Pete Castaldi talks with filmmakers Katie Bender and Leo Baker about the process of making The Will To Fly film over 3 years.
This edge-of-the-seat account of champion Olympic freestyle skier Lydia Lassila’s second shot at gold has about as much in common with your average, inspirational drama as The Revenant’s infamous attack sequence does with Yogi Bear.
Tough? If Lassila and her fellow competitors existed in the same universe, they would probably give Marvel’s superheroes a serious run for their money.
THE WILL TO FLY
G, 95 minutes, opens Thursday
Directors: Leo Baker, Katie Bender
The few people in the world who can do it modestly call it a trick. It’s an aerial ski-jump, which sends the body spearing high in the air to execute a series of straight-backed somersaults while spinning like a top.
High divers do it, too, without the extra degree of difficulty involved in manoeuvring to make an upright landing with a pair of skis on a firm bed of snow…READ MORE
Freestyle aerial skiing is, without question, one of the most spectacular sports ever invented: something like diving, something like gymnastics, something like throwing yourself off a cliff. No Australian has achieved more in this field than Lydia Lassila – a world record holder, a gold medal winner at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and the only woman to pull off a quad-twisting triple somersault, a feat previously reserved for men.
All this is recounted in The Will to Fly, a new documentary directed by the team of Katie Bender, a former aerial skier who trained with Lassila, and Leo Baker, an animator who worked on the Oscar-winning short film The Lost Thing.
Several years in the making, the film serves as a primer on aerial skiing and the achievements of Australian women in particular, while chronicling Lassila’s quest to get back in gear for the 2014 Sochi Olympics after becoming a mother.
In person, Lassila is a disarming mix of friendliness and intensity, with an easy laugh, wide brown eyes, and a frankness about her weaknesses that registers as a form of strength…
This is a very positive and empowering story that parents and young athletes will both be able to appreciate. The film presents many themes including mental strength, determination, hard work and resilience. It also raises the topics of gender equality and women in sport. Specific to young athletes, there are lessons to be learned about patience, training smarter not harder, but also to dare to dream outside the boundaries if you are willing to work hard and never give up. Lydia’s performance at her last Olympics was also based on her ethic that winning is not everything “but going for greatness in a sport and doing something no one had done was more important.”READ MORE
Richard Stubbs from ABC 774 Radio interviews Lydia Lassila and Katie Bender about The Will To Fly film.
Lydia Lassila and producer Katie Bender chat to Eddie McGuire, Mick Molloy and Luke Darcy about The Will To Fly after the release of the movie trailer.