Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Michael Barnett has a new : Teen rocket scientists star at Sundance’s SLC opening | The Salt Lake Tribune

Space exploration offers humans the chance to survive as a species.

That’s the unifying message offered by Michael Barnett’s “The Mars Generation,” which focuses on the funny, smart teenage wannabe rocket scientists attending the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp. Along the way, the documentary offers an inspiring call to action as it details America’s past and future space dreams.

The Friday night screening marked the Salt Lake City opening of the Sundance Film Festival. The “Mars Generation” premiere on Inauguration Day seemed significant, the director said, because he hopes it will jump-start a conversation about space exploration.

“Now is not the time to become nearsighted about the big idea of becoming interplanetary,” Barnett said. “This film is about the generation who is going to take us to Mars — if they are empowered to do so.”

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