Opening the Festival is Chasing Ice, a stunning documentary following National Geographic photographer James Balog as he charts the melting of glaciers around the world through time-lapse photography.
Once a climate change sceptic, Balog becomes a man with a mission as he helms the Extreme Ice Survey project in which he uses his art as evidence of man’s impact on changes to the landscape across Iceland, Greenland, The Arctic and beyond - with visually beautiful yet distressingly frank results. Established in 2007, the Extreme Ice Survey project is a comprehensive study evidencing climate change through photography, in which Balog and his team positioned 43 cameras in different locations around the world, recording the melting of the ice over a period of 3 years.
Presented to emphasize the rapidity at which the ice is melting, the real highlight of the film is its use of time-lapse photography. It is the very beauty of the landscape that makes this film worth watching, and yet we can see it being destroyed before our eyes. These hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds that the project takes its toll physically and emotionally, as he battles untested technology in sub-zero conditions, and comes face to face with his own mortality.
“If there was ever a film that needed to be on the big screen, this is it!”
–David Courier, Sundance Senior Programmer
To see the trailer, click here
BlackLab l UK l 2012 l 15min l Sugg. 15
A new video collage from photographers Mishka Henner and David Oates, commissioned especially for the Festival in partnership with the North East Photography Network. Piecing together representations of the photographer on film from a wealth of footage, BlackLab presents a series of well-worn clichés and humorous observations.
Photographers will be exhibited as an installation in Shoregate Ice House throughout the Festival.
Also this evening
21:00 Amit Madheshiya l India l 2012 l Projected Photographs
Berwick Watchtower l Free
Lighting the face of Berwick Watchtower will be a series of portraits from Madheshiya’s At a Tent Near You series. Capturing the joy of cinema on the faces of audience members of a travelling cinema, shot by the light of the projector, these images will themselves be projected for the first time.
We invite you to join us for a reception at Berwick Watchtower, followed by The Maltings Stage Door Bar.
The Opening Gala is sponsored by Arch and Berwick Workspace
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