Category: Competition

SSFX films shortlisted

Our judges have been working hard watching all of the films submitted to the SSFX Short-Film Competition and we now have a shortlist which will be showcased at our festival screening. Here’s a sneak peek!

We’ll have a trailer very soon too.



SSFX Short-Film Festival at Rich Mix, London

On Saturday 2 September 1:30-3:30pm, the SSFX Short-Film Festival will feature award-winning short films from around the world connected by strange sounds from space.

Get your tickets now. Booking is required.

About the Festival

Alien may have told you “In space no one can hear you scream” but it was wrong!

The SSFX Short-Film Festival has challenged independent filmmakers from around the world to create short-films incorporating a series of strange sounds from space recorded by satellites. The results are a collection of films, spanning a wide array of topics and genres, connected only by these sounds.

The festival will showcase these highly creative works, and will hear from the filmmakers involved and festival judges in panel discussions featuring audience Q&A. Awards will be presented to the best films and a drinks reception will follow.


‘Astroturf’ James Uren & Nidhi Gupta (UK)
A meticulous young man tends to his fake garden to the sounds of deep space.

‘Dark Matter(s)’ Jesseca Ynes Simmons (USA)
This experimental and meditative imagining attempts to capture the activities of a fish tank in a way that takes the inhabitants out of their enclosed world, to a place unknown, to feel both their death and their life.

‘Murmurs of a Macrocosm’ Adam Azmy (UK)
A journey through a microscopic world. We are led via the descriptive recordings of those who travelled it.

‘Names and Numbers’ Simon Rattigan (UK)
Space sounds and Morse code. How to get from A to B and from 1 to 3? This is a sound and voice collage shaped by the sounds of space and Morse code, addressing the external, physical and material experiences of sound and movement contrasted with interior reflections, explored through language, inner voices and symbols.

‘Noise’ Ali Jennings (UK)
A secretive woman opens herself up to her unruly housemate, after they are stuck together in her room. This film was created for the Queen Mary’s space sounds competition and features the sounds recorded in space within the film. Although they are not the direct subject of the film they are key to the characters’ interactions.

‘Saturation’ Victor Galvão (Brazil)
There’s no answer when time is the question. ‘Saturation’ is sci-fi story about unknown phenomena that made all organic processes to be as fast as to make life impossible. The film combines images taken from 35mm slides found in a medical archive with a soundtrack made from space sound recordings.

‘The Rebound Effect’ Aaron Howell (UK)
‘The Rebound Effect’ brings together contemporary movement and digital media to capture dance in a way which pushes past the tangible dimensions of live performance. The illusion created directs the viewer to move with the dancer whilst shifting the sense of space, direction and bounds.


The SSFX Short-Film Festival is being hosted at Rich Mix, East London’s independent arts centre, in “Screen 1” (a beautifully-designed boutique cinema) with a drinks reception following in the Indigo Café and Lower Café Gallery.

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, UK

The nearest stations are Shoreditch High Street (London Overground), Old Street, and Liverpool Street.

Deadline extended due to popular demand

Thanks to all of you who filled out our survey on your progress creating a short film featuring our sounds recorded from space. We have decided to extend the deadline by 2 weeks to Sunday 16 July 2017.

Don’t forget to keep track of which snippets of the space sounds you use and, more importantly, write a description of how you incorporated them into your film. This is a mandatory field in our Withoutabox listing and a key judging criterion.

We have also decided to accept partially complete films. Please do finish your films as much as possible and include any rough or incomplete footage along with a note in the cover letter detailing what changes or finishing touches will be made to your film. This will aid the judging. However, your final film must be complete by our Saturday 2 September Festival screening.

Thanks again for your interest in SSFX, we look forward to seeing your films soon!

How is your film coming together?

Don’t forget the submission deadline to enter your short film featuring our sounds recorded from space is 3 July 2017. You can create a film especially for the competition or edit an existing film to incorporate the sounds.

We hope you’re on track to make the deadline! Either way, we’d like to hear about your progress and would really appreciate if you could spare 2 minutes to fill out this quick survey to let us know.

SSFX on Resonance FM

Dr Martin Archer appeared on Resonance FM‘s OST show on Saturday to play space sounds, talk about SSFX and give away space goodies. Resonance is an apt name of a radio station for SSFX to appear on, as you shall see in our next video on the science behind SSFX.

The presenter, Robin the Fog, has blogged about the show here.

Articles on SSFX’s launch

Last week we launched SSFX and there’s been a great reaction so far including lots of sharing on social media, so thanks!

Here are a couple of things you might want to check out:

IFL Science wrote an article about various sorts of space sounds, linking to us about their potential use in art.

Super/Collider featured a short interview with space physicist and competition organiser Dr Martin Archer.

Physics World blogged about the competition launch, mentioning David Bowie in the process.

EarthSky also wrote about our competition.

SSFX Launches

We’re excited to announce the launch of the SSFX Short-Film Competition.

Space sounds inspire short film competition

Filmmakers will have the chance to use real-life sound recorded from space in a new competition launched by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

While the trailer for the movie Alien may have told us: “In space, no one can hear you scream” recordings of sounds from space by satellites seem to suggest otherwise. These unusual noises recorded over eight years have been sped up and amplified so they can be heard by the human ear for the first time. The recordings are free to download for filmmakers to use – and potentially win £2,000 worth of prizes.

The sounds were recorded by NOAA’s GOES satellites.

Competition organiser and space scientist, Dr Martin Archer from QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “From Star Wars to Sunshine, space has inspired and entertained cinema fans for decades. Now we are asking filmmakers to get creative and use an authentic piece of scientific research to realise their vision.

“These bizarre noises will increase the listener’s curiosity about the world around us and make us think about the age-old question: what does space sound like?”

Scientists study these sounds to understand their knock on effect on the everyday technology that we rely on as a society, for example mobile phones, GPS systems, TVs and weather forecasts.

The Space Sound Effects (SSFX) Short-Film Competition invites filmmakers to submit entries that are no longer than 15 minutes in length using the space sounds provided. Both young filmmakers and those more established are encouraged to enter the free competition, which is divided into four categories by age and location:

  • Under 25’s(UK)
  • Under 25’s (International)
  • Over 25’s (UK)
  • Over 25’s (International)

The competition closes on Monday 03 July 2017.

A panel of filmmakers and scientists will judge the competition, and prizes will be awarded at a special one-off screening of the winning films on Saturday 02 September 2017 at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

The SSFX competition is supported by QMUL’s Centre for Public Engagement.

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