16th September 2020 online @ Sundance

We are delighted to announce that Nelly Ben Hayoun- Stépanian's latest feature film, RED MOON, a diasporic investigation of our future on the moon, has won a Sundance Institute Documentary Films Programme grant with support from Sandbox Films programme.


Nelly Ben Hayoun- Stépanian and LONO Studio announce that they have won a grant from Sundance Institute Documentary Films Programme with support from Sandbox Films programme for the development of their new creative non-fiction movie. Through role-play, magic, and doppelgängers, the film RED MOON offers an experimental vision and template for future diasporas beyond Earth. How will human inhabitants of the moon understand origin, borders and nations?

Says Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian: “I never imagined this project would be born into such a difficult time for planet earth, but if there’s anything we are learning from this pandemic globally it is the need to radically rethink systems of thinking and systems of action beyond territories such as nation-states. Indeed, we have heard that this virus knows no borders - yet we are all experiencing its effect differently. Looking at these national reactions, it reveals layers of histories and hidden conflicts which for some, goes back to empires and their colonial practices. If we can’t protect humanity on this planet, then we are only going to replicate these social ills beyond it, on the moon for example. The current restrictions of movement have for me created new directions in the aesthetics of dialogue and spaces of displacement.” She adds "It is a great honour to join the Sundance Institute and Sandbox Films with Red Moon, and I am looking forward to sharing some of our journey with you all".

The movie RED MOON offers a formally creative storytelling format to portray the non-linear narratives and historical arcs of immigration and colonisation. Nelly casts and invites doppelgängers and their families to research histories of civilisation, diasporas, and movement of populations from territories to territories, land to sea, land to the sun, water to land; and earth to the moon. Together, and in different locations, they all train in preparation for a new utopian moon society. The film culminates in a scenario in which we see Ben Hayoun-Stépanian responding to the direction of her doppelgangers in crafting a speculative moon utopia. The film will be completed in Spring 2022.

You can see more here.