Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 15:46 UK

Highwire stunt for film festival

Scene from the film
Philippe Petit illegally rigged a wire between the Twin Towers, hundreds of feet above New York

The smallest slip could have cost him his life but French stuntman Philippe Petit did not let that come between him and his highly-illegal ambition to walk on a highwire between New York's Twin Towers in August 1974.

His story has been told in the documentary, "Man on Wire," which has its European-premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

It was a daring but illegal scheme. The film tells how he and his accomplices broke into the almost-finished World Trade Centre towers.


A film about a high wire artist who walked along a cable between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre premieres in Edinburgh.

They rigged up a wire and Petit danced on it for nearly an hour with no safety net, more than 1,300 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan.

He was eventually arrested and taken for psychological evaluation but his adventure became known as "the artistic crime of the twentieth century".

Philippe Petit also scaled Notre Dame Cathedral, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Eiffel Tower.

As a street juggler he travelled the world.

Director James Marsh said the first thing Petit told him when they met was "I have the mind of a criminal".

Mr Marsh added:"Before we parted, he picked my pocket. Here was an extraordinary individual who viewed the world in a unique way."

"Man on Wire" won the Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival where it had its world premiere in January.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific