Champion freediver Alessia Zecchini fell in love with the sport as a child growing up in Italy, astounding coaches with her raw talent and determination in pool swims and open water contests before she was even old enough to legally compete. Irish adventurer turned expert safety diver Stephen Keenan, meanwhile, was raised near the sea, but as a young man he set out on a quest to find himself, traveling across Africa before landing in Dahab, Egypt and establishing a dive school. Despite their very different paths, the two would meet at the pinnacle of the competitive freediving world, discovering a shared passion for pushing their limits and forming a powerful relationship that felt like fate. From director Laura McGann, this thrilling documentary takes a look inside one of the most dangerous sports in the world, using everything from raw underwater dive footage to childhood home movies to chronicle Zecchini and Keenan’s lives and careers. Director and writer Laura McGann (The 8th, Revolutions) stops by to talk about her exploration of the bond between Zecchini and Keenan that propels THE DEEPEST BREATH emotional journey into the stunning, silent depths of the ocean, a breathtaking place unseen by all but the fortunate few – where exhilarating accomplishments and the unavoidable risks that await them.
About the filmmaker – Director / Producer / Cinematographer Laura McGann is a documentary filmmaker from Ireland who started making films and producing theater when she was 15 years old. She went on to study film in Ballyfermot, Dublin, before getting her masters at Hope University in Liverpool, England. She has worked in Ireland and abroad shooting and directing numerous documentary projects for RTE, SKY, PBS, BBC, Lonely Planet and UTV.
“It’s the stuff of epic melodrama, and one of the obvious gifts of the director Laura McGann is her capacity for shaping eccentric non-fiction material into pleasingly familiar Hollywood rhythms.” – Kevin Maher, Times (UK)
“In the most literal sense, The Deepest Breath is a breathtaking documentary, one filled with eye-popping visuals, thrilling competitions and a deftly presented love story.” – Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter
“I had chills the entire film. There wasn’t a moment I wasn’t completely caught up in the story, fully immersed in their experiences and what they were going through. It’s an astonishing doc.” – Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net