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MIT Sloan Alumna's Documentary on Climate Change Spotlighted at 85th Academy Awards

MIT Sloan alumna, Linda Archer Cornfield, MBA ’89, and her husband, David, took an important sustainability message to Hollywood this year through their work as executive producers of the climate change documentary, Chasing Ice.

Oscar nominated for Best Original Song for “Before My Time” and shortlisted for Best Documentary, the film tells the story of nature photographer James Balog, who embarked on a project he called “The Extreme Ice Survey.” By deploying time-lapse cameras across the Arctic, he captured a multiyear record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Cornfield and her husband became involved as executive producers because they viewed cinematography as a way to connect with a broad audience and create a deeper understanding of climate change. “While mathematical models and data are important, there is no substitute for a more visceral, emotional understanding to connect people with this issue. We hope that the beauty, and horror, of the images in the film help inspire people to act.”

The documentary ties in to the Cornfields’ philanthropic focus on the environment and education. They support educational initiatives that encourage innovation to solve complex, real-world problems, and their environmental work promotes sustainable approaches for better stewardship of the Earth.

“I was first exposed to the dangers of climate change during an Independent Activities Period lecture while I was attending MIT Sloan. In 2006, David and I took part in a climate change symposium expedition to the Siberian Arctic. On that trip, the updates we heard from MIT Professor Ron Prinn and other lecturers increased our level of concern and invigorated our desire to become more engaged. We have been gratified by the reception of the movie. It has been well received by people already interested in climate change, as well as many skeptics.”