Inspirational Documentary Directed by FIDM Grad: The Will to Fly


FIDM Digital Media Grad, Katie Bender is the director and producer of an inspiring documentary about Lydia Lassila, an Australian Olympic gold medal winning aerial skier.  Before Katie made this film, she actually trained underneath Lydia Lassila as a young gymnast, and then again with the Australian aerial ski team. Needless to say, Katie definitely got a first-hand look into Lydia’s experiences, dreams, perseverance, and perspective.


via The Will to Fly Facebook

The Will to Fly is a historic portrayal of the life and career of an iconic athlete and Olympian, with specific emphasis on Lydia’s world dominance with the Australian aerial ski team. This film also really focuses on Lydia’s journey as a woman who stayed true to her younger self by accomplishing the dream she had her mind, heart, and soul set on as a little girl.


via The Will to Fly Facebook

The Will to Fly is the very first sports feature documentary on a female athlete in Australia. That fact makes this documentary  very powerful tool on the quest to raise awareness around what women athletes achieve in the sports world. Katie and her team launched a campaign is tailored towards this concept at the premiere of the film. The main topics empahsized in this campaign are themes like following your passions, ‘leveling the playing field’ and inspiring female empowerment.

Lydia was a huge inspiration to Katie as a young athlete, and she beleievs that this documentary can do the same for another young, female athlete. Katie states: “Lydia is an extraordinary athlete and her story and achievements deserve to be understood.”

A Will to Fly is an epic journey that is showcased in 99 minutes. Prepare to be inspired. The documentary was also recently screen at the Los Angeles All Sports Film Festival. What an accomplishment! (Source:


via The Will to Fly Facebook


Check out the trailer below: 

We had the chance to ask Katie a few questions, and here is what she had to say:

1. What advice would you give to FIDM Students about success in the film industry?

KB: You don’t have know now what area of film you will specialize in. The more areas of post production you understand, the more opportunities you will have on any kind of production.

2. How did FIDM Help you in your journey to making “The Will to Fly?”

KB: Learning about a variety of different essential film making programs through the Digital Media program at FIDM, gave me an advantage as a producer/creative producer. Being a ‘producer’ is one thing, but having the knowledge of the creative process of post production can set you apart from the average producer. This is especially an advantage if you’re producing smaller independent films with less resources.

3. How does one even begin to make a documentary? 

KB: If you want to make a documentary do not wait around to make it, shoot the story today, even if it’s with your iPhone.


via The Will to Fly Facebook


Be sure to visit this website to find out how to watch it from beginning to end:

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Author: FIDM Staff

Whitney Sutherland recently graduated from FIDM's Merchandising & Marketing program. She’s an adventurer, a movie lover, a social media enthusiast, a health nut, a passionate writer, and a lover of life.

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