AIDA President provides statement on The FreeDiver movie

As reported by this publication, after the pre-screening of "The FreeDiver" movie in Vancouver during the FreeDiving World Championships, AIDA President Sebastien Nagel caused some controversy by stating that AIDA would withdraw verification for the Coca Cola World Record event being organised by Alki David, the films writer, director and star. He also indicated at the time a potential lawsuit would be initiated.

We recently asked Sebastien Nagel to clarify his position as he was present during the Coca Cola World Record attempts and he provided us with the following statement:

Freedivers,

I would like to make some personnal clarifications concerning the projection of « The Freediver » movie in Vancouver (Canada) during the last AIDA World Championship, in order to avoid rumors and missunderstandings to grow up…

First of all, as most of you already know, I’m more a sensitive and reactive person that a diplomatic one, and this is maybe not the best possible option for an AIDA President… But I also would like to remind you that not only an AIDA President, I’m also a freediver, and even basicaly… Just an human !

When I was in Vancouver during the projection of « The Freediver » movie, I was as AIDA President and President of the Jury very stressed by the competition, and pressed (and even sometimes pissed off) by many athletes, persons, problems to resolve, etc… And with all that probabely not in good mood to see this movie at that moment.

This could explains, but not excuses, the bad reaction I had publicaly after this projection…

After the pressure falled down, I was finaly more able to analyse this movie and my personnal feelings about that, without any external influences… That is also why I accepted the David Alki’s proposition to come in Spetes (Greece) during the BIOS World Record Attempts Session for the premiere of the movie, in order to be able to meet him and to talk with him directely… And there I also was finaly able to discover the complete history of this movie.

And I would like here to share directely with you some of my personnal feelings and reactions, to avoid to found them not correctely interpretated in some forums, guestbooks, mailing-lists or websites :

– I was first very disapointed to see freediving sport not representated with 100% acuracy, forgeting that movies are not documentaries, and so never reflect the complete truth.

– I was then disapointed to see AIDA names and logo involved that much in a movie with also some mistakes regarding reality, not thinking about the fact that it would made the name of AIDA more known everywhere about the sport.

– I was surprised about the «based on a true story» mention, as I didn’t know before the story of the greek freediver Danai Varveri

– I was also disapointed not to have an «happy-end» for a freediving movie, considering that Danai Varveri is still alive, and pretty cute with her small daughter.

– I was also very surprised to see somebody playing my own role of AIDA President… Believe me untill you will have such similar occasion, it’s very strange !!!

– Maybe I also was jealous to see that AIDA looks more profesionnal in the movie, with a very nice huge office, and much more means than in reality ?

– Maybe then I was jealous to see Frédéric Buyle to play in the movie as Board’s member, and I wasn’t ? (even if representated by the famous actor James Fox)

– Maybe I was finaly jealous to see that Mr Alki could have more AIDA banners and flags in his movie that AIDA never had the possibility to buy in reality ?

– and this list could continue for many other things…

So, I deeply regret now my behavior in Vancouver, and would like to present my apologizes to some people who was, or should have been, offensed by my reactions :

– David Alki

– Frédéric Buyle

– Hannah Stacey

– Zoe Hall

– and all the persons who were present in the movie’s projection in Vancouver.

And to conclude, as diplomacy it definitely not my speciality, I will never more give directely my personnal comments or opinions, nor even answer directely to any journalists, untill I will not be AIDA President anymore… (hopefully in 109 days 😉

Stephan Whelan

Stephan is the Founder of DeeperBlue.com. His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years-old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a passion he pursued in all his spare time. In 1996 his passion for the underwater world led him to setup DeeperBlue.com. When he gets time he enjoys both Freediving and Scuba Diving when not traveling for work or enjoying time with his family in London.

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