Selena Gomez has been cast as the trailblazing mountaineer icon, Silvia Vásquez-Lavado, in the newest inspirational biopic to hit the silver screen.
The film is said to be based on Vásquez-Lavado’s forthcoming memoirs about her adventures In the Shadow of the Mountain (expected to be released in late 2021-early 2022).
Peruvian pioneer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado is not only the first Peruvian woman to climb Everest, but she is also the first openly LGBTQ+ woman to conquer each of the global Seven Summits challenge, compromising the highest peaks from each continent—Mount Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Mount Vinson and Carstensz Pyramid.
The biopic is set to include the tale of how Vásquez-Lavado found peace and solace in climbing and mountaineering after she was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and assault. Not only does this make her determination even more admirable, but it has also inspired Vásquez-Lavado to found her own nonprofit organisation, Courageous Girls, to help other survivors of sexual abuse as well as trafficking.
The Courageous Girls organisation tells Silvia’s story whilst sharing with us how “Silvia’s own experiences proved so monumental in healing her soul, that she was determined to give this opportunity to a very special group of Courageous Girls. Silvia was able to bring survivors of sexual violence to the base of Mt. Everest and was able to witness how these young women found their own courage, developed their own strength and grew in terms of their own healing with their sisters from all around the world.”
Before summiting Everest in 2016, Silvia Vásquez-Lavado had already previously trekked through the Himalayas. On her earlier trip, she vowed to not summit the world’s highest peak alone, and so took with her four teenage women – all survivors of sexual violence – from the San Francisco Bay Area as well as survivors of sexual violence from Nepal.
This is expected to feature heavily in the film as well as Silvia Vásquez-Lavado’s experiences as an LGBTQ+ icon.
Not only is Selena Gomez starring in the movie but she is also producing the film alongside Scott Budnick and Oscar winner Donna Gigliotti, with Elgin James writing and directing.
Words by Caitlin Parr
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