- Country: Canada
- Initial release: April 29, 2017 (United Kingdom)
- Film Director: Adam Stern
- Running Time: 15 Minutes
- IMDB Grade: 6.5
In the vast realm of science fiction, few concepts capture our imagination quite like the idea of faster-than-light travel. The ability to traverse the cosmos at speeds exceeding that of light has long been a staple in popular culture, from movies like “Star Wars” to TV shows like “Star Trek.” But what if this fantastical concept could become a reality? Enter Adam Stern, a visionary filmmaker who explores the possibilities of faster-than-light travel in his award-winning sci-fi short film, FTL (Faster Than Light). In this article, we delve into the world of FTL, examining the plot, characters, and the remarkable optimism it brings to the science fiction genre.
The Plot: A Journey Beyond Imagination
FTL takes us on an exhilarating journey with Ethan Kane, a lone astronaut tasked with testing the first-ever faster-than-light spacecraft. As the first human being chosen for this groundbreaking mission, Kane embarks on a voyage that will push the boundaries of what is believed to be possible. With his friend and colleague Sarah overseeing operations from ground control, Kane sets off aboard the Longshot spacecraft, equipped with an experimental engine designed to transport him from Earth to Mars and back within minutes.
The initial leg of the mission, a journey to Mars, proves successful. However, during the return trip, an unforeseen engine malfunction propels Kane far beyond his intended destination. He finds himself in uncharted territory, light-years away from Earth. The film’s central conflict revolves around Kane’s struggle to navigate this unknown expanse and find a way back home.
The Characters: Exploring the Human Element
At the heart of FTL are the intimate human relationships that drive the narrative forward. Ty Olsson, a seasoned Canadian actor known for his roles in “Supernatural” and “Battlestar Galactica,” brings depth and authenticity to the character of Ethan Kane. As an astronaut and a devoted family man, Kane’s journey becomes not only a test of his physical endurance but also a trial of his emotional resilience.
Aliyah O’Brien portrays Abby Kane, Ethan’s wife, and serves as the emotional anchor of the film. O’Brien’s performance encapsulates the challenges faced by the loved ones of those who willingly venture into the dangers of space exploration. The chemistry between O’Brien, Olsson, and John Torrance, who plays their son Jack, adds another layer of depth to the story, making it impossible not to become invested in the fate of this family.
The Optimistic Vision: Science Fiction with a Twist
While science fiction often explores dystopian worlds and post-apocalyptic scenarios, FTL stands out as a shining example of the genre’s ability to inspire hope and wonder. Written and directed by Adam Stern, the film offers an unabashedly optimistic take on the future of space travel. Unlike its darker counterparts, FTL presents a vibrant and visually stunning universe, bursting with color, life, and the promise of exploration.
Stern’s background in visual effects, showcased through his Artifex Studios, elevates the production quality of FTL. The cinematography and visual effects create a visually captivating experience, immersing viewers in the awe-inspiring wonders of the cosmos. It comes as no surprise that Artifex Studios has contributed to renowned genre projects such as “Travelers,” “Continuum,” and “Wayward Pines.”
Critical Acclaim: Awards and Recognition
FTL has garnered critical acclaim, earning recognition and accolades within the science fiction community. The film has received numerous awards, including Best Drama at the Toronto Shorts festival and Best Action Short at the Berlin Sci-Fi Filmfest. Its success is a testament to the artistry and vision of Adam Stern, who skillfully crafts a compelling narrative within the constraints of a short film format.
The Impact: Revitalizing Science Fiction
In a genre often characterized by its darker themes and somber undertones, FTL breathes new life into science fiction. By focusing on the human element and infusing it with a sense of wonder, the film offers a refreshing take on the possibilities of space exploration. It serves as a reminder that science fiction can be an avenue for optimism, inspiring audiences to embrace the unknown and dream of a future where the stars are within reach.