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This Land: a film and an interactive project to explore

This Land, Dianne Whelan, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Today’s featured film on is This Land. Because I happen to like the Arctic a lot (both in image and in person), I thought I’d encourage you to check it out. It’s stunning. The 35-minute documentary, directed by Dianne Whelan, retraces an Arctic expedition she made alongside 7 rangers in March 2007. She was the only woman on the team. Together, they set out to cover more than 2000 km of the harshest terrain on the planet to raise a flag on the northernmost tip of Canadian soil, a puny 400 km from the North Pole. The film follows them through blizzards, labyrinths of crushed sea ice and near-impassable glaciers, all in temperatures that hover around -50°C.

Should you feel like you can’t get enough of this dramatically beautiful scenery (the North has a sneaky way of growing on you, be warned), we also have a sister interactive project you might like to immerse yourself in. Also called This Land, the project was released in June 2010 and has recently won best small multimedia site at the Online Journalism Awards. I’m still relatively new to the blossoming world of interactive documentary, but this one gave me a good feeling about the genre/medium’s goals and possibilities. It looks and sounds amazing and personally, made me want to start planning my next dog mushing adventure. Without delay.

Sounds like Dianne Whelan isn’t the type to stay idle for too long either. Since her jaunt to the North Pole, she went to Mount Everest to direct and shoot her next documentary film, 40 Days at a Base Camp, which is apparently currently in post production. I don’t know much about it yet, but I’m going to try to interview her soon and get back to you with more details. Keep posted.

>> Explore This Land on NFB/interactive

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