Dialog Box

Community | Education | Health & Wellbeing | History | Sport/Adventure | Youth
The Will To Fly


$74,242 Raised of
It is a story about a woman who maintained a loyalty to her younger self, by conquering the ambitious goals she set, with a fire she never let die down.

The film is a historic portrayal about the life and tumultuous sport career of Lydia Lassila through the times of world dominance by the Australian aerial ski team.

As a young gymnast, Lydia Lassila’s Olympic aspirations were set and then dashed by injuries and missed opportunities. Aerial skiing provided a second chance opportunity to realise her dream – and create many new ones. Through an experimental roller-coaster career of guts and perseverance, she turned some major setbacks into fuel for an all-mighty comeback. Lydia won the 2010 Olympic games with a world record score still held today.

After winning the 2010 Olympic games, Lydia returned to the sport as a young mother, with a pursuit of becoming the first woman to perform the most complex acrobatic manoeuvre that only men had ever achieved before, a “quadruple twisting, triple somersault” on skis.

Lydia Lassila didn’t want her acrobatic potential to be unknown. She had a title to defend, but more importantly a score to settle, with herself.

This is a quest to reach personal fulfilment by achieving her true potential, on the world stage at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

With a classical story construction of the ‘hero’s journey’, showcasing the spectacles of an entire career in 99 minutes, Lydia Lassila inspires us all with The Will To Fly.


How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

The empowering nature of the story told by #TheWillToFly makes it a multi-faceted educational asset. It is important that students are provided with strategies to support their learning about themselves and others. The film provides opportunities for students to learn to:

- Acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to develop and maintain their physical, mental, social and emotional health;

- Define how participation in physical activity and sport influence an individual’s identity;

- Develop social and emotional skills and sense of self;

- Persevere in overcoming obstacles;

- Set personal and academic goals;

- Develop self-discipline, resilience, adaptability and initiative.

Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

The main awareness topics revealed through the film are: 

#DareToDream - Encouraging young people to believe in themselves despite their difficulties.

#ParticipationInSport - Motivating young people to embrace sport in their life and development.

#LevelPlayingField - The need to promote gender quality in sport, which then echoes to other areas of life.

#InspiringFemaleEmpowerment - The need to empower female leaders and create female role models for the next generation.


What is your education and outreach strategy?

To date the film has made a stand-out, positive impact on students.

"The Will To Fly not only captivated the minds of 200 teenagers, it was able to motivate them to succeed as well as inspire them to do better"

"The film leaves the audience of all ages and backgrounds feeling inspired, motivated and determined that anything is possible, and let nothing stop you from achieving greatness"

"I have watched numerous motivational films. The Will To Fly stands out as a film which hits the mark. It displays many personal traits required for success including persistence, resilience, passion and an unbending will"

"This film is awe-inspiring, to also meet Lydia and ask her questions about her career gave us an even further insight into what she has gone through. Lydia is a remarkable individual and her story has taught me so many things. The most important being that as long as you believe in yourself, anything is possible"

Our goal is to have The Will To Fly studied at as many schools as possible, with a focus on Health and Physical Education classes (targeting Year 7-12).

We have developed an attribute tag to the impact campaign; #FlyLikeLydia which is about encouraging the youth of today to dream big and soar high, and that can be used to generate more social awareness to these positive attributes.

We have engaged The Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) to create an educational study guide for various stages of learning e.g. middle school, senior school & tertiary level. This is free resource downloadable from our website, which provides the work for teachers to examine the film with their students. 

With these resources, we are working hard to co-ordinate educational screenings, but are looking for financial support to assist reaching a larger number of schools across the country. We are looking to raise $60,000 to hire a full-time impact producer who can assist in raising the awareness of the film’s benefits, and make real traction through successfully hosted school screenings. Money will also go towards resources for effective marketing to the schools because one of the biggest hurdles is generating the awareness.  We are also needing financial assistance to support Lydia Lassila for school Q&A's + travel costs around Australia and additional educational resources for the students.

Katie Bender and Leo Baker
Katie Bender
Total budget
99 Minutes