Private Project

Sky Gods - the price of our love of flying

Powered flight is one of the greatest of all human achievements, and international cooperation has created an extraordinary global system of easy, safe travel that brings benefits to billions.
But flight today may be more dangerous than we think, not to our lives as passengers, but to the Earth itself.

“Sky Gods,” a new documentary produced by Sarah Robertson and Bernice Notenboom, tells the story of one devoted frequent flier’s search for the facts behind this new fear of flight, and what we can do to save both our planet and our wings.

  • Sarah Robertson
    Sea Blind, Arctic Tale
  • Sarah Robertson
    Sea Blind, Arctic Tale
  • Bernice Notenboom
    Sea Blind, Tipping Points, The Arctic March, Himalaya Alert
  • Bernice Notenbooom
    Key Cast
    "Bernice "
    Sea Blind, Tipping Points, Himalaya Alert, Desert Alert, Survival of the Sexes, Ice Scream
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Belgium, Chile, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • United Nations COP 26 Glasgow
    Glasgow COP 26
    United Kingdom
    November 5, 2021
    Global Premiere
  • IDFA special climate screening
    November 26, 2021
Director Biography - Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is a Canadian documentary filmmaker. As a writer/director and adventurer she has 25 years experience making films about Arctic wildlife, science, and geopolitics. She and her company, Arctic Bear Productions have contributed to several award winning films including Planet Earth, To The Arctic Imax movie, National Geographic’s Great Migrations series, BBC’s Frozen Planet, and a Summer Odyssey 3D for The CBC. Several have earned American Emmy and Canadian Screen recognitions.

Sarah first concentrated on creating films that showed rare animal behavior captured in very difficult circumstances, sometimes under the Arctic ice cap other times on top of ridiculously thin ice. Polar Bears, walrus and narwhal were routine subjects, - 30-degree cold a regular obstacle, sleeping in an igloo a pleasure and eating wild food with the Inuit an overcome conundrum.

Working with scientists in dozens of filming expeditions into the North, Sarah has seen evidence of global climate change and her focus became to communicate these Arctic changes. Sarah’s feature directorial debut, Arctic Tale made with National Geographic Films and Paramount Vantage was a first step in experimenting with the complexities of communicating effectively on the climate challenge. In 2007 Sarah was awarded The Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award in recognition of excellence in exploring climate change.

Sarah’s documentary, Sea Blind, The Price of Shipping Our Stuff has recently been an effective tool in accelerating the conversation on how to transition the marine transportation sector to a lower carbon footprint in an effort to maintain the two-degree warming limit on our planet. It screened at COP 21 in Paris and has gone on to be shown in both the Dutch Parliament and the European Union Parliament.

Sky Gods, the Price of our Love of Flying is the next installment in seeking to find solutions to aviations’ dielema of reducing their carbon impact on the earth.

Sarah’s continues to be focused in exploring societal reactions and solutions to our warming world.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In 2016 Sarah and Bernice produced the documentary Sea Blind, The Price of Shipping our Stuff.
This was a film about the consequence of northern hemispheric shipping being re-routed through the arctic. It focused on the challenge of transitioning polluting shipping fuel to cleaner and more sustainable fuels throughout the massive industry.

The film did well and found a wide audience in public policy, the shipping sector and with civil society.

Shipping and aviation emissions are both are not directly included in the Paris Climate Accord, instead they are governed by their own entities. Given that both sectors have so a large impact in our lives we feel that shipping and now aviation needs more scrutiny, understanding and communication amongst the public. We feel that our films are serving part of that that need.

Sky Gods, the Price of Our Love of Flying is a second installment, tackling the challenges to decarbonize aviation.
The issue is urgent. Aviation’s emissions are a favorite topic in today’s media. The concept of fly shame has reached ears across Europe and North America, maybe even becoming the phrase of the year. However, as much as people claim to know about the issues of aviation, it is often just the tip of the iceberg, many really do not know the facts and the choices that we face. We aim to myth-bust and present a thought-provoking representation of where we are in this moment of time and what are choices are to move forward in solving the emission problem. The decisions we make now will affect deep into our futures of how we fly.

We consider that aviation is an emblematic issue in the climate challenge discussion. If we can solve aviation then it’s an indication that we will be able to succeed in the climate challenge, if we can’t, then our fight to adapt to climate change will fail. The film is not just a science story. It aims to be more literary: talking about the metaphysical challenge to our ideas about what it means to change our behaviors as a society.

Lastly, we believe that carbon mitigation cannot be achieved without carbon awareness. Much of this film offers an opportunity to discuss and educate about carbon, its function, and how to become more aware of how much we use.