In this film, commissioned by the Portuguese National TV channel RTP2, I follow two groups of scientists from Portugal join forces on a quest to find out more about Mars. They study images sent back by spacecraft orbiting Mars, showing terrains that look like huge jigsaw puzzles of polygons. Similar terrains are found on Earth all over the Arctic.
I go with the scientists on a field campaign to the island of Spitsbergen, Svalbard (Norway). I look at their tedious research work and get a unique view behind the scenes of what it means to be a scientist in today’s world and what drives them to research such exotic topics. This is a film about real scientists doing real science (no explosions involved!).
Apart from having been broadcast on Portuguese National TV several time since 2012, the film was selected to screen at the European Science TV and New Media Festival and Awards 2014 (category TV Documentary and Science in an Environmental issue). I have also screened the film at the Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) in 2012 (Reno, USA) and at the Anthropology Film Group of the University of Oxford in 2014. I have used these occasions to discuss science representation in film on TV, using this film as a rather different approach to the more classical science documentary.
You can see the whole film at online by clicking on Between-Mars-and-Svalbard-online.
[Lightcurve Films for Portuguese national public TV channel RTP2; 52:18 min.; broadcast on Portuguese public TV channel RTP2 on April 25, 2012; screened at the European Science TV and New Media Festival, Copenhagen, June 2014; broadcast on Dutch cable network NPO DOC, August 2015]
Film produced with the support of the Portuguese national TV channel RTP2, the Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, TAP Portugal, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and AVINOR.