Ted Braun to direct story of refugee, runner

New Line’s developing a biopic on Lopez Lomong, a so-called Lost Boy of Sudan who became a U.S. citizen and carried the U.S. flag at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Ted Braun, who wrote and directed the 2007 documentary “Darfur Now,” has been tapped to helm from his own script, with Dean Schramm and Tim Lawrence producing. Schramm exec produced “Darfur Now,” which won the NAACP Image Award for best documentary; Lawrence introduced Lomong to Braun and Schramm last year.

Lomong was abducted at age 6 during the Sudanese civil war and escaped with three other boys from his village by running for three days into Kenya. He spent 10 years in a refugee camp near Nairobi before being moved to the U.S., where he became an elite runner and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team at 1,500 meters, a year after becoming a U.S. citizen.

“Now I’m not just one of the ‘Lost Boys,’” he told reporters upon being chosen as the flag bearer. “I’m an American.”

Lomong was reunited with his family in Kenya in 2003 and brought two brothers to the U.S. last year.

“His story has unique qualities with worldwide appeal — outsize dreams, huge ambitions and an obligation to his home and family,” Braun told Daily Variety .

Braun, who spent five months in Sudan and Kenya shooting “Darfur Now,” has also written and directed documentaries and short films for HBO, PBS, A&E and Discovery. .

New Line bought Braun’s pitch preemptively. Richard Brener and Michele Weiss are overseeing.

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