The Future is in the Stars

If you ever told yourself you’d pack your bags for the next flight into space if you could, then you probably wouldn’t be the only one. Especially, with the way things are going on Earth during these uncertain times. With our special programme, you won’t have to complete any special astronaut training to make your dream come true. We’ve hand-picked a selection of films about man’s relationship with the universe that’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping with excitement. Space voyages and expeditions to distant galaxies can bring more than just unforgettable adventures and valuable scientific knowledge. They’ll also bring you a whole new perspective of life on Earth.

Humankind’s age-old fascination with worlds that seem out of reach forms the very core of the short film Mars, Oman. The story of alien planets, despite cultural and linguistic differences, unites the Bedouins of Oman and European astronauts, both traditional and modern nomads. For the former, the desert is their home. For the latter, this inhospitable landscape is used to simulate planetary conditions on Mars. The universe also brought actors together for the visually captivating film Cielo, directed by Alison McAlpine in the Atacama Desert and the Andes. In it, the starry sky becomes an inspiration for contemplating Earth's many problems. Some of them are examined in more detail in The Sky Commodified, which also takes place in the Chilean desert. The area has sprung to life in recent years thanks to the space industry. Both local businesses and global tech companies alike make money off of the astronomical amount of data being found amongst the stars. However, as the film points out, data mining for space applications doesn’t need to contribute to a better understanding of the cosmos, necessarily, but can also improve surveillance of “earthlings.”

Whether they take the form of a scientific discussion or essayistic thinking, the other films in this curated selection will also remind us that while we may dream of meeting extraterrestrial beings and visiting planets tens of millions of kilometres away, we must first and foremost deal with the challenges we face right here, right now on Planet Earth.

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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