The Hunt for Planet B

17 September 2021


Brief Synopsis:

The Hunt for Planet B captures the human drama behind NASA’s high-stakes Webb Telescope, due to launch in fall 2021—the most ambitious space observatory ever built. The film interweaves the creation of this massive machine (being built with the collaboration of ESA and the CSA) with the story of a pioneering group of scientists, many of them women, on a quest to find life among the stars. From the hi-bays of NASA to the streets of Florence to the bottom of the sea, what begins as a real-time scientific adventure turns into a deep meditation on our place in the universe. On the brink of seeing farther out than ever before, we find ourselves looking back at our own imperiled planet with new eyes.


Directed by: : Nathaniel Kahn
Production: Crazy Boat Pictures
Producer: Bonnie Hlinomaz, Nathaniel Kahn
Editing: Sabine Krayenbühl
Cinematography: Robert Richman NASA Director of Photography: Michael McClare, 2nd Unit Director of Photography: Mark Gambol
Running time: 93’
Country: USA
Year: 2021
Contacts: Elena Urbani |

Director’s note:

I have always been fascinated by the intersection of science and art, so when the opportunity arose to document the massive Webb Telescope, being built by NASA with ESA and the CSA, I jumped at it. As thrilling as it was to film the technology coming together, it was the people involved in the project that interested me most. Through the process of making the film a theme emerged: our search for answers in the heavens was somehow allowing us to see our Earth anew—realizing its uniqueness in a way that transcends our tumultuous point in time.