37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024

The Space Race

THE SPACE RACE_image_FINAL Play Button

Photograph courtesy of NASA.

Preceded by the short film For the Moon

In a gripping account of the race against the Soviet Union to reach the moon, a lesser-known narrative unfolds about a Black astronaut who came tantalizingly close to entering space, a story often omitted from historical retellings. The Space Race is a compelling exploration of the untold experiences of pioneering Black pilots, scientists, and engineers who joined NASA to serve their nation in the realm of space despite enduring ongoing inequality on Earth.

Directors Lisa Cortés (Little Richard: I Am Everything) and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (The Redeem Team) adopt a historical lens to illuminate pivotal moments in American history as they relate to space exploration. This compelling documentary uses decades worth of archived film footage and interviews to provide a unique and informative perspective on the critical and little-known roles played by a group of Black American pilots, scientists, and engineers who broke barriers that went far beyond science.

Discussion with executive producer and film subject Leland Melvin. Moderated by Paul Wagner (UVA).

For the Moon tells the true story Dr. Ronald McNair as a 9-year-old who enters an all-white library in a deeply segregated South Carolina.


Friday, October 27


5:00 PM


Violet Crown 5

Film Info

Director: Lisa Cortés, Diego Hurtado de Mendoz

Runtime: 91 min.

Genre: Documentaries

Year: 2023

Country: USA

Language: English

Presented by


Presented by

envision + UW(white)[2]