Being Bruno Banani

tells the unique story of the first and only Tongan luger who managed to qualify in an amazingly short amount of time for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Through his name he also acted as the first “living brand” using a completely new and disputed way to get around the strict Olympic advertising regulations. It´s a true story of making history!

DVD Cover zu Film Being Bruno Banani


After several days of trials in Tonga, the 21-year-old student, Fuahea Semi from the island of Eua was selected. No one could have foreseen it, but it was an inspirational choice, he was a real natural talent.

Without any financial support from overseas partners, it would probably only be a short trip. Mathias Ihle from Makai Europe came up with the unique marketing strategy of changing the successful candidate’s name to a that of a sponsoring company – Bruno Banani.

From being laughed at by the luge establishment and thought of as mad Bruno soon changed their minds. After only five months of hard training, far from home, Bruno Banani stood a realistic chance of taking part in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. No luger has ever managed to achieve so much in such a short space of time.


Film type Documentary
Genre sports, biography, history, human interest,
action and adventure
Special topic Winter Olympics, luge, marketing
Length Festival 98 Minutes (2015)
Length TV 90 Minutes (2018)
Produced in Germany
Shot in Germany, Kingdom of Tonga, Canada, Switzerland, United States, Norway, Latvia, Russia
Year 2015
Languages GER | EN | TNG
Subtitles GER | EN | FR