The European Space Agency Has Made the Weirdest Short Film

The ESA’s advertising Rosetta with a very unusual sci-fi short


Space exploration's multimedia teams are upping their game. The publicity roll-out for the landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars was a work of art—best known from the thrilling “7 Minutes of Terror” mini-documentary.

But the European Space Agency... wow. The European Space Agency just took this thing to a whole new level.

Above you can see a new short film released by the agency this week. It's called “Ambition,” and it is an advertisement for the agency's upcoming mission to catch a comet. But it's also a high gloss, CGI-laden science fiction short film. It's a strange, seemingly post-apocalyptic vision of future life. Here's what the ESA has to say:

The short film tells the story of one of the most important space exploration endeavours of this decade. Just as Gillen’s enigmatic Master encourages Franciosi’s Apprentice to seek out the key to life amidst a rugged alien landscape, ESA has been on a decade-long ambitious journey of its own, to unlock the mysteries of a comet and the origins of our Solar System with its Rosetta spacecraft, hundreds of millions of kilometres from Earth.

AMBITION complements the ongoing communication about Rosetta and adds a “human dimension” to the scientific and technological achievements of the mission, which include curiosity, drive and ambition.

The short stars the actors Aiden Gillen (who you may know from HBO, as Mayor Carcetti on "The Wire" or Petyr Baelish on "Game of Thrones") and Aisling Franciosi and was directed by Tomek Bagiińksi. "Produced in Poland and shot on location in Iceland," writes Mark Strauss for io9, "the film was just screened during the British Film Institute's celebration of "Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder" in London."

At the heart of the film is the Rosetta comet mission, but the ESA says it's a larger tribute to how contemporary space exploration is crucial to searching for clues to our own origins.

H/T Brian Owens

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