EXCLUSIVE: It’s fitting that world-class middle distance runner Alexi Pappas is about to run ahead of NBC and its by-now-familiar athlete featurettes the network scatters throughout its Olympics coverage. That’s because she and her filmmaker boyfriend Jeremy Teicher have made Tracktown, a semi-autobiographical movie she also stars in that will have its world premiere Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The bow comes two months before the start of the Rio Games, where Pappas is set to compete in the 10,000 meters for the Greek Olympic team (the Californian has dual Greek-U.S. citizenship).
Pappas — who has achieved somewhat of a cult status in running circles and beyond for her essays and poetry in addition to her skills on the track — found time between training sessions to co-write, co-direct and star in Tracktown, which she and Teicher (Tall as the Boabob Tree) have constructed as a coming-of-age pic that also provides a genuine look inside the life and mind of a young woman who also just happens to be an elite athlete. She plays Plumb Marigold, a talented but lonely long-distance runner living in Eugene, OR (in real life, Pappas won an NCAA cross-country national championship at the University of Oregon, a running mecca, and the indie was shot there). After twisting her ankle at a competition and with the Olympic Trials looming, the injury forces Plumb to do what she has never done before: take a day off. That day becomes filled with friendly encouragements, potential setbacks and even a flirtatious encounter with a young man. Chase Offerle, Rachel Dratch and Andy Buckley co-star.
Tracktown is playing in LAFF’s 12-title competition lineup. Its world premiere is Saturday at 6:45 PM at ArcLight Culver City followed by a press screening and second public screening Tuesday. Preferred Content has sales rights and Pappas, Teicher, Laura Wagner and Jay Smith are producers.
Check out the clip above and the poster below, and catch the movie if you can.