Story and photo by Hillary Di Menna
Gemini award winner Mark Terry had the chance to screen and speak about his latest film at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre Nov. 10. The Polar Explorer is a follow-up to the filmmaker’s 2010 award winning project The Antarctica Challenge.
“The film you are about to see is a special kind of documentary,” Terry said before the lights went off and images of penguins, scientists and ice took over.
The documentary followed the explorer and a scientific team “kind of like an all-star team of polar scientists,” joked Terry.
The filmmaker explored the Arctic and Antarctica, now accessible due to warming temperatures melting the ice that had made it previously inhabitable.
Terry has been on a North American tour speaking about the impacts of climate change, inspired by the environments he witnessed and a faith that humanity can find a positive resolution to melting icebergs and the threat of coastal flooding.
Though Whitby regional councillor and MC of the event Don Mitchell challenged the filmmaker’s unwavering optimism, Terry remained undeterred.
Relief for a young primary school girl who stepped up to the microphone during the question and answer period and asked in a small voice, “Um, can this be stopped?”
Terry reassured her that he had seen a global solidarity when it was learned the ozone layer was depleting. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were causing the hole. The world’s positive efforts in phasing CFCs out were rewarded with the hole shrinking 25 years earlier than scientists predicted.
The free event was sponsored by City of Oshawa, the City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the Town of Whitby, the Municipality of Clarington and the Region of Durham and hosted by the City of Oshawa and UOIT
Terry shared a warming anecdote in a previous interview;
While filming Antarctica he had a penguin fall asleep in his lap. The adolescent was sleeping a few minutes before his mom waddled up to the pair and squawked for her child to awaken. She succeeded and the youth woke up, hung his head in shame, and left with his mother.