Surrey woman’s Mars-mission dreams revealed in doc film

SURREY — “If we could build a roller rink on the surface of Mars, that’d be great for me,” says Barbara Keith in Mars Barb, a movie to be screened this weekend at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.

The 10-minute “short” is about the Surrey resident’s desire to be part of the Mars One mission, which will establish the first permanent human settlement on the so-called Red Planet. For those chosen to participate in the mission, it’s a one-way trip to Mars – no return to Earth.

“For $33 for my initial sign-up fee, I’m telling ya, it’s just gonna be a dream come true,” Keith says in the film.

“And the Air Miles would be huge, but I wouldn’t get to use them.”

Mars Barb was made by Milena Salazar as her grad project for Pull Focus Film School, located in Gastown. She met Keith in February of 2014 when they both worked for the same arts organization.

“I noticed she was always wearing a Mars One T-shirt, and I’d never heard about it,” Salazar recalled. “I was just fascinated by the idea of it all.”

The film shows Keith cleaning an office building and also jogging the track at Bear Creek Park, an activity she says is fuelled by a breakfast beverage of blended kale and apple.

“I’ll be organizing the first Mars marathon, that’s for sure,” Keith says in the film.

Mars Barb was filmed in 2014, when Keith was among the final 700 candidates for the space mission. Since then, the candidate pool has been reduced to 100 people.

“She’s not currently in the running,” Salazar revealed. “Barb didn’t get into the final 100. I think there’s still a chance for participants to reapply, so she still has that hope, the chance to reapply for it. But she also has other things going on. She’s a person of many hobbies and interests, so she didn’t have all of her eggs in the one basket.”

Mars Barb will be screened on Sunday, May 3 as part of the “Canadian Hobbies” shorts program at DOXA, which runs from April 30 to May 10 at five venues in Vancouver. For details, visit Doxafestival.ca or call 604-646-3200.

tzillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

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