Out there

In this short documentary, we meet Jennie McCormick, a remarkable amateur astronomer who built an observatory in her own backyard, co-discovered a planet and an asteroid, while keeping her full-time day job and raising two children by herself. An inspirational story of a strong woman who puts herself out there, despite all the obstacles she's encountered in life ever since dropping out of school, and becomes a successful and internationally recognized self-made female astronomer.

  • samylle anjos
    Director
  • Jennie McCormick
    Key Cast
  • Samuel Headey
    Editor
  • Jeremy Cole
    DOP
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 28, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    1080p25/50
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
Director Biography - samylle anjos

Samylle Anjos is a Brazilian aspiring documentary filmmaker. Sensitive and empathetic, her main goal is to tell stories that promote inner and social changes. She has an unusual background, having worked as a lawyer in Brazil for almost 10 years before deciding to pursue her dream of studying documentary directing. Samylle has always been passionate about real people, and studying documentary gave her the opportunity to explore her creative side in order to tell real stories. Her goal is to help others to connect with their own humanity.

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Director Statement

Out There is a profile documentary about Jennie McCormick, an amateur astronomer who built an observatory in her own backyard, discovered an asteroid, and helped to discover new planets. All that while working a full-time day job and raising two children by herself.

This is an inspirational story of a strong woman who has achieved greatness, despite all the obstacles. Jennie went from dropping out of school, to eventually becoming a successful and internationally recognized self-made astronomer. “Out There” tells her story and celebrates her journey.

As a storyteller, I have always been interested in “outsiders”, especially women who do not conform to what is expected from them. This short documentary acknowledges a woman who rejected the conventional pathways to success, and paved her own path to a life of passion, purpose and achievement. This documentary depicts the very real struggles that she had to overcome to pursue her dream and to keep stargazing.

Through the perspective of one woman’s life, I hope not only to capture the importance of her contributions to science, but also to question the conventional notion of what success is and how to attain it.

This is a character-driven film, focused on the perspectives of Jennie herself, her family and the astronomy community. We will see her living a regular life during daytime: working, cooking for herself at home, spending time with her family. But after sunset, Jennie becomes the scientist that she also is. By looking at those two facets of her daily routine, we are able to see the simplicity and beauty of a fulfilled life.