Chasing Ice on silver screen Sunday

Balog initiates an expedition called the Extreme Ice Survey, traversing the Arctic with a band of young adventurers.

A special presentation at the 2012 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and winner of several awards, Chasing Ice is the engrossing and enlightening debut feature from documentary filmmaker Jeff Orlowski.

The film, which received the Hot Docs People’s Choice Award and the Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival, follows National Geographic photojournalist James Balog as he struggles to bring dramatic visual evidence of climate change in the Arctic to the attention of the world.

After an eye-opening 2005 visit to Iceland, Balog initiates an expedition called the Extreme Ice Survey, traversing the Arctic with a band of young adventurers.

He deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

As the climate change debate continues and natural disasters around the world intensify exponentially, Balog finds himself at the centre of a maelstrom and near the end of his tether, struggling to make the world see what he has seen with his own (camera) eye.

Featuring stunning cinematography and privileged views of some never-before-seen areas of the Arctic, Chasing Ice is an engrossing chronicle of one man’s quest to reveal crucial evidence about the damage we have wrought to our carbon-powered planet.

Shocking, sobering yet ultimately optimistic, the story of Balog’s incredible journey is an urgent reminder that our world is in crisis.

“What sustains the film are neither words nor music but spectacular images of places few people have ever seen. They’re in a region Balog calls “insanely, ridiculously beautiful,” a phrase that Orlowski’s images fully justify.” — Mark Jenkins, NPR.

As part of the Comox Valley Art Gallery winter film series, Chasing Ice will be shown Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre in Courtenay.

Tickets for it and the other films in the series (March 10 and 24) are available at the CVAG gift shop at 580 Duncan Ave. in Courtenay. Call CVAG at 250-338-6211 to purchase tickets over the phone with Visa or Mastercard. If the film is not sold out, tickets will also be available in the Rialto Theatre lobby before the film (cash only, exact change appreciated for lobby sales).

All films are fundraisers for the Comox Valley Art Gallery. For updates and more information on the films, visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com.

— Comox Valley Art Gallery

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