Matt Damon News Column (mattdamoncolumn) wrote,
Matt Damon News Column

Running the Sahara, Bourne

  • Here's a 'power of celebrity' story from the Orange County Business Journal which provides more details on the Libya border problems previously referred to by the athletes:

    At first, Newport Beach businessman Omar Turbi didn’t return Matt Damon’s calls—didn’t know who he was. But Turbi got set straight by a friend, contacted the Hollywood star and the rest is show business. Turbi and son Omar Jr. just returned from three weeks on location in Libya with Oscar-winning director James Moll and the rest of the cast and crew of "Running the Sahara."

    The film, in production, follows three athletes on a 4,000-mile, 100-day run across the desert ( The expedition was under way when it ran into a figurative sand wall—nobody could get clearances to enter Libya, the fifth of six countries on the trail to Egypt and the Red Sea.

    That’s when Damon, the film’s executive producer and narrator, was put in touch with Turbi, an expert on his native Libya with ties to its strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi. Turbi opened doors and handled logistics, and the run continued. For his efforts, Turbi, who operates semiconductor and aviation company Orbit Systems, said he collected $1,000 a day—"I was told I had to charge them something or they wouldn’t respect me." Plus he gets a film credit and will be portrayed in the documentary. And now he’s on a first-name basis with Matt...

  • More photos from Bourne Ultimatum filming in New York are at Empire Online, including:

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