INTERVIEW: Filmmaking, Mars, and Isolation with Filmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe 

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Red heaven

Red Heaven, an official SXSW 2020 selection, is a  documentary film from filmmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe. the documentary follows six people who live for a year on “Mars,” a secluded NASA experiment in Hawai’i made to simulate the isolation, terrain, and life that would be expected from a human on Mars. The goal of the experiment? To see what happens to humans when they are isolated from Earth. The subjects film themselves over the course of the mission and capture what happens when people are pushed to their limits in an exploration of our most fundamental needs as human beings. Read Heaven intimately captures the crew as they’re pushed to their limits in an exploration of our most fundamental needs as human beings. From near injury to science experiments, physical milestones, and suppressing boredom we get the full details of what happened over the lifetime of the experiment.

We got the chance to speak to DeFilippo and Gorringe about how they brought Red Heaven to film and what drew them to Mars exploration as subject matter. For the latter, the two detail their goal of bringing the human face of space exploration that is often forgotten about in conversations about Space X or larger conversations around ethics. To them, the focus was humanity first, and what this means for explorers instead of the institutions sending them to the stars.  DeFilippo and Gorringe also explain what the process of editing the film and receiving permission to receive film from the researchers. But more importantly, they discuss what they learned from the project and what Red Heaven say for humans, our needs, and our willpower to head to Mars and survive.

To listen to the full interview with Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe, hit play on the audio player above.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, many film festivals have either shut down or are still evaluating their plans, as such, release plans for Red Heaven have not yet been set.