BALLARAT'S strong running culture is set to share a spotlight with one of the world's most historic marathon events.
Filmmakers will return to Ballarat streets to tell the story of 1947 Boston Marathon winner Suh Yun-bok, the first Korean to win an international sporting event in his nation's independence from Japan in 1945. The hunt is on among the region's runners to help bring the race to life in Road to Boston.
Suh's win in two hours, 25 minutes and 39 seconds, was the world's fastest marathon time since his coach Sohn Kee-chung became the first to run a marathon in under two hours, 30 minutes. Sohn became the first Korean to win an Olympic medal in the 1936 Berlin Games but he did so representing Japan under a Japanese version of his name, Son Kitei.
Hipwell International Productions has made a call out for extras, in particular the region's runners, for race scenes. An open casting call is at Ballarat Mining Exchange on Wednesday, December 18.
Ballarat airport is touted to be the start location for the Boston Marathon with other sequences to be filmed in Lydiard Street, Bakery Hill and Victoria Park.
Historic streets in Bendigo and Geelong will also be transformed into 1940s Boston for filming from January 8-21.
Film Victoria, in a statement to The Courier, said it was aware of the film but would not comment.
Location manager John Greene, however, told Bendigo Advertiser these would be challenging shoots due to the scale of recreating a marathon.
The actors will be running 800 metres at marathon pace, which is about 20 kilometres an hour. That's added a degree of difficulty.John Greene, 'Road to Boston' location manager
"That adds to the difficulty of shooting film," Mr Greene said. "Normally we might dress 50 or 60 metres of a street and shoot from different angles but because it's a marathon, most locations are all fluent with the movement with camera on a tracking vehicle.
"The actors will be running 800 metres at marathon pace, which is about 20 kilometres an hour. That's added a degree of difficulty."
Successful marathon extras will have their hair cut to 1947 style, must be clean shaven and have no visible tattoos outside their singlet and shorts.
Mr Greene said the major hurdle for filming was ensuring modern infrastructure and backgrounds could not be seen.
Ballarat, including Lydiard Street, has been the backdrop to five seasons of popular ABC series The Doctor Blake Mysteries, featuring Craig McLachlan.
Central Ballarat went into lockdown in 2009 for the filming of a Victoria Bitter blockbuster advertisement.
WATCH the finished commercial below
City of Ballarat events team has worked closely with film and location managers to secure the best spots for the marathon film.
Ballarat mayor Ben Taylor said the film would provide a substantial economic boost to the city as well as putting Ballarat on the map as a filming destination.
"It's very hard to put a figure on the financial and other benefits that this sort of exposure creates for our City," Cr Taylor said.
Suh died in June 2017 aged 94. His trip to the Boston Marathon in 1947 was financed by American troops serving in Korea at the time, and he flew in to the United States on a US military plane.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.