Chasing Ice
2012 • USA • 74 Mins
Directed by: Jeff Orlowski

For Canadian cinema dates, click SCREENINGS below.

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Enter the category for this item: SYNOPSIS
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In the spring of 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth's changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.


CHASING ICE is directed by Jeff Orlowski, cinematographer for the Extreme Ice Survey, and an award-winning filmmaker. A graduate of Stanford University, he has been working with Balog since 2007 and has shot over 300 hours of footage of EIS in the field. His work for EIS has screened on NBC, CNN, PBS, National Geographic, and hundreds of other venues around the world, including a multi-year installation at the Denver International Airport.

The film is produced by Paula DuPre' Pesmen, the winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary and 2010 Producers Guild of America 'Producer of the Year' for her role on The Cove. She has also served as producer on three Harry Potter films, Rent, and Mrs. Doubtfire. The film is also produced by Jerry Aronson, nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary The Divided Trail, and the director of The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, which also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has won over 250 international awards.

The writer, Mark Monroe, won the Writers Guild of America (WGA) award for Best Documentary in 2010 for his work on The Cove. His credits also include The Tillman Story, the WGA nominated film Once in a Lifetime, and through his company Diamond Docs, he worked on We Live In Public. Film composer J. Ralph is well known for his documentary work including the scores to the back to back Academy Award® winning films The Cove and Man on a Wire as well as the autism documentary Wretches and Jabberers by Oscar® winning director Gerrardine Wurzburg. His most recent film projects include 2011's Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Hell and Back Again, for which J. Ralph wrote and produced the score, sound design and end title song "Hell and Back" performed by Willie Nelson and the score for Chasing Ice premiering at this year's 2012 Sundance film festival.

Davis Coombe, the editor, received an Academy Award nomination for his short documentary The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner and he just won an Academy Award for the film Saving Face Saving Face.
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Enter the category for this item: HIGH REZ IMAGES


Chasing Ice

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Photo Credit © Michael Brown/Extreme Ice Survey

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Chasing Ice Director: Jeff Orlowski - Photo Credit © James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey

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EIS field assistant, Adam LeWinter on NE rim of Birthday Canyon, atop feature called "Moab". Greenland Ice Sheet, July 2009. Black deposit in bottom of channel is cryoconite. Birthday Canyon is approximately 150 feet deep. Photograph by James Balog, © 2009 James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey

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Scouting Survey Canyon. James Balog on left, Jeff Orlowski on right. Greenland Ice Sheet, June 2009. Photograph by Adam LeWinter/Extreme Ice Survey © 2009 Extreme Ice Survey

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James Balog with icebergs at Ilulissat Isfjord, UNESCO World Heritage site, Disko Bay Greenland. Photograph by Adam LeWinter/Extreme Ice Survey, © 2009 Extreme Ice Survey

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James Balog hangs off cliff by Columbia Glacier, Alaska to install time-lapse camera. Photograph by Tad Pfeffer/Extreme Ice Survey © 2007 Extreme Ice Survey

Enter the category for this item: PRESS KIT
Enter the category for this item: SCREENINGS


Starlight Cinema, Stouffville, Ontario (Film Circuit)
January 29, 2015


HotDocs, Toronto: Wed, May 2 3:00 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 - Buy Tickets
HotDocs, Toronto: Thu, May 3 7:30 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 - Buy Tickets

The Very Best Of Hot Docs, Vancouver
Friday, June 22, 2012 @ 6:30pm (Skyped Q&A session with James Balog following screening)

Gimli Film Festival, Winnipeg
July 25 - 29, 2012

Calgary International Film Festival
Monday, Sep. 24, 07:30pm @ Eau Claire Cineplex - Screen 5

Planet in Focus (Toronto)
Oct. 14, 2012 @ 7pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox

New West Doc Festival, 2012
Oct 21, 2012

2012 Festival of Moving Media, Guelph
Nov 1 - 4, 2012

Fifth Avenue, (Festival Cinemas) Vancouver
Opens Nov 16, 2012

Plaza Theatre, Calgary
Opens Nov 16, 2012

Broadway Theatre, Saskatoon
Nov 24 - 29, 2012

Available Light Cinema, Yukon
Nov 25, 2012 @ 6:00pm
(Screening sponsor: Northern Climate ExChange: Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College)

Princess Cinema, Waterloo
Nov 26 - 30, 2012

Kingston Screening Room
Nov 16 - 22, 2012

Carlton Cinema, Toronto
Starts Nov 23, 2012 - Must Close Dec 6, 2012

Globe Cinema, Winnipeg
Starts Nov 30, 2012 - Must Close Dec 6, 2012

First Friday Film Festival, Antigonish International Film Festival Society, Nova Scotia
Dec 7, 2012

TIFF/ Bell Lightbox Toronto
(Purchase Tickets Online)
Opens Nov 9, 2012

Winnipeg, Towne, Winnipeg
Starts Dec 7, 2012 - Must Close Dec 13

Bytowne Cinema, Ottawa
Dec 7 - 11, 2012

Hyland Cinema, London
Opens Dec 7, 2012

Revue Cinema, Toronot
Dec 11 & 12, 2012

Fox Theatre, Toronto
Dec 13 & 14, 2012

Rainbow Cinemas, Sudbury
Opens Dec 21, 2012

Astro Theatre, Iqaluit, Nunavut
Opens Dec 21, 2012

Brandon Film Festival, Manitoba (Film Circuit)
Jan 4 - 6, 2013

Cineceta, Victoria
Jan 8 -10, 2013

Cinema du Parc, Montreal
Opens Jan 11, 2013

Mountain View Film Group, Olds, AB (Film Circuit)
Jan 13, 2013

Bookshelf Cinema, Guelph
Starts Jan 13, 2013

Princess Cinema, Waterloo
Return Engagement: Jan 13, 16 & 17, 2013

Paramount Theatre, Thunder Bay (Environmental Film Network)
Jan 16, 2013 - 7:30pm

Reel Movie Monday, Red Deer, AB (Film Circuit)
Jan 21, 2013

The Vogue Cinema, Sackville, NB
Jan 21, 2013 @ 7pm

Capitol Theatre, Nelson, BC (Fliks)
Jan 23, 2013

Reframe Peterborough Film Festival, 2012
Jan 25 - 27, 2013

Friday Flicks, Quadra Island Film Society (Film Circuit)
Jan 25, 2013

Le Coeur des sciences, Montréal, QC
Jan 29, 2013
*The screening will be followed by with Louis Fortier, biologist and oceanography specialist at Laval University. Founder of Quebec-Ocean, he is also the scientific director of ArcticNet, and participated to several international programs on Arctic Research.

Bytowne Cinema, Ottawa
Feb 2 - 3, 2013 (Encore Screenings)

Fernie District Arts Council, BC (Film Circuit)
Feb 4, 2013

Kingsway Theatre, Toronto
Starts Nov 23, 2012

Langham Cultural Centre, Kaslo, BC (Fliks)
Feb 1, 2013

The Screen One Film Series, Barrie (Film Circuit)
Feb 1 - 3, 2013

Festival Film Series, Shaw Festival, Niagara on the Lake (Film Circuit)
Feb 8, 2013

Monday Night at the Movies, Blairmore, AB (Film Circuit)
- Feb 11, 2013

Hanover/ Walkerton, Victoria Jubilee Hall (Film Circuit)
Feb 15, 2013

Projection Booth, Toronto
Feb 15 - 21, 2013

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
Feb 16th: 3:00pm

Nakusp, BC (Fliks)
Feb18, 2013

City Cinema, Charlottetown
Feb 19, 2013

Bookshelf Cinema, Guelph (Return Engagement)
Feb 19, 20, 23, 24, & 27

Powell River Film Festival, Powell River, BC (Film Circuit)
Feb 21, 2013

Quesnel Film Club, Quesnel, BC (Film Circuit)
Feb 21, 2013

Cineceta, Victoria (Return Engagement)
Feb. 24, 25, 26, 2013

Shadows of the Mind Film Festival, Sault Ste. Marie
Feb 27 - March 1, 2013

Global Visions Film Festival, 2012 (Edmonton)
Feb 28 - March 4, 2013

Foothills Films, High River, AB (Film Circuit)
Feb 28, 2013

Canfor Theatre, Prince George, BC
Feb 28, 2013, Doors at 7, film starts at 7:30

Carbon Arc, Halifax
March 1, 2013

Global Visions Film Festival, Metro Cinema at the Garneau, Edmonton
March 1 @ 6pm, 2013

Quinte Film Alternative Belleville, ON
March 1, 2013

Carbon Arc Cinema, Halifax
March 2, 2013

Salt Springs Documentary Film Festival, BC
March 1 - 3, 2013

Owen Sound Film Festival
March 2 - 3, 2013

Nelson Kreko Film Series, Elliott Lake, ON (Film Circuit)
March 3, 2013

Innis Town Hall, Toronto (University of Toronto)
March 5, 2013

Ajax Film Circuit, Cineplex Odeon Ajax (Film Circuit)
March 6, 2013

Best of Planet in Focus Film Festival, Yukon Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
March 22, 2013

Cambridge Galleries Cineseries, Galaxy Cambridge (Film Circuit)
March 7, 2013

Vernon Film Festival, Vernon Film Society, BC (Film Circuit)
- March 8 - 14, 2013

Princess Cinema, Waterloo (Return Engagement)
March 10 - 12, 2013

Smithers, BC
March 14, 2013

Lethbridge Film Festival, BC (Film Circuit)
March 18, 2013

Bloor Cinema, Toronto, ON
March 19 & 25, 2013

Metro Cinema, Edmonton, AB
March 16 - 21, 2013

Winnipeg Cinematheque
March 20, 21, 2013

FAST FORWARD Enviro Film Fest, Erin, On
March 20, 21, 2013

CVAG Film Series, Courtenay, BC (Film Circuit)
March 24, 2013

Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB
March 26, 2013

Kelowna Film Society, BC (Film Circuit)
March 27, 2013

Cranbrook Film Festival (Film Circuit)
April 4 - 6, 2013

Kamloops Film Society, BC (Film Circuit)
April 4, 2013

Bytowne Cinema, Ottawa, ON (Return Engagement)
April 7 & 8, 2013

Cineceta, Victoria, BC (Return Engagement)
April 7 - 8, 2013

Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC
April 11 @ 7pm, 2013

Star Cinema, Sidney BC
Starts April 12, 2013

Those Other Movies, Haliburton, ON (Film Circuit)
April 13, 2013

North of Superior Film Association, Thunder Bay, ON
April 14, 2013

ViewFinders, Atlantic Film - 2013
April 14 - 20, 2013

Monday Night at the Movies, Medicine Hat, AB (Film Circuit)
April 15, 2013

Far Out East Cinema, Moncton, NB
April 16 & 17, 2013

Quest University, Squamish, BC
April 16, 2013
Doors open at 6:30pm, film at 7pm
Located in the MPR room, underneath the cafeteria
Admission by donation

Wildsight Kimberley, BC
April 19, 2013 - McKim Theatre, 7:30

City Cinema, Charlottetown, PEI
April 19 - 21, 2013

Saskatchewan Eco Network Film Festival, The Roxy Theatre, Saskatoon, Sk
7pm, April19, 2013

Wildsight Cranbrook, BC
April 21, 2013 - Key City Theatre, 7:30

Fundraiser for Citizens Climate Lobby, Council Chambers, North York Civic Centre, Toronto, ON
7pm, Apr 22, 2013

University of Calgary Continuing Education, Downtown Campus
April 22, 2013

Gorge Cinema, Elora, ON
April 21 - 23, 2013

Canmore Movies, Canmore, BC
April 23 - 26, 2013

Wildsight Golden, BC
April 25, 2013 - Golden Theatre, 7:00

Northumberland Film Sundays, Coburg, ON (Film Circuit)
April 28, 2013

Regina Public Library, SK
May 2 - 5, 2013

Winnipeg Cinematheque, MB
May 3, 4 and 10, 2013 (Return Engagement)

Bloor Cinema, Toronto, ON
May 7 & 21, 2013

Fundy Film, Wolfville, NS (Film Circuit)
May 8, 2013

Yoga by Sarah, St. Catherines, ON
May 10 @ 7pm, 2013

SJR Global Issues Summit, Manitoba, BC
May 21, 2013

Church of the Redeemer, Toronto, ON
(CHASING ICE - a movie to move your spirit)
May 28 @ 7pm, 2013

Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC
April 29 &30 @ 7pm, 2013 (Return Engagement)

Encore Mews, Oakville, ON
July 29, 2013

Aquafest, Grand Bend, ON
August 9 & 10, 2013 (8:45pm Approx)

Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
Bruneau Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland
August 13, 7pm, 2013

Spinning Reels (Film Circuit) Bracebridge, ON
September 23, 2013

Monday Night Movies in Tofino, Tofino, BC
September 23, 2013

Spinning Reels (Film Circuit), Bracebridge, ON
September 23 to October 4, 2013

Doc North Film Festival, North Bay, ON
September 27, 2013

Association of Whistler Area Residents, Whistler, BC
October 2, 2013

Architectural Institute of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
October 23 - 26, 2013

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
November 23, 2013

Enter the category for this item: REVIEWS


Hey Bill O'Reilly, You're Busted! Fan Watches Chasing Ice and Now Understands Global Warming Is Real (VIDEO)
- Huffington Post

"The opponents of the theory of global warming often seem to be financed by the fossil fuel industries. The "green" teams looking into such energy sources as solar, wind and nuclear are often ridiculed. Watch "Chasing Ice" and see if you laugh."
- Roger Ebert, SunTimes

"Pictures from ground zero of climate change"
- Macleans

"Environmental doc doesn’t preach"
- WE Vancouver

"Chasing Ice director Jeff Orlowski: climate change is “pretty damn definitive”
- Georgia Straight (Interview)

"a stunning portrait of glacial melt in the high Arctic, with an undeniable subtext"
- Vancouver Sun

"Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet"
- Sierra Club BC

"stunning scenes of hiking the ice to set up the cameras, men rappelling down into deep cravasses, video of a chunk of glacier the size of Manhattan breaking off and finally, at the Copenhagen climate change summit, the time-lapse evidence."
- Vancouver Observer

"one of the best (and most important) environmental documentaries you’ll probably ever see."
- Toronto Film Scene

"Chasing Ice might just send you in a transformative new direction."
- The Screening Room

"Balog forces you to think."
- The Square

"You can’t deny it.” No doubt – the iceman cometh"
- Globe and Mail

"'Chasing Ice': Time-Lapse Cameras Capture Rapidly Melting Glaciers"
- Yahoo News
"it would be a mistake to miss the film. It’s rare that movies about issues such as global warming are this informative, visually beautiful, and entertaining. See it before the world ends."
- Dork Shelf

"With the destructive power of Superstorm Sandy still hobbling parts of the Caribbean and eastern U.S., the timing couldn’t be better for the release of Hot Docs audience-award winner Chasing Ice, about writer-photographer James Balog’s pulse-taking environmental project on shrinking glaciers."
- Toronto Star

"“It’s the same thing with climate change. The fearmongers are telling us we need the fossil fuel industry for a healthy economy… but without securing the safety of the planet we live on, we’re risking more than the economy, we’re risking our survival.”"
- National Post

"The achievement of Orlowski’s film is that it allows us to share in his vision."
- The Grid

"images of Manhattan-sized glaciers folding over are not just breathtaking but desperately deserving of our attention"
- NOW Magazine

"‘I never saw myself as an activist’ Chasing Ice filmmaker Orlowski talks about his shift on climate change as Sandy’s devastation hits home"
- National Post

CHASING ICE awarded NYTimes Critic's Pick!
- New York Times

5 Stars! "amazingly beautiful, and amazingly frightening"
- NY Daily News

"Superstorm Sandy a ‘wake-up call,’ says former climate change skeptic James Balog"
- Toronto Star

"Frigid temperatures, blizzards no match for filmmaker Jeff Orlowski"
- Metro

"‘CHASING ICE’ doc opens in Toronto"
- Film Army

"'Chasing Ice' Director Chases Truth"
- Press + 1

"Opening Nov. 9 against Skyfall (chasing spies) and Lincoln (chasing slavery) is Chasing Ice, a new documentary directed by Jeff Orlowski, and featuring award-winning environmental photographer James Balog."
- National Post

"In one of many candid scenes, Balog talks about the “tension between the huge enduring power of these glaciers, and their fragility.” His hope is that Chasing Ice’s imagery will move the rest of us enough to embrace a solution."
- Alternatives Journal

Chasing Ice: Telling the story of our changing climate through photography
- WWF Canada Blog

"a powerful and thought-provoking eco-doc that proves without a doubt the negative impact humans have caused on the environment and begs us to take action without heavy-handed tactics. As Balog stated in the film, "the story is in the ice."
- Exclaim

Closing night film this year is Chasing Ice, an award-winning documentary from Jeff Orlowski. National Geographic photographer James Balog, the subject of the film, will be present to receive the festival’s International Eco Hero Award.
- Toronto Sun

"This inspiring evening includes the presentation of the ESRI Canada-sponsored International Eco Hero Award to James Balog, the Festival Awards presentation, the screening of Chasing Ice and a post-screening party at Hotel Ocho"
- The Grid

"Chasing Ice” to close Planet in Focus fest"
- Real Screen

"This quietly jarring documentary about National Geographic photographer James Balog’s work explores the challenge of bringing climate change into focus"
- Alternatives Journal

"2009 photo released by Extreme Ice Survey shows photographer James Balog rappelling into Survey Canyon in Greenland during the filming of Chasing Ice."
- The Province

"The most important film of the year.”
- Chris Columbus, Director and Producer

"This is the climate change film we've been waiting for."
- Caroline Libresco, Sundance Senior Programmer

"If there was ever a film that needed to be on the big screen, this is it!"
- David Courier, Sundance Senior Programmer