Fri Feb 28, 2020 – 5:00 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sun Mar 1, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande

Chasing the Jet Stream

Directed by Claudio von Planta
Documentary Feature
United Kingdom | 74 min | 2018

CHASING THE JET STREAM follows the pioneering adventure of Marc Hauser, a Swiss entrepreneur and motivational speaker who wants to become the first skydiver in the world jumping into a hurricane force jet stream at 8,000 to 10,000 meters altitude. With this record, Marc wants to bring attention to the nascent technology of airborne wind energy systems, which can harness high-altitude wind power. This new technology has the potential to defuse the global energy crisis.

Visionary characters like skydiver Marc Hauser, on a pioneering mission and with the guts to face risks, are brilliant protagonists for an inspiring documentary with a purpose.

Chasing the Jet Stream - Poster

Chasing the Jet Stream - Claudio von PlantaClaudio von Planta

Claudio von Planta discovered his passion for documentaries in 1985 filming Afghans fighting against the Russian occupation – a brutal but effective start of a freelance career.

As a Swiss Claudio got inspired by a history of more than 700 years independence and was always wondering what it takes for oppressed populations to win freedom. REBELS OF THE FORGOTTEN WORLD about the Papuan independence struggle against Indonesia, was his first long format TV documentary in 1989 and he is still following similar topics today. NO FRIENDS BUT THE MOUNTAINS (THE KURDISH DREAM) is his latest film about the struggle to win self-determination in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Fortunately, Claudio also had a chance to cover non-political stories. His lucky break with expedition filming came as director of photography on LONG WAY ROUND and LONG WAY DOWN where he followed the actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on motorbike journeys around the world and across Africa. Claudio continued to film many other expeditions and has a particular interest in science and engineering adventures. In 2011 he filmed RACING GREEN, a BBC World TV series about the first electric car driving the full length of the Panamerican Highway from Alaska to Argentina. CHASING THE JET STREAM is following the same genre looking at high-altitude wind power.

The following films won some prestigious recognition:

SADDAM’S SECRET TIME BOMB – an investigation into the aftereffects of chemical weapons used during the bombing of the Iraqi city Halabja, received a special commendation from the Rory Peck Award in 1998.

SURVIVING SUDAN – a report about the plight of Darfur refugees earned an Emmy nomination for best long format investigative documentary in 2006.

LIVING WITH AIDS won the One World Media Award 2006 for best broadcast journalist and was a finalist for the best TV documentary.

SPELL OF THE ALBINO looked into horrendous witchcraft practices in Tanzania where albino body parts get used for magic potions. This film won the 2012 One World Media Awards for Children’s Rights and got nominated for the Royal Television Society Independent Award.

Beside TV productions, Claudio is also keen to publish his independent films on Vimeo and Youtube. It is a great platform to highlight and debate important issues and also win attention for good news stories – often neglected by TV.

Film Information

Director: Claudio von Planta
Country: United Kingdon
Year: 2018
Language: English
Runtime: 74 min.
Rated: PG


Producer: Claudio von Planta
Writer: Claudio von Planta
Cameraman: Tom Naef, Claudio von Planta
Editor: Claudio von Planta, Jonathan Richards, Oli da Costa
Composer: Jakob Klotz
Key Cast: Marc Hauser

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BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival