‘Astonishing’: New IMAX documentary shows the search for alien life through NASA’s Webb Telescope

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‘Astonishing’: New IMAX documentary shows the search for alien life through NASA’s Webb Telescope

Words by Staff Writer

How did we get here? Are we alone in the universe? How does the universe work?

Those are the questions that NASA’s $15 billion James Webb Space Telescope is tasked with answering, according to those who built it.

So it goes without saying that Deep Sky: Webb Telescope, the stunning new IMAX documentary that takes us behind the scenes of one of the finest feats of human engineering ever created and its world-changing ambitions, has been generating a huge amount of hype.

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13 billion years in the making, Deep Sky features the mindblowing first full-colour images shown by the telescope – seen by billions around the world – “brought to life in a way that no one has ever seen before,” according to John Turner, Head of Documentaries for IMAX.

Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn and narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams, Deep Sky is an awe-inspiring journey that takes us from the telescope’s construction to its harrowing launch stage, and through to the footage that captivated the world – galaxies older, further and fainter than humankind had ever seen before.

“If there ever was a subject tailor-made for IMAX screens, this is it,” said director Nathaniel Kahn. “The IMAX format allows you to appreciate the astonishing resolution of NASA’s new telescope and to immerse yourself in cosmic landscapes that leave you filled with awe.”

Awe is an understatement. IMAX Melbourne is home to the world’s largest 1.43:1 cinema screen (seven storeys tall), a 12-channel, 15,000 watt digital speaker system and the world’s most advanced and powerful projection system, IMAX 4K Laser. To see this satellite footage on a screen like this is an unprecedented cinematic experience.

The documentary – which was officially launched at the National Academy of Science in Washington – has been another landmark in the James Webb Telescope’s history, as news continues to circulate of its potential discoveries of alien life.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty and magnitude of space,” Williams said. “I’m excited to work with Nathaniel and IMAX to tell the story of the captivating images taken by this new telescope.”

“Deep Sky represents an exciting return to form for IMAX Documentaries and our long tradition of immersive space films,” Turner concluded. “Nathaniel Kahn’s Oscar-nominated documentary My Architect is iconic and his Emmy-winning The Hunt for Planet B served as the fascinating first step in telling the story of the people who built this telescope.”

Deep Sky: Webb Telescope opens in IMAX Melbourne on February 9. Get tickets here.