Press Release

Passage To Mars Motion Picture Documentary Set To Hit Big Screen

By SpaceRef Editor
April 26, 2016
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The Mars Institute, in partnership with Jules Verne Adventures, is proud to announce special advance screenings of “Passage To Mars”, the spectacular motion picture documentary film on the Mars Institute and NASA’s epic Northwest Passage Drive Expedition in the Arctic. “Passage To Mars” will open at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles, California, on May 31, 2016.

The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition was a multi-stage, long-distance, crewed rover traverse on sea-ice and on land, along the fabled Northwest Passage. The expedition’s destination: the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) Research Station, a remote polar outpost on Devon Island, a.k.a. Mars On Earth. The expedition’s goal: to safely deliver the HMP Okarian, a concept pressurized rover for planning human Mars exploration.

The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition was led by Dr Pascal Lee, planetary scientist at the Mars Institute and the SETI Institute, and director of the Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Accompanying Lee were Mars Institute team members Joe Amarualik, John W. Schutt, and Jesse T. Weaver, as well as “Passage To Mars” film director Jean-Christophe Jeauffre of Jules Verne Adventures, and director of photography Mark Carroll.

“Passage To Mars” follows the HMP Okarian and her crew on their bold journey across the Arctic, with Emmy-nominated actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) voice-over reading Lee’s expedition log. The film also guest stars Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Shot in the Arctic and on Mars, as seen through the eyes of NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) robots sent to the Red Planet, “Passage To Mars” offers a powerful glimpse into the challenges and wonders awaiting future human explorers on Mars.

“The upcoming screening of “Passage To Mars” is an important milestone for the Mars Institute. The film tells the story of our journey across the Arctic, and shows the real Mars on the big screen like never before”, says Lee. “Astronauts bound for Mars will train on Devon Island, and we hope this film will inspire and ready all explorers”.

” “Passage To Mars” is a celebration of adventure, science, and exploration, an hymn to humanity’s thirst for discovery”, says Jean-Christophe Jeauffre, the film’s award-winning director. “We hope the film will contribute to encourage our species to reach for other worlds, and to also protect this one”.

“Passage To Mars” will show at Laemmle Theaters on the following dates and times:

31 May 2016, 8 pm: Ahrya Fine Arts Movie Theatre, Beverly Hills, CA
1 June 2016, 7:30 pm: Playhouse 7 Movie Theatre, Pasadena, CA
2 June 2016, 7:30 pm: Noho 7 Movie Theatre, North Hollywood, CA
4 June 2016, 10 am: Santa Monica Film Center, Santa Monica, CA
5 June 2016, 10 am: Santa Monica Film Center, Santa Monica, CA
Each screening of the film will be followed by a “Meet The Crew” on-stage event featuring members of the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition.

Advance Praise for Passage To Mars:

“Captures the truth of exploration – the will to survive against the odds. Gripping!..”
– James Cameron, Director of Titanic, Avatar

“Stunningly beautiful! This is not science fiction. This is the real deal!”
Andy Weir, Author of The Martian

“Out of this world! This film takes you on board our journey to Mars!”
– Leroy Chiao, Former NASA Astronaut & Commander of the International Space Station

“A suspense winner, and a lesson for future humans on Mars!”
– Jean-Francois Clervoy, ESA Astronaut

For more information:

“Passage To Mars” Trailer, Screening Schedule, and Tickets:

About the Mars Institute

The Mars Institute is an international, non-governmental, non-profit research organization dedicated to advancing the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars. The Mars Institute conducts cutting-edge research in Mars Science and Exploration. The Institute also studies the Earth’s Moon, near-Earth objects, and the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, viewed as stepping-stones in the exploration of Mars. The Mars Institute is committed to conducting high quality peer-reviewed research and to sharing the knowledge and benefits of space exploration with students and the public worldwide. The Mars Institute is headquartered at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA. Mars Institute Canada is based at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station, Devon Island, Nunavut. Mars Institute Norway is based in Stavanger, Norway.

For more information, visit:, or contact:

Elaine Walker
Director of Education and Public Outreach
E-mail: [email protected]

Pascal Lee, PhD
Director, Mars Institute
E-mail: [email protected]

About the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition

The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition was an activity of the Haughton-Mars Project. The expedition was sponsored by the Mars Institute and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Additional support was provided by the United States Air National Guard, AM General, ARB, Bassett Petroleum Distributors, Bombardier Recreational Products, Canadian Space Agency, Cornell University, First Air, Geonics, Hamilton Sundstrand, Jules Verne Adventures, Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA, Kenn Borek Air, Kikiak, Kitnuna, Mattracks, Mountain Hardwear, Musk Foundation, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Nunavut Research Institute, Pelican Signs, Polar Continental Shelf Project, Pull-Pal, RTL Robinson Enterprises, SETI Institute, Shokolade Caf, Simon Fraser University, Sorel, SpaceRef Interactive, University of Alberta, University of Florida, and the Arctic Communities of Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Grise Fiord, Kugluktuk, and Resolute Bay.

About Passage To Mars

PASSAGE TO MARS (USA, 2016). 94 minutes. Feature-Length Documentary.
Official website:

A Jules Verne Adventures Production in Association with Green Flash Pictures



Associate Producers GO O’CONNOR & ROBERT J. ATWATER
Director of photography MARK CARROLL
Visual Effects Supervisor KEVIN LINGENFELSER
A Mars Institute / NASA Expedition

SpaceRef staff editor.