Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Beneath the Polar Sun: Documentary Film Screening and Discussion

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

6:30 pm screening<br /> 8:00 pm Q&A with Professor Horvat and the filmmakers

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street

Please note: the screening and discussion will be both in person and virtual.

Join us for a discussion with Christopher Horvat, assistant professor of environment and society at Brown, Diana Kushner and Stephen Smith, directors of Beneath the Polar Sun.

Popcorn will be provided on site!

If you're interested in joining us virtually:

“Stunning and transporting…”
Jon Gertner, author of The Ice at the End of the World

“Generates a visceral, visual and unforgettable emotional response, deep inside the bones.”
Jon Turk, author of Crocodiles and Ice: A Journey into Deep Wild

“An up-close and personal journey that gives a true sense of the stark beauty and vastness of the fastest changing place on Earth.”
Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s “Quirks & Quarks”

Beneath the Polar Sun...pulls at your heart...a wake-up call on the essential role of Arctic snow and ice in balancing our climate.”
Alex Trebek, host of “Jeopardy!”

About the Film

Forty years of satellite surveys have shown the Arctic’s “Last Ice Area” to be the holdout for the world’s oldest and thickest ice floes. Less than 500 nautical miles from the North Pole, this is the area of the Arctic where sea ice has been predicted to endure the longest, where ocean waters should remain frozen through the summer melt seasons of the 21st century. Meanwhile, the actual state of the region’s sea ice remains poorly understood.

Christopher Horvat, assistant professor of environment and society at Brown, sets out into this High Arctic wilderness to evaluate conditions on the ground. Chris is a polar oceanographer whose research and teaching examine changes to polar regions and their impacts on people and climate. BENEATH THE POLAR SUN  provided his first experience on a self-contained Arctic expedition. Chris's background and knowledge, largely drawn from satellite or model data, are put to the test in this first-hand encounter with how little we truly know about the rapidity of polar change. Beneath the Polar Sun tells the story of this journey, and explores the role of the Arctic Ocean in regulating global climate.

Diana Kushner has been an organic farmer since the 1990s. When she started her life as a farmer, the natural environment seemed fairly stable. Now, in a changing climate, growing food has become more challenging. Three expeditions to the Far North have given Diana insights into how changes happening there are directly impacting upon her life as a farmer.

Stephen Smith has been exploring the Far North since the late 1970s. A field biologist, he was involved in polar wildlife research for three decades. He has organized and led more than 60 expeditions in the High Arctic. He has directed three feature documentaries that turn a spotlight onto a changing Arctic, including Vanishing Point (finalist: Best Feature Documentary, 2014 Canadian Screen Awards).