2012 FiRe Featured Film: Chasing Ice
In the spring of 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: the Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
UPDATE: Even prior to its fall 2012 theatrical release, as of August 2012 Chasing Ice had won 15 awards, including the Sundance Cinematography Award and a Sundance nomination for Grand Jury Prize, and the SXSW Audience Award. Its theatrical release is scheduled for November 2012 in select theaters.
UPDATE (10/4/2012): The Chasing Ice team is very proud to announce that we have just been awarded Best Documentary at the 22nd Annual Awards of the Environmental Media Association. This honor recognizes the work that Chasing Ice is doing to provide visual evidence of climate change and highlight climate change as one of the most important issues of our time.
View more news about Chasing Ice here.
Participant at FiRe 2012:
James Balog, Photographer
Board of Directors, Earth Vision Trust
Director, Extreme Ice Survey
4780 Sterling Drive, Suite B
Boulder, Colorado 80301
O: (303) 494-1737
C: (303) 888-4211
Extreme Ice Survey is a research affiliate of:
The Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research, University of Colorado
Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University
Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is a project of Earth Vision Trust (EVT). EVT’s mission is the creation of innovative visual evidence of our impact on ice, air, water, forests, and wildlife. Ten years, a billion people, inspired to change. EVT creates inspirational public installations and educational materials, and keeps James Balog and his team in the field.
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