After the 1979 World Free Flight Championships, Daniel Raibon Pernoud, President of the Coupe Icare, was looking to breathe new life into the St Hilaire site.
With the help of Nicole Raibon (who later became the Festival Director) and Martine Lange - and with the advice of Jeannot and Janine Lamberton (organizers of the Caving Film Festival in La Chapelle en Vercors) - they embarked on the adventure of a film festival!
In 1983, the Coupe Icare celebrates its 10th anniversary and inaugurates the 1st International Free Flight Film Festival in the auditorium of the Rocheplane Medical Center.
Pierre François Degeorges, producer of the television program "Les Carnets de l'aventure", was the first president of the jury of the Festival and a faithful friend of the event.
The grand prize in all categories is awarded to Léo Dickinson with "Sailing above the Alpes".
From the first edition, the public is there!
A public of enthusiasts and flyers.
During the Coupe Icare, people fly during the day and meet up in the evening in a festive and friendly atmosphere where paper airplanes punctuate the film projections!
Very quickly, the links are woven ....
Between the organizers and the directors, like Leo Dickinson, Charlie Jöst, Gilles Santantonio, but also passionate about free flight: Jean Daniel Carrard, Philippe Bernard, Didier Favre.... Indefectible loyalties will be born.
Initially dedicated to hang gliding, the festival quickly opened up to other disciplines, especially in 1985, with the arrival of paragliding.
Then came paramotor, aeromodeslime, speed-riding, base jumping......
Under this big top, what emotions !
Very quickly, the Rocheplane cinema was too small...In 1993, the festival set up its tent in the heart of the Coupe Icare.
The Festival is first and foremost about screenings, but it is also an opportunity to meet people, and to celebrate important events such as :
- 1997, the American Francis Roggalo, an engineer at NASA and one of the fathers of the delta wing, received a standing ovation.
- In 2002, the Brazilian Tura and his paper balloons, discovered thanks to the film by Etienne Chambolle, ...
- In 2015 : meeting between 2 giants of the free flight world : the Australian Bill Moyes, pioneer of hang gliding and the Swiss Bertrand Piccard
Today, the Festival is approaching its fortieth anniversary!
The public is still there, still faithful, still numerous, delighted to discover each year a beautiful selection of films dedicated to air sports!
Hélios Gracia, Director of the Festival and the whole organization team look forward to seeing you on September 20th for a new edition of this film festival, unique in the world!