Hot Docs 2024: Qs à la mode with… Shaul Schwarz & Christina Clusiau (Fly)

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Co-directors Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau spent seven years following BASE jumpers all across the globe for their film Fly. We posed our Qs à la mode to the pair, and here’s what they shared!


If we had to describe our film using only three adjectives, they would be: Freedom, courage, spirited.

We decided to make this film because: When we met BASE jumpers for the first time, over seven years ago, we were surprised by the people and community we had found within the sport. Prior to meeting them, they were described to us as a death cult, but what we found was more of a life cult.  

We quickly understood that if you’re willing to stand on the edge of the cliff and let go, it actually inspires the way you live. We found that inspiring and it propelled us to make the film.

The thing that surprised us most about our film’s subject/topic was: BASE jumpers are acutely aware of the risk.  They feel a tremendous amount of grief from the death that is part of the sport but, almost always, choose wholeheartedly to continue jumping. Going into creating the film we thought they’re just oblivious or in denial but, they’re not.

The toughest part of the shoot was: The climbing. Neither of us are mountaineers, so it was challenging to be able to keep up with the athletes and climb with our camera gear, as well as capturing the sheer beauty of human flight.  

Our favorite moment/scene/sequence in our film is: When our character, Jimmy, says, “If I die, and I’m not around for the release of the film, do not feel sorry for me. I’ve lived the life I wanted, and do not let that stop you from coming into the sport.”

Our most invaluable piece of doc-making equipment was/is: Personally, we believe it’s never losing your curiosity more than any piece of gear that will drive a film in a project to be good.

One piece of documentary-filmmaking advice we’d like to share with aspiring documentarians is: Be patient and let the story lead you. The final film, Fly, is very different from what we set out to do. 


Want to check out their film, or just learn more about it?
Get the scoop, and your tickets, here!


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