French scientist Luc Jacquet had obtained his master’s from the Lyon University in animal biology, with an emphasis on ecology and animal behavior, when he first visited the Antarctic at the age of 24. It was 1991 and he had just accepted a position at the Dumont d’Urville French Antarctic station in Terre Adelie. There, he learned to tag and to film the penguins. The experience shaped his goals, turning his interest away from the laboratory and toward the camera.
He became a wildlife photographer and cinematographer, hoping for the chance to return to the South Pole for his own film on the Emperor Penguins but patiently waiting for his rГ©sumГ© to support such a venture. Finally, in 2000 he wrote out the screenplay that would become the long-awaited project, March of the Penguins, and two years later he secured a producer. В Morgan Freeman’s familiar voice narrated the story of the both heartwarming and tragic nature of life in the Antarctic, and the crew spent an entire year filming every aspect of the birds’ lives.
The film became a surprise hit when it was released in 2005, raking in a 77 million dollar gross in its North American-wide release and becoming the most successful documentary of all time. Its epic portrayal of an entire year in the lives of the wintry creatures was adored by audiences and critics alike, centering around intimate footage of the animals, which were relatively unafraid of the crew, having never been hunted by humans. В March of the Penguins took home the Oscar in 2006 for Best Documentary, an event at which Jacquet and his crew took as yet another opportunity to express their love and enthusiasm for the animals that had brought them such success, by bringing large stuffed penguins up on-stage with them as they gave their acceptance speeches.
He followed March of the Penguins withВ The Fox & the Child (2007) andВ Once Upon A ForestВ (2013) and is currently working on Ice & Sky. В You can see all four films at the 2015 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.