In my opinion The Immortalists is a the most frank, open-minded and uniquely personal documentary about life-extension in general and Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, in particular. I was privileged to attend its international premiere during the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, Canada and instantly knew that I have to interview David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg on Singularity 1 on 1. I believe that everyone interested in life-extension – whether they think we should or we should not even attempt it, must see the film.
During our 50 min conversation with David and Jason we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: how they got interested in and decided to make a documentary about life-extension; their goals and motivation; choosing Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews as the main protagonists; how their ideas on life-extension evolved before and after the film; why Aubrey is not pleased with the title; why deeply personal details are very relevant for making a good documentary; Transcend and Terry Grossman; the cost, time and effort associated with producing original content; whether life-extension is either feasible or desirable…
(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)
The Immortalists Film Trailer:
This is a portrait of two scientists – Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, who want to develop medical technologies which will supposedly make us all live forever. Who are they? How can they do it? And even if they could, what would happen?
Who are David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg?
David Alvarado is a cinematographer originally from Dallas, Texas where he first worked at the local PBS station on documentary films. He later moved to the San Francisco Bay area to receive his MFA in Documentary film, and now lives and works in New York City as a freelance cinematographer. His feature directorial debut The Immortalists was completed in 2014 and is now on the festival circuit.
Jason Sussberg is an award-winning documentary filmmaker focused on BIG ideas on human progress and social justice. He started his career working in sports television for the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors. After receiving a MFA at Stanford University in film, he co-founded Dogpatch Films in San Francisco. He is a digital media generalist (with a past life in motion graphics) who trains his lens on social and political topics ranging from jailed journalists, justice system reform and futurism. When he’s not in the classroom teaching, he is directing films about the pioneers of wild ideas such as The Sea Is a Harsh Mistress or The Immortalists.