Sebastian Copeland talks "Into the Cold"
After a two-month trek filled with unimaginable challenges, it becomes a challenge in itself to define the greatest one.
Sebastian Copeland fell through the ice into Arctic waters and had to fend off hypothermia by removing his clothes in 50-below temperatures. He lugged hundreds of pounds of food and gear in a sledge over jagged, painfully unforgiving terrain. He traveled for a month with camera batteries in his armpits to prevent the cold from stealing their power.
All of that, though, paled in comparison with the struggle in his mind.
"The challenge on long walks and expeditions is far more mental than physical," Copeland says. "Eighty percent of the training is mental. You're faced with the hardship of the same day over and over again, a 'Groundhog Day' mentality."
Copeland prepared for the laboriously monotonous polar trek with yoga and meditation and by calling on his own Buddhist beliefs. He hiked up the hills surrounding Los Angeles wearing a 100-pound vest just to test his resolve.
"You wonder if you really need to do it," he says. "But through long mental preparation, you become more and more connected to the trip."
In the end he found a certain spirituality in the white emptiness of the Arctic, where every day brought an identical landscape. The polar landscape, although maddeningly unvarying on Copeland's journey, is ironically in danger of changing forever. Drawing awareness to this danger was one of his main motivations.
"What stayed with me the entire time was that this was a fleeting environment," Copeland says. "While this was a childhood dream for me, reaching the North Pole, it won't be afforded to kids growing up today."
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2010
For the fourth year, the Tribeca Film Festival teams with sports entertainment powerhouse ESPN for an exhilarating showcase of films celebrating the spirit of competition.
WHAT IS TRIBECA?
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. Tribeca/ESPN sports films
- April 21: Festival opens
- May 2: Festival closes
KEY DATESFull schedule
PURCHASING TICKETSFor all ticketing information, including hours of operation, rules and regulations, pricing and package specifics, go to the Ticket Information page.
WHAT MAKES TRIBECA DIFFERENT?
• The director, cast, and crew are often on hand for a Q & A after the screenings.
• The films, chosen from over 5,000 submissions, are from every corner of the globe and offer almost as many perspectives as New Yorkers have opinions.
• Almost every film is a North American, international, or even world premiere, so you could be among the first to see the next big hit.
SPORTS FILMS AT THE FESTIVAL
THE BIRTH OF BIG AIR: In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur. By 16, he had soared to the top of the sport. Throughout his prodigious career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations, instead focusing his efforts on the purity of the sport and the pursuit of "what's next." Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, showcase the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to "Big Air."
FREETIME MACHOS: Matti and Mikko play for Finland's worst amateur rugby team. Overworked and domesticated, the two men long for a space to revel in their masculinity and bond with other men. Following the two friends and their teammates on a quest to end the season with just a single win, award-winning writer/director Mika Ronkainen ("Screaming Men") crafts a genuine and disarmingly funny love story about modern male friendship.
INTO THE COLD: The absolute top of the earth is a place few try to reach on foot. Even fewer succeed. With the vast arctic ice vanishing rapidly, photographer, extreme adventurer, and environmental advocate Sebastian Copeland sets out to reach the North Pole on the centennial of Admiral Peary's reach in 1909. This inspiring documentary follows their tumultuous two-month trek -- not just through piercing cold and merciless terrain, but straight into the depths of the soul.
KEEP SURFING: This kinetic and fast-paced documentary will put you right on the Eisbach in the heart of Munich, where river-surfing was invented 35 years ago. Stunningly shot with cameras literally on the surfboards, you can sense the exhilaration as they take to the water. With cameos by surfing legends like Nick Carroll and Kelly Slater, "Keep Surfing" will make you want to hit the waves!
THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA: The intersecting histories of a stadium, a team, and a music legend are examined in a documentary that charts the ups and downs of the New York Mets and the life and career of Long Island native Billy Joel, the last performer to play Shea Stadium. Set to the soundtrack of Joel's final Shea concerts, "Last Play" interweaves personal Joel interviews with exclusive concert footage -- featuring guests like Tony Bennett and Roger Daltrey.
STRAIGHT OUTTA L.A.: For rapper-turned-filmmaker Ice Cube, the emergence of gangster rap will be forever linked to the Oakland Raiders' move to Los Angeles in 1982. Ice Cube turns the camera on himself to tell how his genre-defining group NWA forged an unlikely relationship with the Raiders, a team whose swagger and style captivated LA during their troubled 13-season stay.
THE TWO ESCOBARS: Born in the same city in Colombia but not related, Andrés Escobar and Pablo Escobar shared a fanatical love of soccer. Andrés grew up to become one of Colombia's most beloved players, while Pablo became the most notorious drug baron of all time. While adeptly investigating the secret marriage of crime and sports, Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist ("Favela Rising," TFF '05) reveal the surprising connections between the murders of Andrés and Pablo.