Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'The Cosmonaut' shows a hero's fall to Earth

The 1960s space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was much more than a battle of technology. It was a human drama. Two of the most compelling characters were Soviet hero Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, and his best friend and fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, the first human to die in space flight.

As NPR summed it up: “In 1967, both men were assigned to the same Earth-orbiting mission, and both knew the space capsule was not safe to fly. Komarov told friends he knew he would probably die. But he wouldn't back out because he didn't want Gagarin to die. Gagarin would have been his replacement.”

Emory film major Nikoloz Kevkhishvili, from the country of Georgia, chose this story for his entry in this year’s Campus Movie Fest (CMF). His short film “The Cosmonaut” (see above) recently debuted on campus with the other Emory entrants. “The Cosmonaut” won the Paladin Society’s Courageous Spirit award for breaking the norm, and also awards for best soundtrack and best drama.

CMF, which began at Emory 11 years ago, has grown into the world’s largest student film festival. The top films from the 2011-2012 competition will be shown at the CMF Grand Finale this June in Hollywood.

Fueling the dream of travel to the stars

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