BLASTSynopsis and Bios

 

Mark DevlinThe Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, at the University of Pennsylvania, Mark Devlin is an experimental cosmologist. He designs and constructs the devices that collect the data that help us understand our universe. Rather than working out theories on a chalkboard, he's more likely to be found crawling inside the frame of a car-sized telescope, soldering gun in hand, or standing on the windswept ice of Antarctica preparing to send that high-tech appliance to the very edge of space on a NASA balloon.

Mark's recent projects include BLAST (Balloon-Borne, Large-Aperture, Submillimeter Telescope) a sophisticated scanning device that detects submillimeter light from distance star-forming dust clouds while suspended beneath a NASA high-altitude balloon at the top of the atmosphere.

The successful flight of BLAST in Antarctica in 2006 led to the verification that half the light in the Universe comes from these star-forming dust regions. The publication of this major astronomical discovery in the prestigious science journal Nature, led to international press attention. The experiment was documented in the movie BLAST! which has been screened at film festivals and on television world-wide.

Other current projects include ACT (Actacama Cosmology Telescope). The highest telescope facility in the world, ACT sits at 17,000 feet in the desert of northern Chile, observing galaxy clusters. Additionally, Mark has worked on the MUSTANG camera on the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia that makes detailed studies of clusters of galaxies.

Mark graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Physics and Math and went on to earn his PhD in Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a recipient of the 2000 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and the the National Science Foundation Career award.

More information about Mark Devlin is available at The University of Pennsylvania

 

BLAST! is a spectacular and suspenseful story of space exploration.

BLAST! explores both the heartbreak and the glory of pursuing the secrets of outer space. Mark Devlin, PhD (the filmmaker's brother) launches revolutionary telescopes on NASA high-altitude balloons. Dangerous, but necessary if he wants to look back in time and reveal a hidden Universe of never-before-seen galaxies. BLAST! follows Mark and his team on their grueling journey across 5 continents, from Arctic Sweden to Antarctica, as they search the sky for clues to the Evolution of Everything. Along the way, the rarely-seen true life of scientists is exposed the failures, the triumphs and the sacrifices. It's an adventure like no other, one that will that take you around the world and across the Universe.

A five-time Emmy winner for his work on NBC's Olympics and CBS's Tour de France, Paul Devlin's films include Power Trip, which screened in 60 countries, theatrically across the United States and on PBS's Independent Lens, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and has won 10 film festival awards, including top prizes at Berlin, Hot Docs in Toronto, and Florida.

Paul also made the award-winning film SlamNation, which follows the fierce competition at the National Poetry Slam and helped popularize the dynamic genre with its release in theaters and on HBO/Cinemax and Encore/Starz. Paul's current projects include BLAST! and The Front Man.

BLAST! was presented at the 2006 IFP Market and 2007 Toronto Documentary Forum attracting co-production partners BBC Storyville, Discovery Channel Canada, SVT/Sweden, and YLE/FST Finland. Paul was awarded the 2007 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Individual Artists Grant for $25,000 through IFP fiscal sponsorship.

Other credits include his fiction film The Eyes of St. Anthony and his work as producing editor on the Organic Film FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme, broadcast on VH1 and winner of the Special Jury Award for Documentary Filmmaking at the Florida Film Festival.

As an editor, Paul's extensive credits include commercials, music videos (Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny G), television shows and major sports broadcasts, including CBS's Super Bowls and ABC/ESPN's World Cup Soccer.

Paul is a New Jersey native and graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There he assisted Robert Altman on his film Secret Honor and took a screenwriting seminar with Lawrence Kasden. Paul has visited over 40 countries, professionally and aimlessly and has exhibited photographs of his travels. He has contributed to The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Independent, and Cineaste, among others.

CLAIRE MISSANELLI, Producer

*Claire Missanelli lost her struggle with breast cancer on March 31st, 2011. We miss her dearly. More information here.

Claire Missanelli is the producer of BLAST! which was presented at the 2006 IFP Market and 2007 Toronto Documentary Forum attracting co-production partners BBC Storyville, Discovery Channel Canada, SVT/Sweden, and YLE/FST Finland. BLAST! was awarded the 2007 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Individual Artists Grant.

Claire also co-produced Power Trip, which won 2 jury awards at the prestigious Berlin film festival and was screened in over 60 countries. It was broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens, nominated for a 2004 Independent Spirit Award, and garnered 8 other film festival awards including best documentary feature at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto. She is currently working as producer on the documentary The Front Man.

Other films include SlamNation, a documentary that illuminates the vibrant slam poetry movement, which broadcast on HBO/Cinemax and Encore/Starz, and Jasmine Dellal's Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends, for which she worked as an outreach project manager. Claire works as a consultant and outreach producer for documentary projects.

LOUISE ROSEN / Louise Rosen Ltd., Co-Producer

Louise has over 25 years experience in the international television and film business and has been honored to have among her projects Oscar, Emmy, Sundance, Prix Italia, International Emmy and other award-winning films. Current projects include EL GENERAL, for which director Natalia Almada was just awarded Best Director - Documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She is co-producer on several projects including the recently completed films: JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON (in association with DR/Denmark, ZDF-ARTE, C-Films/Switzerland, SBS/Australia, SF/Switzerland, NPS/Netherlands, YLE/Finland, SVT/Sweden, WDR/Germany, American Public Television and RAVE HD), PRODIGAL SONS (with director Kimberly Reed) about a brotherly rivalry between a man and a woman and Orson Welles (in association with CBC Canada, BBC Storyville, Sundance Channel and IFC/Canada) and BLAST! SCIENCE HANGING BY A STRING (produced in association with BBC Storyville, YLE FST/Finland, Discovery/Channel Canada and SVT/Sweden). www.louiserosenltd.com

JULIE ANDERSON, Consulting Producer

Julie Anderson, director of Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater, has a long career in television production. She began her work as a producer at ESPN, contributing on SportsCenter, the Olympics, the NFL and NBA. She later worked as a production liaison for Lorne Michaels at Saturday Night Live. After a five-year stint as a documentary filmmaker at HBO Sports, Anderson was hired as an executive at HBO Original Programming by Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentaries.

Over her ten years at HBO, Anderson produced and directed many award-winning features and documentaries, including the Peabody Award winning documentary Dare To Compete: The Struggle of Women in Sports, about the history of the fight for women¹s equality in sports, and the Emmy® Award-winning Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World. She served as associate producer on the Academy Award®-nominated 4 Little Girls, about the 1963 bombing of the Birmingham Baptist Church in Alabama.

Anderson recently departed her position as Director of Documentary Programming at HBO to found her own production company, Lioness Productions. She has been producing, consulting and developing projects for among others, Russell Simmons¹ production company, The Simmons Lathan Media Group, Court TV, BET as well as a wide variety of cable and network broadcast companies.

Over her career, Anderson has garnered four Emmy® Awards, several CableACE Awards, and two Peabody Awards for her work on documentary films. She was a 2001 Sundance Institute Fellow and is a consultant for the Hamptons International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Aspen Comedy Festivals. A native of Scarsdale, NY, Anderson graduated from the University of Vermont and now lives in New York City.

RICHARD MARTINEZ , Composer

Richard Martinez was born in Chicago and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has worked as a performer, music director, music producer and composer in New York City since his arrival in 1978. Martinez is a film and theater composer with credits that include the The Last Conquistador, an ITVS documentary that will air on the 2008 POV season, the play Viva La Vida! starring Mercedes Ruehl at the 2006 Bay St. Theater season, the feature film Take the Bridge, a Tribeca Film Festival Selection, the feature Harvest of Redemption awarded best film in the foreign drama category at the Los Angeles International Family Film Festival, and Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, on the short list for a 2005 Oscar nomination. He also composed two tangos for the film Bossa Nova, by Brazilian director Bruno Barreto, and he wrote original music for The Daytrippers, a Steven Soderbergh production directed by Greg Mottola. Richard's music also appears on recordings by Dave Valentin, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Al MacDowell.

As Electronic Music Producer, Martinez has worked with celebrated composer Elliot Goldenthal on countless Hollywood movie scores. He played on the score of Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor, and was the Electronic Music Producer for the Academy award-winning score to Frida as well as other Hollywood films. On Broadway, Martinez was Musical Director for The Green Bird, directed by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor. Off Broadway he was Musical Director and performer for the Theatre for a New Audience production of Titus Andronicus, and for the Music Theatre Group Production of The Transposed Heads, both with music by Elliot Goldenthal and directed by Julie Taymor.

Other composers he has worked with include John Corigliano, Ennio Morricone, Jason Kao Hwang, Howard Shore, Rachel Portman, Stewart Wallace, Michael Gordon, Terence Blanchard and John Williams. He has performed and recorded with Bono, Betty Buckley, Carly Simon, Gregory Hines, Dave Valentin, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Harry Belafonte, and George Russell.
www.lightbodymusic.com

LAURA MINNEAR, Co-Editor

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