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Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future

Bonestell Documentary


Full-length Documentary Film Screening
With Guest Filmmaker Douglass M. Stewart, Jr.

Friday, February 22, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 23, 2019 – 2:30 p.m.

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Film length: 96 min
Location: Roxie Theatre, 3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Bonestell Documentary
View Movie Trailer
Best Documentary
2018 Comic-Con
International Independent Film Festival

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future has been showing at film festivals and public or private events across the nation as well as receiving awards at the International Independent Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival, Comic-Con San Diego, and Boston Sci-Film Festival.

The film celebrates Bonestell’s artistry with those who were influenced by or knew Chesley personally, and is punctuated with a rare interview with Chesley himself. This documentary chronicles the extraordinary life of a quiet, artistic visionary, whose beautiful paintings continue to inspire us to reach for the stars.

About Artist and Architect, Chesley Bonestell:

Saturn As Seen From Titan
Saturn As Seen From Titan

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future is a perspective on the life and works of one of America’s most influential but unfortunately overlooked and forgotten visionaries. The Chrysler Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the film Destination Moon, and America’s space program were each touched by the creative vision of a forgotten artist named Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986). Filled with his mesmerizing art, his designs, and the iconic hallmarks of his legacy, this film explores the vast influence Bonestell had on our culture and our destiny.

Bonestell’s first published space painting, Saturn As Seen From Titan, ran in the May 29, 1944 issue of “Life” magazine and became known as “the painting that launched a thousand careers.”

About Lynette Cook, Local San Francisco Bay Area Artist:

Doug Stewart with
Artist Lynette Cook and
Cook’s art at location shot
at the offices of the ASP

One of the many pre-eminent space artists featured in the film is Lynette Cook. A long-time member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Lynette helped coordinate the shooting of her segment, which took place at the ASP’s building in San Francisco where several of her paintings hang.  Filming wasn’t without some excitement as the power went out for a couple of hours that day. Lynette recalled: “Doug and his cameraman thought they had tripped a circuit breaker with their equipment, but it turned out the whole city block was experiencing a power-outage. It lasted about two hours but we eventually finished everything just fine.” In the film, Lynette talks about what it’s like to be a space artist and what an influence Chesley Bonestell was in her work. “He was a guide for me and my own career,” she reveals.

About Producer/Director/Writer, Douglass M. Stewart, Jr.

Douglass M. Stewart, Jr.

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future is a tribute and labor of love by filmmaker Douglass M. Stewart Jr., who had a deep concern that Bonestell would be forgotten for his accomplishments and inspiration to artists, scientists, engineers and astronauts. About his inspiration to make the film, Stewart says, “What I hope it will do is what his paintings have done, which is to inspire people to develop an appreciation for all the stars and planets and our journey as space explorers. My feeling is that the history of the U.S. space program has to be incorporated in the history of Chesley Bonestell because he was a part of it from the beginning. He’s a forgotten part of American history and a very important one, in many fields, in architecture and the arts and filmmaking, and in the exploration of space.”

Stewart has a long history of providing tribute films for the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the ASC Awards, and the Television Hall of Fame. He produced a six-part tribute to President William Clinton for his 50th birthday celebration.