Discover the story and legacy of Jacques Mayol, the legendary free-diver whose life became the inspiration for Luc Besson's cult-movie The Big Blue.
Dolphin Man draws us into the world of Jacques Mayol, capturing his compelling journey and immersing viewers into the sensory and transformative experience of free-diving.
From the Mediterranean to Japan and from India to the Bahamas, we meet Mayol’s closest friends and family, including his children Dottie and Jean-Jacques, and world free-diving champions William Trubridge, Mehgan Heaney-Grier and Umberto Pelizzari, to reveal the portrait of a man who reached the limits of the human body and mind, not just to break records but hoping to discover the deeper affinity between human beings and the sea.
Narrated by Jean-Marc Barr, the actor who famously portrayed Mayol in The Big Blue, the film weaves together rare film archive from the 1950s onwards, with stunning contemporary underwater photography, to discover how the 'dolphin man' revolutionized free-diving and brought a new consciousness to our relationship with the sea and our inner-selves.
An athlete, philosopher and adventurer, Mayol traveled across the world, winning over fans by promoting his vision of our closeness to the sea and dolphins.
The film deals with essential issues of human existence. Death, the body’s limits, our return to mother-nature, the traps of personal ambition and fame, the balance of body and soul through meditation: these are the dominant themes of Mayol’s life.
In parallel, Dolphin Man engages the viewer through the senses and emotions. For Mayol, each dive was an attempt to align body and mind. We share this experience, plunging to great depths, where all is black, motionless, frightening and peaceful, and we return to the dazzling light of the surface. This sensory journey is achieved through contemporary underwater filming of the world’s best divers, while we discover what happens to the human body and mind when we are underwater.
Lefteris Charitos has directed 5 fiction and non-fiction series for the Greek television, including the highly acclaimed history documentary series 1821 and The Journey of Food and the fiction crime series Zone Defence. In parallel to directing, he has been the Digital Film Production Coordinator at the SAE Creative Media College in Athens. Dolphin Man is his first feature film.
Stelios Apostolopoulos GSC is a DP with over 20 years of experience in fiction, documentary and commercial shoots. He has filmed underwater on more than 100 international productions, making him the most experienced underwater cinematographer working in the unique location of the Aegean Sea.
French-American actor-director Jean-Marc Barr earned his first leading role as Jacques Mayol in Luc Besson's cult-movie The Big Blue, the most financially successful film in France in the 1980s. He enjoyed more success on the arthouse circuit, participating in films by acclaimed director Lars von Trier, and has also been working as a director, writer and producer.
David Kazala CCE is an award-winning editor based in Toronto, Canada. His work includes Canadian Screen Awarded The Real Inglorious Bustards, Emmy nominated The World Before Her, Gemini nominated (best editing) The Real Mash and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences shortlisted The Richie Boys.
Pianist and composer, Mathieu Lamboley has a multi-faceted musical activity in concerts, musical theater and film music composition. His latest scores include fiction films Un petit Boulot by Pascal Chaumeil and Lolo by Julie Delpy and documentaries Bardot la méprise by David Teboul and Super Fungi by Anne Rizzo and Thomas Sipp.
Rea Apostolides, Yuri Averof, Ed Barreveld and Estelle Robin have collaborated in the past to co-produce documentaries in their respective countries, Greece, Canada and France. This is the first time their companies, Anemon Productions, Storyline Entertainment and Les Films du Balibari, team up under the same project.
REA APOSTOLIDES - YURI AVEROF - ED BARREVELD- ESTELLE ROBIN
MARCO ALESSI - SEIKO KATO - MARTA ZACCARON
PRODUCERS / EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Rea Apostolides and Yuri Averof produce and distribute innovative documentaries, exhibitions, web and educational projects with Anemon Productions, aiming to inform and inspire action both within and beyond Europe. Recent films include IDFA shortlisted Kismet, Grierson nominated The World's First Computer and FIPA d'Or winner A Family Affair.
Emmy award-winning producer Ed Barreveld has worked with Canada's finest filmmakers and his films with Storyline Entertainment have garnered many awards, including Emmy, Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards. In 2016 Hot Docs recognized Barreveld's creative vision, entrepreneurship and mentorship with the Don Haig Award.
Estelle Robin and production company Les Films du Balibari have worked extensively with TV broadcasters in France and abroad such as France télévisions, ARTE, ZDF, YLE, SVT, ORF and Estelle’s productions have travelled to major festivals such as IDFA, HOT DOCS, Visions du Réel. In 2010, she was nominated for the Procirep French TV producer award.
Based in Tokyo, IMPLEO’s Seiko Kato coordinates international co-production of documentaries and feature films and handles all facets of overseas distribution of TV programs. Main clients include NHK, NHK Enterprises, NHK Global Media Services, Japan International Broadcasting, Tokyo TV Forum and WOWOW.
Marco Alessi started his career as a screenwriter for cinema and TV. In 2010 he set up Dugong Films, a Rome based production company committed to the development of cinema beyond genres and boundaries. Among his credits as producer are Tahrir, Liberation Square (Davide di Donatello award), In Attesa dell'Avvento (Orizzonti Award in Venice) and The Challenge (Special Jury Prize at Locarno).
Marta Zaccaron is responsible of the production and international co-production at Quasar Multimedia, for which she has produced and co-produced high quality creative documentaries for the the national and international market. During the years, Quasar Multimedia has become one of Italy's most important documentary production companies, with projects often selected by the main European festivals and distributed across Europe.
DIRECTED BY Lefteris Charitos
NARRATED BY Jean-Marc Barr
WRITTEN BY Lefteris Charitos, Yuri Averof
PRODUCERS Rea Apostolides, Yuri Averof, Ed Barreveld, Estelle Robin You
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS Seiko Kato, Marta Zaccaron, Marco Alessi
EDITOR David Kazala, CCE
CINEMATOGRAPHY Stelios Apostolopoulos GSC
ORIGINAL SCORE Mathieu Lamboley
SOUND RECORDING Olivier Dandré, Jérémie Halbert
SOUND EDITING Olivier Dandré
SUPERVISING RE-RECORDING MIXER Daniel Pellerin
RE-RECORDING MIXER Bret Killoran
COLOR GRADING Andrew Mandziuk
CAMERA OPERATORS Christos Douros, Giannis Rozeas, Julius Glampedakis,
Dimitris Kassimatis, Devendra Kumar Singh, Ruggero Di Maggio
UNDERWATER CINEMATOGRAPHY Stelios Apostolopoulos GSC
ADDITIONAL UNDERWATER CINEMATOGRAPHY Julius Glampedakis, Sassy Horesh
ADDITIONAL SOUND RECORDING Aris Kafentzis, Anita Kushwaha
ASSISTANT EDITORS Jordan Kawai, Tim Patterson, Katie Murray
PRODUCTION MANAGER Kyveli Short
PRODUCTION MANAGERS / GREECE Leonidas Liambeys, Elektra Peppa
PRODUCTION MANAGER / FRANCE Armel Parisot
PRODUCTION MANAGER / ITALY Fabiana Balsamo
PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATION / FRANCE Adeline Moulliet, Merryl Roche
PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATION / SICILY Marco Alessi, Guilia Achilli
POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Shasha Nakhai
POST PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATION / CANADA Katie Murray
ARCHIVE RESEARCH Erin Chisholm
RESEARCH Clément Dorival, Nina-Maria Heinonen, Masaki Sasamoto, Viviana Sebastio, Kyveli Short, Natsuko Takasago
SET PHOTOGRAPHY Daan Verhoeven, Fabio Feroli, Daniele Padovan, Kenichiro Yanagida, Gilad Mizrahi, Sassy Horesh
A film produced by
ANEMON PRODUCTIONS - LES FILMS DU BALIBARI - STORYLINE ENTERTAINMENT
in collaboration with
in co-production with / with the participation of
ARTE G.E.I.E. / Commissioning Εditor, Madeleine Avramoussis
WOWOW / Executive Producer, Atsushi Uchino
THE GREEK FILM CENTRE
CANADA MEDIA FUND
ONTARIO MEDIA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
THE CANADIAN FILM OR VIDEO PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT
OMDC FILM AND TELEVISION TAX CREDITS
in association with
KNOWLEDGE / Executive Producer, Murray Battle
TVO / Executive Producer, Jane Jankovic
CANAL D / Director of Acquistions, Franca Cerretti
SVT / Commissioning Editor, Axel Arnö
RTS / Commissioning Editor, Gaspard Lamunière
YES DOCU / Commissioning Editor, Guy Lavie
CYBC / Commissioning Editor, Evi Papamichael
with the support of
CNC, Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée / French-Greek coproduction fund
THE GREEK FILM CENTRE / French-Greek coproduction fund
CREATIVE EUROPE - MEDIA programme of the European Union
REGION PAYS DE LA LOIRE
SICILIAN FILM COMMISSION / Programme ‘Sensi Contemporanei Cinema’
developed and pitched at
THESSALONIKI GOES TO CANNES - DOCS IN PROGRESS
MARCHE DU FILM - FESTIVAL DE CANNES
THEATRICAL 78min / TV 58min
French title: L'HOMME DAUPHIN