Al Gore won an Oscar with a documentary that used bar graphs and pie charts to illustrate climate change and the fate of the Earth. "Chasing Ice" goes beyond the data and the diagrams to document the disappearance of the world's glaciers with time-lapse photography.
James Balog is a noted nature photographer who has been capturing the grandeur of glaciers and ice since 2007. He started the Extreme Ice Survey the same year, which is considered to be the most wide-ranging photographic study of glaciers. What started as a video record of Balog and his team's excursions, instead turned into "Chasing Ice," a chronicling of the effort to capture and consolidate time-lapse photos over months and years of the vanishing ice flows and glaciers.
The composite images, which are made up of still photographs taken every hour or so over the course of months, are stunning in both the vista depicted and the undeniable evidence that the glaciers are shrinking.
Balog and "Chasing Ice" director Jeff Orlowski both made it very clear that this film was not intended as a political statement.
SOUNDBITE: Jeff Orlowski, "Chasing Ice" director, saying:
"That wasn't the goal, but based on the response to the film, based on how much people are resonating with it. We're really curious to see how far it can go to influence this issue. I think we both have projects we want to work on but feel a responsibility to take "Chasing Ice" out there as far as possible."
But if the documentary does have an impact on the political discussion, Balog argues that climate change debate needs to rise above partisan lines.
SOUNDBITE: James Balog, photographer, saying:
"This is a universal issue that has profound implications for the health and well being and safety of everyone on the planet. We can't avoid it, we have to deal with it."
"Chasing Ice" has made its mark on the festival circuit, winning the audience award for best documentary at SXSW and the documentary cinematography award at the Sundance Film Festival. The film continues its release to big screens in the U.S through November, with a national rollout to follow.