Running On Empty

Production Company: Statically Indeterminate Productions Ltd.

Filmed and Edited by: Neil Webb

Running On Empty is a gut wrenching, yet heart-warming documentary short that tells the story of the lengths that one man will go to bring his six-year-old, quadriplegic son back to health.

This 22-minute documentary marks the second film from 24-year-old, award-winning filmmaker Neil Webb. In September 2010, Webb teamed up with Blaine Penny; a 36-year-old Calgarian who was attempting to run a 100-kilometer ultra-marathon over several mountain passes in Alberta, in order to raise awareness for his son’s debilitating disease.

Two years ago, Blaine Penny and his family were living a normal, quiet life until Blaine’s four-year-old son Evan went in for a routine surgery to have his appendix removed. His appendix was fine, but he wasn’t. Evan did not wake up from the surgery and fell into a coma.

After Evan awoke from the coma 5 days later, doctors were perplexed and could not find the root of his illness. Finally, after six months of tests, Evan was diagnosed with a probable Mitochondrial disease, which is a rare and often under-diagnosed disease that affects the cells ability to produce energy. Evan is now six-years-old and can no longer walk, talk, or eat on his own. There is currently no cure for the disease.

On September 18th, 2010, Blaine Penny (now the CEO of the charitable organization MitoCanada) led a group of runners on a harrowing ultra-marathon through the mountains of Alberta to raise awareness and funds for the disease.