Chasing Ice by Jeff Orlowski opens the Bermuda Docs film festival next Friday. *Photo supplied
Chasing Ice by Jeff Orlowski opens the Bermuda Docs film festival next Friday. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, APR. 13: The Bermuda Docs film festival is back and runs from April 20 to 22.

It will again be staged at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute in the Tradewinds Auditorium.

Tickets are available via www.bdatix.bm, All Wrapped Up-Washington Mall, Fabulous Fashions-Heron Bay Plaza and 232-2255.

Here is a cut down version of the synopses provided on the Bermuda Docs website:

Friday, April 20

Chasing Ice

6pm
Director
: Jeff Orlowski
Rated: NR

This documentary follows National Geographic photographer-scientist James Balog – once a climate-change skeptic – as he brings to life the Extreme Ice Survey, a massive photography project utilising 30 cameras across three continents to gather visual evidence of the Earth’s melting glaciers. These hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and document ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at an alarming rate.

Under African Skies

8:15pm
Director:
Joe Berlinger
Rated: NR

Paul Simon’s historic Graceland album sold millions of copies and united cultures, yet divided world opinion on the boundaries of art, politics, and commerce. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Graceland’s release, Simon returns to South Africa for a reunion concert that unearths the turbulent birth of the album.

Saturday, April 21

The Island President

Time: 2pm
Director: Jon Shenk
Rated: PG

On February 7, 2012, Mohamed Nasheed resigned the presidency of the Maldives, an island group situated in the Indian Ocean, under threat of violence in a coup d’etat perpetrated by security forces loyal to the country’s former dictator. This is the story of his first year in office as he confronted a problem greater than any world leader has ever faced – the literal survival of his country and everyone in it.

After bringing democracy to the Maldives after 30 years of despotic rule, Nasheed knew that a rise of three feet in sea level due to global warming would submerge the 1,200 islands of the Maldives. His year in office culminated in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly – including a last-ditch effort by Nasheed to craft an agreement, and save his country.

(This film is preceded by Haiti Village Health by Robert Zuill — a 17-minute  short promoting the aid agency of the same name.)

Robert Mugabe - What Happened?

Time: 5pm
Director: Simon Bright
Rated: PG

In parallel narratives Simon Bright tells the stories of Rhodesia’s transition to Zimbabwe and the personal journey of Robert Mugabe. Branded a terrorist, then knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, Mugabe was once viewed as a Western- oriented, sophisticated gentleman. The film tracks his Shakespearean rise and fall, speaking to his closest comrades and assembling an archive of southern African images to powerfully track each of the decades of Mugabe’s reign. The film dramatically illustrates his successful liberation and development of the country but also his ruthless and cunning retention of power at all costs, and Zimbabwe’s subsequent decline. Giving credit where it’s due, the film is an exploration of what happened to a promising African politician, revealing the behind-the-scenes jostling for power and Mugabe’s emergence as unquestionably one of history’s most canny, devious leaders.

In The Hour of Victory

Time: 7pm
Director: Lucinda Spurling
Rated: PG

Untouched for 50 years, a family finds a bundle of letters setting them on a journey into their past, and the rediscovery of a tragic love story amid the turmoil of World War II. Bermudian, Major Toby Smith lost his life at the battle of Overloon during the final Allied push for victory. It’s based on the book by Major Smith’s grandson, Jonathan Smith. Lucinda Spurling and Jonathan Smith will attend the screening.

The Four Year Plan

Time: 9:15pm
Director: Mat Hodgson
Rated: R

In 2007, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, facing relegation and bankruptcy, was rescued by billionaires Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone, Lakshmi Mittal, and Amit Bhatia. Their vision: to take a community of reluctant fans, semi-talented players and a roster of ever-changing managers from the Championship to the Premiership – the most lucrative promotion in competitive football. The new owners, risking ridicule and commercial failure, allowed cameras unprecedented access to record the roller-coaster ride.

Sunday, April 22

First Position

Time: 3pm
Director: Bess Kargman
Rated: PG

Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake. In the final round, with hundreds competing for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected. Bess Kargman’s award-winning documentary, First Position, follows six young dancers as they prepare for a chance to enter the world of professional ballet.

Mrs Carey’s Concert

Time: 5pm
Director: Bob Connolly, Sophie Raymond
Rated: PG

At a Sydney girls’ school, music director Karen Carey prepares her young orchestra for a performance at the Opera House.

Semper Fi: Always Faithful

Time: 7:15pm
Director: Rachel Libert, Tony Hardmon
Rated: PG

For nearly 25 years, Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger lived and breathed the “Corps” and was responsible for indoctrinating thousands of new recruits with its motto Semper Fidelis or “Always Faithful.” When Jerry’s nine-year-old daughter Janey died of a rare type of leukemia, his world collapsed.

His search for answers led to the shocking discovery of a Marine Corps cover-up of one of the largest toxic water contamination incidents in U.S. history. Director Rachel Libert and Master Sgt. Ensminger will attend the screening.

Fightville

Time: 9:30pm
Director: Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker
Rated: 14A

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has grown from a controversial sideshow into a billion dollar enterprise promising fame and fortune for the men who emerge as champions. This exhilarating sports documentary tracks young hopefuls Dustin Poirier and Albert Stainback as they try to fight their way to MMA’s big leagues.