The  journey: following, filming & writing

On June 13th, Dr. Sonali Gupta  will be embarking on an epic adventure traversing the American continent following, filming & writing an ethnography on India’s best known endurance cyclist, Samim Rizvi for the toughest ultra-endurance races in the world, the Race Across America. The race starts from Oceanside, California on the west coast to Annapolis, Maryland on the east coast & back!  Samim has just broken the Guinness Record for the most distance cycled in a month so the journey gets even more exciting!
The riveting journey filled with excitement, suspense tension & the pure rush of adrenalin will be made with her four year old son Rudra,  co-researcher Dominic Matteucci and other crew members .

Why fund us: 

Sonali & Dominic  hope to document Samim's adventurous journey as an ethnographic documentary during his Race Across America attempt.  The documentary will focus on team dynamics, highs with lows,  endurance, and what it takes to succeed.  All we need from you is approximately $5000 to help cover costs of travel (gas, lodging, food) & equipment for filming.  The duo plan to write a book which can be a guide for teams and all those who dare to push their limits & test human endurance.

About us:

Dr. Sonali Gupta  is an anthropological archaeologist who received her PhD in Egyptian Archaeology from UCLA in 2015. She is currently the Director of Public Programs at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. She spent 8 years conducting research in Egypt and India, making ethnographic films relevant to her research (The Potters of Pattanam).  Her research expertise is in capturing qualitative datasets using video annotation tools, evaluating patterned behavior & anthropological storytelling. 

Little Rudra (Sonali's son) is a traveler of sorts who is thoroughly entertaining & is fast becoming an inquisitive explorer like his mother. He has in his three years on earth already visited the Himalayas thrice, Canada & ofcourse Egypt when he was in the womb.  He hopes to learn from this experience & carry on the tradition of exploring.

Dominic Matteucci (IMDb) has spent many years in the film industry before attending UCLA's anthropology program.   Dominic’s strength lies in  documenting Visual Anthropology and filming. 

Please help us document & commence on this journey of a lifetime to enrich, excite you all & be a part of this adrenalin filled moment to moment endurance endeavor.  Any small contribution helps.  We will also be blogging and uploading live videos during the race, so be sure to follow us there too!!  Thank You!!

All contributors will get live updates from June 13th.

For more on Samim Rizvi please view this:

Donations (31)

  • Yadavindra Chopra
    • $100 
    • 6 yrs


Sonali Gupta-agarwal
Los Angeles, CA

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