One of the best rock climbers in the world, Adam Ondra prepares to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He not only undergoes grueling physical training, but he must also navigate the internal and external pressures of competition and status as a national celebrity: a Czech television host describes watching Ondra climb akin to “watching Michael Jordan play basketball or Einstein count”.
Directors Petr Záruba and Jan Šimánek, themselves climbers, capture the raw beauty and gracefulness of Adam Ondra’s climbing, from rugged mountains to indoor walls, while providing a window into his inner life. Climbing defines him physically, mentally, and spiritually, as well as the lives of those around him. His celebrity status leaks into his relationships with his parents and his girlfriend Iva Vejmolová, herself a skilled climber who sacrifices her own ambitions to support him. An intimate portrait of devotion and dedication to the art of climbing alongside the mental and physical toll it takes along the path to greatness.
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Jan Šimánek, Petr Záruba
Jan Šimánek graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). He is a photographer, documentary director, visual artist, and passionate climber. His short films about mountain climbers—including Marek Holeček, Zdeněk Hák, Reinhold Messner, and Doug Scott—have been featured at international mountaineering film festivals.
Petr Záruba graduated from the Department of Documentary Film at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). In his previous films, he focused on artists and topics related to nature. His feature debut, Traces of a Landscape (2020), premiered at Visions du Réel and was awarded the Student Jury Award at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival and Best Documentary at Elbe Dock International Film Festival.
Filmography: Traces of a Landscape (2020)