EXCLUSIVE: Film about sprinter set for UK theatrical release in July.

Sprinter and civil rights activist Tommie Smith is due in London in July to support the release that month of Matt Norman’s feature documentary Salute, which is being given a theatrical release in the UK by Arrow Films.

Arrow picked up the doc from Michael Favelle’s Sydney-based sales and production outfit Odin’s Eye Entertainment.

The award-winning film tells the story of how Matt Norman’s uncle, Australian athlete Peter Norman, was the third man at a defining moment in Olympic Games history. The silver medallist in the 200 metres at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, Norman was standing alongside winner Tommie Smith and Bronze medallist John Carlos when the two African-American athletes raised their fist in the famous “Black Power” salute.

Norman, who died in 2006, was punished for his support of Smith and Carlos by being severely reprimanded by the Australian authorities. He was never to run for his country again.

Arrow is releasing the film in British cinemas in the month that the 2012 Olympics kicks off in London. 

“Quite simply, (it is) a very moving and profound story of humanitarianism that remains as powerful now as it was five decades ago. What a wonderful window of opportunity to showcase this exceptional documentary at the height of the London Olympics,” said Tom Stewart, Head of Acquisitions at Arrow Films, of the decision to put the film into UK cinemas in July.