Young Filmmakers Enjoy International Success and Contribute to Change in Attitudes Towards People with a Disability

A team of UPN students has won an international short film award for their documentary based on the life of a Peruvian poet and former Special Olympic athlete living with Down’s Syndrome.

The documentary on Susana Lozano Montalván was submitted to the Todos Somos diferentes (We are all different) inclusion film festival in Chile, where the students’ work featured among more than 170 short films from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Spain, France, Peru and Uruguay.

The Communications students won the Audience Award, judged by the public, and received over 5,200 votes – the highest number of votes received in any category in the history of the competition.

Because of Susana’s courage and the challenges, she has faced, the young filmmakers decided to name the project after Susana’s first collection of poems – No Soy Mentira (I Am Not a Lie).

“It’s a compelling phrase. The poems are a manifestation. They remind people of Susana’s identity and express what she’s going through – and that we should not consider this as something passing, but as someone who is going to transcend,” explained Herbert Cervantes, director of photography and film editor.

According to Kimberly Manrique, the project’s director, the team fulfilled their objective of having people ‘live’ Susana’s story and learn more about her life, poetry and career.

“Susana’s story is a tribute to all people who feel different because of some disability. When you see Susana, you can see yourself reflected in her, and realize there is someone capable of winning so much,” Kimberly said.

Herbert and Kimberly were joined on the project by fellow filmmakers, Dafne Aguero Dionicio (Production), Josselyn Maldonado Bermejo (Production) and Yerliny Castillo Cirilo (Sound).

We congratulate the young filmmakers on their success, and their commitment to the principles of diversity, inclusion and equity. Their documentary not only promotes inclusion and participation in the community of people with a disability, it also contributes to achieving change in attitudes and practices that discriminate against them.