist. In 2010, Martin started his "Quests for Kids" initiative.  Over the next five years he completed 10 "Quests," including running 250 marathons in one year, setting five Guinness World Records and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours. At the end of 2014 over $1.3m had been raised for the humanitarian organization Right to Play and 27,000 children had been given the gift of hope. 

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Lead Camera Operator, Afghanistan

Colin Scheyen is a documentary filmmaker based in Toronto. His films focus on issues of community, identity and social issues. His recent documentary feature film, Nuclear Hope, focuses on Canada's nuclear waste issues and screened at festivals throughout North America, South America, and Asia. It also won the Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival.

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Liam Kearney
Lead Audio & Second Camera, Afghanistan

Liam Kearney is the director and producer of production and post production at Liam Kearney Media where he has worked with clients including Bell, Globe and Mail, Sustainable Design Awards, Toronto Luxury Rentals and the NXT City Awards.  He is also the director and producer of the short documentary “This Job Saved My Life” and the series "Convenience Stories", currently streaming on Bell Fibe TV1.

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Kamala Parel-Nuttal

Kamala Parel-Nuttal is an experienced researcher and freelance filmmaker who has worked with a variety of clients including Carya (formerly Calgary Family Services) and Pulse Studios, Calgary. She has produced several independent short films, and was Production Assistant, Researcher on the feature documentary film “Elder in the Making”(Winner, Best Documentary 2016 AMPIA Awards).


William Baird

McBaird Studios represents Film and TV composer, William Baird. William, has written original music for successful TV Documentaries and Short Films, including the award-winning TV Series “Time Team’ and the British two-part series ‘Winston’s War’.  He is currently working on several North American feature length documentary films, slated for release in 2017/2018. His personal recording studio is based in Calgary. He uses a recording facility based in Calgary, called OCL Studios, for recording live musicians and for mixing the final film score.

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Kendyl Lauzon

Kendyl Lauzon is an Edmonton based artist and illustrator. She owns and operates the Breakfast Jones store (named after her dog) and has worked on a variety of projects including animation, children's books, and personal portraits. Kendyl has been drawing for as long as she can remember, taking inspiration from artists like Mary Blair, Chuck Jones, and Bill Watterson. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design's Visual Communications program, in 2007. One of her coolest achievements is having one of her drawings on the Conan O'Brien Show.

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Murwarid Ziayee
Cultural Advisor

Murwarid Ziayee is an advocate for women’s rights and for girls’ education in Afghanistan. She is the Senior Director for the charity, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and is responsible for program management and support for public engagement outreach and fund development. She maintains strong connections between the country office in Kabul and the Canadian board, executive team and membership. Murwarid has a BA in Political Science and Law from Kabul University. She has worked in women’s rights issues with different organizations including United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Office of the President of Afghanistan.

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Pippa Johnstone
Voice-Over Audio Technician

Pippa is a theatre-maker and audio-producer hailing from Vancouver BC. Since moving to Toronto a few years ago, Pippa has completed her MA in Media Production at Ryerson, and created a podcast with TVO called Word Bomb about the evolution of words. She also works for CBC’s PlayME Podcast, which records new Canadian plays to podcast form. (Photo Credit: Ingrid Forster)

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Cultural Advisor

Zainab is an Ambassador for the Charity Free to Run as well as the Program Officer for Skateistan. She is helping to promote women’s participation in sport in her community and across Afghanistan. In 2015 she successfully completed a 250km self-supported footrace across the Gobi desert in China making history as part of Afghanistan’s first ultra-marathon team. In 2015 Zainab also became the first woman to complete an official marathon in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Ingrid Forster)

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Hosai Zurmati
Cultural Advisor & Narrator

Hosai Zurmati is a graduate from the University of Guelph where she received an Honours in Political Science and minor in International Development.

“I enjoy working with youth and participating in cultural events to learn and be exposed to diverse lifestyles. I'm grateful to be a part of The Secret Marathon, I view this project as the most dignified way to make people aware of their human rights, especially for Afghan girls or youth, who wish to take part in a run. In a region where several constraints prevent girls from tasting freedom, running and participating in a marathon can reignite that feeling of freedom.  As a narrator, I do not speak with my own voice, rather I have tried my best to make the audience hear the 1000 unheard voices of girls of Afghanistan in the native languages of Pashto and Dari as well as English. And I hope that is exactly what your hear, for they want you to empathize with them not just sympathize.” (6).png

Hirra Farooqi
Production Assistant

Hirra Farooqi is an aspiring Journalist currently studying her last year of undergrad at Ryerson University. Hirra is a first generation immigrant of Afghan-Pakistani parents. Currently, Hirra is the general assistant of Ryerson’s Transmedia Zone, an incubator for digital media, creative industries and storytelling. Hirra hopes to produce her own documentaries focusing on marginalized communities within Central and South Asia.

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We are thankful to all who have assisted us in making this project, some of whom cannot be credited here to protect their personal safety. We are deeply grateful for your contributions.

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