The Special Hero Award goes to ‘Super Ruby’

150209Special Hero Award - Super RubyMY HERO

For Immediate Release

Contact: Abigail Richardson

MY HERO Staff Writer

[email protected]


MY HERO presents the Special Hero Award to ‘Super Ruby’ of Dean Saffron’s film

The 2022 Special Hero Award award was presented to eight-year-old Ruby, from Dean Saffron’s documentary 'Super Ruby'. Ruby is a proud Aboriginal and young sporting champion, who endeavors to lead her best life every day, despite having Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Saffron’s short film also came first place in the Overcoming Obstacles category. The piece pays homage to the power of positivity generated by Ruby, a Queensland Thai Quan Do champion who endeavors to lead her best life every day. Despite facing inescapable barriers, Ruby’s positive attitude radiates throughout the film which features Ruby as herself.

Ruby was born with Ehlers-Danlos. Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a group of thirteen individual genetic conditions, all of which affect the body’s connective tissue, collagen. The gene mutation causes collagen to be fragile and stretchy. As collagen is present throughout the body, people with EDS tend to experience a broad range of symptoms which can range from mild to life-threatening. Symptoms commonly include long-term pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, palpitations and digestive disorders. Such problems and their severity vary considerably from person to person, even in the same type of EDS and within the same family.

In the film, Ruby tells us how living with EDS has affected her life: “I was born with a hole in my diaphragm and my tummy was pushed up into my chest cavity and that meant that every time my mummy would feed me it would squish my lungs and then I couldn’t breathe. I have EDS and it’s a dis-connective disorder and makes my insides all stretchy. My body is made of too much collagen, and it effects the way I can eat properly…I have had three fundoplications and 40 anaesthetics (and) four bowel obstructions. I have had my appendix out and lots of surgeries on my oesophagus reflux; it’s not very fun. When I am sick, I think about when I’ll get better and what I am going to do when I get better. I daydream about Thai Quan Do…it teachers me self-defence and self-esteem. It keeps me motivated and strong and gives me something to look forward to.”

Ruby concludes the film wither her wish: “If I had a superpower, my power would be to fix sick kids and that would make the world a better place.”

Saffron attended the festival, representing Ruby, and to accept his First Place award in the MY HERO Overcoming Obstacles category. Said Saffron: “Thank you very much for the amazing film festival; I am truly humbled to be a part of it. As an Australian, I would like to thank the elders in the room, Eva (Haller) and Ron (Kovic), you have changed the world and if there were more people like you, the world would be utopian. The MY HERO Project is definitely heading in that direction to make that change.

“As a photojournalist and a filmmaker, essentially all I do is push a button – the truth is the amazing subject that allow us to be part of their lives and represent them as they would like to be seen.  It’s very important to me to do this work and it’s a vocation. I shot this film hopefully in way that an 8-year-old would shoot it.”

About Dean Saffron

Dean Saffron is a freelance documentary photographer/filmmaker, with a commercial history including Shell, Billabong, Jacobs Creek, Young Care, Salvation Army,  and many more. In 2007 he become involved with aidwork projects and travel extensively to document programs in conjunction with World Food Program, UNICEF and UNHCR. In 2013, Saffron started filmmaking, enjoying the transition into a new form of visual storytelling which has won him numerous International film festival accolades.

Saffron, humbly, attributes his success to respecting the responsibility of being a global citizen, appreciating the privilege of being invited into people’s lives and an insight into the impact of sharing such moments captured through the lens.

To watch the film Super Ruby, got to: /super-ruby

To find out more about Dean Saffron go to:

About MY HERO International Film Festival

The MY HERO International Film Festival brings together professional and youth filmmakers who honour local and global heroes working for positive change in the world.  Thanks to generous sponsors, prizes are awarded to elementary, middle school, high school, college and professionals in a variety of categories including documentary, narrative, music video, animation, experimental, and more.

To find out more about the Film Festival go to: /Films/festival

To discover previous Global Educator award winners got to: /global-educator-award-winners

Join us for the Family-Friendly Awards Celebration on December 10, 2022, at 10 am (PST). Festival winners and their heroes will be on hand to answer questions and share their stories. Short clips from select films will be screened. Categories include narrative, documentary, music videos, animation, experimental, trailers, spoken word and PSAs. Awards are given to winners at Elementary, Middle School, High School, College and Professional levels. Register HERE.

To find out more about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, please visit:

Page created on 11/25/2022 2:09:48 PM

Last edited 2/17/2023 11:19:01 AM