“The Last Man on the Moon” documentary launches at SXSW with the last man on the moon
The visually stunning, moving and inspirational new documentary on the life of Gene Cernan, aptly titled “The Last Man on the Moon” (LMOTM), had its North American premier last night (March 13, 2015) at SXSW in Austin, Texas. The 95-minute film from U.K.-based Mark Stewart productions was the first of 150 films to be screened at the prestigious festival which runs through March 21st. An audience of nearly 600 film buffs, space fans, friends and family of Capt Cernan eagerly filled the Vimeo Theatre in the Austin Convention Center for the big event, which also featured a post-screening Q&A session with the filmmakers and “The Last Man” himself.
In the hours prior to the premier, Omega Watch hosted a private reception at a nearby rooftop club in honor of Cernan, producer Mark Stewart, Director Mark Craig, co-producer Gareth Dodds and other supporters of the production. Cernan, who wore an Omega timepiece on all three of his missions to space, has been a longtime spokesperson for the company. Among attendees were both his former wife, Barbara, and wife, Jan, and daughter Tracy (whose initials he famously etched in the lunar dust), who all appear in the film. Also featured in the film and attending the premier was Fred “Baldy” Baldwin, with whom Cernan flew in VA-113 as a Navy A-4 Skyhawk pilot prior to his selection into the astronaut corps.
LMOTM, which was seven years in the making and had its European premier last year, now continues to rack up acclaim for its artfully presented emphasis on the human side, including the emotional personal toll of the early manned space program. The discerning SXSW audience gave the film, its filmmakers and grateful subject rousing applause as the theatre lights came up. This audience reaction to LMOTM bodes well for the U.S. distribution deal sought by Mark Stewart and his colleagues by launching the film at SXSW, where it will have an additional three showcase screenings. I’ll report again when a final deal on theatrical release or public broadcast develops. For more information visit www.facebook.com/thelastmanonthemoon. My preview of the film, as seen in the March/April 2015 issue of Warbird Digest, is also posted in the Press section of www.reelstufffilmfest.com.