Guillaume Néry is the French free-diving champion and a multiple free-diving world record holder. He can dive 125 metres below the surface with a single breath. When he's off the podium, he travels the world with his SO writing, shooting and directing films like "Free Fall" and "Ocean Gravity". "Les films engloutis" casts a fresh, poetic, artistic look on his discipline. The free-diver recently took a leading role in a video clip by Beyoncé and Naughty Boy "Runnin’ (Lose It All)" combining acting skills with technical performance to create an underwater love scene. He also teaches at the Nice diving school CIPA.
Profession: Professional free-diver
Titles: Four world records since 2002
Member of the winning team at the world free-diving championship in 2008
Currently holder of the French free-diving record (-125 metres)
Distinctive feature: In 2002, he was the youngest free-diving record breaker in the world, diving 87 metres
Hobbies: Diving, video
Quotable quote: "First you have to forget the figures and the stopwatch and just focus on sensations. Free-diving is a sensational sport that's all about well-being. Go aquatic!"
1. During filming in Reunion Island, which places and experiences really stayed with you?
I was particularly struck by how charming the old Creole house was in l’Etang-Salé, by the sea : a tiny gem overlooking the ocean. I also have fond memories of a yoga session I did by the raging ocean, where I really felt the sheer force of nature.
2. What will be your abiding memory from your time filming in Reunion Island?
Without a doubt, walking in Méhari along the coastal road between l’Etang-Salé and Saint-Leu. I remember the incredible sense of freedom.
3. What was the most surprising thing you learned about Reunion Island?
I know Reunion Island quite well, but I always forget just how captivating its diversity is. Reunion Island is a real cultural crossroads at the heart of the Indian Ocean, where everyone lives together in harmony !
4. Why would you recommend Reunion Island to your friends?
I would recommend Reunion Island for the sheer diversity of experiences I had. In just one day, I felt as though I’d travelled through 20 countries. Primary forests, high alpine pastures, the desert slopes of the volcano, the blue waters of theIndian Ocean, the cool breeze at the top of the Piton des Neiges, the lagoon much-loved by children and – since the installation of nets – the return of safe surfing. In Reunion Island, anything is possible. It’s not called the intense island for nothing!