Life in earth’s most unforgiving climate: Victoria IMAX premieres “Antarctica”

Culture Film
Screenshot of Antarctica trailer, via BBC Earth on YouTube.

Two four tonne bull elephant seals clash against each other, their blubber rippling in crisp slow motion, as they fight for territory and mates in one of the most unforgiving climates on Earth. This is just one of the many enthralling scenes in Antarctica.

From the filmmakers of Planet Earth II, Antarctica made its Canadian premier at the Royal B.C. Museum’s IMAX theatre on Oct. 16 with startling beauty, informative narratives, and award-winning cinematography. 

Produced by SK Films and BBC Earth, this 45-minute feature takes viewers on a trip to Earth’s southernmost continent to explore the breathtaking landscape and intricate lives of the creatures that live there. Rated G for general audiences, Antarctica comments on humans’ devastating impact on the climate and reminds viewers of the fragility of the animals and environment they are witnessing. 

“Antarctica is one of the most extreme continents on our planet, and although it is far away, thousands of miles from everybody, what happens there affects everybody,” said Alexandra Weaver, the visitor experience manager for RBCM and IMAX Victoria. “Hopefully people, as they leave the film, make some changes to their lifestyle, thinking about their impact on the world.” 

Antarctica was a finalist in four categories at the Jackson Wild Media Awards. Using state-of-the-art underwater filming methods, viewers can see why the documentary took home the award for Best Cinematography. The crew dives beneath six feet of sea ice to capture the colourful frenzy of life scuttling across the seafloor. The underwater creatures navigate pillars of ice and other hazards extending down from the surface as they explore. Other awe-inspiring scenes include the largest feeding of Humpback and Fin whales ever filmed and the great colony of Chinstrap penguins whose excrement patterns can be viewed from space.

Following the stories of King penguins as they boldly evade sea lions, as well as the steady return of Humpback whales since the end of the harmful whaling industry, actor Benedict Cumberbatch smoothly delivers amusing and informative narration. The film leaves viewers with a renewed understanding of this extreme climate and with a sense of hope for the future of these stunning creatures. 

“It’s IMAX Victoria’s first premiere in about two years now,” said Weaver, adding that the film has been popular with Victoria audiences so far. “We don’t have those opportunities to travel at this moment or it’s very restrictive so it’s great to come to IMAX and be able to travel through the world of documentaries.”

At the time of writing, the IMAX Victoria theatre requires proof of double vaccination and is able to fill the theatre to 100 per cent capacity. Masks are still required inside. Antarctica is showing in 3D and regular. For showtimes visit the IMAX Victoria website