Nate von Zumwalt, Editorial Coordinator
Leading up to the 85th edition of the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, we’re profiling all 13 of this year’s Sundance-supported Oscar nominees. Click here for the full list of nominees.
In a Best Documentary category inhabited by five merited (and, in the spirit of transparency, Sundance-supported) nominees, director Jeff Orlowski’s rousing debut documentary feature Chasing Ice is curiously missing. Instead, the film will be represented at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony by composer J.Ralph for his original song “Before My Time,” which features Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell.
Terse but comprehensive in its 80-minute runtime, Chasing Ice tracks renowned photographer James Balog’s ambitious efforts to gather visual evidence of the Earth’s melting glaciers with time-lapse photography. Balog, originally a skeptic of climate change, deploys customized cameras across the Arctic to provide the first-ever depiction and most palpable example of mankind’s indelible carbon footprint. Orlowski and Balog fashion this footage into a stunning tableau marked by nuanced editing and, ultimately, an implicit call to action. Chasing Ice captivates with its stunning imagery, progresses with the excitement of an adventure tale, and closes with a sobering final act—a damning depiction of how our negligence is rapidly crippling our environment.
- “Before My Time” by J. Ralph is nominated for Best Original Song. This is his first Academy Award nomination.
- Chasing Ice premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and took home the Excellence in Cinematography Award.
- Chasing Ice screened at the first-ever Sundance London in April 2012.