Directed by Julie Gautier. 2013. France. 14 mins.
Deep water freediving exposes its practitioners to a form of narcosis, which induces several symptoms, among which a feeling of euphoria and levity that earned this phenomenon its nickname of “raptures of the deep”. The short film relates the interior journey of Guillaume Néry, the apnea world champion, during one of his deep water dives. It draws its inspiration from his physical experience and the narrative of his hallucinations.
Special Guest: Martin Stepanek
Martin Stepanek is a freediving pioneer having gone to depths never before - over 400 feet on a single breath of air. He claimed his first Freediving World Record in 2001, and has since gone on to become one of the world's top freedivers in history, setting over 13 World Records thus far in his competitive career. Martin's passion for physiology and sports biology led him to explore what the human body experiences while freediving and he worked closely with top researchers from prestigious universities such as Harvard and the Karolynski Institute of Sweden to uncover some of the physiological mysteries behind his sport. His participation in this ongoing research has helped scientists better understand the impact that depth and pressure have on the freediver.
Martin's strong desire to improve the effectiveness and safety of freediving education led him to start his own freedive training agency, F.I.I. (Freediving Instructors International). F.I.I. is paving the way of modern freediving education and is now the largest freediving training agency in the United States with worldwide reach. Martin has trained some of the world's most elite watermen athletes utilizing the F.I.I. system with notable clients such as Crown Prince of Dubai, World Record Big Wave Surfer Garrett McNamara, and World Champion Freestyle Skydiver Omar Alhegelan.