Frolla & Murino take you to the heart of the free-diving universe
It was very fitting that the avant-premiere of the series “Deep Mare Nostrum” took place this past Wednesday, March 29, at the temple of the sea, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, illuminated in deep blue for the Monaco Ocean Week, and in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II who joined the whole casting and movie producers. The series has been translated into six languages and sold in 27 countries.
Created by Jean-Charles Felli and Pierre-Marie Mosconi, produced by Save Ferris & Studio+ and directed by Jean-Francois Julian, the web-series of 10 episodes of 10 minutes each, was filmed in the Principality, and revolves around the exhilarating world of free-diving. Jean-Francois Julian said: “Jean-Charles (Felli) called me twice in 20 years, once to do Ski Oakenfull – Fifths, my first music video, and this time for Deep, my first feature film… I loved this project, I learned so much and had lots of pleasure shooting it.”
The dramatic plot with a star cast
As the story goes, after the death of her twin brother Matt (played by Monegasque Pierre Frolla who actually holds four world records in apnea), during a free-diving championship where he tried to achieve a depth of 140m, the beautiful young and athletic Sofia, (incarnated by Italian actress Caterina Murino), who is also an experienced skipper, decides to train in diving competition to avenge her brother’s honor. Her profound pain for having lost her dear brother is her main motivation.
The beautiful Murino came to fame when playing Daniel Craig’s lover in the Bond movie Casino Royale (in the photo a scene from the Bond movie), and she has natural glamour without make up and dressed in sweat pants or in a wetsuit. Amelie-Rose Sastre and Lucas Crapanzano were perfectly casted to play Sofia and Matt when they were young, and the famous Italian actress Ornella Muti plays their mother Gabriella.
The movie submerges the spectator “Deep” into the incredible and fantastic marine environment taking you to the heart of the free-diving universe. At the end of the 10th thrilling episode I really felt breathless!
About free driving / Apnea
Apnea means: temporarily not breathing. Free diving is an enticing extreme sport, and some of its adepts consider it as a form of spiritual meditation a form of liberation, but it can be risky and takes a big toll on the body. It goes beyond physical endeavor as divers consider it philosophical, metaphysical, and deep in all senses. Divers take just one breath and then dive as deep as possible, with no tanks or air, and come back again. But it is quite a technical undertaking, from the sips of breath they take just before descending to get in as much air as possible, to the techniques they use while going down, keeping breath in their mouths, closing off the throat, then moving it to the ears once the pressure builds, and eardrums can burst.
Below the surface lungs compress, and oxygen molecules take up a greater proportion of the lung space, so the brain believes there is more oxygen than there really is. When ascending, the pressure reverses, the lungs expand, and the brain realizes there is no air, and blacks out. It sounds lethal, but divers take it as normal. Though their lungs are scarred from repeated ‘squeezes’, they still dive. Free diving requires great mental strength as the divers’ main goal is to conquer their fears and surrender to the sea down deep, where time slows down, and the deeper they fall, the tighter the sea seems to squeeze, until they feel a merge, and a loss of oneself. It requires enormous mental strength. The lovers of this entrancing sport are attracted by the allure of the ocean depth and its mystery, with the desire to push beyond the human physiological limits.
If you are brave and interested in free driving you may contact Pierre Frolla to take one of his apnea training courses.
“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free”. Jacques Yves Cousteau