“His only way home was to jump.”

Latest update: Completed August 2015.

Currently represented for International Sales by Cisneros.

Ernesto Gainza stands 4,000 meters above the ground in Dubai, preparing to set a Guinness world record skydiving with the smallest and fastest parachute in history. Experts say he is likely to die, but he jumps. Born in Valencia, Venezuela, Ernesto’s father died days before he was born, leaving his mother to care for him and his sister single-handedly in humble circumstances. After a difficult divorce, Ernesto gave up everything to move to Europe and take a skydiving course. His life changed forever and a career in parachute stunts quickly developed into a dream of setting a world record by April 5, 2014. Down To Earth follows Ernesto on his remarkable path towards this day. He travels back home to Venezuela for the first time in years, struggling to make sense of the dangerous life he chose and find acceptance from a family he left behind. More than a story of human resilience, this is a story of a man who must risk his life to come to terms with his past. In the end, Ernesto’s will to survive is not for the world record, but to come down to earth and find his way home.

Director’s Statement by Daphne Schmon:

DOWN TO EARTH is the culmination of two years filming across five countries to capture the remarkable Guinness world record achievement of Ernesto Gainza. It was important from the start that we make a film which reaches beyond the skydiving genre. Yes, there are breathtaking action moments, but this is in fact a very human story of resilience, sacrifice, and family bond. When I heard that Ernesto’s father had died days before he was born and he left behind a lawyer’s education in Venezuela to wash dishes in England at only 23, I knew we had a story. Ernesto is a humble man, filled with knowledge, kindness and an immaculate attention to detail. He had not been home to Venezuela in years, and so we decided to go back together and that this would be a central part of the story in conjunction to his training. There are many people around the world who can relate to leaving behind a home — a family — for the dream of a better life. But with this dream always comes sacrifice and guilt. In the film, you see him come face to face with these emotions and reconnect with his family — something he must do before attempting the most dangerous stunt of his life. Stylistically, we wanted the audience to feel as if they were there with Ernesto on his jumps. We wanted viewers to hear the wind and absorb the surroundings. This natural approach heightens the reality and danger