What if they told you that you can?

Find out how 5 people with mental illness fromAvifesThey set themselves the great challenge of reaching the top of “Naranjo de Bulnes”, starting out in the world of climbing with the hand of the creator of “Al filo de lo Imposible”, Sebastián Álvaro, and a team of mountaineers made up of Juanjo San Sebastián and Juanito Oiarzabal among others and with the support of Janssen.

In line with our tireless fight against stigma and seeking to show the other side of the life story of people with mental illness, this project approaches the topic from a positive perspective, of struggle and improvement, it arises as a result of an alliance between 3 partners. Various (A team from “Al filo de lo impossible” led by Sebastián Álvaro, Janssen and AVIFES) who decide to unite their strengths for a common goal, a challenge through sport that led to the incredible documentary: “And if they told you you can?”.

An audiovisual work of little more than an hour of duration recorded between May and June 2016 that details the challenge that Beatriz, Emilio, Sergio, Fernando and Gonzalo face. They are five people diagnosed with schizophrenia who decided to overcome their fears and face a challenge that will be a symbol in the fight against the stigma of mental illness. A story of overcoming, which shows that dreams can be fulfilled and shows the other side of people with mental illness.

Did they get the challenge?

We confess, it was not an innocent challenge, we embarked on this mountain project because it was much more than sport. We were looking for impact, we were looking for and we continue to look for a change in society’s outlook towards people with mental illness, to contribute with our initiatives to reduce social stigma.

This expedition became a journey, a path where we learned, sometimes, and reaffirmed, other times, that mutual trust beyond stereotypes moves mountains. We learned that each step that is taken is important and always adds up, that we can support but also learn to ask for help without fear. we learned that the effort to improve and to advance always has a reward although sometimes it is not evident that motivation does not come from outside but from one self and that is why it is necessary to build it day by day.

Have you had the opportunity to enjoy this documentary film?

If not, do not miss this emotional story of effort, enthusiasm and improvement that has been succeeding since its premiere in all the screenings that are being carried out.

Impact of the project

It has been a difficult project, which has required a lot of effort, dedication time and resources, but which long ago ceased to be a project to become a story that has been worth living and that is worth telling.

Documentary premiere

Precisely because it is worth being told and known, on Thursday June 22, in the Auditorium of the Azkuna Center, Bilbao, the official presentation of the documentary took place.

400 people attended, among themrepresentatives of different institutions and departments (Basque Government, Provincial Council of Bizkaia and City Councils), as well as personalities representing different areas of Biscayan society in general, representatives of other entities and of course the protagonists (both people with mental illness and other climbers).

Presentation tour

the film has reached more than 7,000 people in 55 cities, more than 1,000 schoolchildren, at different festivals such as Trento Film Festivals, the first and oldest international film festival dedicated to mountain themes, or the Mountain Film Festival Counting machine, crossing borders reaching Portugal and Italy.

Film and television

Screening on the Yelmo Cines billboard in Madrid and Bilbao in October 2017

Candidacy in 6 categories for the Goya Awards 2018

A shortened version of the documentary was broadcast with a duration of 15 minutes on La Sexta and a week later, on Nova.

Local media

Repercussion in local, regional and national media, both radio, written press and online with diversity in media profiles, both in the field of culture, sports, health or general information.

The documentary has been viewed by more than 2,000,000 people through social networks and its projection in cinemas.


  • Through identification, transmitting whether or not we all have a mental health problem, we face challenges in life, we have to overcome obstacles, and we seek happiness in the way that each or every one of us deems appropriate.
  • Making visible a reality that leaves no one indifferent, we present examples of people who have gone beyond their own limits, overcoming obstacles, projecting a positive image, based on the effort, desires and struggle that people with mental illness develop or can develop. , also understanding the difficulty as well as the joy of overcoming obstacles.
  • The stereotypes and prejudices that sustain discrimination are called into question, questioning the differences with people with mental illness by showing testimonies of people who live or have lived situations of overcoming, who face fear, who have support, who have interests and hobbies, who want a better future, in short that they are like the others.

A message of overcoming as the basis to be able to sensitize society, transmitting the message that all people face challenges in life and the key is in how we face them, not in having or not having a mental illness.