Mr. Hand Solo, the documentary directed by Hèctor Romance about the story of overcoming David Aguilar, a 21-year-old Andorran young man who was born with a malformation in his right arm and who became famous after building a functional articulated arm prosthesis with Lego pieces, has has been awarded the prize for best documentary feature film at the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, popularly known as Boston SciFi, the oldest genre competition in the United States. “Being one of the five selected documentaries was already a huge achievement, the fact of winning the award for best documentary of this edition has been a dream”, explains the director to The vanguard.
It is the first international recognition that the film of Romance, which shows the strength and daily determination of David, a bioengineering student at the UIC (International University of Catalonia), in his quest to overcome his limitations. Passionate about Lego pieces, at 9 he already tried to make a bionic arm with duct tape. He succeeded at 18 when he assembled his first prosthesis with the parts he had previously made a helicopter with. “I disassembled it and built it taking advantage of the shape of my hand, it fits completely with the inner part of the arm. As I enclose the arm with an internal gear, the arm is fully fixed, which prevents it from slipping”, David told The vanguard at the end of 2017.
Passionate about Lego pieces, at 9 he already tried to make a bionic arm with duct tape
David has adapted to his particular situation with his head held high and makes the most of his imagination, ingenuity and technology when creating new prostheses. His father, Ferran Aguilar, posted on Facebook his son’s first creation tagging Lego and the company had nothing but words of pride. “Ferran, you have left us speechless… David’s strength and tenacity are the things that make us feel proud and for which we want to continue giving the opportunity for all the children of the world to have access to our Lego bricks. Thank you very much for sharing this with us. A giant hug ”, the company replied.
Hèctor Romance was working as a journalist at Radio i Televisió d’Andorra when he came across David’s story in December 2017. “I went to cover the first public conference he gave with students from his school ‘Sant Ermengol’ where he showed his first prosthetic Lego called MK1. I was really impressed with its story, with what it had achieved and especially with the incredible lesson of improvement it could give. The teenagers were speechless, I could see their expressions of astonishment. When I got to the newsroom I was clear that I wanted make a documentary about him, “he explains.
It was at that moment that he was born Mr.Hand Solo. “I got in touch with his family and with the Andorran production company Imminent Produccions, I wrote a short synopsis and from there everything was started. It took us a year and a half to get funding. The filming started in July 2019 and ended in September of the same year “.
I was really impressed with his story, with what he had achieved and above all with the incredible lesson of improvement that he could give
The young man has already surpassed ten prostheses built, one of them to be able to ride a scooter. On his YouTube channel, called Hand SoloSo far, it has 43 videos and more than 11,000 subscribers. In it you can see all his creations.
The screenwriter and director trusts that the award “can open the doors to other selections or important awards in the international festival circuit in which we will start the next few months”. The documentary was released a month ago in Andorra. “At first it had to be in theaters for a week, but due to the box office success, the Illa Carlemany Cinemes kept us on the bill for 4 weeks,” he says. Precisely, after the preview of the documentary, the Spanish ambassador to Andorra, Ángel Ros, announced that Aguilar will be one of the nominees for the Princess of Girona Awards, which seek to recognize the personal and professional trajectory of young people between 16 and 35 years old.
Filmax intends to release soon Mr. Hand Solo in the cinemas of Spain, although for now there is no confirmed date. “Let’s hope that the rooms bet on us, although we know that the pandemic situation in which we live makes things go a little slower than normal,” says Romance. Of course, the announcement of the award coincides with the imminent release of the book ‘Piece by Piece’, written by David and his father Ferran, which will be published by the Penguin Random House publishing house.
The documentary has been successfully premiered in Andorra and will soon hit Spanish cinemas
Romance says he hasn’t had a chance to read it yet, “but I’m sure it will be a good motivational and self-improvement book. David’s story is one of those that confirms that reality is stranger than fiction and he is delighted that his story and message of overcoming go so far “.
In fact, his story has been picked up by media around the world. David has entered the Guinness Book of Records, has participated in the annual convention of the Nasa Johnson Space Center in Houston (Texas) and has received in Paris the silver medal of the Universal League of Public Good for his services to humanity . Only a successful future can await you.
David’s story is one of those that confirm that reality is stranger than fiction