A two-minute drone video shot in Greenland by a Greek couple has won numerous awards, including first prize in the drone video category at the Siena International Photo Awards. The video shows aerial footage of Greenland’s second largest settlement, surrounded by icebergs and rays of the sun as they pass through the island’s frigid atmosphere.
Nestoras Kechagias and Athanasia Lykoudi are two full stack designers, who have worked in numerous publications over the years. Their side project, INVA + SLA, consists of traveling and filming with their drones.
Their video, titled “Ice Ballet”, shot in 2018, has won numerous awards at various film festivals around the world. Their drone video is featured in the “Above Us Only Sky” exhibit, in Siena, Italy, from Saturday October 23 through Sunday December 5.
Kechiagas says his and his wife’s trip to Greenland was an incredible experience. They’ve been traveling and shooting aerial videos for years. The winning drone video was shot at Ilulissat Icefjord in West Greenland, located 250 km (155 miles) north of the Arctic Circle.
Drone video over West Greenland
Ilulissat is the second largest settlement in Greenland, constituting a village of about 5,000 people. “It was a short surreal experience for us,” Kechiagas recalls. “Being on icebergs is very different from being on a mountain. Icebergs are constantly moving, some can even travel 2 to 3,000 km (1,864 miles) per day in opposite directions.
He says filming a particular iceberg can be difficult because of it. “You either have to watch it for hours to find the right place to film it, or you have to follow it all day.” Hence the title of the video, Ice Ballet.
Ilulissat has the largest ice-producing glacier in the northern hemisphere. Nestoras and Athanasia were able to verify the alarming rate of ice melt in the region by comparing photos and videos of drones over the past 10 years with what they filmed recently.
The inhabitants of Ilulissat are very worried about the melting ice, mainly because it makes their movements outside their villages all the more difficult. “The cheapest way to get out of the colony is by boat, and broken icebergs make sea travel very dangerous,” Kechiagas explains.
Melted icebergs and climate crisis deniers
He believes drone footage and videos of melted icebergs should be released more widely and more often. “It is important that climate crisis deniers remember the critical state of the ice. We all need to be reminded, so that we can gradually develop an Eco-consciousness, ”he says.
The couple stayed in Ilulissat for “practically a day, which lasted a whole week”, specifies the videographer. The reason 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 about six hours of footage for their winning two-minute drone video. The footage includes footage of local people in Ilulissat and they plan to edit them for a documentary in the future.