Big-screen space invasion

Adventure, horror and delight at first RSI Film Festival 

The inaugural Rice Space Institute Film Festival will be held April 25-27 at 5 p.m. with three double features accompanied by discussions at Rice Cinema. All of the screenings and discussions, including an off-campus kickoff event at 7 p.m. April 22, are free and open to the public.

The April 25 features are “Voyage de la Lune,” film pioneer Georges Méliès’ fanciful 1902 movie about man’s first trip to the moon, followed by “For All Mankind,” a 1989 documentary about the Apollo program. After the documentary, a question-and-answer session will feature George Abbey, former director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and now the Baker Botts Senior Fellow in Space Policy at Rice’s Baker Institute, and film critic Brandon Nowalk.

April 26 begins with “Apollo 13,” the film starring Tom Hanks about the ill-fated mission to the moon and its successful return to Earth. “Gravity,” the 2013 movie about survival after a disaster in space starring Sandra Bullock, will follow. A Q&A between the movies will feature Jeannie Kranz, a space policy expert and daughter of Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz, and Eric Berger, science writer for the Houston Chronicle.

April 27 will feature “Aliens,” the 1986 space horror film starring Sigourney Weaver, and “War of the Worlds,” the 2005 version of H.G. Wells’ classic tale of alien invasion. The Q&A will feature Chris Johns Krull and Stephen Bradshaw, members of the astronomy faculty at Rice.

The April 22 kickoff at 14 Pews, 800 Aurora St., will feature the 2010 documentary “Man on a Mission: Richard Garriott’s Road to the Stars,” about a game developer’s 2008 flight aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station. David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and a professor of physics and astronomy, will be a special guest at the event.

Food and beverages will be provided at the Friday and Saturday events.



About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.