A F I L M B Y H O L L Y M O R R I S
Ordinary women doing
Photo: Renan Ozturk
It’s 2:12 a.m., -39º at Barneo, a volatile Russian ice station high above the Arctic Circle. Against a howling wind, an MI8 helicopter pilot is telling the team, in broken English and between drags off a Belomorkanal cigarette, that this year’s sea ice is forming badly, and their runway, a too-short stretch of sea ice carved only hours before, may not hold together for long. The expedition will have to move fast to reach the North Pole – and get out safely.
What kind of people would put themselves in this situation? An unlikely group of ‘regular’ women from the Arab World and the West - determined, fearful, and already exhausted from a nearly 3-week launch delay in the Arctic outpost of Svalbard.
They have endured grueling trainings in Oman and Iceland, and countless months of working out, to prepare for this moment. “Let's go!” yells expedition leader Felicity Aston, and the helicopter blades shift into a deafening gear....
Photo credit: Renan Ozturk
The film follows their struggle to survive -39 temperatures , 24/7 polar bear threat, and their battle over shifting, semi-frozen Arctic Ocean. But there will be less obvious barriers to cross as well. At night, as the women heat meals over small burners and perform their evening prayers, differences are revealed, threatening the crucial teamwork necessary to reach their shared goal - the North Pole.
11 women risk everything in an unprecedented expedition to the North Pole. The obstacles are immense: frostbite, exhaustion, polar bears, two
helicopter wrecks – not to mention a season of 'collapse' in the Arctic sea ice formation.....
We have filmed in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iceland, the U.K., Norway - and on the North Pole expedition
itself. The story moves back in forth in time and place, and is framed by the dramatic quest for the Pole.