A two-minute drone video shot in Greenland by a Greek couple has won numerous awards, including first prize in the drone video category of the Siena International Photo awards. The video shows aerial shots of the second largest Greenland settlement, surrounded by icebergs and the rays of the sun as they slice through the frigid atmosphere of the island.
Nestoras Kechagias and Athanasia Lykoudi are a couple of full stack designers, who have worked in many publications over the years. Their side project, INVA+SLA, is all about traveling and filming with their drones.
Their video, titled “Ice Ballet,” shot in 2018, has won many awards in various film festivals around the world. Their drone video is being showcased in the “Above Us Only Sky” exhibition, in Siena, Italy from Saturday, October 23 until Sunday, December 5.
Kechiagas says that his and his wife’s journey to Greenland was an amazing experience. They have been traveling and shooting aerial videos for years. The winning drone video was shot at Ilulissat Icefjord, in western Greenland, located 250 km (155 miles) north of the Arctic Circle.
Drone video over western Greenland
Ilulissat is the second largest settlement in Greenland, constituting a village of about 5,000 people. “It was a short of surreal experience for us,” Kechiagas recalls. “Being on the icebergs is much different than being on a mountain. The icebergs move constantly, some can even travel 2 to 3,000 km (1,864 miles) per day in opposite directions.”
He says that filming a particular iceberg can be challenging because of this. “One has to either watch it for hours in order to find the right spot to film it, or follow it around all day long.” Hence the video’s title, Ice Ballet.
Ilulissat has the largest ice-producing glacier in the northern hemisphere. Nestoras and Athanasia have been able to verify the alarming rate of ice melt in the area by comparing photos and drone videos over the last 10 years with what they were filming recently.
The local people in Ilulissat are very worried about the ice melt, primarily because it makes their trips out of their villages all the more difficult. “The cheapest way out of the settlement is by boat, and the broken icebergs make sea traveling very dangerous,” says Kechiagas.
Melted icebergs and climate crisis deniers
He believes that images and drone videos from the melted icebergs should be communicated widely and more often. “It’s important for climate crisis deniers to be reminded of the critical condition of the ice. We all need to be reminded, so we can gradually develop an Eco-conscience,” he states.
The couple stayed in Ilulissat for “practically a day, which lasted for a whole week,” says the videographer. The reason being for this is that in early June in Greenland, the sun never sets. As a result, their biological clocks became disoriented. They didn’t know when to eat, sleep, or work — and they found themselves constantly tired.
The couple shot around six hours of footage for their winning two-minute drone video. The footage includes images of the local people in Ilulissat and they are considering editing it for a documentary, some time in the future.