Greenland is the world’s largest island, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Like the Faroe Islands, it is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Two film crews explore the spectacular wilderness of the Arctic. The people who live there face dramatic changes.
Part two takes viewers from East Greenland to Alaska. The region around the North Pole is one of the greatest and least-known wildernesses in the world – and it’s rapidly changing due to global warming. 350 people, most of them Inuit, live in Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland. The nearest settlement is on neighboring Iceland. Almost 800 kilometers of Arctic Ocean separate the two islands. The film team accompanies an Inuit family through Scoresby Sound, a fjord system on the eastern coast of Greenland.
They travel hundreds of kilometers in small boats through pack ice, passing icebergs as high as skyscrapers. On the way they meet whalers who are hunting for narwhals in summer. In this Inuit culture, narwhal skin and polar bear goulash have ensured survival for thousands of years. Greenpeace and WWF activists want to stop whaling and polar bear hunting – but this poses a threat to the indigenous way of life on Greenland.
On the expedition through the world’s largest fjord system, the team learns about the consequences of global warming: melting permafrost and a rapid increase in greenhouse gases. The changes are worrying. Some say they have brought benefits to the far north — the ice breaks up earlier and so too does the hunting season. However, the risks outweigh this benefit. The knowledge and way of life that have been passed down from generation to generation may soon be unsustainable.
Between 1870 and 1973, the entire polar bear population of Svalbard was almost eradicated through hunting—almost 30,000 were killed. Today, polar bear numbers are climbing, but they face a new threat: climate change. And with the Arctic warming at a rate that’s twice as fast as elsewhere, the situation is becoming critical.
On Sept. 15, 2020, Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent — the second-lowest on record. This summer, temperatures soared in the Siberian Arctic, and intense fires burned through peatland. The Arctic region is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet.
“Under Thin Ice”. World Premiere at the 2020 WCFF. Natalie Dubois, Producer and Denis Blaquiere, Director.
The Arctic is a majestic world, home to wildlife rarely seen in the south: bowhead whales, polar bears, narwhals, walrus, seals, zooplankton, algae. At the end of each spring, after long months of darkness, the sun shines for 24 hours a day and all living species gather at the floe edge — where ice meets open ocean — for a feeding frenzy. But global warming is threatening this ecosystem. Temperatures are rising and the ice sheet is melting at an alarming rate. In the last 40 years, more than 75% of the summer ice cover has disappeared.
Diving with whales, walruses and polar bears, Jill and Mario bring viewers into a majestic underwater world trying to adapt to ice loss and climate change. Viewers will travel on ice floes with Jill and Mario to Tallurutiup Imanga (also known as Lancaster Sound) in Nunavut, Canada, where they will dive with belugas and narwhals in the open Arctic Ocean. They will follow them to Greenland’s Disko Bay to explore the underside of icebergs and discover the luminescent world of algae. Back to Canada in the Naujaat region, they will swim with walruses and polar bears, the supreme predators of the Arctic. Filmed in stunning 4K, Under Thin Ice brings viewers into an awe-inspiring underwater world threatened by melting ice and rapid climate change.
The WCFF mission is to inform, engage and inspire wildlife conservation through the power of film and media.
The 10th annual WCFF in New York, NY will be a virtual event October 1-31. This is due to COVID-19 restrictions. New York State and the City of New York have not allowed movie theaters to reopen. Each day of the virtual festival will have LiveChats where the audience can interact with filmmakers, conservationists and scientists.
Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Arctic sea ice is under attack from above and below—not only from warming air, but also dangerous hot blobs of ocean water.
Next, Damien Fordham, a professor and global change ecologist at the University of Adelaide, talks about how new tools for digging into the past are helping catalog what happened to biodiversity and ecosystems during different climate change scenarios in the past. These findings can help predict the fate of modern ecosystems under today’s human-induced climate change. And in our books segment, Kiki Sanford talks with author Carl Bergstrom about his new book: Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World.