La Quinta Arts Foundation Scholarship recipient Corina Gamma is a Swiss-born documentarist and fine-art photographer. She earned her MFA from the Claremont Graduate University. Currently, she teaches college-level fine art photography. Between 2009 and 2011 she traveled three times to Greenland and has spent over four months photographing and developing the documentary SILA, GATEKEEPERS OF THE ARCTIC. She previously directed TIES ON A FENCE (2005), shown at numerous festivals and winner of two prizes, and WHERE JOURNEY MEETS (2012), winner of the Wildlife Award at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival.
In her extensive research on Greenland’s environment and culture, she visited the many settlements and towns from the southern tip to the most northern village Siorapaluk. In May 2011 she joined climatologist Dr. Konrad Steffen and his expedition to Swiss Camp on the Inland Ice Sheet. She spent three weeks camping out on the ice together with the researchers, to witness their fieldwork. Gamma applies her experience in fine-art photography towards her documentaries to create films that are artistic, yet of social-political significance. She seeks subject matters that explore the relationship between people and their environment, often reaching to the margins of human habitation.
Her latest film will had its California Premiere at the American Documentary Film Festival.
The documentary explores the Greenlandic concept of SILA, a term that encompasses weather, balance and consciousness. Amidst a breathtaking frozen landscape, two vastly independent groups, Inuit subsistence hunters and a group of polar scientists, bear witness to the transforming environment due to climate change.
In the world’s most northern inhabited town, a small Inuit settlement struggles with the drastic change in weather pattern, their centuries-old lifestyle is vanishing. Their stories are vividly woven together with those of a small group of international researchers on Greenland’s vast Inland Ice Cap. Both sides of witnesses bring a human face to the highly politicized issue of climate change and illustrate the impact our over-industrialized world can ever have on a small isolated Arctic community.
“Considering the grim premise of climate change, ‘Sila’ succeeds by advocating the ethereal connection between man and nature.”
—Matt Howsam, Raindance Film Festival, London
The Visual Arts Scholarship Program is designed to assist local college-bound art students, and returning scholarship recipients, as they work toward a career in the field of visual arts. Since the program was instituted in 1984, La Quinta Arts Foundation has awarded more than $1.23 million dollars in scholarships to local students pursuing college degrees in the field of visual arts.