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‘Red Heaven’ Doc Follows Inhabitants of a Simulated Mars Civilization

"The way we envision the future says so much about our present."

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

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Red Heaven

Logline: In a small dome on a remote volcano in Hawaii, six adventurers are simulating life in the first human habitat on Mars. “Red Heaven” follows their experience over an entire year in isolation, asking why do we dream of living on Mars?

Elevator Pitch:

With unprecedented exclusive access to a simulated Mars mission, “Red Heaven” provides a raw and intimate look into what living on Mars might actually be like for human beings. The crew – all in their 30s – have backgrounds ranging from astrobiology to forestry and even space architecture, and this adventure challenges the very core of their personal beliefs. In a cultural moment when hype surrounding going to Mars seems singular and unquestioned, “Red Heaven” goes beyond an exaltation of technology and innovation, to explore a vision of the future that tells us so much about our present.

Production Team:

Producers/Directors Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe met while attending Stanford University’s Documentary Film and Video MFA program, where they bonded over a mutual fascination with stories about visionaries, dreamers, and outliers. Their award-winning short films have been screened at numerous festivals across the U.S. and internationally. This is their first feature documentary film.

Co-Producers David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg of Structure Films make films about people doing cool S.H.I.T– science, health, information and technology. We strongly believe that cinematic storytelling can revolutionize science communication and engage the public with the awesome responsibility that comes with the scientific enterprise.

Executive Producer Jamie Meltzer’s feature documentary films have been broadcast nationally on PBS and have screened at numerous film festivals worldwide. His current documentary project, “True Conviction” (in post-production), is a co-production of ITVS and the recipient of a Sundance Institute grant and a MacArthur grant. He teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University.

About the Film:

Two years ago we were graduate film students at Stanford, living in the Silicon Valley culture of “changing the world”, “living in the future”, or “becoming multi-planetary”. We became fascinated by this dream of future technological immortality at a present time of global crisis. Much like the futures depicted in our favorite sci-fi movies, the way we envision the future says so much about our present. So we set out to make the first “science nonfiction” documentary that explores what future life might actually be like – on Mars, and what going to Mars means for the future of humanity.

Current Status: In production and fundraising on Kickstarter.

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