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Director Barbara Anastacio is known for the probing nature of her offbeat profile approach. For her latest film, a zero-gravity portrait of Italian astronaut Maurizio Cheli, the director takes the idea of what we consider home and turns it on its head with Maurizio’s life in zero gravity.

Known for being the first non-native pilot to hold the status of mission specialist in a United States Space Shuttle mission and logging a massive 377 hours in space, here, Cheli invites the director inside his extraterrestrial abode, where he muses on feeling connected to the world at large by getting a little distance between him and humanity and what’s like life in zero gravity.


Maurizio Cheli (born 4 May 1959) is an Italian air force officer, a European Space Agency astronaut and a veteran of one NASA space shuttle mission. He flew aboard STS-75 in 1996 as a mission specialist. That same year he joined Alenia Aeronautica, and two years later he became Chief Test Pilot for combat aircraft. His last test program was for the Eurofighter Typhoon. He holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Italian Air Force and has more than 380 hours of space activity and more than 4500 flying hours on more than 50 different aircraft types.

Directed by Barbara Anastacio
Article editor Michael Lewin on Nowness.