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The Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, 2015. Photo: U.S. Government Work

Polar Policy:

Preparing for the future

Ever wondered what the Arctic Council does or why the Antarctic Treaty is so important - and unique? Is there really a race for resources in the Arctic, and what is Russia's end game up north? The videos below shed light on these important topics and more.

Featured film: 


SEVER is a roadmap to a decentralized future in the Arctic frontier. Starting from the introduction of a new Arctic cryptocurrency, the project imagines a strategy of circumpolar development revolving around a decentralised economy and governance.


Perhaps the most vivid manifestation of the Anthropocene, the rapid and irreversible melt of the Arctic perennial ice is giving birth to a new ocean, across which the globe could be thoroughly rewired. The prospect of an open Arctic draws many competing interests to the region: geopolitical tensions are on the rise, while the risk of an environmental disaster lures over the polar horizon. Rather than resisting what now appears as an inevitable Arctic development, the project sets out to accelerate it in the right direction. SEVER emerges as a tool to bring about desirable and sustainable Arctic future(s). Its location-sensitive protocol is designed to foster exchange and cooperation across a networked Arctic economy, and to have a positive geo-engineering impact on the regional ecosystem. As a scalable, blockchain-based infrastructure for decentralized exchanges and governance, SEVER would lay the ground for the development of an alternative model of globalization, first trialed in the Arctic frontier.


The SEVER project is presented here in the form of a short film mainly shot in Murmansk, Russian Federation.

Polar Film Fest exclusive

See the films


Watch all of the short films on the Youtube playlist or use the individual links below. The whole set lasts about 45 minutes. 

The Emerging Arctic

Short film (7:35), general audience

The Council on Foreign Relations interviews various Arctic experts to explain the geopolitical changes happening at the top of the world.

The Antarctic Treaty

Short film (2:14), general audience

In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed, which prevents any industrial activity and instead dedicates the continent to science. Find out the history of this landmark agreement in this short video produced by LastOceanNZ.

IMO in the Polar Environment: the Polar Code Explained

Short film (10:54), general audience

As shipping activity grows in the polar regions, how is the International Maritime Organization's new Polar Code helping to manage this while protecting people and the environment?

Frozen Dreams: Russia's Arctic Obsession

Medium-length film (16:11), general audience

The Financial Times takes us to the remote reaches of Siberia to learn the meaning of the Russian Arctic to both the nation and its people, and the dreams they have for its future.

Oil and Ice: The Risks of Drilling in Alaska's Arctic Ocean

Short film (6:30), general audience

The race for drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean is on, as the film proclaims. But are we prepared for the worst - a spill in the Arctic, a place with a harsh environment and little infrastructure?

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