Caught by the River

Big River Man

21st August 2009


Special UK Preview of BIG RIVER MAN with The Fish Man, Martin Strel!


As a special curtain raiser for this year’s Cambridge Film Festival the Cambridge Film Trust team are putting together an ambitious open air cinema programme over the August Bank Holiday weekend on Cambridge’s Grantchester Meadows.

Film fans are invited to bring a blanket and relax under the stars for on Monday 31 August they can meet Martin Strel, aka ‘The Fish Man’, champion long distance swimmer and star of new eco documentary ‘Big River Man’, which charts his record-breaking 66 day, 3,375 mile swim up the entire Amazon River!

It is hoped that Director and Producer John Maringouin will accompany Martin Strel to Cambridge on Monday 31 August for the special preview screening of their film, and that four-time world record holder endurance swimmer Strel will take to the waters of the River Cam for a quick dip before the film!

Martin is an endurance swimmer who swims rivers – the Mississippi, the Danube and the Yangtze prior to the Amazon – to highlight their pollution to the world. Martin is also a rather overweight horse-burger loving Slovenian in his fifties, who drinks two bottles of red wine a day, even when swimming!

In February 2007 Martin Strel began an insane attempt to be the first person to swim the entire length of the world’s most dangerous river, the Amazon. The Fish Man, as he was called by the local tribes, almost died in the process several times. Towards the end of his marathon ordeal his blood pressure was at heart attack level, his entire body full of subcutaneous larvae and besieged by dehydration, diarrhoea and exhaustion. During this epic journey Martin suffered from blisters, sunburn, exotic stomach illness, all the while trying to avoid piranhas, anacondas, crocodiles, alligators, and man eating Bull Sharks.

Director John Maringouin set out to make an environmentally aware documentary about an eccentric, larger-than-life Slovenian swimmer. He ended up journeying deep into the oppressively remote Amazonia, following Martin and his team as they descended into a nightmare of illness and insanity.

Tony Jones, Festival Director, ‘This is yet another pioneering initiative by the Film Trust. Plus we will be using a bio-diesel generator to power the inflatable Airscreen, which also fits in well with the eco theme of ‘Big River Man’. Martin Strel dedicated his swim to preserving the rain forest.”

The Film Trust is also trying to alleviate the problem of excess traffic in the area around the site by encouraging people to walk or cycle to Grantchester for the screenings, or even, via a special package offered by Scudamore, travel by punt! They have also secured the support of Stagecoach buses who will be running a special service to and from the Trumpington Park & Ride to Manor Farm.

There will be specially sourced food and drink available to buy on site from the region’s finest suppliers and farmers’ markets. Award winning local brewery, Moonshine, will run the bar.

Screenings are being held thanks to the kind permission of the Trumpington Farm Company who will be giving a donation to Addenbrookes Charitable Trust from monies received for hire of the field.

The gates to Spring Lane Field in Grantchester will open at 6.00pm so ticketholders are invited to come early to choose their picnic spot.

Screenings will start at 8.30pm. Please wear suitable clothing and bring a blanket and umbrella.

Tickets are on sale NOW: £10 (Picturehouse Members/Concessions); £12.50 (Adult); £25 (Family – 2 Adults, 2 Children under 16).