ZERO GRAVITY
Film poster for "Zero Gravity" with three kids posing in outer space background.
ZERO GRAVITY
Film poster for "Zero Gravity" with three kids posing in outer space background.
Diverse middle schoolers compete in a NASA tournament to code surveying satellites that will orbit Mars

ZERO GRAVITY

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OFFICIAL SELECTION at 70+ Film Festivals, including DOC NYC, Cinequest, Cleveland International Film Festival, DocsMX, SCAD Savannah, SFFILM, New York International Children’s Film Festival, & Washington DC Environmental Film Festival SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS include ISS National Lab R&D Conference, Imagine Science, Earth Focus, & Earth X WINNER of 18 Awards including Audience Choice, Critic’s Choice, Best Editing, and Best Feature Documentary

Science • Technology • Engineering • Math • Space • Coding • Programming • Educational Equity 

Date of Completion: 2021 | Run Time: 75 & 52 minutes​​ | Language: English with Spanish subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide | Director: Thomas Verrette | Producers: Thomas Verrette & Haller Rice

ZERO GRAVITY follows a diverse group of middle school students from San Jose, CA, who compete in a nationwide tournament to code satellites aboard the International Space StationTheir mission: compete with teams across the country to write the most strategic code for surveying satellites, known as SPHERES. These satellites will help map out a GPS system to successfully orbit Mars in the future, opening the door to infinite opportunities and exploration on the Red Planet. Each coder-in-the-making brings their own strengths, unique perspectives, and boundless curiosity to their team, together embarking on an out-of-this-world STEM quest that celebrates space, teamwork, and the triumph of the human spirit. Featuring astronauts Steve Smith, Cady Coleman, and International Space Station resident Jack Fischer, who performs the students’ incredible achievements in orbit 250 miles above the Earth‘s surface, this inspiring documentary highlights the importance of empowering the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators who will fearlessly lead us into the future and the unknown.

Sloan Science and FilmDr. Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of Physics at Emory University
"Zero Gravity wins as a film because it beautifully involves us with these bright and appealing kids, their families, and their teacher, and with how reaching toward space affects them. It also wins by subtly showing the power of teamwork, and the benefits of diversity within a team."

San Jose Mercury News | Randy Myers, President of San Francisco Film Critics' Association
TOP 10 FILMS AT CINEQUEST: “…Verrette’s mission isn’t limited to outer-space pursuits, and he carves out time to meet the parents and to reflect on the Bay Area’s diversity and the challenges that immigrants trying to make a living encounter here. It’s a winner.”

Video Librarian | Michael Sandlin, Educational Film Critic
3.5/4 STARS - "In the end, the feel-good message of hope for the future certainly dominates the documentary’s tone throughout. But the average viewer might be inclined to wonder: if the future of the planet is in the hands of code writing robotics students who aspire to colonize Mars, one would hope there are enough young geniuses left on Earth to eventually help eradicate nagging little terrestrial problems like COVID, cancer, and climate change. Zero Gravity is an uplifting work guaranteed to inspire young viewers with an interest in science and technology. Recommended for documentary collections and science classrooms.”

The KnockturnalNaomi Pandolfi, Contributing Writer
A FANTASTICAL JOURNEY TO SPACE: “…Several real-life astronauts — Jack D. Fischer, Cady Coleman, and Steve Smith — added to the educational element of this breathtaking emotional journey and lent their experience and expertise to this fascinating documentary... If you are looking for a touching, heartfelt, good feels but immersive educational documentary, Zero Gravity would be a fabulous choice.”

No Rest For The WeekendMaribeth Thueson, Contributing Writer
“It’s easy to get depressed about the state of the world, but see Zero Gravity and you’ll feel a good deal more optimistic…The stories of children creating code that could one day guide satellites to Mars is compelling, but Zero Gravity also benefits from its beautiful cinematography and skillful editing. The film also employs footage from NASA to capture the beauty of Earth and Mars as well as footage of the astronauts and scientists who work with the students. The result is an inspirational documentary well worth seeing.”

New Jersey Stage |Admit Bachani, Contributing Critic
“…Zero Gravity is also a triumph because it doesn’t merely support Zero Robotics and their strides towards inclusivity from the sidelines-- rather, it celebrates it wholeheartedly. Advik and Carol are Indian-American and Mexican-American, respectively, and never is their background presented as something that serves as a barrier to their future success in any way… it’s evident that the next generation of STEM students will be a melting pot of talented individuals from various cultures.”

NPR WitchitaFletcher Powell. KMUW Contributor
“Hard to go wrong with kids and astronauts! Fortunately, director Thomas Verrette seems to recognize that, and doesn’t do anything to get in the way of a good thing… It’s entirely engaging and enthusiastic, and even thrilling at moments, especially as the kids are racing against the clock to finish their project and upload it at the last second (Verrette does a dandy bit of editing here). This is the sort of thing where you can’t help but root for what you’re seeing, and really who needs much more than that?”

NASA Astronaut | Astronaut Jack Fischer
“The true value of exploration? Igniting a curiosity that fires the soul to learn, grow and improve our future. ‘Zero Gravity’ captures this magic and shows how the SPHERES program inspired a world of children.”

City of Campbell, CA | Dr. Shelly Viramontez, Superintendent, Campbell Union School District
“It was so exciting and inspiring to see our students featured in this film. We intentionally focus on the future-ready competencies of Critical Thinker, Self-Directed, Innovative, Collaborative and Empathetic, and the Zero Gravity project requires students to tap into each of these. We also know that students are more engaged in learning when they can see how it relates to their own lives. This project motivated our students because they saw the relevance in science, in space, and in continued learning. Now, many of them can see themselves working for NASA who might have never before thought it possible.”

Cinequest | H. Hussey, Co-founder & CEO
Zero Gravity is a breath of fresh air, reminding us of the power of collaboration and creativity. In the film, one young innovator says: ‘When people says the sky’s the limit...they’re wrong. There’s much more ahead of them...’ We hope Zero Gravity soars beyond its highly successful premiere at Cinequest.”

Providence Children's Film Festival | Teacher Jurors
"What a wonderful movie that connects kids with STEAM in such a real world and impressive setting as NASA. I loved the diversity of the participants' genders and backgrounds and the length was just long enough for a science-type documentary as well. Many kids will be talking about this film with their Robotics teachers."

"My kids really enjoyed this film. I think the structure of the stories, focusing on three of the kids and the teacher personalized the film for them. The message that kids will inherit the future, and generate the solutions to our greatest problems was made more powerful by showing they had the capacity to start working on these problems even at age 10.”

“I really would like to see this film be available for teachers to share this experience with their classes for years to come. The diversity of all the students was incredible, and I really enjoyed how they shared their life stories and families outside of the competition, so we as the audience can really get to know each one of them on a personal level.”

Providence Children's Film Festival | Student Jurors
"I had no idea what coding even was before watching. Now I want to try!"

“I like that the film talked about the wonders of space without giving up on Earth. Helping heal our own planet was just as important as winning the competition.”

“’Zero Gravity’ was an amazing film. I liked how it included details from the students' life. It really helped me understand their passion for coding and really shows how students pour their efforts into something they like to do.”

Student Review | Middle School Students
Zero Gravity is a very inspiring movie which told me to follow my dreams and there’s always a path for everybody in life. I really enjoyed watching this film and I kind of want to learn more skills in coding now that I know the power of coding and computer programming."

“I really enjoyed how the characters could freely speak their mind. As children are not notably given a voice in society, I really want to oppose that. I think that children can make very rational and understandable decisions in the real world. Overall, this film was incredible and very heartening to me. I hope many others feel the same.”

AWARDS
Official Selection | DOC NYC
Official Selection |
SFFILM
Official Selection |
Cinequest
Official Selection |
Cleveland International Film Festival
Official Selection |
Dances With Films
Official Selection |
SCAD Savannah Film Festival
Official Selection |
Heartland International Film Festival
Official Selection |
New York Children's International Film Festival
Official Selection |
Tallgrass Film Festival
Official Selection |
Docs[MX]
Official Selection |
DC Environmental Film Festival
Gold Remi Award |
World-fest Houston International Film Festival
Audience Choice Award |
Friday Harbor Film Festival
Critics Choice Award |
Iowa Independent Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary |
Desertscape International Film Festival
Best Sound Editing |
Thin Line Film Festival
Honorable Mention |
New Jersey Film Festival
Award of Excellence Special Mention |
IndieFest Awards
Outstanding Excellence Award - Best Feature Documentary, Best Editing, Best Inspirational Film |
Docs Without Borders
Best Feature Documentary |
Only The Best Film Awards
Award of Excellence Special Mention |
Accolade Film Competition
Best of the Month (May), Best Feature Documentary, Best Inspirational Film, Best 1st Time Director, Best Editing, Best Trailer |
Vegas Movie Awards

FESTIVALS
Annapolis Film Festival
Frozen River Summer Series
Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival
Bozeman Film Celebration
Boston Film Festival
Albuquerque Film and Music Experience (AFMX)
Lonely Seal Film Festival
Alexander Trauner ART Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Chicago Children's International Film Festival
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
River's Edge Film Festival
Rome Independent Film Festival
International Film Festival of Popular Science and Educational Films "The World of Knowledge" 2021
Capricorn Film Festival
Frozen River Film Festival
Children's Film Festival Seattle
POFF: Kino Sorpus (Estonia)
Belgrade Documentary Film Festival
Providence Children's Film Festival
Friday Harbor Film Festival: Best of Fest
Agora Doc Market
Visions du Reel International Film Festival Nyon: Market
Columbus International Film and Animation Festival
Milwaukee Film Festival
Earth Focus Environmental Film Festival
Port Jefferson Doc Series
Northwest Doc Fest
Earth X Film Festival
Tumbleweeds Film Festival
Berkshire International Film Festival
Vero Beach Film Festival
Southern Fried Film Festival
Imagine Science LIVE Series
ISS National Lab R&D Conference
Woods Hole Film Festival
AndKids World Film Festival (Notre Dame)
Ierapetra International Documentary Festival
GE Appliances - Special Screening #1
GE Appliances - Special Screening #2
Indus Valley International Film Festival
Doctober
Guam International Film Festival
MKE Educational
Discovery Film Festival (Scotland)
Miami Children's Film Festival
Kids International Film Festival

Screenings
AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics)