Man on Wire (2008)

Man on Wire
James Marsh
Simon Chinn
Executive Producer:
Jonathan Hewes

BBC, UK Film Council and Discovery Films present a Wall to Wall production in association with Red Box Films

On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York's twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and thrown into jail before he was finally released. This is his story.Following six and a half years of dreaming of the towers, Petit spent eight months in New York City planning the execution of what he called his "coup". Aided by a team of friends and accomplices, Petit was faced with numerous extraordinary challenges: he had to find a way to bypass the WTC’s security; smuggle the heavy steel cable and rigging equipment oto the top of the towers; pass the wire between the two rooftops; anchor the wire and tension it to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings. The rigging was done by night in complete secrecy. At 7:15am, Philippe took his first step on the high wire 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan…

MAN ON WIRE brings this extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of Philippe and his co-conspirators in what became known as “the artistic crime of the century.”

International sales: The Works International.


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    Awards and festivals:
  • Academy Award - Best Feature Documentary 2009
  • BAFTA - Outstanding British Film 2009
  • British Independent Film Award - Best British Documentary 2009
  • Producers Guild of America Award - theatrical documentary 2009
  • Independent Spirit Award - best documentary 2009
  • Sundance - Audience Award 2008
  • Sundance - Grand Jury Prize 2008
  • Edinburgh Film Festival - Audience Award 2008
  • LA Film Festival - Audience Award 2008
  • Karlovy Vary Film Festival - Best Documentary 2008
  • National Board of Review - Best Documentary Feature 2008
Review highlights:
  • Exhilarating... a crowd-pleaser in such witty, poetic ways that even an art-house curmudgeon couldn't deny its tidy vigor.

    Village Voice
  • A thorough, understated and altogether enthralling documentary.

    New York Times