A journey across both poles, After Antarctica follows legendary polar explorer Will Steger’s lifelong journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes to the polar regions of our planet. In 1989 an international crew of six explorers and scientists set out to be the first humans to cross Antarctica by dog-sled. Their mission: to draw attention to a rapidly changing Antarctica and convince world leaders to renew the Antarctic Treaty, in order to shield the frozen continent from industrial profiteers for the next 50 years. Now, as the expedition’s leader Will Steger ventures out onto the ice once again – this time at the age of 75 and into the Arctic tundra – he recounts the historic, death-defying journey that forever changed his life and led him to where he is today. Through riveting verite archival footage that brings the past alive, After Antarctica is a wilderness thriller pinning us to the edge of our seats as it immerses us in the danger, tension and sacrifice Steger and his team faced at every turn in order to complete their historic mission. As septuagenarian Steger treks into one more vast expanse, this time at the opposite end of the Earth, his reflections in the present crystallize into a profound cinematic memoir, a meditation on mortality, and a eulogy for the ice.
Tasha Van Zandt is a documentary director, cinematographer, writer, and Emmy-nominated producer who has documented stories around the globe across all seven continents. Her projects have been supported by SFFILM, Film Independent, and the Sundance Institute. Her documentary feature debut After Antarctica follows the legendary polar explorer Will Steger’s life journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes to the polar regions of our planet. Her documentary short film Tehachapi, co-directed with the artist JR, follows the creation of a participatory work of art within the walls of a level-four supermax prison. Van Zandt’s previous short documentary film, One Thousand Stories, offers an intimate look into the creation of JR’s first of its kind interactive mural, which was exhibited at the SFMOMA. Her work has been commissioned by TIME Magazine, The Guardian, HBO, Netflix, VICE, and National Geographic Expeditions. She is a 2019 Film Independent Fellow, a 2019 Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Fellow, a 2020 SFFILM Sloan Stories of Science Fellow, a 2020 Film Independent Fast Track Fellow, and a 2020 SFFILM FilmHouse Resident.