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UCLA Graduate to Document Antarctic Climate Change


LR-Emma Kragen-email

Emma Kragen
Emma Kragen
Teri Schwartz, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), announced that 25-year-old UCLA TFT graduate student and emerging cinematographer Emma Kragen will be embarking on a journey of a lifetime to Antarctica as part of the International Antarctic Expedition 2015 with renowned polar explorer and environmental leader Robert Swan. The 13-day expedition will begin on March 13 in Ushuaia, Argentina, and will provide Kragen with an opportunity to film the expedition’s journey across Drake Passage and the Antarctica Peninsula. Kragen’s documentary will help to showcase the effects of global climate change.

Schwartz created the opportunity for an outstanding TFT student to embark on this journey on the school’s behalf. Kragen was chosen not only for her excellent creative work but also for her ability to serve as an outstanding ambassador for UCLA TFT’s vision and mission.

“Emma is an outstanding filmmaker, storyteller and cinematographer,” said Schwartz. “She represents all that is exceptional about our amazing students. To go on this important and exciting journey with Robert Swan and his team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use the power of story for good. Robert is dedicated to education and shares our deep belief in the power of story to drive social change.”

Throughout her voyage, Kragen will be filming, tweeting and video blogging. In a ceremonial moment for Kragen and UCLA TFT, she’ll represent her alma mater when she unfurls a UCLA TFT flag at the tip of the Antarctic for a photo to commemorate her journey. During the expedition, Kragen will film footage of the journey to bring back to the U.S. She will create a short film that tells a dynamic story about the preservation of the Antarctic.

“I’m very excited to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” commented Kragen. “I’ve always been interested in making films that have the potential to change the world, and I’m thrilled that the expedition with 2041 will give me the opportunity to do just that.”

The expedition will include 78 participants from 25 nations. Swan, (the first man to walk to both the North and South Poles), is the founder of 2041, an organization that is dedicated to informing, engaging and inspiring the next generation of leaders to take responsibility to take action to protect the environment. 2041 refers to the year in which a multinational agreement, the Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, is up for re-negotiation. The treaty went into effect in 1991 and was created to protect the Antarctic as an area for scientific research essential to understanding the global environment. Currently, any activity relating to mineral resources, other than scientific research, is prohibited. However, this could change once the protocol expires.

“The diverse team we have pulled together for this expedition is made up of inspiring individuals who have the opportunity to ignite change,” said Swan. “I’ve been to the Antarctic 35 times in my life and everyone who takes the journey with me returns to their home as great champions not only for Antarctica, but for local issues in their own nations.”

To follow Kragen’s Antarctic journey, visit

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