5 Festival Films to Appreciate on #WorldPenguinDay

Birds of a feather watch films together. Celebrate #WorldPenguinDay with this collection of Arctic films.

Penguin Counters

(USA, 2015, 65 min)

Armed with low-tech gear and high-minded notions that penguin populations hold the key to human survival, Ron Naveen and his intrepid biologists have tracked 200 colonies of penguins over half a million square miles for more than 20 years. They’ve learned that penguins truly are the canaries in the coalmine. Ron believes the penguins are sending game-changing signals about how to cope with one of the world’s most rapidly warming climates and increasingly volatile weather. Directed and produced by Peter Getzels and Harriet Gordon Getzels.

* The film opened April 21 in New York at Cinema Village. Get your tickets here. 



March of the Penguins

(France, 2005, 80 min)

Emperor penguins overcome formidable obstacles to return to their breeding grounds for mating season in this Oscar-winning film by Luc Jacquet. It tells the story of one year in the life of a flock – focusing on one couple in particular – as they trek across the Antarctic on a journey that invokes almost every major life experience: from birth to death, from dating to mating, from comedy to tragedy, and from love to fighting for survival. Written and directed by Luc Jacquet. Produced by Yves Darondea, Christophe Lioud and Emmanuel Priou. 2006 Oscar Winner for Best Documentary Film.


Antarctica: In The Footsteps of the Emperor

(France, 2016, 90 min)

Vincent Munier captures snapshots of life in an Emperor Penguin colony. Genuine guardians of the ice, the birds are central to Antarctica’s mechanisms, acting as bio-indicators of an extraordinary territory. Antarctica, In the Footsteps of the Emperor is an ode to the biodiversity and protection of the white continent. (In French with English subtitles.) Directed by Jérôme Bouvier. 




(Australia, 2015, 95 min)

Off the south coast of Australia, foxes have taken over an island sanctuary home to the world’s smallest penguins, damaging their population. But an eccentric chicken farmer and his precocious granddaughter hatch a plan to save the the penguins: they’ll train his mischievous sheepdog to guard them. Based on a true story, Oddball finds a wealth kid-friendly hijinks in real-life conservation issues, teaching that anyone – nine-year-old girls, misbehaving dogs – can have a huge impact in saving endangered animals. Directed by Stuart McDonald. Produced by Richard Keddie, Sheila Hanahan Taylor and Steve Kearney.

The Last Ocean

(New Zealand, 2012, 85 min)

Do we fish the last ocean or do we protect it? The most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth, the Ross Sea has remained free from widespread pollution, invasive species, mining and over-fishing. Home to high concentrations of wildlife and an incredible array of animals, many found nowhere else on the planet, it is teeming with large predatory fish, whales, seals and penguins that collectively comprise the last intact marine ecosystem on Earth. It is a living laboratory providing scientists with the last chance to understand how a healthy marine ecosystem functions. Featuring beautiful Antarctic footage, this film presents the conservationist case and the campaign to counteract the fishing lobby. Directed and produced by Peter Young


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