Independent Documentary Seeks Support
By Jade Arroyo
“Isabel struggles to excel and strengthen the mind through sport that gives her health and a way of ignoring her physical limitations. Like that, without seeing: blindsided.”
Last March 30, a cocktail presentation was held for fundraising to launch an independent documentary project, Así, sin ver (translated as “Blindsided”), directed and produced entirely by sanmiguelense students.
“Blindsided” is a short documentary which tells the story about the preparation of Isabel Tavera, who is seeking to participate in the upcoming Paralympics at the Rio 2016 Olympics. According to director Santiago Gómez, the documentary focuses on the root of her strength to go far in the sport she’s passionate about. This athlete, who is blind, has overcome serious limitations in a fairly short time.
The documentary also shows that the limitations, rather than just being physical, are often self-imposed. The support for athletes with disabilities is very limited; however, they are trained optimally, allowing them to attend competitions at national and international level, where they are outstanding performers.
Isabel Tavera is trained by Cristobal Tavera, her older brother, who has weak vision. He is dedicated to training people with low vision and blindness. He has become a sports and personal coach at the same time, constantly motivating them to achieve good results without the support of government and institutions. Their training is usually self-managed. “Without seeing enough support from government organizations, support from the media to promote stories with many messages that inspire, support from society that often prefers to look away, support of anything or anyone— just these people, well, without seeing they just keep going.”
Athletes are constantly preparing to go to competitions outside San Miguel de Allende, even outside the state and country. Their group is called Fuerza Unida (United Force). They feel that this documentary about Isabel will be a cover letter for athletes like them to provide them more public visibility.
One of the main reasons for this documentary is to draw attention to the skills of these athletes and the support they need to continue. The collaboration of a group of students from Instituto Sanmiguelense who are currently studying for bachelor’s degrees in Design and Visual Communication and Engineering Systems and Management, shows society that big dreams can be achieved without having full vision. “Although our careers are different, we are united by the desire to tell this story, and we believe a documentary film is the way to present stories worthy of being known, especially from the point of view of the people portrayed. You cannot lie,” said Gómez, the director. He is studying for a bachelor’s degree in Design and Visual Communication at the ITSES. He has being acquainted with Isabel and others in the documentary since childhood. He’s doing social service with them and now, with this project, he intends to present a story of ethical values and inspiration for society.
This project is part of campaign fundraising through Fondeadora (a Mexican Kickstarter), the first platform in Mexico to fund creative projects. At Fondeadora, they seek to foster talent, creativity, and innovation, helping any entrepreneur to promote ideas and find the financing needed to materialize them.
The estimated funding needed to complete the documentary is 70,000 pesos for renting equipment, transportation, community training, transfers to host the final competition in Mexico prior to Rio, rental of needed material for production, per diem production equipment, and support for the visually impaired athletes, the United Force. To donate and help fund this project, visit fondeadora.mx, where you can search the Así, sin ver documentary and watch the audiovisual trailer, or email the director, Santiago Gómez at firstname.lastname@example.org.