NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "Beyond the Known World" is a short film by Hansjoerg During that documents his expedition to the remote South Sandwich Islands, an archipelago of 11 active volcanic islands lost in the Furious Fifties of the southern Atlantic Ocean. Few researchers have studied these remote islands, let alone captured their treacherous coastlines and animal life on film. The South Sandwich Islands are beautiful, yet they possess a severe maritime polar climate. "Beyond the Known World" is During's ode to the islands, a visual canvas of beauty in the midst of harsh desolation. This film is During's directorial debut, a feat all the more impressive because he filmed and photographed the entire expedition without a film crew. "Beyond the Known World" is scheduled to be screened August 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the CHAIN Theater, 21-28 45 Road, Long Island City, New York.
Dramatic music resonates throughout "Beyond the Known World," supplanting traditional narration in this 30‐minute film, which documents the incredibly scenic territory and stupendous fauna of the South Sandwich Islands. During chose to use music instead of human narration in order to convey the islands' unique aura and ambience in a poetic way, illustrating a place that appears mystical, surreal, inhospitable, inaccessible, utterly isolated, and untouched.
James Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands in 1775 on his second exploratory journey. He found an uninhabited place without a safe harbor, where natural elements are unpredictable and violent. During experienced these conditions firsthand, making shooting of any footage extremely arduous.
The film dedicates unprecedented attention to the South Sandwich Islands and their bird and seal populations, which thrive despite an exceptionally inhospitable environment. The film exposes the extraordinary sight of the world's largest chinstrap penguin colony on Zavodovski Island, which is home to some 2 million penguin couples. They have adapted to the harshest climatic conditions, living on the edge of life and death. Theirs is a daily struggle dependent on their ability to find food, feed their young, and fend off dangers from the air and sea.
During was drawn to black and white photography at an early age, a format he saw as a means of achieving poetic expression through images. He sees filmmaking as a natural extension of his passion for photography and a venue to explore new horizons. "Beyond the Known World," During's first short film, began with an idea hatched during a sailing expedition to South Georgia in 2007, where the filmmaker became fascinated with the polar region of the "Great South" and its fauna. In his free time, During sails, dives, and does mountaineering. For his next endeavor, During would like to undertake a feature‐length film project yet to be determined.
Beyond the Known World will be screened August 6 at 6:30 p.m. and August 13 at 5:15 p.m. at the CHAIN Theatre, 21-28 45 Rd Long Island City, New York. Subway: 7, E, G, and M to Court Square Station. For more information, e-mail info@polar‐expedition.org or visit www.chainfilmfestival.com.