Rusty minivan, green message for filmmakers
Human impact of global warming in North studied
Elizabeth Withey, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Thursday, July 19 2007
EDMONTON – They are bound for the Arctic Circle in a rusty silver minivan, rickety filmmaking studio in tow, to raise awareness about the changing North.
The 1973 Trillium trailer is a little beaten up, no doubt, but it will be the “office” for Drew McIntosh, Aaron Bocanegra and Rob Lutener, an artistic collective making a documentary about the social and economic impacts of climate change on the North’s people.
The goal of Up North is to put a human face on climate change rather than make a scientific argument about the environmental issue.
“We’re trying to build a tableau of life in the North,” McIntosh, 28, said recently. “It’s an everyman’s point of view.”
Their 25-day adventure kicks off from Jasper on Friday with stops in Dawson Creek, the Llewellyn Glacier, Kluane National Park, the Yukon-Alaska border, Dawson City and Inuvik.
“I’m interested in capturing images of life, of how people survive and relate to environment,” McIntosh said. “The Arctic is changing so rapidly. Every year things are different up there.”
In their travels, the trio will meet with environmental stakeholders, including a watershed manager, an artist, aboriginal representatives and both Canadian and American residents, to discuss the challenges climate change poses.
Of course, the trip is also a journey for three guys who want to see the world.
“A big part of it, too, is going on this adventure, being young and having fun,” McIntosh said.
Bocanegra and Lutener, both 27, met McIntosh while travelling in Peru. Bocanegra is an arts professor in California, while Lutener is an Edmonton writer. McIntosh will study design at MacEwan College this fall.
The trip will cost the team $10,000 from their own pockets, and they hope to release the documentary in theatres once it’s complete.
McIntosh knows the trip’s challenging terrain will test their friendship and their minivan. But he is confident they’ll make it to Inuvik.
“We’ve had the van checked out,” he said. “The mechanic says it’s great.”
As for their means of travel, McIntosh appreciates the irony of driving 7,500 kilometres in a 1991 van pulling an old trailer to make an eco-doc. The guys plan to track their fuel usage as part of the documentary, and hope the benefits of making Up North will outweigh the environmental costs.
“I don’t know how else I’m supposed to get there,” McIntosh said. “Magic carpet?”
Get updates about the guys’ Arctic journey at www.thesundial.ca.
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