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Synopsis: Vincent used to ski, paraglide, hike… yes, but Vincent used to have functional legs. A timberman, he lost them in a work accident when a tree fell on him and crushed 5 of his vertebraes. This left him handicaped: he can’t feel his body from his torso down. Vincent wants to make peace with his handicap by becoming a new version of himself. He calls this “the mutation”. Ah, but to transform into a new form of human being, you need a challenge. With a group of devoted childhood friends, and the support of his relatives, Vincent wants to climb Svalbard’s summit and ski down on a special device for skiers without legs.

Vincent’s 7 companions will pull him on the ice and snow on the slopes of Svalbard’s main barren island, at the far end of the Arctic ocean.

His legs aren’t functional anylonger, yet they require constant care, especially in the Arctic extrem cold.

And you then wonder, obviously, if Vincent will make it to the top and down or how to




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French, English

Run Time

60 minutes

Available Territories



French, English


Directed by

Damien Artero

Director's Statement

The film “Mutation At The Summit” that tells the story of the expedition is a work by Damien Artero /// Planète.D
It is the tale of Vincent’s mutation, his ascent to Svalbard’s summit, and all the details of this unfamiliar expedition. A portrait, not only of Vincent as a peculiar character, funny and strong and silly and moving, but also of all his team mates: what are their reasons for being here, alongside Vincent? What makes such a group so strong in the face of the events? how team work makes it possible to accomplish such dreams?
With witty stagings and funny jokes, testimonies and serious reflexion about handicap and how society is or isn’t ready for it, beautiful images from the Arctic nature and light-hearted riding sessions, the film shows you that even without legs a skier can achieve a great deal – and look groovy. The film “Mutation At The Summit” is a refreshing vision of this unexpected mix: handicap and ski/mountaineering in extreme conditions. It is a final statement: whatever life throws at you, there ARE ways to keep riding the ride of joy.

Director's Bio

Damien started working as an independant filmmaker after a 2.5 years worldtour on a tandem bike. The revelation came as a bit as a shock: he never had a camera for himself before and wasn’t interested in one (said he), but suddenly, upon departure, a local television prompted him to film his journey with his lover. And wahoo! he realized he was probably meant to tell stories, shoot images and edit films. When that first long journey ended, Damien fully (read: with passion, heart, energy and lots of mistakes) launched himself in a career as an independant adventure filmmaker. Ever since he produced all the films you can see on this website, at a dizzy rate of 2 to 3 films per year.
2015: Mutation At The Summit, ascent and freeride down Svalbard’s summit without legs… – 1 film, running time 10 or 60 minutes, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals
2015: Winter Tyres Mandatory, riding a fatbike accross the Vercors range in winter pulling a sled – 1 film, running time 35 or 60 minutes, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals
2014: Univertical, running across the White Teeth mountain range in lightweight mode and autonomy – 1 film, running time 60 or 26 minutes, broadcast on tv
2014: The Tale Of Jack Frost, the making-of “71° Solitude North” shot, written and edited as a standalone adventure film about fatbiking and shooting films in the arctic cold – 1 film, running time 22 minutes, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals worldwide
2014: 71° Solitude North, a lone woman skis across Lapland on her own, pulling a sled heavier than herself – 1 film, running time 52 min, screened at festivals worldwide
2013: Jor, ski adventure across the Jura Range as if it was the Far North – 1 film, running time 52 or 26 min, broadcast on tv and screened at festivals
2013: Autarcies, riding a tandem with 2 kids across the Spanish mountains to investigate on ecovillages – 1 film, running time 60 min, screened at festivals worldwide
2012: One Step Aside, running across the Chartreuse mountain range outside of sing-posted paths and regular trails – 1 film, running time 30 min, broadcast on TV and screened at festivals
2010: No Man Iceland, across Iceland on a tandem with a baby, looking for the Queen of the Elves – 1 film, running time 52 min, broadcast on TV & screened at festivals worldwide + a short documentary
2009: The Big Detour, 2.5 years around the world on a tandem – 3 films, running time 52 min each, broadcast on TV & screened at festivals worldwide + numerous free videos and short documentaries

Country of Origin


Production Year


Aspect Ratio

1.77:1 (16:9)

Sound Mix

Stereo LT/RT


Canon 5D MKII, GoPro Heroe 3+





Official Website



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