Australia / United States 2021, 98 min, English, Hebrew subtitles

Trevor Paglen tries to show us the invisible. “I was always suspicious of those with power,” he says, and this suspicion takes him to remote corners of the Earth, where he aims to expose the systems that surveil us from every which way, ceaselessly collecting data. The award-winning American artist-activist is famous for his mass-surveillance art. His current project is the Orbital Reflector: a massive sculpture that, once launched into space as a satellite, will be visible from Earth with the naked eye. After raising the funds and obtaining the tech, he finds himself in a mysterious and frustrating bureaucratic maze, as the government puts barrier after barrier in his path. The film offers a rare look behind the scenes of Paglen’s creative process and the ideological conviction that drives him.

Previous Festivals: Sydney International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Millenium Docs Against Gravity, Full Frame, Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (2022)

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Screening Schedule:
  • Thu 02.06 | 16:45 | Cinematheque 4 | Screening in the loving memory of Diane Weyermann.
  • Sat 04.06 | 16:45 | Cinematheque 5
  • Watch Online | The film will be available From May 26th until June 5th

Yaara Bou Melhem is a journalist and filmmaker whose work has received two international UN Media Peace Awards; two New York Film & Television Festival Awards; a Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award; and five Walkley Awards. In 2019, Yaara was named the Australian Freelance Journalist of the Year for her observational documentary “War on Truth” about Time Person of the Year, Maria Ressa and the Filipina editor’s global campaign against disinformation.

The Sydney, Australia born writer-producer-director makes her feature-length documentary debut with “Unseen Skies.” Other films made by Yaara’s production company, Illuminate Films, include “Creating a Nation” about an Aboriginal man building an independent Indigenous nation and “Saudi Design Queens,” about two young women in Saudi Arabia hosting a design event that pushes the boundaries of art and tradition.

Yara worked for seven years with Dateline, one of Australia’s most prestigious foreign affairs programs with public broadcaster SBS TV. A regular contributor of films to Al Jazeera English and ABC TV, her vast body of work has involved crawling through Syrian rebel-held tunnels, filming in lawless Libyan jails after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, documenting disaster response efforts after devastating natural disasters, exploring taboo subjects like youth suicide in remote Aboriginal communities, filming women escaping honour killings in Jordan, following doctors giving free health care in Nepal, to profiling artists in south-central LA, and conservation efforts in New Zealand.

She holds a degree in Journalism and a Law degree.

Production: Ivan O’Mahoney, Yaara Bou Melhem
Script: Yaara Bou Melhem
Editing: Francisco Forbes
Cinematography: Tom Bannigan ACS
Music: Helena Czajka

Source: Participant