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Days of Ice - Polar Film Festival

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Lumière Cinemas

26 Rolleston Avenue

Christchurch, Canterbury 8013

New Zealand

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The second annual Polar Film Festival touches down in Ōtautahi Christchurch from Saturday 10 October.

About this Event

The second annual Polar Film Festival begins in Ōtautahi Christchurch on Saturday 10 October and runs over two weekends at Lumiere Cinema at The Arts Centre of Christchurch.

Presenting a curated collection of polar-themed films, documentaries and shorts - the Festival is a partnership between The Explorers Club, the Christchurch Antarctic Office and ChristchurchNZ and explores the history and grandeur of Earth’s polar regions as well as the environmental challenges they are facing.

Ōtautahi Christchurch is proud to be one of only five cities Antarctic Gateway cities in the world and every Spring we celebrate our unique connections with Antarctica through ten days of events and activities called “Days of Ice”.

The films will screen on Saturday 10 October, as well as Saturday 17 October and Sunday 18 October.


  • Colder than Ice (47 min)
  • ICEolation (30 min)
  • Permafrost now (10 min)
  • Te Wharkairo (14min)
  • How the Narwhal got its Tusk (10 min)

SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER (122 min )

  • The Distant Island (90 min)
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut (4 min)
  • Antarctica and Beyond (15 min)
  • Coring for Climate (13 min)

SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER (121 min)

  • Wings (49 min)
  • Salvage (56 min)
  • Love Story (13 min)
  • Two Breathes (3 min)

Full detail on films below. To find more Days of Ice events, visit daysofice.co.nz.


Colder than Ice

In early 2001 a kiwi team created some Antarctic history by completing the first extended sea kayak journey in Antarctica. This showing of “Colder than Ice” celebrates the 20th anniversary of the expedition and documents the challenges of paddling a coastline dominated by ice cliffs and frozen water. Expedition team member, Marcus Waters from the Antarctic Heritage Trust, will introduce the film and an expedition that, after 20 years, still holds the record for the longest sea kayak journey in Antarctica.


Two People, two weeks, two kayaks. Sophie and Ewan took a journey beyond wilderness, a self-supported journey via sea kayak to connect with an uninhabited land of ice and penguins. The film takes you with them on their journey from the preparations of planning such an expedition, through the challenges and riding the highs of Antarctica.

Permafrost Now

Every year the Woods Hole Research Center sends a dozen students to study permafrost in the vast polar tundra of the Arctic. Across the globe, permafrost acts as a giant container for carbon dioxide, locking it inside the Earth’s surface and keeping it out of our atmosphere. But only when it’s frozen. Scientists know that permafrost is rapidly thawing, threatening to release enormous amounts of CO2 that could accelerate the effects of climate change drastically. In order to fully understand what’s happening to permafrost and advance the next generation of scientists, the Woods Hole Research Center’s Polaris Project discovers through meticulously research the behaviors of permafrost, work on potential solutions and strive to find a way to “science the shit” out of this issue.

Te Whakairo

Two talented carvers from each end of Aotearoa take their toi whakairo (carving) to Antarctica in response to our kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the world’s largest marine protected area — the Ross Sea region.

The Distant Islands

In extreme places, everything is far away. Never enough. Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitzbergen in the Svalbard archipelago is the northernmost inhabited place in Europe, while the southernmost one is La Restinga on the island of El Hierro, the smallest of the seven Canary islands. Two distant islands, on opposite sides, which are the opposite of everything but can be the same thing. They are the places where apparently nothing happens that requires more personality. This is a journey in search of the essence of Europe seen from its extreme borders. Inside landscapes slipped into the people who live them. There must be a place where what you have been and what you want to be in dialogue with each other.

Iqualuit, Nunavut : From Canada’s C3 voyage

A film from Canada C3, a signature project for Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017. The centrepiece is an epic 150-day sailing journey from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage that is connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast and inspiring a deeper understanding of our land, our peoples and the past, present and future of our country.

On one of the stops, we visited Iqaluit, we were amazed to see a city grounded in the traditions of the Inuit people and also alive with a new diverse population. We were so honoured to visit the local mosque and meet Sofia Ali, who believes she is the first Muslim person to be born in Nunavut. Later that same day, we visited the Qayait Society, which is working to teach young people Inuit traditions, like building kayaks. We are absolutely impressed and inspired by the vibrant culture of Iqaluit.

Ant[arctic]A And Beyond In 4K

"Ant[arctic]A And Beyond” is a small compilation of 4K footage photographer Eric Esterle shot throughout my expeditions, Artist In Residencies, and travels as a landscape and wildlife photographer. Starting with an incredible 1-month Antarctic expedition to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, The South Shetland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Coring for Climate

Antarctic subglacial lakes hold a record of the past, historical evidence that will give us clues to understand how the ice might melt in the future. Driven to find these answers, in December 2018, a group of 20 scientists and 30 support staff flew in a ski-plane to a location 300 miles from the South Pole, where they spent three weeks camping on the ice. Using a 2-ton hot-water drill, they burrowed almost a mile through the ice to reach Lake Mercer, for the first time ever. This short film follows this team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation, as they unearth new information about our planet’s changing climate by sampling sediment from an Antarctic subglacial lake buried 3,600 feet below the ice surface. It showcases both how this research is accomplished and why subglacial sediments are critical in understanding Antarctica’s past and how it will react to global climate change.

Antarctic Wings

'Antarctic Wings - The History of Brazil on the Frozen Continent' by Paulo Mauricio Macedo, is a 52-minute documentary. Through the eyes of the Brazilian Air Force Squadron called 'Fat', the film focuses on the history of Brazilian Antarctic Program. A relevant achievement in the cultural development of the country within the world scientific community. An amazing Brazilian adventure on the frozen continent, told by real characters


In Yellowknife, the remote capitol of the Northwest Territories of Canada, the town dump is the city’s most popular and notorious manmade attraction, mined by a colorful community of thrifty locals. But the new city administration is determined to see it tamed, and the battle for Yellowknife’s identity is on.

Antarctica A Love Story

Whoever would think of Antarctica as a place to fall in love? For Anthony and Christine, Antarctica is not just the harsh, barren environment people often imagine it to be. The ice is a part of what they love in each other. This is as true when they are at home in New Zealand as it is when they are together on the bottom of the planet. In this ReelEarth collection film, Director Josh Povec and New Zealand based filmmaker Peter Young collaborate with Antarctic photographer Anthony Powell to create a film full of spectacular timelapses, adorable penguins, and the tiny moments that make up big love stories.

Two Breaths

Students On Ice Foundation youth voices are louder than ever and it’s time to listen. On the Students on Ice Arctic 2019 expedition, 130 youth from around the world were brought together on a life-changing journey to learn about the past, present and future of the Arctic. They have one message they want you to hear: Do Better.

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Lumière Cinemas

26 Rolleston Avenue

Christchurch, Canterbury 8013

New Zealand

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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