Director MATTHIAS HOENE & Cliff Diver Anna Bader Go Deep in adidas X Parley Short Film “DIVE”

June 19th, 2018

Director Matthias Hoene goes deep with the powerful three-minute film “Dive,” featuring German cliff diver Anna Bader. With the launch, Matthias and Anna aim to raise awareness about the dire issue of ocean pollution.

Matthias Hoene is an award-winning filmmaker known for his visually progressive storytelling. Coming up with the original idea and looking for a way to tell Anna’s story, adidas x Parley were approached with the concept. Given Parley’s initiative to create the first high-performance products made from waste that has been intercepted from beaches and coastal communities, they were the perfect brand partners to assist in delivering the message of a sustainable and clean future.

Shot in Hawaii, Matthias Hoene’s film takes the viewer into Anna Bader’s fascinating, beautiful—and at times frightening—world as she sets out to perform the ultimate, mythic cliff dive at Kahekili’s Leap on the south shore of Hawaii.

Anna Bader is one of the world’s leading cliff divers, a pioneer in a sport that is raw and wild, yet poetic and refined. When she entered the sport in 2005, there were virtually no other women for her to compete against. That’s changed over the last decade-plus—thanks to Anna following her passion for what she calls the “pure joyfulness” of cliff diving. Throughout the process, she’s piled up awards, including 8 European championships, constantly pushing herself and the sport to new extremes.

With his penchant for groundbreaking material, Matthias has long been fascinated by athletes that compete on the fringes of the mainstream; his recent NOWNESS short “Strongman” follows ex-soldier and bodybuilder Mark Smith in the run-up to the Worlds Strongest Disabled Man competition.

With “Dive,” Matthias shapes a fascinating narrative, highlighting the inseparable connection between cliff divers and the natural environment. A fierce tension defines the build-up and backstory, as Matthias chronicles the intense training that goes into Anna’s four-second leap. Anna’s narration is intercut with close-ups of her training regime and sweeping shots of the cliff sides and surrounding nature, adding to the atmosphere and suspense.

Matthias employed several techniques to dramatize the act of diving off an impossibly high cliff by oneself, shooting over two days with a variety of hardware including underwater and drone cameras. Using the Phantom high-speed camera, Matthias and his crew were able to achieve what he calls “the road runner moment”: when time slows to a standstill mid-air and the body processes what is about to happen.

Overall, Matthias captured 12 separate takes of Anna’s climactic cliff dive – a testament to her concentration, coordination and focus (she had to scale back up the cliffs by hand each time.)

“Working with Anna was incredible,” says Matthias. “She traveled from a small town in Germany to Hawaii – a grueling 28-hours – and went straight into the shoot with enthusiasm.”

“The kind of jumps Anna did, having to clear three meters of deadly rock with a triple somersault, or needing to hit really specific points in the water to avoid hitting the ground, definitely made my heart miss a beat a few times,” he explains. “It’s humbling to work with athletes of her caliber. It makes me want to work harder at everything I do.”

Matthias Hoene has re-entered the world of short form of late after directing his debut feature Cockneys vs Zombies, followed by the action/adventure film Enter The Warriors Gate. Recently he helmed The Living Hostel: an #EUandME short film for the European Commission. Other recent projects include a campaign for Lenovo and the “Rusty Pipes” music video for the long-awaited return of indie rock band Eels.