When the Snow Melts

Documentary by James Stevens

When you hear the words 'climate change', what do you picture? Icecaps melting on the Poles? Droughts in Africa? Forest fires in Australia? You'd be forgiven for thinking that climate change is effecting other countries but not the UK. However, climate change is effecting every country on earth, including the UK. You might not be aware of the impacts, but it is here, and it is a huge issue.

I started filming my documentary When the Snow Melts back in 2016, I had just started living in the Cairngorms. The snowcapped mountains, to me, represented a pure arctic climate. A place so cold it was hard to imagine it being effected by a warming planet. Fast forward to 2020, when I released the film, I had bared witness to years of dramatic weather fluctuations. Winters were mild, Springs were cold and wet. These crucial times of year for wildlife are so erratic that it threatens the very existence of these species.

But what about peoples lives and livelihoods? When I spoke to Alan Stewart, owner of the Cairngorm Sleddog Centre back in 2016, he painted a very scary and very real picture of what is happening in the Cairngorms. Historically these mountains laid snow so perfect that the winter sports industry was booming for decades. However, in recent years, things have changed dramatically. This was a story I had to film.

For his business, providing sleddog experiences, he would easily have 7 months of the year to run his dogs in cold conditions, conditions which Alaskan Husky's are most comfortable. Now he is lucky to get 7 weeks. It has dramatically impacted on Alan and Fiona Stewart's business and their struggle is felt by entire communities here in Scotland where a poor winter yields poor income.

I urge you to watch When the Snow Melts to see the reality of climate change. Real people, real lives, real climate story.


Festivals and Awards

Winner Best Environmental Film 

Front Range Film Festival 2021

Austria International Film Festival 2020

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival 2020

Kendal Mountain Film Festival 2020

Red Film Market 2020

Eugene Environmental Film Festival 2021

Fort William Mountain Film Festival 2021

London Mountain Film Festival 2021

Lookout Wild Film Festival 2021