Filmmaker Q&A: Peter Winch

High Arctic

High Arctic is an elegant meditation on the movement of sea ice in the arctic. Images of frozen seascapes are enhanced by a hypnotic and haunting soundtrack, reinforcing the fragile and vulnerable nature of this stunning, surreal part of our planet. We talked with filmmaker Peter Winch about his experience creating High Arctic, which screens on Friday, March 8, at 4:00 pm at the 2013 San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.

What was your inspiration for creating the film? High Arctic was inspired by the beauty of the sea ice. It was like no place I had ever been before. As an artist I wanted to be able to share its fragile splendor and make sure people know this last wilderness may be destroyed by drilling for oil.

What was the most challenging part of creating the film? Once I had decided the film would be technically uncomplicated (it is basically three sections of film) and that the music would be harsh and industrial, I think what was most challenging was to stand by that vision and not be tempted to make the film more complex or the music more mainstream.

What do you want to impart on your film’s viewers? The arctic is an incredibly beautiful and fragile place. We should all do what we can to prevent its destruction by the exploitation of its oil reserves.

What was the most enjoyable part of creating the film? 
I loved being in the arctic. I felt very privileged to be seeing this remote and wonderful place. I really enjoyed making the simple music, creating the soundtrack, and feeling it work with the images. It was very satisfying.

High ArcticWho (or what) is your inspiration? 
I would have to say what inspires me the most is the natural wilderness of this planet. The colors and forms of its living and nonliving 
components always calm me down and give me both ideas and creativity.

How or why did you begin creating ocean-focused films? I have often found myself in striking coastal locations and it was a logical next step to want to begin capturing images and events. First, with still photography and then as technology became more user friendly with moving pictures.

Why did you choose to submit your film to the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival? I live in San Francisco and like the ocean community here.

Is this your first time participating in an ocean-focused film festival? No.

What was the most memorable moment in creating the film? Blending both the music and film together


Don't miss High Arctic this Friday, March 8, at 4:00 pm.