Rafael 3 Fri, May 3, 2019 8:45 PM
Film Info
Section:The Great Outdoors
Running Time:78 min.
Director:Alison McAlpine
Producer:Alison McAlpine
Note Writer:Kelly Clement


In a remote region of Chile, people gather in the Atacama Desert to behold the night sky. Some are planet hunters in astronomical observatories, while many are desert dwellers working the arid land and the sea of their birthplace. What they all share is the profound and endless beauty of the heavens and the mystical feeling of the unknown. Director Alison McAlpine’s lush documentary drifts between science and spirituality and transports us into a calm and transcendent space where we can reflect on the infinite splendor of the heavens. Cielo is an invitation to slow down, rediscover our world, and reflect on the complex beauty of our existence.

Additional Information

Alison McAlpine’s roots are in poetry. At a writing workshop in Banff, the novelist Alistair MacLeod described her work as film poetry. Soon she discovered theatre in Ireland. In Canada, McAlpine formed a theatre company and wrote and directed plays that were presented at festivals in Canada, Ireland, and France. She was encouraged towards cinema and received a commission to write a TV Opera based on a play she had written. Her mid-length film Second Sight (2008), “a nonfiction ghost story,” was screened at more than 35 international film festivals. Cielo is Alison’s first feature film.