World Champion Freediver Guillaume Néry

Freediver Guillaume Néry, swimming in the tranquil and peaceful watery depths.

Guillaume Néry is a French Freediving world champion.

 He dives in a single breath to 123m below the surface of the sea, is a multiple world record holder and a world champion.

Guillaume grew up on the shores of the Mediterranean in Nice. As a Child every summer his father would take him to explore the ocean. Equipped with fins and mask, together father and son discovered the wonders of an underwater world.

 At age 14 he challenged his friend to see who could hold their breath for the longest. This simple game became an obsession and led him to meet Claude Chapuis, founder of the World Federation AIDA (International Association for Development of Apnea), who became his mentor. Guillaume spent all his time and energy to his passion. It progressed to contacting Loic Leferme (5 times world record in No-Limits), who over the years became a model, guide and close friend.

 In 2002 Guillaume became the youngest world record holder in the history of free diving (also called apnea diving) to the depth of 87m. This was the beginning of a great adventure. Guillaume then beat three times the new world record, becoming world champion team in 2008 and individual world champion in Greece in 2011 with a dive of 117m. Since 2011 he has won more competitions and records, and teaches apnea at the CIPA School in Nice, supervises training, is involved in business and travels the worlds oceans in search of new explorations.

Guillaume and partner Julie working in Okinawa , Japan

His short film ‘FREE FALL’, made in 2010 with his partner Julie Gautier, has breathed new life into the world of apnea and shone upon it a new artistic and poetic light.

Filmed in The Bahamas, ‘Free Fall’ shows Guillaume walking on the Oceans floor of the infamous ‘Deans Blue Hole’ ,the world’s deepest blue hole, he then leaps into the void and takes off for a descent into the abyss.

Although not filmed in one take, the film showcases the juxtaposition between tranquility and horror, which leaves the viewer in a state of either peace or anxiety.


Guillaume freefalling into a ray of light in Cenote

A still from the yet-to-be-released short film ‘Narcose’.

The couple have embarked on a new film project ‘NARCOSIS’ written and directed by Julie (a previous freediving record holder in France herself) featuring nitrogen narcosis experienced by Guillaume during his dives.

SYNOPSIS : Deep water freediving exposes its practitioners to a form of narcosis, which induces several symptoms, among which a feeling of euphoria and levity that earned this phenomenon its nickname of “raptures of the deep”.

NARCOSE relates the interior journey of Guillaume Néry, the apnea world champion, during one of his deep water dives. This short film draws its inspiration from his physical experience and the narrative of his hallucinations. Alternating between reality and imagination, the film shows how far human abilities can be stretched and it reveals the intimate and primal bond between the athlete’s inner world and his aquatic environment, bringing the understanding of the human relationship with the underwater world to new levels.

A word from the Director and writter Julie Gautier; “I have lived with Guillaume for the last 7 years and we have just had a baby girl together. I thought I knew everything about him and his views on apnoea and freediving, but a few years ago he started sharing with me his underwater bouts of hallucination, intimate confidences that he had never shared with anyone before: NARCOSE was born in my mind.”

Face to face with a dolphin. Mikura jima, Japan.

Guillaume goes beyond the mere sport. Combining aesthetics and performance, film and exploration, Guillaume practice discipline as an art, the art of living.


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