The documentary ICEMAN traces the life and work of renowned scientist Dr. Konrad Steffen. The story portrays his passionate commitment to the study of climate change and its impact on polar regions.

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Successfully concluded on 16/12/2022

THE FILM

One of the most pressing issues of our times is no doubt our climate crisis. The impact of rising global temperatures was at first most evident in the polar regions. This feature documentary touches on the topic of climate change, while simultaneously delves deep into the life of late Swiss climate researcher Konrad Steffen, whose legacy entails thirty years of observing the ancient ice sheet in Greenland.

«Koni», as friends and colleagues called him, has explored, witnessed and recorded the increasingly anomalous behavior of the vast and «seemingly» timeless ice sheets in Greenland. With bold ambition, he turned the small research station, Swiss Camp, into a highly sought-after destination for scientists of multiple disciplines from around the world. The station wasn’t only a special shelter for scientific fieldwork, but also welcomed writers, artists, journalists and other high-ranking dignitaries to share this remote and otherworldly environment. Koni’s outreach was fierce; and his determination made him a legend within the scientific community. He continually fought to secure the future of this station as he was convinced that only through consistent and long-term measuring from the exact place was it possible to predict trends.

Despite all his other commitments of managing, teaching and mentoring, Koni continued to visit Swiss Camp. Year after year he maintained the station or rebuilt it because of destructive record melts. 2020 was supposed to be the last year of the Camp because the deteriorating surroundings made it too dangerous to continue any research. Tragically, that same year turned out to be Konrad Steffen’s last. Ironically, due to climate change, a fatal accident in Swiss Camp caused his death - but, most poetically, his life ended in the place he loved most.

Told with voices from colleagues, family and the filmmaker, and with footage from Swiss Camp taken over many years, this film is a tribute to Konrad Steffen, his contribution to the knowledge of climate change and his eternal passion for the Arctic.

ABOUT KONRAD STEFFEN

«You feel so small. And that always happens to me when I fly to Swiss Camp. I’ve been coming here for 24 years and I’m emotionally connected to this place. But when you fly there, it’s just a red dot in white space. As you get closer, you realize, Oh, it’s a station.» (Konrad Steffen 2011)

Konrad Steffen was a professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder and later served as Director at CIRES (Cooperative Studies for Research and Environmental Science). In 2012, after thirty years abroad, he returned to his homeland of Switzerland. There, he took on the position as Director of the Swiss Federal Institute WSL, and was a professor at the ETH in Zürich and EPFL in Lausanne. Konrad Steffen also served as Science Director at the Swiss Polar Institute.

WHY WE ARE FUNDRAISING:

Your contribution will help us realize this important and timely documentary. We are raising the amount of CHF 22,000.- needed to complete our financing. Any amount is welcomed with great appreciation. Please help us reach our goal, and please share this campaign with your community.


This is the team you are supporting:

Corina Gamma, Director

  • Corina Gamma is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist. Her most recent documentary SILA and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic explored the effects of climate change in a small settlement located in the far reaches of Northern Greenland. The film gained her several nominations and awards, among them: Best Documentary at the Berlin Independent Film Festival, a Best Documentary nomination at Raindance Film Festival in London, and a nomination for Prix du Soleur in Switzerland. Her previously produced and directed documentary Ties on a Fence, won two awards for best documentary.

Danielle Giuliani, Producer

  • Since February 2020, Danielle Giuliani has been an active partner and producer at tellfilm GmbH. Her professional career began as assistant director and dramaturge at the «Theater am Neumarkt» in Zürich. After successful completion of several short films, Danielle Giuliani moved on to work as assistant director and producer on feature films and documentaries and directed two feature films for «Das kleine Fernsehspiel ZDF». Danielle Giuliani shifted her career working as a journalist first in print media later for TV broadcast stations. After 1997, she worked for the German station 3sat on the program «Kulturzeit», and for the Swiss Radio and Television SRF on the program «Kultur aktuell». From 1999-2007 Danielle Giuliani lectured Acting and Staging at the Lucerne University for Applied Sciences and Arts. Simultaneously, she led a research project involving various European film and art schools. In 2010, she became Head of Editorial at Schweizer Fernsehen SRF/Factual Entertainment. In this role, she developed several television formats. From 2018, she was Executive Producer at SRF, where she was responsible for major national projects, among other things.

Patrick Merkle, Producer

  • Patrick Merkle was born in Göppingen, Germany, and studied at Philipps University in Marburg with a major in media and cultural studies. In 2001, he took an internship at the Masters School Screenplay in Berlin. From 2002 to 2010, he worked as a production assistant at the Berlin production company, Flying Moon, where he also collaborated on numerous feature and documentary films. In 2006, Mr Merkle completed the European Training Program for Film Producers EAVE, while graduating from workshops in Luxembourg, Austria and Estonia. In 2010, he settled in Konstanz, Germany and has since worked as a producer and production manager on multpiple international documentaries. He also consults filmmakers in assisting them on creating concepts and dramaturgy during post-production.

Production Company

  • Tellfilm GmbH, Zürich, Switzerland