Rock Climbing Film ‘Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limit’ Debuts in Trailer

Jan Šimánek and Petr Záruba have unveiled the trailer for their new film “Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limit”, which follows four years in the life of Adam Ondra, considered one of the best climbers in the world, while he is preparing for and participating in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The film will have its world premiere at the Swiss documentary festival Visions du Réel.

Famous in his country of origin, Ondra is one of the few climbers to excel in both outdoor and indoor competitions.

“He won pretty much every championship that exists,” 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 difficult.”

When it came to outdoor climbing, Šimánek and Záruba were spoiled for choice, filming Ondra as he gracefully climbed the dramatic mountains surrounding his native Brno in the Czech Republic.

Much of the film is also devoted to his Olympic pursuit, which sees him relentlessly training in indoor climbing, particularly the discipline of speed climbing, a vertical run that 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 movements in what looks like a choreography of dance.

Featuring breathtaking landscapes and rock climbing scenes, the film also shows the intense media interest and pressure that Ondra faces 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 takes place from April 7 to 17 in the Swiss city of Nyon.

Virginia F. Goins