AMNH Presents Space Tourists at Mead Film Festival 11/11

AMNH Presents Space Tourists at Mead Film Festival 11/11

As part of its special 35th-anniversary program, the Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History presents Space Tourists, directed by Academy Award-nominee Christian Frei, on Friday, November 11, at 8 pm. The film will then move from the silver screen to the TV screen, airing on Documentary Channel on Sunday, November 13, at 8 pm.

For Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American billionaire raised during the glory days of American and Soviet space exploration, no price is too high when it comes to traveling to the International Space Station. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, formerly secret installations are now open to the public with enough money to fund their space travel fantasies. In 2006, Ansari paid $20 million for her journey. While she lives out her dream high above the Earth, photographer Jonas Bendiksen takes a ground tour of remote Kazakhstan where the shuttle launches are tracked by scrap metal scavengers and free-falling toxic rocket debris is cobbled together by farmers and shepherds for use in roofs, tools, and temporary shelters. By juxtaposing these parallel stories, filmmaker Christian Frei recasts the question: How much do such dreams cost the world? Director Christian Frei will be attending the screening and participating in a panel discussion.

This year, the American Museum of Natural History celebrates 35 years of the Margaret Mead Film Festival-the preeminent showcase for contemporary cultural storytelling-from November 10 to November 13, 2011. This year the festival will screen 36 outstanding films culled from more than 1,000 submissions. Live musical performances, art installations, and a listening party in the dome, among other activities, will complement the films screened throughout the festival. Featuring observational documentaries on subjects ranging from human reactions to locust invasions to political movements in various communities, the Margaret Mead Film Festival strives to illuminate the complexity and diversity of peoples and cultures around the world.

Full film descriptions and trailers can be found online at The public can purchase tickets and create a personalized film schedule at For festival highlights or daily updates, information can also be found on Facebook at or Twitter at #MeadFilmFest.

American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls and galleries for temporary exhibitions, the Rose Center for Earth and Space with the Hayden Planetarium, state-of-the-art research laboratories and five active research divisions that support more than 200 scientists in addition to one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere and a Permanent Collection of more than 32 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the first American museum to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum will begin offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in earth science. Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the Museum last year and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum's website and growing collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit for upcoming exhibitions.

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