What happens when your childhood dream literally flies away? When Matthew Cimone learned that the space shuttle program was being retired, he was reminded of his childhood connections to space through his inspirations of his grandfather and a small telescope at the cottage where Matthew spent many summers under clear dark skies and of his many evenings watching Star Trek and science fiction. Joined by friend and filmmaker Paul Muzzin, Matthew journeys to witness the final launch of the space shuttle, shuttle Atlantis, and realizes that the launch is not an ending but just the beginning of a new chapter in life that leads to a career change, a renewed passion for space exploration, and a realization that - as he discovered as a child on a dock on a lake with his grandfather - space reminds many of us of family, belonging, and the connection we have to eachother as we all look up and ask if we are alone.
Matthew Cimone grew up watching Star Trek and came to believe that, like the crew of the enterprise, life should be about exploring with a family and doing good where you can in the universe. Becoming an astronaut didn't work out so Matthew studied International Development at the University of Toronto but always kept one eye on the sky. After feeling like his passion for space was a guilty pleasure when compared to the challenges on our planet, he remembered later in life that the whole reason he wanted to explore and do good was originally inspired by a love of the stars. Matthew merges his passions for social justice, astronomy and science fiction as a public speaker. He has spoken to thousands youth across Canada on topics of social justice and astronomy and is a TEDx presenter. Matthew is Co-Founder and CEO of Esther’s Echo, a charity that supports a local school for vulnerable girls and women in West Africa. He currently lives in Vancouver and works at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre Planetarium as well as the Trottier Observatory.
Paul focused a large part of his career helping not-for- profit organizations tell their stories. As Cinematographer and Director, Paul has traveled to Sierra Leone to chronicle the story of community leaders rebuilding their country; worked with leaders amongst First Nations on both sides of the Canada-US border; and helped document the story of one soldier’s within the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Paul is a graduate of Sheridan College and owns and operates the production company, Riptide Studios. His body of work is a reflection of his understanding of the human experience. His work has been seen on CTV, NBC, YesTV, and Global. Paul is exploring interactive art through the synergy of mixed media and experimental filmmaking, and is a published poet. Paul lives in Toronto with his wife Stephanie and their son Zachary.