Will Steger’s climate journey closes out Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

Chris Farrell and Lindsay Guentzel
May 21, 2021


The 40th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival wraps up this weekend with a screening of “After Antarctica,” a documentary that looks at polar explorer Will Steger’s career.

In 1989, Steger’s exploration of Antarctica highlighted the need to address climate change. Thirty years later, he attempted to make the same journey but was unable to complete it due to the effects of climate change on Antarctica.

“Just the other day, one of the largest chunks ever, the size of Long Island, broke off of Antarctica,” Steger said. “It’s no longer possible to do that exact route because 300 miles of it just does not exist anymore.”

“After Antarctica” explores these changes to the region and the work being done to address the climate crisis.

Tasha Van Zandt directed the film. Her motivation for the project stemmed from her own commitment to climate change awareness — and her upbringing in Minnesota. Van Zandt was raised in south Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota.

“Growing up in Minnesota, Will Steger was such a hometown hero and just a local legend,” Van Zandt said. “I remember being young and looking at pictures of National Geographic magazines and learning about Will’s journeys.”

Van Zandt was working with National Geographic when she met Steger following a speech he gave in downtown Minneapolis.

“I just felt so inspired to find a way as a documentarian to share his incredible journey with others,” Van Zandt said.


  • Will Steger is a polar explorer, educator, author, entrepreneur and climate activist. He is the founder of Climate Generation, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that empowers individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change.
  • Tasha Van Zandt is a director, cinematographer, photojournalist and producer who has traveled around the world for her work and won numerous international awards. She is the director of the short films “Stephen Curry: Make the Moment” (2017), “The Gun Chronicles: A Story Of America” (2019) and “One Thousand Stories: The Making of a Mural” (2019). “After Antarctica” (2020) is her debut feature documentary.
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