51 Degrees South – Vern Cummins + Jamie Gallant + Christine Wolf at the Whitehouse Post in Chicago

Christine Wolf Goes South. 51 Degrees South.

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51 Degrees South.

The Falkland Islands.

Vern Cummins and Jamie Gallant were fascinated with the Falklands, and they wanted to delve deeper – they wanted to get to know the people who live in this remote place, 51 Degrees South of the Equator.

When Christine Wolf heard about 51 Degrees South, she knew she wanted to be involved – “They had a very clear vision about what they were setting out to do and that impressed me right away. Vern Cummins worked in our Chicago office a few years back. I reached out to him and offered to lend a hand because I have a real soft spot for documentaries. Jamie Gallant, until recently a producer at DDB, was coincidentally working in our office at the time of the project, so we met in the halls of the Whitehouse.” They took her up on her offer and invited her to be lead editor, assisted by Caleb Hepler, “Caleb was my extraordinary assistant on these. He was a wizard at animating all the graphics and also edited Gritty in Pink. There is so much work that goes into a project of this size, I couldn’t have done it without him.”

With so much of the coverage on the Falkland islands centering on its conflict with Argentina or its ecosystem and natural resources, Christine and the team were very deliberate in their editing decisions, “There really hasn’t been much focus on the people that live there – that was the primary motive behind this project. It was very intentional that the series did not dwell on the ongoing conflict with Argentina – although it is, of course, acknowledged several times throughout the series because it is such an important part of the island history. We felt a great deal of responsibility to tell the islander’s stories and help their voices be heard.”

And those voices are, in fact, being heard. 51 Degrees South screened at the British Embassy in Washington DC and broadcast on NatGeo Radio. It will air on the Community Channel on the 17th & 20th of December at 8pm on Sky 539, Virgin Media 233, BT Vision, Freeview 87 and On Demand channels. In March there will be a political referendum on whether the people of the Falklands wish to remain an overseas territory of the UK or negotiate a new status, and Jamie and Vern plan to be there to document those events as they unfold, and so the story continues…

# Christine Wolf documentary Caleb Hepler the Whitehouse Post in Chicago