Filming Polar bears - interview with Arthur C. Smith III
Arthur C. Smith III is a filmmaker who has filmed Polar bears up close like no other filmmaker before him. Being based in the Arctic has brought him right into the community of these animals where he has filmed them interacting and socialising. In this interview Arthur describes why he regards Polar Bears as being extremely intelligent and what is at stake if we do not protect these animals from man-made threats to their existence.
Ice Bears of the Beaufort (2009)
Ice Bears of the Beaufort documents a sophisticated polar bear society threatened by offshore oil & gas development on Alaska's arctic coast. In the US government's process of establishing polar bear "critical habitat" in 2009-10, this film is THE sole documentary record establishing this region as a de facto polar bear sanctuary that deserves protection. Written by Arthur C. Smith III and Jennifer A. Smith
Ice Bears of the Beaufort documents a tragedy unfolding right before the camera. With subjects oblivious to the impending loss of their arctic sanctuary, the film shows a thriving polar bear society on the edge of survival. In 2008, the State of Alaska leased for offshore oil development the very region in which this film was shot. At the same time, the federal government must designate "critical habitat" for America's polar bears, who were listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act in May, 2008. This documentary bears witness to Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast as critical polar bear habitat. Five years in the making by a single resident of an Inupiat Eskimo village, Ice Bears of the Beaufort is a color-intense, cinematic family portrait of Alaskan polar bears never before captured on film. The body of the movie chronicles polar bear activity and year-round use of the coastal and offshore areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the adjacent Beaufort Sea. Any notion that there is a time when this habitat is not used by polar bears is dispelled by Ice Bears of the Beaufort. This region of the Alaskan arctic is not a blank slate. In the context of a raging world debate, this film exposes the truth. Rendering the Beaufort Sea coast into an offshore oilfield as polar bears face climate change and receding polar ice is the greatest threat to their continued existence. If oil companies drill in the Beaufort Sea, this film will be the only work of its kind documenting what once was: an arctic eden... a polar bear sanctuary. Written by Arthur C. Smith III and Jennifer A. Smit.
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