“The Human Element” film screening
with James Balog, Olivia Ahnemann
Monday, Jan. 28, 2019
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Battle Mountain High School | Edwards
“I can’t escape the fact that coal made me who I am today,” said photographer James Balog, whose grandfather died at 62-years-old in a coal-mining accident. Balog has chronicled one climate change consequence of human coal use in “Chasing Ice” and narrated a film documenting another in “Message in a Bottle.” In “The Human Element,” he ponders “the fifth element” (after water, earth, air and fire). By changing the other four elements, he says, humans are “shaping the Earth as we know it.” Balog documents this collision between people and nature through stories ranging from Chesapeake Bay’s dwindling Tangier Island to California’s record-breaking wildfires of 2017 to last summer’s three devastating hurricanes.
For 35 years, photographer James Balog has broken new conceptual and artistic ground on one of the most important issues of our era: human modification of our planet’s natural systems. He and his Extreme Ice Survey team are featured in the 2012 internationally acclaimed, Emmy award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice” and in the PBS/NOVA special, “Extreme Ice.” He is the author of “ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers” and seven other books.
His photos have been extensively published in major magazines, including National Geographic, and exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide. He has been extensively published in most of the world’s major pictorial magazines, including National Geographic, Life and Vanity Fair. National Geographic featured the Extreme Ice Survey in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
Olivia Ahnemann has been producing and directing documentary films for nearly 20 years. Most recently, she produced “Under the Gun” with director Stephanie Soechtig, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and “Racing Extinction” with director Louie Psihoyos, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In 2016, Olivia was nominated for an Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary “Film Making”.
Olivia was co-producer of “The Cove,” which has garnered more than 70 awards globally, including the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary and the Producers Guild of America documentary award. The film brought worldwide attention to the annual dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan and high levels of mercury in seafood, man’s primary source of protein.
Television credits include programs for National Geographic, PBS, A&E and Discovery. Olivia has contributed to several independent films, including “Enlighten Up!,” which had a nationwide theatrical release in 2008. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and daughter.
This program is generously underwritten by Priscilla O’Neil; the Environmental Awareness Series is generously underwritten by Holly & Buck Elliot. This program is presented in partnership with Walking Mountains Science Center.