80 min

In development

Man Under the Ice

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Directing: Eva Tomanová


We want to use the story of a man who is searching for himself and his purpose not only in the freezing water under the ice barrier, but also in an attractive cinematic language to sketch a lyrical documentary essay about controlling one's own destiny and striving for something that transcends us.

The Death Zone
David Vencl entered the Guinness Book of World Records in February 2021. He swam eighty metres under an ice sheet on a breath and without a protective wetsuit.
Now he tried for a new world record. He dived to a depth of 50 metres. Breathing, without a wetsuit and under the ice.
This feat is beyond the physiological limit at which the human body adapts to water pressure by leaps and bounds. No one has ever surpassed it on a breath in ice water.
David and his team must prepare perfectly. Every moment requires total control. Any detail could separate death from life.
The Life Zone
As a teacher, David has always tried to show his students the way to a stronger version of themselves. He guided them to overcome obstacles and endure discomfort. Sometimes he succeeded, other times he met with incomprehension.
Now he has had a sudden divorce, which he is slowly and uneasily coming to terms with. He has alternate custody of his five-year-old daughter Natálka, whom he loves unconditionally. And a complicated relationship with several women.
David seeks his authentic way through a world that resembles a wild and unreadable rapids rather than a frozen pond.
A zone of calm
Being in the zone is a state of supreme focus, when one rises to the limits of one's capabilities in pursuit of something difficult.
David has been working with this state for a long time. In his record attempt, he will need to be in the zone to succeed. And perhaps even be born again.
Each of us can seek and find our zone, our inner flow. It belongs to us like the water from which we are made and into which David will immerse himself.

The question is: What's the point of all this pursuit of records?
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