Five years after photographer James Balog turned his 2007 National Geographic magazine melting glaciers-themed cover story into an epic five-year photography project about climate change, Washington-based National Geographic Channel announced Thursday the network purchased has television rights for Jeff Orlowski’s feature documentary “Chasing Ice,” which follows Balog’s adventure.
In “Chasing Ice,” screened at the Sundance Film Festival this past week, Orlanski tracks Balog as he embarks on a project known as the “Extreme Ice Survey,” an experiment that placed time-lapse cameras across three continents to capture massive ice melting across the planet, and the effects of climate change.
“This documentary is one of the highlights of the Sundance slate and an obvious fit for our distinguished global brand and we are pleased to work with the filmmakers to help present their wonderful and important film,” Nat Geo’s EVP of programming Michael Cascio said in the announcement.
In addition to his 2007 cover story, Balog’s long history with Nat Geo includes a book published by the company’s books division in 2009, and another photo spread in a 2010 issue of the magazine.
Nat Geo Channel was the subject of a recent executive shake-up. In November, Howard T. Owns — a founding managing director of Reveille Productions, the company behind shows including NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and “The Office” — took over as president of National Geographic Channels US.