Oscilloscope runs down ‘Chasing Ice’

Sundance environmental docu won cinematography award

Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up U.S. rights to Sundance Film Fest documentary “Chasing Ice,” which follows the exhaustive efforts of photographer-scientist James Balog to capture evidence of the world’s glaciers melting away.

Jeff Orlowski’s first directing effort premiered January 23 in the U.S. documentary competition in Park City, where it won the Sundance Excellence in Cinematography Award. National Geographic Channel purchased television rights shortly after its first screening.

Oscilloscope plans an Academy Awards-qualifying theatrical release later this year, followed by a release on its DVD label and via on-demand channels.

In 2007, Balog undertook the most comprehensive and authoritative photographic study of glaciers ever attempted, around which Orlowski — who also served as his own d.p. — structures his film. Balog set up cameras all over Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and other icy regions, where he photographed glaciers continuously from the same stationary vantage over a three-year period. Pic is also a human-interest study of Balog, whose devotion takes a physical toll.

“When we spoke with Oscilloscope about the film, it was obvious that we needed to partner with them,” said Orlowski. “They got what the film was about, and shared our vision for the kind of impact that Chasing Ice can have. We look forward to a great partnership.”

Word of the sale came as the doc was wrapping up its screening at the South by Southwest Film Fest.

Orlowski, Paula DuPre’ Pesmen (“The Cove”), and Jerry Aronson produced. Sale was repped by Submarine.

Jennie Punter contributed to this story from Austin,Texas

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