Jan Šimánek and Petr Záruba have dropped the trailer of their new film “Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limit,” which follows four years in the life of Adam Ondra, considered to be one of the best rock climbers in the world, as he prepares for and competes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The film will have its world premiere at Swiss documentary festival Visions du Réel.
A celebrity in his home country, Ondra is one of the rare climbers who excels both in outdoor and indoor competition climbing.
“He has won pretty much won every championship there is,” says Šimánek. “His main achievement was when he climbed ‘Silence,’ the hardest route in the world, in Norway – no-one has done it since because it’s so hard.”
When it comes to outdoor climbing, Šimánek and Záruba were spoilt for choice, filming Ondra as he gracefully ascends the spectacular mountains surrounding his native Brno in the Czech Republic.
Much of the film is also dedicated to his Olympic pursuit, which sees him train relentlessly at indoor climbing, in particular the discipline of speed climbing, a vertical race athletes in Tokyo had to complete to get a medal.
To prepare his body and mind, Ondra turns to Chinese medicine and acupuncture – the film’s opening shot shows him lying on a gym mat working on his deep breathing and his movements in what looks like a dance choreography.
Featuring breathtaking landscapes and climbing scenes, the film also shows the intense media interest and pressure faced by Ondra as he prepares for the biggest challenge of his career. Šimánek and Záruba, both climbers themselves, offer an intimate account of Onda’s public and private life alongside the unwavering support of his wife, Iva, who plays a key role in the film.
Produced by Alice Tabery and Sebastiano Luca Insinga, “Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limit” will have its world premiere at Visions du Réel on April 11. The festival runs April 7 through 17 in the Swiss town of Nyon.