The  39th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards were held  last night in New York and there was great news for the Irish as Emer Reynold’s acclaimed documentary The Farthest won the Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary award.

The Farthest tells the extraordinary story of NASA’s Voyager space-probes through the words of the people responsible for making them. It’s one of humankind’s greatest achievements.  More than 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space – the first human-made object ever to do so.  Launched in August 1977, Voyager has defied all the odds, survived countless near misses and almost 40 years later continues to beam revolutionary information across unimaginable distances with less computing power than a modern hearing aid.  It’s estimated that Voyager’s nuclear generator will last another decade before the lights finally go out.  But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth.  It could very well outlive humanity and our creations and be the only evidence that we ever existed.

An entirely Irish production, The Farthest includes interviews with 30 of the original scientists and engineers who built and flew the ground breaking mission, never-seen-before archive footage from inside NASA along with spectacular CGI, designed and created by Irish talent.  The film not only celebrates these magnificent machines, the people who built them and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could have ever hoped but it also explores what it is to be human and the mysteries that define our existence.

The Farthest was produced by John Murray and Clare Stronge for Crossing the Line Films in association with Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, RTÉ, BBC, ZDF, Arte, PBS.  Developed with the support of the Creative Europe Programme – MEDIA of the European Union and produced with the support of Section 481.

Huge congratulations to Emer and John.  I’m absolutely delighted to see them continuing to be recognised for their excellent work on The Farthest. Irish creative feature documentary making is going from strength to strength over the last number of years and Emer Reynolds is one of the best creative documentary directors working in the business.  Major creative documentaries on this scale are incredibly difficult to finance and to produce, so a major award like this will hopefully help that process.
James Hickey – CEO – Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland

Other Irish nominated projects at the Emmys included:Elián, directed by Ross McDonnell and Tim Golden and produced by Brendan Byrne and Trevor Birney , nominated in the Outstanding Investigative Documentary category;  andForever Pure, directed by Maya Zinshtein, and produced by Alan Maher which was nominated for Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary in the Independent Lens strand of the award.

The Farthest

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