“Apollo 11” is the story of the first Moon landing, and captures the countdown to lift-off of the NASA mission of 1969 that took three men hundreds of thousands of miles away from Earth and let two of them step foot on the Moon. The film is assembled from thousands of hours of footage and audio recordings from Houston’s Mission Control Center, all original material from the NASA archives. The cinematic event unfolds from sunrise on launch day to splashdown with immersive sound design.

From the blackout opening scene of the lunar day, revealing features of the Moon and the President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to put a man on the Moon before the 1960s ended, to the thoughtful and meticulous preparations for the launch and the apocalyptic lift-off to Neil Armstrong’s legendary walk, the historical events play out at an epic scale.

The short film anchors its most thrilling moments in the launch preparation and electrifying lift-off, landing the Eagle Lunar Module on the Moon and the moon walk, President Richard Nixon’s phone call to the astronauts in space from the Oval Office, and the return to Earth and the heroes’ welcome the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins received.

The film chronicles a giant leap for mankind and humanizes this unique history and legacy of a triumph by the emotional power of teamwork and of the crowds that witnessed this landmark event. Edited and directed in an observational style, the film becomes a portrait of the many faces of humanity, and documents a fearless leap forward, a dream of the optimistic people of America made true.

In a house tucked away between secret gardens with singing birds a dream was born: my enchantment of exploring the cosmos. And so I discovered the extraordinary NASA’s archives. I spent countless hours browsing through these archives, but the joy of discovery was so wonderful. The visual history that I found was my inspiration for bringing the Apollo journey to life in a documentary short film playing with this idea that against all odds, we, as a humanity persist and innovate.

50 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission has successfully landed the first man on the Moon. It is easy to think that there’s nothing left to be said about this historic moment depicted so many times in documentaries, but this landmark event is undoubtedly a portrait of humanity.

The raw optimism of our nature, exploring the space and being captivated to reveal the unknown, pushed me to create an artistic record of what it meant to me, as a future generation, the contributions of this nation’s program of space exploration. The thousands of hours of NASA’s historic footage provided me with a unique insight into the Apollo 11 mission’s efforts.

I wanted my film to be a seamless archival record of humanity’s unity, by offering a glimpse into a lunar voyage with a roaring sense of awe, immersive sound design, and editing style that builds up emotion, suspense and joy, reminding us of the sense of wonder and courage it takes to go to the Moon. I wanted my film to reach for new heights, and reveal the many faces of humanity that contributed to making
history and landing of the first man on the Moon. Making this film opened the door for me to think about ways of exploring an historic moment through a modern lens.

NASA CineSpace 2019 – Official Film Selection
SCINEMA International Science Film Festival 2020 – Official Film Selection

“Apollo 11” premiered at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival (Rice Media Center) as part of the NASA CineSpace 2019 programming on November 16th, 2019. Subsequent screenings: the International Space Station, Harris County Public Library, and University of Houston Clear Lake (Bayou Theater), NASA TV, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Australia’s Science Channel.