‘Neither different nor different: Champions’ on RTVE Play

In 2017 Javier Fesser make an unprecedented decision, shoot the movie Champions, starring actors with intellectual disabilities. In parallel, he wanted to immortalize that experience beyond what was seen in the film in a documentary about the world seen from the eyes of the protagonists.

Nine people with intellectual disabilities open the door of their lives to us and tell us in first person the challenges of living in a society that is not designed for them. With emotion and humor we enter their lives and we will meet their families; schools and training centers in which they try to prepare for a society full of difficulties; the jobs to which they have access and which often give meaning to their lives; their affective, intense and unapologetic relationships; and also your dreams.

Coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities held every December 3, RTVE Play recovers Neither different nor different: Champions (2018), the documentary by Alvaro Longoria about the main actors of the film starring Javier Gutiérrez.

Campeones is the Spanish film of 2018. It is the highest grossing film with more than 18.5 million (surpassed only by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and The Avengers: Infinity War) and, in addition, it has been chosen to represent Spain at the Oscars. And it is that this group of people with intellectual disabilities has stolen our hearts. But … what are they like? And what is your daily life like? We discover this in the indispensable documentary Ni Distintos, Ni Diferentes: Campeones, directed by Álvaro Longoria. An emotional journey to a little-known reality that we all live with, led by people from whom we have much to learn. The film will premiere on Thursday, September 28 at the San Sebastián Film Festival, attended by Sergio Olmos, Julio Fernández, Jesús Lago, José de Luna, Fran Fuentes, Gloria Ramos, Alberto Nieto, Roberto Chinchilla and Stefan López, the nine leading actors. Produced by Pendelton Films and Morena Films and distributed in Spain by Uni

A different look, from within

“For those who have empathized with the characters watching the movie, the documentary provides an intimate, domestic vision of family life. It’s exciting and precious in the simplicity of their lives, ”explains Fesser. “It’s nice to see that they are the same as in the movie and that they give off the same joy and authenticity. An idea is underlined again: Who cannot say, or boast, that it is different? Because, in the end, we are more alike than we think ”.

The documentary proposes an emotional journey into the lives of the nine protagonists with intellectual disabilities from Champions: Sergio Olmos, Julio Fernández, Jesús Lago, José de Luna, Fran Fuentes, Gloria Ramos, Alberto Nieto, Roberto Chinchilla and Stefan López.

Álvaro Longoria, producer of Morena Films, and accomplished documentary filmmaker (The propaganda game) took on the challenge of showing a group that they had already generously exposed their reality in the film.

Vitalistic, emotional, real

The contagious vitality of its protagonists has raised the spirits of a festival that faces its last days. “This experience is to continue fulfilling a dream: to live on the red carpet,” he says. Gloria Ramos. “I want to continue doing theater, another movie. With these people, let’s go ”.

Longoria provided each actor with a digital camera so that they could self-portray their lives, and some of that material is used in the documentary. “When Fesser asked me to do the documentary, I got respect. And I have realized that I am part of the transformation of the phenomenon Champions: we got into what the world is like for a person with a disabilityd and how the world turns its back on them. The documentary tells that and does it with a fantastic optimism ”.

RTVE.es premieres the trailer for ‘Campeones’, Javier Fesser’s new film

Stefan López, fond of all kinds of meteorological phenomena, took the opportunity to ask Fesser in the face of the Oscar race: “I would like you to take us all to Los Angeles. To see tornadoes “

The actor Alberto Nieto He is the one who has best summarized what the spirit of Champions when asked if he would like to star in a second part. “Of course I would like to, but I am not going to do it. Because we are many people with intellectual disabilities and now there are others who would have to make the film. A lesson in wisdom greater than life and cinema.

Do not miss Neither different nor different: Champions (2018). A documentary available at RTVE Play, where you can also watch the movie Champions (2013), winner of three Goya awards. Free and without subscriptions!


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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