04/17 The Picture House Launches Science on Screen Film Series with Screening of The Martian and Post-film Discussion with Commander Joel from The Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Learning Center 4 PM

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — On Sunday, April 17th at 4:00 p.m. The Picture House Regional Film Center (TPH) will launch its new Science on Screen film series, with a screening of the Oscar-nominated film The Martian followed by a discussion and Q&A with Commander Joel of the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center.

The family-friendly Science on Screen film series – taking place on three Sunday afternoons in the spring– creatively pairs current, classic, and documentary films with lively presentations and discussions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, medicine, and film. The Science on Screen series is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is supported by a grant by the latter. The Picture House is one of 47 independent theaters nationwide participating in the program.

The Martian recounts the story of astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who during a manned mission to Mars, is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit, and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian was nominated for seven Academy Awards and Damon won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Watney. 

After the screening, TPH Director of Programming Clayton Bushong will moderate a discussion and Q&A with Commander Joel of the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center. Commander Joel will discuss the way astronauts would have to prepare to make a mission to Mars, the feasibility of such a mission, as well as the reality of the rescue and other scenes depicted in the film. All audience members will be able to taste test samples of freeze dried ice-cream and grapes to further immerse themselves into the astronaut experience.

The Challenger Center organization was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost in the Challenger 51-L mission. Dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission, Challenger Center programs continue the crew’s mission of engaging students in science, math, and technology and foster in them an interest to pursue careers in those fields. In June 1994, a Suffern High School project proposed turning a vacant school building into a Challenger Learning Center. The concept lit a fire in the community resulting in approval of the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center to become one of the then 30 Challenger Learning Centers in North America and the second in New York State.

Tickets to the screening of The Martian and post-film discussion are $15/general admission, $12/members, $10/seniors and are available at www.thepicturehouse.org or at the box office, 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY 10803.