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An Antarctic Summer


No one gets to the Antarctic by accident. Conjured out of dreams, Antarctica is only arrived at by will - and with what a friend calls ?a bit of ice in the head.? So how does the reality measure up to the dream? ?An Antarctic Summer? is an ambitious feature-length documentary film that will be ready for broadcast during the International Polar Year (2007-09). The film follows a group of scientists through endless summer days on the frozen continent as they research climate change. It explores what dreams drove these scientists to the bottom of the world, and what ?bit of ice in the head? keeps them working there. It focuses on how their dreams have been transformed by life on the Ice. A handful of strong characters drive the narrative structure which will revolve around how scientific knowledge and Antarctic lore are passed down from old hands to first-time Antarcticans. Anne Aghion and her crew will spend four months living with scientists and students, enduring the same beautiful but harsh conditions. This exposure to the characters and to the elements will put her in a unique position to convey to the audience the strange relationship of scientists down South to time, space, routine, isolation, each other and themselves. By dwelling on the interaction between the scientists and their surroundings, the seemingly unchanging world that is Antarctica will take its place as a full-fledged character in the film. We want to allow viewers to truly sense the atmosphere of the continent, and to feel the emotions linked to the extraordinary shock of scale. The film is co-produced by ARTE as a Grand Format. European TV executives, including from BBC Storyville, have expressed interest. We are working on pre-buys from Switzerland, Belgium, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. We have secured access to Antarctica for 16 weeks through the U.S. National Science Foundation. The film will air in the U.S. on Sundance Channel. There will be a website and outreach campaigns.

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