A Film by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin
“Free Solo is a staggering documentary about extreme climbing”
– The Altantic, 27 September 2018
From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi (“MERU”) and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes National Geographic Documentary Film’s FREE SOLO, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock … the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park … without a rope.
Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge, Honnold enters his story in the annals of human achievement. FREE SOLO is both an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who exceeded our current understanding of human physical and mental potential. The result is a triumph of the human spirit.
“Alex Honnold’s Free Solo climb should be celebrated as one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.”
– The New York Times
Professional Rock Climber, Film Subject
Alex Honnold is a professional adventure rock climber whose audacious free solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world. A gifted but hard-working athlete, Alex “No Big Deal” Honnold is known as much for his humble, self-effacing attitude as he is for the dizzyingly tall cliffs he has climbed without a rope to protect him if he falls. Honnold has been profiled by “60 Minutes” and The New York Times, been featured on the cover of National Geographic, appeared in international television commercials and starred in numerous adventure films, including the Emmy-nominated “Alone on the Wall.”
Honnold is sponsored by The North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Goal Zero, Stride Health and Maxim Ropes. He is the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental nonprofit. To this day, he maintains his simple “dirtbag-climber” existence, living out of his van and traveling the world in search of the next great vertical adventure.
Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Like most kids, Kevin grew up climbing ladders, trees and fences, until a visit to his local climbing gym changed his life forever. Kevin steadily improved his climbing and started winning youth national championships. Once he discovered bouldering, he quickly made a name for himself as one of the sport’s best.
At his home stomping grounds in the California’s Buttermilks, Kevin made the first ascent of the terrifying Ambrosia, a 15-meter high boulder from which a fall near the top would be catastrophic. While searching to expand into other climbing disciplines, Kevin learned about Tommy Caldwell’s initial forays on the Dawn Wall. Under the mentorship of Tommy, Kevin proved a quick study as he transformed himself into a big wall climber capable of the completing the most continuously difficult route in the world.
ELIZABETH CHAI VASARHELYI
Award-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is the director and producer of FREE SOLO, from National Geographic Documentary Films. Co-directed with Jimmy Chin, the film offers an intimate, unflinching portrait of rock climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares for and then achieves his lifelong dream: to climb the face of the world’s most famous rock … without a rope.
Vasarhelyi’s films as a director include “Meru” (Oscars Shortlist 2016; Sundance Audience Award 2015); “Incorruptible” (Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award 2016); “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love” (Oscilloscope, 2009), which premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals; “A Normal Life” (Tribeca Film Festival, Best Documentary 2003); and “Touba” (SXSW, Special Jury Prize Best Cinematography 2013). Vasarhelyi has directed a New York Times Op Doc, an episode for Netflix’s nonfiction design series “Abstract” and two episodes for ESPN’s new nonfiction series “Enhanced.” She has received grants from the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bertha Britdoc, the William and Mary Greve Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. She is a member of the DGA as well as AMPAS. She holds a B.A. in comparative literature from Princeton University and lives in New York City.
Book your tickets
All ticket bookings are through Ster Kinekor. Tickets are R84. Bookings open on 20th October.