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11 extraordinary women were brought together from different parts of the globe. Strangers to one another, they collected critical scientific data on climate change while braving the elements, sexism, and self-doubt to complete what may be the last expedition of its kind to the North Pole on rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice.
Climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the Ukrainian-Russian war have led to cancellations of all expeditions—which typically take place this month—since 2019. The impacts of this are far-reaching: from crucial climate science, marine science and polar science to long-term geopolitical implications for Russia and surrounding regions. It also means that this film is now an historic record of the ice at the pole. What has been captured on film may very well be the last recording seen of the ice.
All of this was documented by Holly Morris, and the documentary she directed and co-produced is called Exposure.
CBS News proclaimed Exposure "an evocative portrait of human endurance, and how climate change is affecting one of the world's most alluring, and deadly, places."
The diverse members of the expedition were all first-time explorers representing the countries of Cyprus, France, Kuwait, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. They navigated and survived the same icy terrain as the rarified community of veteran polar explorers and scientists—a field of predominantly white men. And the women did so while working through differences in language, religion and culture. In the end, four expedition members, including Asma Al Thani of Qatar, became the first people ever from their countries to ski to the North Pole.
Exposure is about resilience, about victories both small and large. The documentary invites its audience to imagine a world of women who believe in themselves and take charge, working across different boundaries and leading us into a future where we adopt with compassion and equity to the challenges ahead.
The expedition members weren't the only all-woman crew to complete the polar journey. New York-based filmmaker Holly Morris assembled a team that included veteran Arctic cinematographers Kathryn Barrows and Ingeborg Jakobsen, who underwent rigorous training for the journey.
The film will be showing at the following film festivals: