It is one of humankind's greatest achievements. More than 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space - the first human-made object ever to do so.
Interview with Writer/Director Emer Reynolds
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! I have had a deep love of space and science since childhood. I used to lie on the ground on our Tipperary farm at night, clutching onto the grass, feeling exhilarated that I was hurtling through space! Voyager was getting further and further out there throughout my childhood, reaching ever more distant planets, and I always thought it such a romantic, inspiring and exciting story. A chance to make a film about it was the perfect opportunity to combine my two great loves- film and space!
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I wanted to film the story of Voyager because it’s an epic wondrous tale, that amazingly had never been told on a cinema screen before. It has all the elements of any great story: dreams, ambition, daring, tension, danger, exploding stars, colliding galaxies ..and aliens! It’s a film for anyone who has looked up and wondered…
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
It's more than a film about space- it's a film about being human. The study of science- though it is based on facts and observable events, is not cold and indifferent. It is full of hope and wonder; of joy and curiosity and enthusiasm. We think of scientists and engineers as logical, disciplined, but in our interviews we discovered a well of emotion. This film explores the essence of being human. To ask questions. To hold ’not knowing’ valuable. To want to understand the mysteries at the heart of our existence.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Every film evolves as it is made, but particularly documentaries. Starting out, and through deep research, we had a very clear plot for the story we wished to tell, but then we added the real characters- through which the story would be told- to the mix, and a whole other world of emotion and humour and honesty poured out onto the film, and we were led down a truly human, surprising, delightful, child-like path, filled with wonder. That was very rewarding and exciting, and the film was transformed.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The response to the film has been overwhelming, and very humbling! The film really touches people in their hearts. Every screening to date has blown us away with how the audience respond. They queue up after each showing to tell us how inspired, how humbled, how proud they are of Voyager and the achievement; how insignificant the contemplation of space makes them feel, and yet so profoundly part of Humanity and the Cosmos. How awe-struck, filled with wonder and moved they are by the glories of the solar system, the madness of the dream of communicating with other unknowable beings, and by what humanity is capable of! One woman in NY said she felt HOPE for the first time since November..
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It has been so gratifying to see how deeply the film touches people.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We just would love to get as wide an audience as possible for the film, to spread the tale of the Amazing Adventures of Voyager as far as we can!
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
As I sure you know, no matter how fantastic the reviews and festival run, every film needs a break, especially smaller, independent films; and anyone who can help it get the attention that this wonderful, inspiring story deserves, is more than welcome!. Be wonderful to get key journalists, and so- called taste-makers, and anyone with the power to encourage audiences to come see it in the cinema! And share the message that science rocks, that humanity rocks!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
The Screen review called it ”the right film at the right time’. This is a moment in time and world history where science is suspect, anti-intellectualism is rife and we find ourselves in a surreal, parallel universe of alternative facts and scientific fictions — that climate change is a Chinese hoax; that vaccines cause autism; and where key governmental science advisor positions lie vacant. This is a film that celebrates the magnificence of science and the scientific method, that showcases courage and curiosity and inventiveness, that really shows the positive side of America; her role and generosity as a world leader in science and exploration, and the value it brings to all humanity. It can hopefully sound a note of hope in the din of despair.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
In the words of Arthur C. Clarke:“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Discuss!
Would you like to add anything else?
As "the perfect tonic in these unscientific times”, the film celebrates The Best of America, and the story of Voyager is something for all humanity, and for Americans in particular, to feel so proud of..
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am developing multiple feature documentaries; some political and campaigning; some about the arts and culture; some more science and future-looking; and a feature drama sci-fi script, and who knows which of them will fly first! Producer Clare Stronge is taking time out to take care of her newborn baby named Sofia! and producer John Murray is filming an epic wildlife film in Cuba.
Interview: June 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
12 Billion Miles and Counting
Length: 120 MINUTES
Director: EMER REYNOLDS
Producer: JOHN MURRAY, CLARE STRONGE
Writer: EMER REYNOLDS
EMER REYNOLDS is an Emmy nominated multi-award winning documentary director and feature film editor, based in Dublin Ireland. Over the last two decades, Emer's work has spanned feature films, TV Drama and documentary including multi award-winning, twice Emmy nominated wildlife feature 'Broken Tail' and the three times Emmy nominated 'On a River in Ireland' noted as the most awarded wildlife film in the world of the past two years.
JOHN MURRAY is MD of Crossing the Line Productions, one of Ireland's leading documentary producers for the International market. Over the past twenty years he has produced and directed over 70 films for the world's leading broadcasters and won numerous awards, including IFTAs & two Emmy nominations.
CLARE STRONGE is a Dublin based specialist factual producer and director. She has produced and directed documentaries for channels such as BBC2, BBC4, Channel 4, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.
Key cast: Frank Drake, Carolyn Porco, John Casani, Lawrence Krauss, Timothy Ferris, Ed Stone, Nick Sagan, Larry Soderblom, Brad Smith, Charlie Kohlhase, Fran Benegal, Jim Bell, Frank Locatell, Suzanne Dodd, Jon Lomberg, Don Gurnett, Heidi Hammel, Candy Hansen-Koharcheck, Andrew Ingersoll, Stamatios ‘Tom’ Krimigis, Rich Terrile, Dave Linick, Linda Morabito, Fernando Peralta, Linda Spilker, Tom Spilker, Janet Sternberg, Amahl Drake
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Particularly journalists to spread the word about the film and keep abreast of its release, film festival directors and anyone who can propel our film forward and have as big an audience as possible.
Social media handles: #thefarthest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thefarthestfilm @thefarthestfilm
Funders: HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Irish Film Board, ZDF, ARTE, BBC, RTÉ and PBS
Made in association with:
A Crossing the Line Production
In Association with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios,
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board
In Co-Production with ZDF
In Cooperation with ARTE, BBC, RTÉ and PBS
Where can I see it in the next month?
The film will be showing at AFI DOCS in Washington DC on Sunday June 18th: http://www.afi.com/afidocs/features.aspx
(This is currently the only upcoming US festival we can announce at the moment)
Showing at Sydney Film Festival June 16th and 18th: http://tix.sff.org.au/html/s_TheFarthest.htm
Showing at Edinburgh International Film Festival: June 22nd and June 24th: https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2017/farthest
We are waiting to hear news about a Theatrical release. Should be coming shortly.