In production. Completion December 2024. 90 Min/3×30 Min

Script: Dorothea Braun
Director: Jens Becker
Camera: Susanna Salonen
Editing: Annett Illjew
Music: Hannes Gill
Producer: Dorothea Braun
Co-Producer: Kurt Otterbacher
Executive Producer BSX: Hansjürgen Schmölzer

A production of strandfilm-Produktions GmbH and Dorothea Braun in cooperation with BSX Schmölzer GmbH.

The Arctic has always had a magical attraction. It was considered invincible for thousands of years. The eternal ice claimed countless victims – people who ventured to the North Pole, explored it, often died tragically and became heroes. We’re talking about men. But women also played a large part in the success of the voyages of discovery. They led and funded polar expeditions and saved crews’ lives. Today they are largely forgotten. The film ICEWOMEN wants to change that.

There is no place on earth more forbidding than the endless, frigid arctic expanses. For thousands of years, the far north was considered invincible, which only increased its magical appeal. The hunt to be the first human to reach the North Pole has cost countless lives and swallowed ships.

People who nevertheless ventured into the ice desert and explored it were celebrated as heroes. Hopes of proving the existence of an ‘open polar sea’ or the ‘Northwest Passage’, of discovering the ‘big island’ at the North Pole or the ‘Magnetberg’ demanded superhuman efforts from the explorers under extreme weather conditions.

The history of Arctic research therefore usually reads like a heroic epic in which rough, wildly determined, bearded guys wrapped in fur play the main role, which ended fatally for many. Their names resonate to our day and speak of their audacity: Roald Amundsen, James Cook, John Franklin, Francis Hall, Fridtjof Nansen and Robert E. Peary to name just a few.

But in the realm of darkness and mist, ice and gloom, far from comfort and safety, it was often women who brought expeditions and crews back safely, who secured supplies, secured vital clothing and fur shoes, and warmed men who would otherwise have frozen to death.

They were fearless companions who brought themselves and their crew through the polar night and the bursting of the frozen sea. It was women who collected important scientific data, who measured foreign coasts for the first time and immortalized the eternal ice in travel reports, photographs, film recordings and watercolours. Along the way, they helped their partners, husbands and colleagues to fame and glory.

The fact that women played a key role in the success of the great expeditions, that they even financed and led polar expeditions themselves, that they saved the lives of the crew and their superiors, is largely unknown or forgotten today.