Press Release: Sci-fi thriller ’51 Degrees’ screening adds to Starmus programme



51 Degrees

– Hot on the heels of the news that British physicist Stephen Hawking will be a keynote speaker at the Starmus Festival from 22nd-27th September in Tenerife, the event continues to strengthen its line up with the confirmation that acclaimed film director Grigorij Richters will be introducing the first private screening of his latest film, 51 Degrees.

Richters, who has been making films since the age of 7 years old, will join his fellow crew member and keynote speaker, music legend Brian May, who, as well as attaining a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College in 2007, is responsible for the sound track on the movie.

It is no wonder that Tenerife’s Teide National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which boasts one of the world’s best observatories and was last year awarded “Starlight Tourist Destination” and “Starlight Reserve” certificates by the Starlight Foundation, is helping the festival to gain momentum in its second year. The private screening is just one of the highlights of a weeklong festival, which includes conferences and round table discussions with prominent figures such as, Nobel Prize winners Robert W. Wilson and Sir Harold W. Kroto; British ethologist, zoologist and scientist Richard Dawkins; American astronomer Jill Tarter, astrophysicists Robert Williams; three Apollo moonwalkers: Edgar Mitchell, Charlie Duke and Jack Schmitt, and five cosmonauts including Alexei Leonov, who became the first human to make a ‘space walk’ back in 1965.

Just confirmed and new to the line up are astrophysicist and presenter of BBC’s The Sky at Night, Chris Lintott, and Professor of Paleanthropology, Kateriana Harvati.

Festival goers will also have access to a unique concert with legendary keyboard player Rick Wakeman together with Brian May; and a stargazing “Star Party” at the Teide Observatory.

Attendees will have the chance to mingle and share their views on astronomy with the well-known personalities.

Ideally suited to the Starmus Festival’s theme of cosmic discovery, the film follows the life of Damon Miller (played by Moritz von Zeddelmann), a young British film maker who becomes involved in the research of asteroids, only to discover that the Earth stands on the brink of extraterrestrial disaster. Knowing the world is coming to an end, Damon finds hope in an offer made by underhand British authorities to allocate him and his loved ones places on a 2,000 capacity space station orbiting Earth. His ticket to survival rests on whether he is willing to film the last days of hysteria on Earth leading up to the asteroids hitting.

Filming took place between 2011 and 2014 in and around London, initially using a skeleton crew and employing guerilla filming tactics on a major scale; with 2,500 extras used to create scenes of panic in Piccadilly Circus.

A trailer of the film can be found here:

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The Starmus Festival is organised by the Government of the Canary Islands and the Council of Tenerife; managed by Garik Israelian, an astrophysicist researcher at the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute (IAC); with the collaboration of The Ritz-Carlton Abama where the majority of conferences will take place.

The six-day festival is priced at €300 (£243) per delegate and interest in attending can be registered at

Ashley Oulton