The Martian

California Film Institute San Rafael, CA


Dr. Pascal Lee

Chairman, Mars Institute; Senior Planetary Scientist, SETI Institute; Director, Haughton-Mars Project

The Martian— Living on Mars: It's not just science fiction anymore

Dig deeper into the movie’s depiction of interplanetary travel and human existence on Mars—with and without emergency potato farming—and how today’s astronauts are preparing to survive and thrive on the Red Planet.

California Film Institute San Rafael, CA

Film Synopsis

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney, presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must use his wits, spirit, and scientific know-how to find a way to survive on the hostile planet.

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) 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 three Golden Globes. 

About the Speaker

Dr. Pascal Lee, chairman of the Mars Institute, senior planetary scientist with the SETI Institute, and director of the Haughton-Mars Project, which conducts research vital for planning future expeditions to the Moon and Mars.