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MACH, Museum Team Up for Margaret Mead Film Festival

Three innovation-themed movies will be screened this fall as part of a new partnership between NBC News MACH and the American Museum of Natural History.
When a filmmaker is told by his doctor that he can't see colors, he sets out to define what it means to see.
When a filmmaker is told by his doctor that he can't see colors, he sets out to define what it means to see.Manuel von Sturler

NBC News MACH is going to the movies! Or, more precisely, MACH is teaming up with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to present a trio of innovation-themed movies this fall as part of the museum's long-running Margaret Mead Film Festival.

The MEAD+MACH movies will be shown at the museum in New York City on Oct. 20, 21, and 22 (details below). They're among more than 40 international nonfiction films to be presented at the four-day festival, which since 1977 has been held annually to honor the legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead.

The movies demonstrate the breadth of MACH's coverage of science, technology, and innovation — and spotlight the promise of new innovations as well as the potential peril.

"I'm very excited about partnering with AMNH to present these provocative films," said David Freeman, editorial director of NBC News MACH. "The movies shine much-needed light on some important and very controversial issues, and they're also very entertaining."

The three films are:

Lunar Tribute, directed by Robert Lewis (world premiere)

In April 1972, astronaut Charlie Duke became the tenth (and youngest) person to walk on the moon. Duke describes his voyage in vivid detail — from seeing Earth from space to life in zero gravity.

Astronaut Charlie Duke holds a copy of the family photo that has been on the moon since he left it there on April 23, 1972.Rob Lewis Photography

Interviews are intercut with footage of drummer Jojo Mayer, echoing the thrill of travel through the cosmos. The screening will be accompanied by a conversation with Duke, filmmaker Robert Lewis, and the director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tickets and info here.

Pre-Crime, directed by Matthias Heeder and Monika Hielscher (New York premiere)

Science fiction has become science fact in the modern criminal justice system. "Pre-crime" is a policing technique now used in both the U.S. and Europe to identify "hot people" — those most likely to be victims or perpetrators of crime.


Forecasting software is used to collect information and to monitor and flag people. But software is only as good as the data it's fed — and the pre-crime techniques have been criticized as unreliable and arbitrary. In this in-depth examination into the modern age of policing, directors Monika Hielscher and Matthias Heeder pose an important question: How much freedom and human awareness are we willing to cede to the limited logic of technology? Tickets and info here.

Lust for Sight, directed by Manuel von Stürler (U.S. premiere)

Manuel von Stürler is a Swiss filmmaker with macular degeneration. His 2012 documentary Winter Nomads earned him critical acclaim and dozens of festival prizes. But his vision has faded in recent years, and the frightening reality of encroaching blindness has set in.

Director Manuel von Sturler

Now von Stürler turns the camera on himself and grapples with the loss of his most essential sense. Tickets and info here.


  • Lunar Tribute: Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
  • Pre-Crime: Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.
  • Lust for Sight: Sunday, Oct. 22 at 5 p.m.

WHERE: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street in New York City.

TICKETS: $12 ($10 for seniors, students, and museum members) except for Lunar Tribute ($20, or $18 for members). Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212-769-5200, online at, or at the museum.

For more information, or to request a schedule by mail, call 212-769-5305, or visit

American Museum of Natural History in New YorkAMNH