Trailer for new Sha’Carri Richardson film by Virgil Abloh examines runner’s ‘blessing and curse’

Sha'Carri Richardson looks on

The trailer for a new film by Virgil Abloh about the firey-haired star sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has dropped.

Before Abloh, the barrier-breaking Black designer who redefined luxury fashion, passed, he founded the film studio ARCHITECTURE FILMS.

Now his film, Sub Eleven Seconds, is set to premiere at the 2022 Sundance  Film Festival later this week.

The documentary will examine Richardson’s sensational ascent to becoming America’s fastest woman and a gold-medal favourite – running 100 metres in just 10.86 seconds during the US track and field Olympic trials last year.

But the 21-year-old was disqualified from the games after testing positive for marijuana – it was to cope with the death of her mother, she said – touching off national conversations about the role of the widely legalised drug in sports.

“Time is my blessing and my curse,” Richardson says in the trailer. “on the track, I’ve been blessed to run fast. Off the track, time has cheated me.

“You don’t know something or someone will be taken from you.”

With Abloh as an executive producer and Bafic directing, the 24-minute-long documentary was filmed across two days in Eugene, Oregon, at the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials 2020.

A “rumination on time, loss, and hope”, the story follows the athlete’s “poetic” journey towards competing in the Olympic games, according to the Sundance festival website.

“Over a year ago, Virgil, Chloe, and I promised each other we’d start making film,” wrote designer Mahfuz Sultan on Instagram, sharing the trailer.

“We miss dreaming with you V, we are so infinitely infinitely infinitely grateful to you.”

In July 2021, the United States Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that Sha’Carri Richardson had tested positive for marijuana. She accepted a one-month suspension which invalidated her performance at the marquee event.

Speaking to NBC’s TODAY at the time, Richardson said that the “nerve-shocking” death of her biological mother, while she was in Oregon for the trials, left her devastated.

“It sent me into a state of emotional panic,” she said. “I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”