by Hank Leukart
January 19, 2017

Mars Academy, a first look

Filming a feature-length documentary in Brazil’s City of God.

Mars Academy Trailer

C

ITY OF GOD, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — In 2015, I traveled to Brazil’s City of God in Rio de Janeiro for two weeks with four scientists who work with NASA to direct a documentary film. Our goal was to bring NASA science — through hands-on experiments and field trips to Brazil’s islands and rainforests — to a group of kids who would otherwise never be exposed to it. The scientists surprised the kids with an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experiment: the chance to do their own exploring on Mars using an actual NASA spacecraft.

This was a meaningful travel experience for a lot of reasons, but the most rewarding part for me was getting to spend time and have conversations with the kids and their families. The trip was a perfect example of the power of a slow, authentic travel experience.

I’ve nearly completed a feature-length film about the project, and I’ll write more about my experience in Brazil here when the film is ready. For now, you can watch the film’s double-length trailer that I made above. I hope you enjoy it! WB

The kids and scientists explore the ocean on a boat docked at IIlha de Jaguanum, of the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The kids and scientists explore the ocean on a boat docked at IIlha de Jaguanum, of the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Comments

  • March 23, 2017, 11:47 PM

    Flore del camino

    hello hank, we live on the camino and run retreats inspired by the beauty of the pilgrimage. We are making a little booklet to go with our exhibition on the rose windows of the way of saint james. An exploration of medieval spirituality, sacred geometry and its relation to nature. Would it be possible to use your image of the pilgrim lay on the rocks looking at the sun set at finesterre (the one in your essay section in your website). We would obviously write that this is your photo. Many thanks Basia!