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  • NYS Writers Institute

“Outer Space” Film Festival landing in Albany October 13-16

The seventh-annual UAlbany Film Festival and Lecture Series, kicks off Thursday, October 13, at the University at Albany.

'Outer Space,' this year's festival theme, highlights the collaboration between the humanities and the sciences and will feature guest appearances by National Book Award-winning author William Alexander and NASA engineer Teresa Kline.

Events will be held Thursday, Oct. 13, at the university and Friday through Sunday, Oct. 14-16, at The Linda, 339 Central Avenue, Albany NY 12206.

The festival begins with a reception, free and open to the public, at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, with a reading of a new story by Alexander that will be published next week in the anthology Tasting Light. The event begins in the Science Library Atrium, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222. Following the reception, attendees will proceed to the third floor of the Science Library for more events in the Standish Room.

Co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and Humanities New York, the festival is presented by The UAlbany Center for the Humanities, Arts, and Technosciences and the UAlbany Libraries.

About this year's film festival

Long before Georges Méliès took early filmgoers to the moon, the humanities have fueled our scientific imaginations. The ancient Greeks and Romans looked to the heavens to explain the phenomena beyond their grasp, Jules Verne imagined humankind amongst the stars, and H.G. Wells brought outer space into Earth’s atmosphere. Yet words alone cannot adequately convey the infinitude of the cosmos.

The grand vastness of space is perhaps best captured by the human imagination through cinema: Film has a penchant for the spectacle, and special effects technology since Méliès’s Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902) inspire audiences to this day to dream of a bigger universe than the planet that we currently call home.

Outer space cinema supplies magnificent voyages for the characters and the audience, fantasies of the incredible journeys that defy destiny and the limitations of our species, and they inspire the real-life scientific advancements that will, someday, help us define new homes amongst those vast and shining stars.


Individual film tickets at The Linda Oct 14-16, are available at the door.

Keynote speaker tickets for Thursday, Oct. 13, are free.

Screening Schedule

Thursday, October 13

5-7 pm: Opening Reception and Interdisciplinary Symposium featuring:

  • Teresa Kline, Project Manager, Office of the Chief Engineer, NASA

  • William Alexander, National Book Award-winning author

  • Amanda Lowe, UAlbany Libraries

  • Kevin Knuth, UAlbany Department of Physics

  • and the premiere of The Banana Between Us, a film by UAlbany students Zach, Shynelle, Jonathan, and Abigail

Friday, October 14

The Linda, 339 Central Avenue, Albany NY 12206

6:30-7:15pm: Le Voyage dans la Lune/ A Trip to the Moon (Georges Méliès, 1902)

With live music accompaniment and Q&A

7:30-9:30 pm: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

Introduced by Sean Rafferty, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology

Saturday, October 15

The Linda, 339 Central Avenue, Albany NY 12206

12-2:30 pm: District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, 2009)

Introduced by Farhana Islam, Department of English doctoral candidate

3-5 pm: Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)

Introduced by Mary Valentis, Ph.D., Department of English

7-8 pm: Keynote Interview and Q&A with NASA’s Teresa Kline

8-10 pm: The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)

Introduced by Teresa Kline, NASA

Sunday, October 16

The Linda, 339 Central Avenue, Albany NY 12206

1-2 pm: Keynote conversation with National Book Award winner William Alexander

2-4 pm: Wall-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

Introduced by William Alexander

4:30-7:30 pm: Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2017)

Introduced by Irina Holden, UAlbany Libraries

Keynote Guests

William Alexander

2012 National Book Award winner, Cuban-American author William Alexander. Alexander’s books bring depth and nuance to readers young and old, deploying the tropes of science fiction and fantasy to better understand the real-world situations that we find ourselves in today. Alexander’s outer space novel, Ambassador (McElderry Books, 2014), follows 11-year-old Gabe Fuentes as he deals with aliens — those from outer space and those right here at home.

Alexander teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. His work has also been featured in many anthologies, including the forthcoming Tasting Light (MITeen Press, 2022), and on podcasts such as Crafting with Ursula and LeVar Burton Reads.

Teresa Kline

Teresa Kline is the Senior Program Manager in the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA headquarters in DC. She has been instrumental in NASA’s efforts in model-based engineering, model-based systems engineering, and digital transformation.

Previously, she worked at the US Army Research Laboratory, formerly Aviation Systems Command, which had offices at Glenn Research Center and Langley Research Center. In her 15 years with the Army, Ms. Kline analyzed and tested every engine supporting the Army at that time, including the certification of the T800 and the design of the LV100 for the M1A1 Abrams tank.

Presented by the Center for the Humanities, Arts, and Technosciences in collaboration with the UAlbany Libraries. Co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this event do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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