ATLANTIC CANADIAN PREMIERE
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the only settlement in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Situated 300 miles from the North Pole, where polar bears outnumber humans, and bearing the distinction of being the northernmost town in the world, Longyearbyen is a community with an unforgiving climate, dreary isolation and an uncertain economic future. Like many small towns, Longyearbyen was once a bustling industrial hub that’s now struggling to find innovative ways to sustain itself. Meet Pastor Leif, hospitality expert Anna Lisa, coal miner Linda, artist Olaf. Take a sip of “Polar Beer”—the local brew. And then take a boat to meet Sasha, the only resident and sole guardian of Pyramiden, a frozen museum to the good/bad old days of the Soviet Union. THIS COLD LIFE is filmmaker Darren Mann’s visually stunning portrait that illuminates a tight-knit group of colorful and resourceful residents who are dedicated to preserving the land they call home.
88 minutes / USA / 2017
Darren Mann, Director
Darren Mann is an award-winning documentary Director/Producer/Editor and founder of Mann-made Pictures. His films include: THIS COLD LIFE for TIME, Inc. (2017), filmed entirely on the arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This film takes an intimate look at the lives of the colorful characters that choose to live in the northernmost town in the world; GOTTA KEEP DREAMIN’ (2017), taking a look at the remarkable economic comeback taking place in downtown Detroit; BUSH – Sounds from the Vault (in-production), focusing on the 20-year retrospective of Gavin Rossdale’s meteoric 90’s rock band; STATE OF CONTROL (Filmbuff, 2016), taking a first-hand look at the China/Tibet crisis in the hi-tech age. Their undercover cameras were some of the only ones to film inside Tibet since the state-mandated media blackout in the region; SOUNDS OF MOTOWN (in-production), which follows legendary singer Michael Bolton as he journeys into the artists from Motown and Detroit that inspired the world (including Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves); BECOMING BARACK (BET – 2012) on Obama’s early years as a community organizer in Chicago; AN OX’S TALE (2006), on the legendary rock band The Who.
In addition to films, Darren has directed/produced hundreds of hours of broadcast television for such networks as Nat Geo, Discovery, FOX, VH-1, and ESPN, including a 20-episode animal conservation series, UNCAGED, currently airing on Discovery Int’l. His work has led him to such areas as Antarctica, Nepal, Europe, China, India, Africa, Tibet, The Arctic Circle and the jungles of Borneo, Panama and South America. Darren holds a degree in Film/Television from Boston’s Emerson College.