Edition 23: 2–10 August, 2024


Rock Bottom Riser

United States
2021 — 70' / Color



As lava continues to flow from the earth’s core on the island of Hawaii – posing an imminent danger – a crisis mounts. Astronomers plan to build the world’s largest telescope on Hawaii’s most sacred and revered mountain, Mauna Kea. Based on ancient Polynesian navigation, the arrival of Christian missionaries and the observatory’s ability to capture the origins of the universe, a survey about the influence of settler colonialism, the search for intelligent life, and the discovery of new worlds as we peer into our own planet’s existence.

Official Trailer

Director Biography

Fern Silva (1982 USA/Portugal) is an artist who began working as a film editor and cameraperson in NYC. His early films revolved around his relationship to Portugal and have since expanded, underlining the global influence of industry on culture and the environment. For over a decade, his 16mm films have been screened widely in festivals, museums, and cinematheques. They’ve been awarded prizes from the Images Festival (Jury Award), Ann Arbor Film Festival (Gus Van Sant Award), 25FPS Festival (Grand Prix), and most recently, the Agora Post-Production Award from the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. His work has been featured in publications including Cinema Scope, Filmmaker Magazine, and Film Comment. He has taught filmmaking at various institutions including the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bard College, and Bennington College. He studied film at the Massachusetts College of Art and Bard College and is a fellow at the Film Study Center at Harvard University.


Fern Silva


Fern Silva


Fern Silva


Fern Silva


Mike Stoltz

Official Film Website