Will Steger made headlines in 1989 as he trekked with six international explorers of the frozen of Antarctica to raise awareness of the continent and global warming. Decades later, documentarian Tasha Van Zandt retells his story to remind us of his accomplishments and followed a similar journey in the Arctic in After Antarctica.
Here’s the official synopsis:
In 1989, an international crew of six explorers and scientists set out to be the first humans to cross Antarctica by dog-sled. Their mission: to draw attention to a rapidly changing Antarctica and convince world leaders to renew the Antarctic Treaty, which would shield the frozen continent from industrial profiteers for the next 50 years.
Now, as the expedition’s leader, Will Steger, ventures out into the Arctic tundra—this time age 75 and solo—he recounts that historic, death-defying journey. Through riveting verite archival footage that brings the past alive, After Antarctica is a wilderness thriller pinning us to the end of our seats as it immerses us in the danger and tension Steger and his team faced at every turn.
Now, septuagenarian Steger treks into one more vast expanse, this time at the opposite end of the Earth, as his reflections in the present crystallize into a profound cinematic memoir, a meditation on mortality, and a eulogy for the ice.
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LRM Online’s Gig Patta talked with award-winning filmmaker Tash Van Zandt on blending old Antarctica expedition footage with Will Steger’s new footage in the Arctic. We discussed about the explorer, his life now, and the importance of his journey.
Tasha Van Zandt is a globally focused director, cinematographer, and Emmy-nominated producer, who has travelled to all seven continents. Her work has been commissioned by TIME Magazine, The Guardian, PBS, Netflix, HBO, and VICE. In collaboration with artist JR, the film One Thousand Stories screened in festivals and museums around the world. Her short documentary film Tehachapi in co-directing with JR, premiered this year at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
After Antarctica is the closing night film of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. It is available to stream on Friday, May 21 through Sunday, May 23.
Watch the exclusive interview with director Tasha Van Zandt for After Antarctica below. Let us know what you think.