Filmmakers Use 50 Years of Footage From NASA to Create Short Films

CineSpace asked international filmmakers to showcase 50 years of footage from NASA with their own narrative shorts. 

"Higher Ground" by Mary Magsamen and Stephen Hillerbrand

Drawing from over 50 years of footage from NASA, filmmakers from 22 countries and 32 U.S. states created shorts for the CineSpace competition. A collaboration between NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society, entries were judged based on “the creativity, innovation, and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of spaceflight.”

Sixteen finalists were chosen from 194 entries to premiere at CineSpace Day during the Houston Cinema Arts Festival which runs from November 10 to 17, 2016. Houston-native, director Richard Linklater, most recently known for Boyhood, helped judge this out-of-the-world competition.

The first place winner, “Higher Ground” created by Houston’s Mary Magsamen and Stephen Hillerbrand, was presented with a sweet $10,000. In this short, a family watches a shuttle launch that inspires them to clear out their garage and craft their own vessel to blast out of this atmosphere. They watch the Earth from the relative safety of their homemade ship.

Second place was granted to “Mission Avante” from Bogota, Colombia, which takes a darker look at space travel. Clever animations augment NASA’s footage while humanity seeks a habitat outside of this planet on which to survive.

Third place is perhaps the most delicate and well-produced, “Le Voyage” from Laval, Quebec. Two children create their own solar system out of fruit and spaceship out of aluminum foil, which blasts the little boy into the cosmos in his mind.

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