Frei is a renowned international filmmaker and film producer. Since 2006, Frei has been an associate lecturer on Reflection Competence at the University of St. Gallen. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker is since August 2010 the president of the Swiss Film Academy.
He is mostly known for his films War Photographer (2001), The Giant Buddhas. (2005) and Space Tourists (2009).
Film screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film director CHRISTIAN FREI
Moderator: ISABELLA SEDIVY (Swiss national TV SRF)
The film observes the harsh and dangerous life of the so-called mammoth hunters on the remote New Siberian Islands in the far north of Siberia. These hunters are looking for tusks of extinct mammoths, in an archaic landscape resembling primordial Earth. There is a kind of gold rush fever in the air, because the prices for this “white gold” have never been so high. But the thawing permafrost unveils more than just precious ivory. Occasionally, the hunters come across an almost completely preserved mammoth carcass with fur, liquid blood and muscle tissue on which arctic foxes gnaw.
Such finds are magnets for high-tech Russian and South Korean clone researchers in search of mammoth cells with the greatest possible degree of intact DNA. Their mission could be likened to a part of science fiction plot. They aim to bring the extinct woolly mammoth back to life àla Jurassic Park, and resurrect it as a species. And that’s just the beginning. Worldwide, there are some biologists working on re-inventing life, and to learn the language of nature and create life following the Lego principle. The goal of synthetic biology is to produce complete artificial biological systems. Man becomes the Creator.
Zurich (Cinema Toni-ZHdK)
Saturday 7 November, 16:30
PARADISE WAR-THE STORY OF BRUNO MANSER
COUNTRIES: Indonesia, Switzerland, Hungary, USA
LENGTH: 142 min
LANGUAGES: Penan, German, English
VALENTIN GREUTERT (Film Producer)
Greutert has produced over 20 feature films. Paradise War-The Story of Bruno Manser is his biggest production so far. The film took over 10 years in the making and was shot in 4 continents, most of it deep in the jungles of Borneo. The film was a big success in Switzerland and was selected for the prestigious Foreign Film Series by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Greutert studied economics at the Universities of Basel and Bern.
Film screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film producer Valentin Greutert
Moderator: Dr. JUANITA SCHLAEPFER-MILLER (Plant Science Center, ETH Zurich)
1984: Searching for an experience that goes deeper than the superficiality of modern civilisation, Bruno Manser travels into the jungles of Borneo and finds it with the nomadic Penantribe. It is an encounter that changes his life forever. When the existence of the Penan is threatened by relentless deforestation, Mansertakes up the fight against logging with a courage and determination that makes him one of the most renowned and credible environmentalists of his time. Based on a true story.
The film was shot in 76 days in Switzerland, New York, Budapest and Borneo. In a massive operation, the team went to remote locations in the last remnants of primary jungle on Borneo. The indigenous actors were cast among the original Penan people who continue their struggle to this day. The soundtrack was composed by Academy-Award winner Gabriel Yared (The English Patient).
Zurich (Cinema Toni-ZHdK)
Saturday 7 November, 20:00
SILA AND THE GATEKEEPERS OF THE ARCTIC
IN DEDICATION TO KONRAD STEFFEN
COUNTRIES: Greenland, USA, Switzerland
LENGTH: 70 min
LANGUAGES: Inuktituk, English
SUBTITLES: German, English
CORINA GAMMA (Director & Writer)
Gamma is a director and producer. She holds a Masters Degree in Fine Art from the Claremont Graduate University in California and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Gamma’s films have gained several nominations and awards.
Film screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film director Corina Gamma
Moderator: Dr. HENRIETTE BORNKAMM (University of Zurich)
Situated above the Arctic Circle in Greenland, Inuit subsistence hunters and a team of polar scientists bear witness to the transforming environment. As international researchers on Greenland’s Inland Ice Cap track the effects and far-reaching consequences of the warming Arctic, these drastic changes in weather patterns are also spelling an end to the Inuit’s centuries-old way of life. With a close-up view into these communities, the film puts human faces on a highly politicized issue. The Greenlandic idea that weather acts as the conscience of nature informs a unique story at the frontlines of climate change.
KONRAD STEFFEN (Film Protagonist)
Steffen was a Swiss glaciologist, known for his research into the impact of global warming on the Arctic. Steffen's legacy included conducting extensive geoscience research, then translating the value and implications of the scientific data for nonspecialists, including many journalists who then could inform the public and policymakers.
Steffen has starred in many films, among them “SILA and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic” by Corina Gamma, and the two films from Al Gore “An Inconvenient Truth” and “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
He was involved in the Global Science Film Festival in the jury and scientific debates. Steffen passed away on 8 August 2020 in an accident while on a field trip in Greenland.