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Fast Foreword: The Editor's Column, Summer 2019

By Tom White

Dear Readers,

As the world gets hotter and science takes a beating from the far right, the need for the nature/wildlife/science/environment docs is taking on a greater urgency. And filmmakers have stepped up, utilizing the most innovative tools and platforms at their disposal to create some of the most stunning testaments to the beauty and peril of our planet—and the universe in which it spins.

We feature Victor Kossakovsky’s Aquarela, a breathtaking epic poem about water, a vital force that is increasingly destructive with each incremental degree of the planet’s temperature. Check out Peter Kurie’s interview with the filmmaker.

Carol Nahra checks in with the respective heads of the three leading wildlife festivals/confabs in the world—Jackson Wild, Wildscreen and EarthX—who share their wisdom about where both the genre and the industry that supports it are heading.

This summer marks a plethora of 50th anniversary commemorations, and the biggest one, which has inspired a trove of documentaries, has been the First Lunar Landing. Todd Douglas Miller, who had made a short doc about Apollo 17, took on a formidable enterprise of reviewing thousands of hours of gorgeous 70mm footage and audio recordings of the nine-day journey to the moon and back. The result, Apollo 11, takes us right back there to experience what the world witnessed. The film, which has enjoyed a successful theatrical and IMAX theater run, premieres on CNN July 20.

Robert Stone takes a broader view of the entire space program, from the launch of Sputnik through the Apollo 17 mission, in his six-hour series for PBS’ American Experience, Chasing the Moon. Darianna Cardilli talks to both Miller and Stone about the long process and the joy of making their respective works.

We also spotlight The People’s Moon, a VR installation conceived and created by Christina Korp of the Aldrin (yes, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step on the moon) Family Foundation, VR director/cinematographer Jannicke Mikkelsen and photo mosaic artist Helen Marshall. The project incorporates citizens’ reflections on that historic day. Valentina Valentini talks to the creative team about the road to launching the project.

CPH:DOX, as part of its CPH:CONFERENCE this year, took a daylong, provocative look at Science & Film. Lauren Wissot reports on some of the more brilliant observations about the space where the disciplines converge to make better storytelling.

Yours in actuality,

Tom White