In the short documentary Doorgaan (keep on going) filmmaker Tom Poederbach and reporter Thomas Rijsman follow the men’s Dutch National Wheelchair Basketball Team as they prepare and train to reach their goal of competing at the 2012 Paralympic games in London and going for gold.

Forward, Marc de Hond

It took me about 5 years to realize that I could still play sports… even though I can’t walk any more. I joined a wheelchair basketball training once and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Marc de Hond, Forward

Coach van der Linden calling the shots.

Their coach, Gertjan van der Linden, spent 24 years playing on the Dutch National team and joined in 5 Paralympics wining both gold and silver.

He was the best player in the world. I think he’s a great coach. I think he’s very capable of taking our team to great heights.

The next stop in their journey is qualifying at the European Championship taking place this month, Sept. 8th – 17th in Nazareth, Israel.

via Socially Minded Documentaries on Vimeo

Documentary Inspiration

Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful

Last month, 98 year old Keiko Fukuda was awarded judo’s highest honor: the 10th degree black belt. She is only the 4th person in history, and the first woman, to reach this level.

Fukuda still teaches judo three times a week at her SF dojo.

She is the last surviving student of Dr. Kano, the founder of Judo, and still teaches three times a week at her Noe Valley studio, Soko Joshi Judo Club, in San Francisco. Her motto is “Be gentle, kind, and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically.”

In 1934 Keiko Fukuda was preparing for marriage, like most young women in Japan. Then she met Kanō Jigorō (the founder of judo) and radically altered her life path. She gave up marriage, family, and her home-land to pursue her life destiny.

A documentary film by San Francisco-based
Flying Carp Productions titled Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful, by director Yuriko Gamo Romer, about Fukuda’s inspirational life is currently in post production and scheduled for release in early 2012.

Update: There is now a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the finishing of the movie!

via the San Francisco Chronicle


Don’t Wait To Be A Hero

Mark Bezos, Assistant Captain of a volunteer fire company in Westchester County, New York, reminds us to not wait to make a difference in somebody’s life. “If you have something to give, give it now.”

Mark Bezos hams it up and strikes the classic hero pose as he reminds us “Don’t wait to be a hero”.

After selling his advertising agency, Mark joined Robin Hood, a poverty-fighting charity in New York City, “excited to have found a way to use his powers of persuasion for good.”

…in both my vocation at Robin Hood and my avocation as a volunteer firefighter I am witness to acts of generosity and kindness on a monumental scale. But I’m also witness to acts of grace and courage on an individual basis. And you know what I’ve learned? They all matter.

via TED