Chilly Event with guest filmmaker to show at CHS

Featuring the movie “Antarctic Edge: 70° South,” the Carmel Public Library Foundation will be hosting a movie night at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Carmel High’s performing arts center .

The film, directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Dena Seidel, is a science-in-action feature film, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, following a renowned team of scientists studying climate change in the fastest winter-warming place in the world: the West Antarctic Peninsula.

“The film is important because it is an adventure story that features cutting edge climate field scientists in Antarctica and the film’s production also involved 14 college film students as part of a unique educational program bridging art and science,” Seidel says.

Seidel will also be at the event, and talking about the science of filmmaking, according to Amy Donohue of the Carmel Public Library Foundation.

Seidel recommends that high-schoolers come out and view the film.

“High school students should come see the film because they will be transported onto a research ship in Antarctica where scientists are racing to understand the fastest winter warming place on Earth,” Seidel says.

For the last 20 years, oceanographer Oscar Schofield and his team have witnessed rapid change in this region. Winter sea ice has declined by three months and temperatures have increased by 11 degrees Fahrenheit, six times greater than the global average. In 2014, experts declared Antarctic ice sheet melt unstoppable, placing the pressure on Schofield and his team. Their mission: to study the vulnerable wildlife populations along the West Antarctic Peninsula, particularly the Adélie penguin whose populations have declined by 90 percent.

For Schofield and his crew, these declining birds are the greatest indicator of climate change. While navigating through 60-foot waves and dangerous icebergs on a world-class icebreaker, these scientists must travel to a rugged and inhospitable island called Charcot with an arsenal of cutting-edge technology that will revolutionize how climate change is studied. There, they hope to study a fragile Adélie population living in a true polar climate.

This documentary combines innovative science, dramatic imagery and two decades of scientific collaboration into a compelling character-driven narrative. It has won 14 awards including winner of the 2015 Princeton Environmental Film Festival, 2015 International Documentary Festival and 2015 Chicago International Film Festival.

Additionally, New York Times writer Ben Kenigsberg writes that the movie “illustrates its points effectively, providing vivid evidence of how shrinking ice at the South Pole affects climates across the globe.”

“‘Antarctic Edge: 70° South’ takes viewers to a spot where surveying is so scarce that the destinations may diverge from their locations on a map,” Kenigsberg says.

The NSF believes this documentary is also a teaching tool for aspiring film students.

“Under the guidance of researchers and filmmakers, Rutgers undergraduates are fusing science and art into a story with broad appeal,” says the NSF.

Again, the movie will be shown at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and the program is free and open to the general public. Seats are first come, first served, and the running time is approximately 72 minutes.

Seidel is looking forward to presenting her film to the Carmel community.

-Ryan Lin