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Science North celebrates Arctic film's world premiere

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 07, 2014 - 2:16 PM |
Wonders of the Arctic 3D has its world premiere at Science North March 6. Among those attending the premiere were Science North CEO Guy Labine (left) and the film's producer, director and writer, David Lickley. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Wonders of the Arctic 3D has its world premiere at Science North March 6. Among those attending the premiere were Science North CEO Guy Labine (left) and the film's producer, director and writer, David Lickley. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Wonders of the Arctic 3D focuses on impact of climate change

Although he spent six years working on “Wonders of the Arctic 3D,” the film's producer, director and writer, David Lickley, said the project actually came down to the last minute.

“If they give you another month, you'll take it,” he said, joking that the film was “so hot the projectionist had to wear gloves” at its world premiere, which was held March 6 at Science North.

The $4 million IMAX film, which opens to the public at Science North on March 7, was produced by the science centre in conjunction with Lickley and Giant Screen Films out of Chicago.

It will be distributed in more than 100 theatres around the world over the next two years.

The 42-minute film, which focuses on what climate change is doing to the Arctic environment, and the impact on the animals and people who live there, is the fifth IMAX film Science North has produced.

Historically, more than half of the Arctic Ocean was covered by ice year-round, Lickley said.

In the past 50 years, that ice cover has been reduced by nearly 70 per cent, and it is predicted that within 15 years, there could be a completely ice-free Arctic during some months of the year, he said.

The ice is a crucial hunting platform for both animals such as polar bears and the Inuit people.

People are going to love the film because it's “visually stunning,” and takes them to places they're unlikely to ever visit, Lickley said. It also educates audiences about the impact of climate change without preaching, he said.

Lickley said he's an animal lover, and enjoyed being close to animals such as polar bears and whales “in those wild, wild places.”

What impacted him the most, however, was the time he spent with the Inuit people.

“You got a sense of how just resilient and tough and Arctic-centric they really are,” he said.

“These are people that have been in the Arctic for thousands of years. It is the toughest place to live you can imagine on this planet, and yet they don't just live there, they love it, and they thrive up there.

“That impressed me, just how much the Arctic is the Inuit homeland.”

Science North CEO Guy Labine said he thinks the film is spectacular. “It's some of the best footage that I think David has captured,” he said. “It's a great story.”

The film drew rave reviews from those attending the premiere.

“I thought the images were gorgeous,” said local filmmaker David Anselmo, the CEO of Hideaway Pictures. “Everybody involved really captured the beauty of the Arctic. I was glad to be able to see it first with everybody else here tonight.”

Dr. Lyne Giroux said she was “shocked” to learn how much the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is changing.

She said the film's footage was “amazing” and really gave her a sense of what it's like for people who live in the region and experience the impact of climate change.

“It was really a great experience,” Giroux said.

The premiere also included a sneak peek at Arctic Voices, the new exhibition Science North has created in conjunction with the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa to complement the film.

The exhibition, which also opens to the public March 7, features the Arctic's animal and plant life, information about climate change and the traditional art of throat singing.

Arctic Voices will be on display at Science North until Sept. 1, at which time it will begin its international tour, opening at the Canadian Museum of Nature on Dec. 5.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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