NYFF 55 official selectionCielo is a cinematic reverie on the crazy beauty of the night sky, as experienced in the Atacama Desert, Chile, one of the best places on our planet to explore and contemplate its splendour. Director Alison McAlpine’s sublime nonfiction film drifts between science and spirituality, the arid land, desert shores and lush galaxies, expanding the limits of our earthling imaginations. Planet Hunters in the Atacama's astronomical observatories and the desert dwellers who work the land and sea share their evocative visions of the stars and planets, their mythic stories and existential queries with remarkable openness and a contagious sense of wonder. A love poem for the night sky, Cielo transports us to a space, quiet and calm, within which we can ponder the infinite and unknown.

“Cielo: A beautiful film!! Photography, sound, structure, subject matter - enough to lift the spirits out of any earthly trough. A moving film in all senses of that word.”

- Walter Murch

“Seen on a big screen, these images — photographed by cinematographer Benjamin Echazarreta — have a transporting power that comes close to approximating what it must be like to actually stand in Atacama, gazing up in awe.”

- Hollywood Reporter

“No planetarium could hope to replicate the awe-inspiring spectacle that is Alison McAlpine’s Cielo, a documentary screening at the 2017 New York Film Festival.”

- Culture Trip

“This is the greatest biopic I've seen this year, Alison McAlpine's look at the Night Sky from the Chilean Desert. Fantastic. CIELO is like SAMSARA meets PARTICLE FEVER… It is very much my jam.”

  • Jordan Hoffman

Writer, Director, Producer:  Alison McAlpine (Second Sight Pictures)
Language: English
ear of Production: 2017
Runtime: 77 minutes


For playdates and press inquiries, please visit Cielo website.

For festival or booking inquiries, please contact elizabeth@junofilms.com. For educational inquiries, please visit our educational site.

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