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Wednesday April 5, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI was invited to a preview of The Free Man, a documentary film with freestyle skier Jossi Wells also featuring the infamous group of daredevils and adventurers called The Flying Frenchies.

THE FREE MAN is a poignant film, beautifully shot and a thrilling story.

It is shot in New Zealand and France, and offers a rare insight into the story of men who push themselves to the point of no return.

It features New Zealand's Olympic freestyle skier Jossi Wells who joins the Flying Frenchies to learn how to slackline.

PlanetSKI is fascinated with the Flying Frenchies and has closely followed their brave stunts and performances over the years.

The Free Man documentary explores the concept of Freedom.

Freedom is defined as the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity, as Olympic freestyle skier Jossi Wells learns when he partners the acrobats for his adventure of a lifetime.

It highlights the inevitable end of life that can occur when the freedom of choice is at extreme levels.

In the case of the Flying Frenchies the choice to perform dangerous acrobatics at high level without safety harnesses ended last January with a tragic accident.

The 32 year old adrenalin junkie, Tancrede Melet, one of the driving forces behind the Flying Frenchies, plummeted roughly 100 feet.

He was on the ground working on a hot air balloon for a difficult stunt when the vessel unexpectedly lifted off and caused him to fall.

He was not wearing a safety harness.

Melet was also a respected climber, acrobat, parachutist and wingsuit flyer as well as leading the comedy daredevil collective.

The Free Man is narrated by the French crew that explore their idea of freedom and explain Tancrede Melet's philosophy of the Freedom of Choice.

The documentary uses existing footage of the group in action that go beyond peforming 'normal' acrobatics.

They push the boundaries of Freedom and perform some unimaginably difficult stunts.

They still continue to perform at events today, though they now have to use safety harnesses.

In the film we meet Jossi Wells, the 2016 X Games Gold medallist and freestyle skier who joins the Flying Frenchies to learn how to slackline.

He intends to join in a dramatic slackline performance with the team, but first he has to learn how.

Exclusive PlanetSKI preview below as Jossi attempts to learn how to Slackline:


Jossi's first lesson is to empty his mind and to free it from the constraints of 'fear'.

Is life worth risking for the feeling of conquering fear and becoming truly free?

These are the questions Jossi Wells asks himself as he meets the extreme sports performance artists.

Jossi takes on the challenge of his lifetime hundreds of metres above the ground.

Directed by Toa Fraser (Dean Spanley, Giselle), who brings a breathtakingly cinematic sensibility and narrative construction to the world of extreme sports.

Produced by Matthew Metcalfe (Beyond The Edge, McLaren) in his fifth collaboration with Toa FraserTHE FREE MAN is a film that once seen, is impossible to forget.

The Free Man is available digitally on iTunes here from April 10th and on DVD from April 24th.

Jossi Wells learning to slackline with The Flying FrenchiesJossi Wells learning to slackline with The Flying Frenchies












The Free Man - Jossie Wells sayd 'Pain is temporary!'The Free Man - Jossie Wells says 'Pain is temporary!'




















You Tube footage of the Flying Frenchies below, some of which is included in The Free Man.

In the Highline expedition below the team included Antoine Moineville, Julien Millot, Sébastien Brugalla and Tancrède Melet:

Petit Bus Rouge - Bonus 1 footage with the Flying Frenchies:

Petit Bus Rouge Trailer - featuring the Flying Frenchies:

Metronomic Trailer:


The Flying Frenchies are appearing this year at Les2Alpes new Summer Festival from 23rd to 25th June.

The Flying Frenchies will be there to try to break the highline world record (2km).

Visit Les2Alpes website for more information.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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