A Lego figure showing a grandma in a wheelchair with a supergirl shirt. Next to is Rita, the actual grandma with grey hair.
Movie poster with Lego bricks in the background. In the foreground is Rita, a woman with grey hair and glasses who is laughing. Next to her is an illustration of a Lego figure wearing a superhero outfit in a wheelchair that looks like Rita.
Lego Oma

One-Liner: 

Lego Oma is a short film about a quirky German grandma who builds wheelchair ramps from Lego. 

Summary: 

Lego Oma is a 12-minute micro-budget short documentary about Rita Ebel, aka the Lego Oma, a German grandma and wheelchair user. Rita is a few decades old – the saying “age is just a number” couldn’t be more accurate than in this case – has been married three times – but who is counting? – loves to go water skiing and, generally, doesn’t step away from any athletic challenge. Since her car accident, which broke her lumbar spine and caused paralysis from her waist down, she constantly had to find creative ways to continue doing the things she loves, whether that is sports or activities taken for granted by non-disabled people, like shopping. When she noticed most of the stores in her hometown Hanau were inaccessible to her (and nobody was doing anything about it), she decided to make a statement by building wheelchair ramps from Lego, each a unique piece of art designed for a particular store. Her ramps are more than only tools to overcome physical barriers; they also raise awareness for accessibility and start conversations between different groups of people. This film tells Rita’s story, from her accident, over finding new ways to participate in sports while very much remaining the stubborn athlete she’s always been, to using Lego ramps to force non-disabled people to think about accessibility.

Watch the Trailer: 

Cast: 

Rita Ebel & daughter Melle: Rita is a powerhouse. She tries every activity that poses a challenge to her or releases a lot of adrenaline into her bloodstream. Once, she tried kite surfing but almost drowned. So she quit kite surfing but started several new other sports instead: Rita goes paddle boarding, mono skiing and water skiing (and came in second place at the European Championship). She goes kayaking, plays table tennis, has a hand bike, swims like a fish, and, in general, is always moving and doing something. Rita is married for the third time, which causes her to confuse her last name sometimes. When she became a wheelchair user, she often felt like those little dogs left outside in front of a shop because they weren’t allowed in. The lack of accessibility frustrated her, so she started building her first Lego ramp, providing it to a local store in her hometown Hanau. From there, the Lego Oma was born, a term coined by grandchild Nora. Since then, Rita has built around 100 ramps and reached international recognition with her colorful pieces of art. Rita has also been a single mom most of her life to her daughter Melle, a colorfully tattooed, extrovert, right-in-your-face kind of person with the biggest heart possible. Melle is also a single mom and works at a child care where she occasionally starts races with Bobby Cars against the kids. Melle and her mother are very close and do all sports together. While Melle felt responsible for her mother’s accident for a long time, she now is  more like a McGyver who finds creative solutions to overcome barriers together with Rita. 

Crew:

Director & Producer Karina Sturm:

Karina, a woman with a shaved head wears a white delicate dress and a black hat with huge silver earrings.
Karina Sturm

Karina Sturm is a disabled journalist focusing on representing people with chronic illnesses/disabilities in all media. Occasionally, she diverts into health and science journalism. She produces articles, podcasts and videos/documentary films in German and English. Sturm has also served the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome community since 2019 as editor-in-chief for Chronic Pain Partners’ monthly newsletter. Besides her passion for all things journalism, she loves dogs, sushi and Heavy Metal. Find out more: www.karina-sturm.com

Film Sponsor Chronic Pain Partners/EDS Awareness: 

EDS Awareness Logo
EDS Awareness Logo

Chronic Pain Partners, a US-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was created in 2011 to support people with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. It is an online resource for the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome community, their caregivers, medical professionals, and everyone interested in learning more about the genetic connective tissue disorder. We help create independent,  local EDS Support groups, host live webinars to help educate our members, caregivers and healthcare providers, and launched a CME program for physicians and another one for nurses, and lately, we also produce high-quality video content and documentary films that will embrace “Nothing about us without us” and will all be produced by disabled filmmakers to ensure an accurate depiction of disability on screen! Find out more: www.chronicpainpartners.com

Music Composer Marvin Scondo & Peter Lamb (Outro):

Marvin, a man with a hippie outfit and an acoustic guitar stands outdoors with a bright blue sky in the background.
Marvin Scondo

Marvin grew up in a musical family. His first memories consist of songs by Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, and the Hoochie Coochie Blues Band. He resembled the rhythm of these songs as soon as he could hold a drumstick. Since then, he has been playing every day. Together with his father, Steve Scondo, he toured around and played in hundreds of pubs and clubs. In his early days, Marvin invented his very own authentic style on the guitar and with vocals. Together with harmonica player Christopher Fecher, he played in a Blues band called Quarter To Twelve. As a songwriter and musician, Marvin recorded a debut Album „Road Trip Sessions Vol. 1,“ with international artists in Tennessee. On the following road trip east to west, they played with June Core, Vance Ehlers, Rome Yamilov and many others in the Bay area. As a true live performer, Marvin is on fire on more than 180 shows a year. From acoustic combos to electric bands, from blues and folk singer and songwriter to genuine house-rocker and guitar player – he can do it all. 

The composers were sponsored by donations via the Lego Oma. 

Color Grading & Sound Engineering: 

Dhana Sauernheimer: Multi-talent Dhana is an intermedia generalist with comprehensive technical know-how. She your number one contact for all things web technology, quick-witted concepts and numerous tasks behind the camera. As a camera woman, she has produced cinematic work for numerous TV shows and commercials. After graduating from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich in 2010, Dhana started to design user interfaces and developed web applications for various companies in the games and media industry. Together with Lucas Fuchs, she founded “Lichtschreiber” in 2015 and successfully continued her education to become a master in media production image & sound (IHK “Meister” 2018).

Lucas Fuchs: Lucas provides the know-how for all moving images and design at Lichtschreiber. He is passionate about really everything related to film production. Lucas plans, produces, films and takes on numerous post-production tasks. He is enthusiastic about sound and image design, as well as 2D animation. After finishing his media design degree (IHK) in 2013, Lucas became a freelance camera person and editor before founding Lichtschreiber with Dhana. In 2018 he received his degree in design (B.A.) with a focus on film & animation and graphic design at the Technical University Georg Simon Ohm in Nuremberg.

Find Lichtschreiber online: https://www.lichtschreiber.de

Voice-over Recording: 

Stefan, a bald man with a beard smiles brightly with many green bushes in a blurred background
Stefan Behninger

Stefan Behninger (Das Ohrwerk Nürnberg): As a media engineer, Stefan has accumulated a lot of experience in music production, audio and video technology for television and webcasting over the past 20 years. These days, he has switched to the other end of the cable and works as a software developer.

Film Screenings/Awards:

Laurel: Official Selection Women's International Film Festival 2023

Official Selection Woman’s International Film Festival 2023

Screening: Thursday, July 27 5 PM – 9 PM EDT @ The Cranford Theater 25 North Avenue West Cranford, NJ 07016 United States

Tickets: Eventbrite

Hollywood International Diversity Film Festival

Official Selection Hollywood International Diversity Film Festival

Screening: BLOCK A beginning at 4 PM Pacific Time on August 12th, 2023 @ The Sherry Theater
11052 Magnolia Blvd
Los Angeles, CA. 91601

Tickets: Film Freeway

Bridges International Film Festival

Official Selection Bridges International Film Festival

Screening: November 8 – 12 in Corinth

More info: Bridges Website

Laurel: Official Selection, SF Shorts

Official Selection San Francisco Shorts

Screening: ONLINE, October 9 – 15, 2023

Tickets: SF Shorts Website

Official Selection Champion Film Salon International Film Festival 2022

Official Selection Champion Film Salon International Film Festival 

Screening: September 28 – 30, 2023

Location: The Nack Theater, 6711 Oak Street, Frisco, TX 75033

Schedule, Tickets and more info: https://www.cfsiff.com/event

Award Winner Docs Without Borders

Excellence Exceptional Merit: Documentary, Impact

More info: Docs Without Borders

Laurel Rodi Festival

Official Selection International Festival “Reflection of Disability in Art” 

Screening:

December 3 – 10, 2023 in Thessaloniki, Greece

More TBD

Laurel Global Health Film Festival

Official Selection Global Health Film Festival 

Screening: December 01 and 02 in Central London

More TBD

Laurel Inclus Film Festival

Official Selection Inclús Film Festival

Screening: December 2 – 4 in Barcelona, Spain

More info: Inclús Film Festival

Lego Oma will screen at the evening of December 2 and tickets can be reserved here.

Laurel Hungarian Disability Film Festival 2023

Official Selection Hungarian Disability Film Festival

Screening: November 9 in Budapest Hungary

More info: Hungarian Film Festival Facebook Site

Logo Art Without Limit International Film Festival

Official Selection Art Without Limit Festival

Screening: December 1 – 3, 2023, in Prishtina, Kosovo

More info: Art Without Limit Website

Laurel: Honorable Mention Berlin Women Cinema Festival 2023

Honorable Mention Berlin Women Cinema Festival 2023

Laurel: official Selection Through Women's Eyes Sarasota Fl

Official Selection Through Women’s Eyes Festival

Screening: March 7 – 12, 2023 in Sarasota Florida.

More Info: Website

Laurel Official Selection Together 2023 Disability Film Festival

Official Selection Together! 2023 Disability Film Festival

Screening: December 2 – 3, 2023 ONLINE

More Info: Website

Laurel: Honorable Mention Berlin Women Cinema Festival 2023

Honorable Mention Berlin Women Cinema Festival 2023

Laurel: official Selection Through Women's Eyes Sarasota Fl

Official Selection Through Women’s Eyes Festival

Screening: March 7 – 12, 2023 in Sarasota Florida.

More Info: Website

Laurel Official Selection Together 2023 Disability Film Festival

Official Selection Together! 2023 Disability Film Festival

Screening: December 2 – 3, 2023 ONLINE

More Info: Website

Festival Laurel CFIFF

Official Selection Changing Face International Film Festival 2023

Screening: TBD, online

More Info: Website

Festival Laurel International Diversity Film Festival

Official Selection International Diversity Film Festival

Screening: January 10 – 13, 2024

FFN Theater, Los Angeles, California

More Info: Website

Festival Laurel Say it out loud festival showing a hand with a camera

Official Selection Say it Out Loud Film Festival

Screening: February 16, 2024, TBD

More Info: Website

Accessibility: 

Lego Oma is fully captioned in English. Parts of the audio – all interviews with Rita and Melle – were done in German and subtitled with big, bold titles. Additionally, the voice-over narrations that were done in English were captioned, too, which can be turned on or off. 

Unfortunately, we were not yet able to provide descriptive audio for the film, but a transcript with image descriptions can be provided. 

IMDb:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt27745597/?ref_=ext_shr_lnk

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *