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Looking for Exits: Conversations with a Wingsuit Artist

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 7:00pm
Sunday, May 15, 2016 - 6:15pm
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Looking for Exits: Conversations with a Wingsuit Artist

Kristoffer Hegnsvad | 
Denmark |
 2015 | 
60 minutes

Ellen Brennan is one of the most preeminent wingsuit BASE jumpers in the world. On an average day she soars high above the peaks and valleys of the French Alps at speeds of up to 240 km/h, wearing nothing but a suit seemingly styled after a flying squirrel. There is great beauty in Brennan’s gravity-defying stunts. It is easy to see why she is considered an artist in the extreme sports community. The mountains of the Chamonix Valley, where Brennan has spent a large part of her BASE career, provide a breathtaking canvas for her to practice her craft. In the BASE jumping world, jumps are known as “exits.” First-person photography of Brennan flying off one cliff after another is a pulse-pounding spectacle to behold, but filmmaker Kristoffer Hegnsvad offers an equally compelling philosophical angle on the life of this remarkable athlete.

Far more contemplative than most extreme sport films, Looking for Exits casts Brennan’s incredible feats in a metaphysical light. Revealing conversations capture the contradictions apparent in someone who clearly lives life to the fullest, but defies death on a daily basis. Although Brennan knows that something could go wrong with any jump, she can’t help but keep living her dream. A “normal life” just isn’t in the cards for her. Interstitial sequences of ordinary people in Chamonix going about their lives while Brennan floats high above highlights the contrast between her current existence and the one she may be forced to live one day. -CP


Kristoffer Hegnsvad

Kristoffer Hegnsvad (b. 1978) is an established film journalist in Denmark and chief editor of FILM&TV Denmark's biggest newspaper Politiken's weekly magazine about film and television. In 2013 he made is first short documentary, LAAMB, that premiered on CPH DOX and had Jørgen Leth as narrator. LOOKING FOR EXITS is his first feature length film.