Interstellar search for life

Science soars into deep space in Living Universe, an Australian feature documentary tackling the momentous question: are we alone? Narrated by everyone’s favourite scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Australian astrophysicist Professor Tamara Davis, the film will screen nationally at Event Cinemas on 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14 August 2018 as part of National Science Week.

An interstellar adventure searching for life on another planet, the film follows the 50-year journey of a starship piloted by artificial intelligence, Captain Artemis (voiced by Prof Davis) to an imaginary planet Minerva B, set 150 years in the future.

The speculative voyage is presented alongside interviews with the world’s top scientific visionaries, drawing from their expertise to offer insights into our collective future exploring deep space.

An epic feature documentary from AACTA and Emmy Award winning producers, Chris Hilton, Aline Jacques and Marcus Gillezeau, the film delves into the mystery of exoplanets – distant planets capable of supporting alien life. In the last two decades thousands of such planets have been discovered, many Earth-like.

Making the film

Capturing a pivotal moment in the human story, Living Universe celebrates Artemis’ interstellar journey as not only possible, but promised in humanity’s not too distant future. The film offers insight and inspiration for anyone who dreams of distant worlds, or has ever wondered: why are we here?

Eight years in the making, the film is not science fiction, but rather science faction.

Living Universe blends state of the art visual effects with storytelling anchored solidly in the latest scientific research.

Producer Aline Jacques said that the science evolved radically over the decade since NASA Chief Engineer and scifi author Gentry Lee, along with his Lead Investigator on the Mars River Mission, the astrophysicist Steve Squyres, first approached Essential Media with the idea of producing this film.

“A big challenge during the first years of raising finance was in convincing sceptical broadcasters that we weren’t making science fiction,” she said, adding that the greatest brains in planetary research were backing the scientific claims.

“An ongoing challenge during the actual years of filming and editing was working at the cutting edge of science to ensure that the breakthroughs didn’t get ahead of us.”

The film features the best minds in the field of space exploration, planetary science and astrobiology including NASA leaders like Steve Squyres, Natalie Batalha, Gentry Lee and Sarah Seager.

Live panel screenings

Living Universe will screen as part of Sydney Science Festival and elsewhere during National Science Week.

All welcome to attend a special Festival event on 14 August at Event Cinemas George St that will feature a post-film Q&A with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Professor Tamara Davis.

Register to attend

About the film

A truly international project, Living Universe is produced by independent producers Essential Media in Australia and ZED in France with coproduction partner in the US. The film has been financed with the assistance of Screen Australia, Create NSW, and Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

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