When SYA France's Séverine Bordeau qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon, word spread quickly among the SYA community. From our campus in Rennes to our community around the world, SYAers cheered Séverine on as she trained for and competed in a life-long dream.
As our community cheered from the sidelines, students and faculty started to compare Séverine's personal journey as a competitive runner to the experience of SYA students. The commitment, repetition and hard work required to successfully complete a marathon parallels the challenge of digging in and learning a new language — both tasks that cannot be accomplished overnight, and that take a certain level of grit and perseverance.
And thus the concept behind The Long Run: to follow Séverine and her students throughout the 2018-2019 school year, paralleling their paths, and finding ways to provide insight into the SYA experience, both as teachers and students.
The short film started with interviews, digging into common themes between the experience of being an SYA student and Séverine's path to the Boston marathon. From there, we threaded the interviews together to form the backbone of a script. In the fall of 2018, we captured footage of Séverine training and teaching, as well as footage of her students as they immersed themselves in the local culture and language. On the day of the race, SYAers followed Séverine's progress in-person and online as she ran through famous sections of the race, feeling the adrenaline of the "Scream Tunnel," the struggle of "Heartbreak Hill" and the exhilaration of the final stretch of Boylston Street, with the finish line looming ahead.
After the race and with the end of the 2018-2019 school year quickly approaching, we compiled a final cut of The Long Run and shared the film with our community just as our students were crossing their own finish line.
If you haven't watched The Long Run, we hope you will take a few minutes to join us in cheering on our students and Séverine as they overcome challenges and find the the pure joy in working towards and accomplishing their goals and dreams.