Film award for "I am Malu"
Enthusiastic response in Havana to a German/Cuban documentary about a paralympic athlete
During the 39th Havana Film Festival, the film "Yo soy Malú" received a special award on 17 December 2017. The city of Matanzas, one of the locations for the festival, conferred the "Premio Vigía" award on the documentary. This is the first ever award for a German/Cuban film, which was produced jointly by Santiago Llapur and Professor Hans Georg Näder, President of Ottobock.
The documentary celebrated its premiere on 9 December 2017, when it was shown to a packed audience in Cine Infanta in Havana. Lasting 41 minutes, the film tells the exceptional story of Malú Pérez Iser: in 2009, a car accident destroyed Malu's dream of becoming a professional dancer – her left leg was amputated at the thigh. She found a job as a secretary in the national office for disabled sports in Havana. Here, in 2014, one of her tasks was to select participants for the first "Ottobock Running Clinic" on Cuba. These clinics train young transfemoral amputees in various countries around the world to run with sport prostheses. Participants are mentored by Heinrich Popow, who has won numerous gold medals at the Paralympic Games and is a brand ambassador for Ottobock.
Meeting Popow turned Malu's life upside down. Because he encouraged her to at least try out a sport prosthesis. Malu's first tentative steps, and her excitement as she learned to move faster and faster were all captured by Popow on his smartphone – scenes which have become key moments in the documentary. In April 2015, Malu received her first custom fitted sport prosthesis. She started training and managed just in time to join the Cuban team for the Paralympic Games in Rio. Here, she claimed a surprise victory in September 2016, winning bronze in long jump – a feat which met with thunderous applause in Havana.
"I am proud and delighted to have had the honour of supporting Malu on her exceptional journey," reports Hans Georg Näder. "The very personal documentary shows that chance encounters, a passion for sport and the right technical devices can be life-changing. Malu not only found her feet again in life. Her unbelievable victory is also proof that so much more is possible."
"I hope that other people who are in the same situation will see themselves in me, and realise that the world hasn't ended," commented Malu at the film premiere. "You have to set off in a new direction and adjust your dreams. But don't ever stop dreaming!"
An overview of the film
- Title: Yo soy Malú (I am Malu)
- Language: Spanish with German or English subtitles
- Script and direction: Mayra Irene Álvarez Díaz
- Producers: Hans Georg Näder, Santiago Llapur
- Camera: Jochen Beckmann
- Editing: Juan Carlos Llapur
- Film music: Pao Fraga
- Sound: Pao Fraga, Alejandro Alfonso de Armas
- Production: HGN Verlag
Ottobock develops medical technology products and treatment concepts for people with limited mobility in the areas of Prosthetics, Orthotics, Human Mobility (wheelchairs, rehabilitation devices) and MedicalCare. Subsidiaries in more than 50 countries offer “Made in Germany” quality worldwide, and employ more than 7,000 people. A family-managed company since its founding in 1919, Ottobock has also been supporting the Paralympic Games with its technical expertise since 1988.
Ottobock opened a branch in Havana in 2016, under the supervision of Ottobock Brazil. The Brazil branch was founded in 1975 to promote the introduction of mobility aids to Latin America. Today, the company is also firmly established in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.