ROLE: Russian Astronaut Andrei Blok

GENRE: Sci-fi space/found footage


US RELEASE:  June 27, 2013


A unique documentary-style science fiction thriller, EUROPA REPORT follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary discoveries that may lie in the Europan ocean.

After a near-catastrophic technical failure that leads to loss of communication with Earth and the tragic death of a crewmember, the surviving astronauts must overcome the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel, and survive a discovery on Europa more profound than they had ever imagined.

Cast & Credit Details

Daniel Wu - William Xu
 Sharlto Copley - James Corrigan
Christian Camargo - Daniel Luxembourg
 Karolina Wydra - Katya Petrovna
Michael Nyqvist - Andrei Blok
Anamaria Marinca - Rosa Dasque
Embeth Davidtz - Dr. Unger
 Isiah Whitlock Jr. - Dr. Tarik Pamuk
Dan Fogler - Dr. Sokolov

* * * * *

Director - Sebastian Cordero
Screenplay - Philip Gelatt
Cinematography - Enrique Chediak
Music - Bear McCreary

* * * * *

90 minutes

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Production Notes:

Filmed entirely at Cine Magic Studios in Brooklyn on the East River waterfront in the fall of 2011. The ambitious 19-day schedule began on November 16.  Such an aggressive schedule was achievable with Chediak’s 8 cameras filming the action simultaneously. "Blocking was a long process," says Chediak, "we’d rehearse for hours, then we’d roll and you’d do two or three takes of one scene and cover 10 pages of the script. In a way it’s almost like theater." Cordero directed the actors from an 8-monitor video set-up that allowed him to see live playback from each camera as the scenes were performed in the enclosed set.

Publicity Stills

"Gelatt achieves that essential character balance chemistry amongst all the crew, with everyone particularly natural and believeable in their roles (first amongst equals are Wu, Nyqvist and Wydra). Digital footage as captured by the various sources (mission-record sensors, helmet-cams, handheld devices) did not faze cinematographer Enrique Chediak, whose crisp images and mastery of both tight, shiny space and the vastness of the universe are beautiful; barely a frame of Europa Report belies the fact that it was a relatively low-budget work. Cordero’s feature-length English-language debut is terrific entertainment."   ...Simon Foster, Screen-Space

"It’s just the look and feel of the film, in which the actions of the crew and the memories of the scientists are invested with such emotion and realism — with the thought that this could really happen — are so unique. These characters are more than willing to risk their lives to further advances in science. That’s a passion and dedication that fuels Europa Report, and Cordero makes the most of it."  ...Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

"The real strength of the film comes in the performances by each member of the six-person crew - and in particular their realistic interactions with each other. Sharlto Copley (District 9) plays the junior engineer and his interaction with his gruff Russian chief played by Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) feels very authentic. Chinese-American actor Daniel Wu (The Banquet) gives a good turn as the ship's commander. The film is notably a co-production with China and his inclusion in the cast is a likely nod to that country's enormous audience."   ...Ryland Aldrich, Screen Anarchy

"Cordero definitely keeps you watching, and by the time the crew arrives on the icy, striated and radiation-dosed surface of Europa, and begins to detect signs that something may have noticed their arrival, the story has largely come together. After its own cool, high-tech fashion, “Europa Report” does explore some pretty big questions in the end, and depicts the spirit of scientific discovery and heroic sacrifice in more compelling fashion than most mega-budget space operas."   ...Andrew O'Hehir, Salon magazine

"The performances—particularly those of Sharlto Copley, Anamaria Marinca, and Michael Nyqvist—handily lend dramatic support to Cordero’s camerawork, though the script reveals too little about most of the astronauts’ lives back on Earth. Still, the relative ease of the crew’s interactions aboard the ship before things go awry sells Europa Report as a compelling fictional documentary, peering into the characters’ quest to achieve greatness."   ...Aisha Harris, The Dissolve

"The international cast, including Anamaria Marinca and Daniel Wu as the mission’s skillful pilots and Michael Nyqvist as its grave-faced engineer, spend plenty of time gasping and looking wide-eyed as their prospects for survival grow dim — but within that dynamic they give off a reasonably calculated air. As they ponder the best means of addressing various turning points in the mission, including exterior damage to their ship and whether it’s worth venturing onto the surface of Europa to explore lights in the distance, Europa Report allows its dramas to accumulate at a steady pace."    ...Eric Kohn, IndieWire

"The actors are all superb as the early sections allow them to develop full-blown characters whose personalities come into play once the many crises hit. Anamaria Marinca stands out as a commander who makes decisions slowly and strives for consensus. Michael Nyqvist has become withdrawn following the first tragic episode while Karolina Wydra’s marine biologist still cannot contain her near giddy enthusiasm for the journey... Chediak’s cinematography is crisp, focused and breathtaking. Camera angles always make sense and help create the claustrophobia a viewer gradually start to feel. Caballero’s design for the space craft looks plausibly utilitarian. More than anything, Cordero‘s Europa Report restores the wonder to space."   ...Film critic Kirk Honeycutt

"While Europa Report does quite well dramatically without breaking any new ground, its great strength is how striking it is visually and the stratagems it employs to make itself memorable.  Determined to create as realistic a look for the spacecraft as possible, not to mention a credible moonscape for Europa, production designer Caballero consulted closely with scientists from NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and SpaceX, the Elon Musk-founded private space travel company. The results feel convincing in a way other films have not always managed."    ...Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"The cast all do fine work here, with Nyqvist doing a fine job as the increasingly claustrophobic man on the ship. The dynamic that exists between what starts off as a team is interesting as it evolves throughout the movie, and the visuals consistently impress even when degraded to stay in keeping with the format."

"Gelatt's script feels rooted more in fact than fiction, making the crew, in turn feel more believable with the end result that it matters to us when they start to get picked off one by one. Given the general documentary feel of the film, however, the scoring by Bear McCreary, though enjoyable in its own right, feels rather heavy for the material, although it pays off in the tension-packed scenes towards the end, and space-movie fans will doubltess enjoy the small nod to Kubrick it contains. Fans of monster movies expecting the usual space carnage will be disappointed but those who liked the slow-burn tension of Gravity will find plenty to enjoy."   ...Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

"Europa Report is a film about people, about their humanity - not hardware. It succeeds in great part because it's blessed with a gifted ensemble cast that includes Christian Camargo, Daniel Wu, Michael Nyqvist, and Anamaria Marinca."   ...Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Kubrick’s masterpiece moved so slowly that it was something of an endurance test, even for avid sci-fi fans. Europa Report, by contrast, is brisk, thrilling and ultimately terrifying. And unlike 2001, it’s (mostly) grounded firmly in one of the most exciting areas in modern science. The idea that life evolved independently on Europa is perfectly plausible—and that makes what would be a fun and exciting film in any case all the more worth watching."   ...Michael D. Lemonick, Time magazine

"Europa Report is one of the most immediately involving science-fiction films in recent memory. Filmed in the format of a Discovery Channel style documentary but with found-footage elements, Ecuadorian director Sebastian Cordero draws you in with an incredibly realistic, seemingly well-researched take on current-day space travel, and then keeps you at an exhilirating choke-hold for the rest of the film’s 90 minute running time."   ...Movie Mezzanine Christopher Runyon

"This compelling and claustrophobic film is directed by Sebastian Cordero with a thought-provoking screenplay by Philip Gelatt. Looking for life on other planets is a staple in science fiction films, and here there are a few new twists and turns. By the end of this film, we shared the astronaut's awe at what could be and also were convinced that outer space is both a very mysterious and a very dangerous place."  ...Film critics Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat