He was never the best swimmer but he worked so hard that he managed to be his best version.
Anthony McCarley (60 years old) embarks on an adventure away from home full of teachings that will make us reflect on our own fears, determinations, self-control and perseverance.

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Genre: Documentary
Year of production: 2020
Length: 30 min
Language: English
Subtitles: Spanish and Portuguese
Format: Digital - Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080)

Plot Summary

He is neither the fastest nor the strongest swimmer, but driven by commitment and determination, Anthony McCarley, a 60-year-old American swimmer, decides to go on a quest for a unique achievement: swimming across the Río de la Plata (River Plate), from Uruguay to Argentina, and doing the coastal swim Leme ao Pontal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Through these challenges, we get to know the man behind the swimmer. Anthony McCarley’s motivations go beyond the sporting achievement. RIO tells the story of someone overcoming adversity and pursuing personal growth.

Technical team

Direction and cinematography: Pablo Perez Fiedler and Diego Alejandro Suárez
Producer: Lucas Rivet
Edition and color: Pablo Perez Fiedler
Executive Producers: Marcelo Baiardi, Nuria Álvarez, Pablo Perez Fiedler and Diego Alejandro Suárez.
Production houses: La Fábrica Films - Biosfera Films.


Anthony McCarley
Adherbal de Oliveira
Lucas Rivet

Comments About the Film

“Some never act on their dream. Others make their dream a goal. Marathon swimmers like Anthony live by working towards a goal. In this cruel sport courage is measured by picking yourself up after failing to achieve the goal and going again. He shares his thoughts, opens his soul and we understand such courage.”

Ned Denison, Chairperson International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Ireland

“RIO is a wonderful film that captures the perseverance and dedication required to reach an enormous goal. It is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching as we watch Anthony McCarley and his unrelenting support team take on three of the most treacherous and challenging swims in South America, hundreds of miles away from his family and friends. I was completely immersed in his journey and the struggles he faced while confronting his demons. RIO is a film for all!”

Elizabeth Fry, Oceans Seven (2019), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (2014), Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (2009), Guinness World Record (2019), United States

“'RIO' depicts the agonies and ecstasies of solo marathon swimming with stunning realism. Anthony leaves it all in the water - body and soul - in his quest to complete two of South America's most iconic swims. Essential viewing for all endurance athletes.”

Evan Morrison, Founder Marathon Swimmers Federation, Marathon Swimmer, United States.

“For swimmers and non-swimmers this is a cinematic joy, a journey we all need to see, amazing film.”

Roger Taylor, Professional Photographer, United Kingdom.

“So many thoughts about perseverance & goal setting as I watched “RIO” profiling Anthony McCarley’s attempts to swim the Río de la Plata across the channel between Uruguay & Argentina and the Leme ao Pontal coastal swim in Rio de Janeiro. Anthony’s intimate profile provides proof of a few life maxims... Age is just a number, courage is revealed facing one’s fears, and attitude is everything when dealing with adversity. The life lesson for all of us in RIO is summed in Anthony’s own words... 'I’m trying to grow into the best person I can be...'”

Dan O’Shea, Navy SEAL & Co-Founder of the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim, United States.

“Captivating! A truly inspirational film for anyone seeking to push their limits.”

Nick Gannon, Drexel University Deputy Athletic Director, United States.

“A great film, a must see. Watching a 60-year-old man swim non-stop for hours on end has never been more dramatic or profound. Lucas Rivet produced a sensational hit with his 33-minute documentary film RIO. Cameras above, below and on escort boats capture Anthony McCarley at his strongest and at his most vulnerable during the 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal and the 39.7 km crossing attempt of Río de la Plata between Argentina and Uruguay. With music and sound effects that pulsate throughout the film, McCarley shares his philosophical well-earned wisdom in a touching one-on-one relationship with the viewer. As the film fluctuates rhythmically between success and failure, teamwork and solitude, joy and fear, sunrise and sunset, McCarley constantly dispenses valuable life advice based on his own experiences and uncommon adventures in the oceans and rivers of the world. Rivet has spun inspirational messages that come from the heart of a modern-day hero. The camerawork fills the screen with immensely powerful images that showcase the strength of a humble adventurer. See it, RIO.”

WOWSA (World Open Water Swimming Association) Review.

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