THE STORY of one man’s triumph over adversity after he was almost crushed to death in a horrific accident could be about to take him to the Cannes Film Festival.
Mauricio Vincenzi, who lives in central St Leonards, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Straight8 film competition for the Festival.
On Wednesday he will find out whether his film, called La Carne Vale, has been shortlisted to be screened at the glittering event on the French Riviera later this month.
The 42-year-old suffered near fatal injuries when he was involved in an accident in Crystal Palace High Street in July 2009.
Mauricio, who is originally from Rio de Janeiro, was in a delicatessen buying some Brazilian beef when a van crashed through the front window and pinned him against the rear wall.
His intestines were cut open and he needed life-saving surgery. He had also suffered a broken pelvis and four broken ribs. Doctors at King’s College Hospital gave him a 20 per cent chance of surviving the operation to repair his abdomen.
A father-of-one, Mauricio had just been told his wife Marie-Louise was expecting another baby.
But he battled through the operations and rehabilitation to get back on his feet. He was on crutches for three months.
In March he underwent specialist abdomen muscle reconstruction at McIndoe Surgical Centre in East Grinstead. After 18 months recovering, Mauricio returned to work as a project manager for the NHS in London.
He decided to make a film about his ordeal using the skills he had learned as an art student.
Using an old Straight8 camera he shot a three-minute film questioning whether he would have been injured if he was not a meat-eater. The title reflects his ideas; La Carve Vale - Is meat valid?
“If I had been a vegetarian I would not have been in that shop,” said Mauricio. “It is a fictional story which sees me going into a consulting room to talk to a pioneering researcher who is trying to invert people’s taste.
“The whole film is me talking to her with footage of a car crash and documentary evidence of my scars.
“You are not allowed to edit or change the film. If it is shortlisted then I will be invited to Cannes Film Festival on May 21.
“It has been a very traumatic time for me and my family.
“I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder - there are a few times when I am crossing roads that I feel flashbacks to the accident.
“It is a bit of dark humour really but it tells a little about what I have been through.
“I am well now and back into a routine.
“But it would be fantastic to be able to go to Cannes and see my story aired on such a big stage.”