Queen without Land
Director: Asgeir Helgestad
Country of Origin: Norway
This is a true story on the meeting between Frost, a beautiful polar bear mother, and Asgeir Helgestad, a Norwegian wildlife filmmaker. It is a four-year journey on Svalbard. Rising temperatures, are responsible for dramatic changes in Frost’s ecosystem as the ice is melting at record speed. From complete darkness to the absolute light of the midnight sun, Svalbard transforms from a cold and inhospitable place to the most joyous and lively scenery for ice algae, fish, birds and animals. But alongside these seasonal transformations, the disappearing sea ice forces life to new limits. Fjords that were once full of ice and seals, get abandoned pushing Frost further away. Asgeir is determined to find her and document all that is being lost, but his task is far from easy. This film explores the question “this planet is home to all of us, can we afford to ignore it?”
Climate change is one of biggest challenges we will be facing in the years to come. Making a gloomy, doomsday film that will make most people feel disempowered and awkward is easy. I choose to show how wonderful and fragile is the world we are about to lose. The viewers will encounter individuals who experience climate change on their skin. I want to bring to the forth what has already happened in the Arctic and what are the future risks we are facing. The underlying question is: what will happen if we do not act now? It is really serious but not without hope or alternatives. I want to make a beautiful and strong film that celebrates life and nature flourishing at the most extreme conditions. Animals in the Arctic are adapted to survive the harshest weather and absolute darkness. But they may not survive the changes caused by humans. The more one experiences and learns about climate change, the more the patterns of change become obvious. With this film, I want to have the viewers with me; feeling, experiencing and participating in what takes place in the Arctic. By showing how interconnected all the creatures of the ecosystem are, from the magnificent polar bears, whales and walruses to the tiny microscopic plankton and crustaceans, we will come to realize the fine balance we are disturbing without easy way back. I want to offer no simple answers, but allow the viewers to see and explore through my eyes and think for themselves. By avoiding didactic and normative interpretations, this film is an insightful reflection on man’s place on earth and an homage to life. It is a subtle call to arms for nature protection and advocacy.
Producer: Asgeir Helgestad
Writers: Anne Elvedal and Asgeir Helgestad
Music: Julian Cisneros