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Global Vision Documentary,
The Farthest

Saturday, March 24, 2018
4:30 PM | Somerville Theatre 1

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The Farthest
2017/Ireland (122 min)
Director: Emer Reynolds 

Global Vision Documentary Award Winner

Director Emer Reynolds in person - Q&A. 

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. Slowly dying within its heart is a nuclear generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity.

The Farthest celebrates these magnificent machines, the men and women who built them and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could ever have hoped. 


Co-presented with STEM on Stage
and Women in Film & Video, New England

Join us for a post screening discussion on the intersection of science and storytelling.

Voyager’s Golden Record sought to tell humanity’s story to the universe.  The mission itself forever changed the course of that story--stretching the limits of human potential & now extending our reach beyond our own solar system for the first time in history. 

Join us for a screening of the film critics have called “a romantic and occasionally poetic tribute to the majesty of space”, followed by a panel discussion exploring the intersections of science and storytelling featuring film’s director, Emer Reynolds as well as MIT professors John Winston Belcher and Anna Frebel. 

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Emer Reynolds

Director Emer Reynolds is an Emmy nominated multi-award winning documentary director and feature film editor, based in Dublin, Ireland. 

The Farthest, her feature documentary on the trail-blazing Voyager spacecraft, described by Screen Daily as “ cathartic and moving .. the right film at the right time”, made its debut at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival, where it picked up three awards including the Audience Award and Best Irish Documentary, and has just had its International Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Emer most recently directed Here Was Cuba, a feature documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis described by the Hollywood Reporter as “a real-life end-of-the-world-thriller”. The film was commissioned by US Public Broadcaster PBS as their landmark documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of the crisis – the closest humankind has come to nuclear destruction. In the UK, the film premiered at the prestigious Sheffield Film Festival, was broadcast by Channel 4, nominated for a Grierson Award - the UK’s top documentary prize before going on to feature in film festivals worldwide garnering widespread acclaim for its riveting storytelling. 

Emer also edited Here Was Cuba, winning Best Editing at the 2014 Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTAs) for the film. She again won the IFTA for Best Editing in 2015 for another feature documentary, One Million Dubliners to add to her three previous Best Editing IFTAs for the feature films Timbuktu, My Brothers and Channel 4's groundbreaking drama series Shameless.

Over the last two decades, Emer's work has spanned feature films, TV Drama and documentary including editing one of the most successful Irish feature films of all time I Went Down. Documentaries Emer has worked on include the multi award winning, twice Emmy nominated wildlife feature Broken Tail and the three times Emmy nominated On a River in Ireland made for the BBC & PBS and notable as the most awarded wildlife film in the world of the past two years. Emer has also written and directed four short dramas and directed a 6 part drama series Trouble in Paradise for RTE.

Emer studied Physics & Maths at Trinity College Dublin and has a lifelong passion for space exploration.

John Winston Belcher
John Winston Belcher, PhD, is the Class of 1922 Professor of Physics at MIT. Professor Belcher's research interests are within the areas of space plasma physics, in particular the interaction of the heliosphere with the local interstellar medium. He was the principal investigator on the Voyager Plasma Science Experiment during the Voyager Neptune Encounter—the end of the Grand Tour. He is now a co-investigator on the Plasma Science Experiment on board the Voyager Interstellar Mission.. Shortly after his arrival to MIT in 1971, the Space Plasma Group wrote a proposal for the Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn. After reaching these two planets, as well as Uranus and Neptune, Voyager is still going strong. In its most recent incarnation, it is referred to as the Voyager Interstellar Mission. Within the next ten years, it is probable that the MIT plasma instrument on Voyager 2 will make measurements in the interstellar medium.

Professor Belcher has twice received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, once for contributions to the understanding of the plasma dynamics of the Jovian magnetosphere, in 1980, and once for his role as principal investigator on the Plasma Science Experiment on Voyager during the Neptune encounter, in 1990. In 2004, the Institute awarded Belcher with the Class of '22 professorship, designed to honor "a tenured faculty member with a record of excellence in education, with respect to both curriculum development and classroom teaching." He is the Associate Chair of the MIT Faculty in AY 2013-2015. He is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. He has been recently awarded a 2015 MIT Excellence awards and named an 2016 Oersted Medal Recipient.

Anna Frebel
Anna Frebel, PhD is an Associate Professor of Physics at MIT with notable research into the oldest stars in the universe and the early evolution of chemical elements. After studying physics in Germany, Frebel received her PhD from the Australian National University's Mt. Stromlo Observatory in 2007. For her work on "Abundance Analysis of Bright Metal-Poor Stars from the 'Hamburg/ESO Survey", Frebel was awarded the 2007 Charlene Heisler Prize. She then received the WJ McDonald Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin before taking up the Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in early 2009. She was awarded the 2009 Ludwig-Biermann young astronomer award of the German Astronomical Society as well as the 2010 Annie Jump Cannon Award of the American Astronomical Society. 

In 2012, Dr. Frebel joined the MIT physics faculty as Assistant Professor, and she won a 2013 NSF CAREER award. In 2016, she was named one of ScienceNews Magazine’s 10 scientists to watch. She is the author of the popular science book Searching for the Oldest Stars: Ancient Relics from the Early Universe. Frebel is a science advisor to STEM on Stage and is the writer and performer of Pursuit of Discovery: Lise Meitner & Nuclear Fission.


Jen Myronuk
Jen Myronuk is the Co-Founder & Producer of STEM on Stage, a STEAM initiative to promote narrative science through living history and immersive media. She is the producer & director of the short film Humanity Needs Dreamers: A Visit With Marie Curie, winner of the 2017 Raw Science Film Festival “professional dramatic” category. She is the producer of Pursuit of Discovery: Lise Meitner & Nuclear Fission and was the co-producer & director of Journey To Code, an online video training series produced for Code4Rights. She serves on the board of directors of Women in Film and Video of New England.