On Monday, August 30, 2021, director Thomas Verrette held a VIP screening of his new documentary Zero Gravity at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Zero Gravity is a documentary that follows a diverse group of intelligent middle schoolers from San Jose, California, on their journey to competing in a nationwide satellite coding tournament at the International Space Station.
Throughout the course of the film, Zero Gravity highlighted three incredible students: Carol Gonzalez, an 11-year-old Mexican-American with a big heart and even bigger dreams of becoming a robotics engineer; Advik Gonugunta, a 10-year-old Indian-American with a natural inclination for coding and a fascination with the tech world; and Adrien Engelder, an 11-year-old American with a passion for all things under the sea and climate change prevention, with a drive to become a marine biologist.
These three amazing children and their coach Tanner Marcoida, a first-time teacher of the Zero Robotics middle school program, shared their intimate and personal journey into space with the audience. There were tears, there was laughter, and a lot of hard work as these three led their California team into the Zero Robotics finals by programming their SPHERES satellites.
Several real-life astronauts added to the educational element of this breathtaking emotional journey — Jack D. Fischer, Cady Coleman, and Steve Smith — lent their experience and expertise to this fascinating documentary.
Zero Robotics is a yearly competition in which thousands of students across the world compete in the ISS Finals
Tournament to see which region can bring the best codes to the contest. States and countries go head-to-head in live matches that are
performed by real astronauts in orbit. The mission behind this incredible program is to inspire a new generation of great minds by giving them access to space at middle school and high school levels. If you are looking for a touching, heartfelt, good feels but immersive educational documentary, Zero Gravity would be a fabulous choice.
For upcoming screenings, more information, or to get involved, visit zerogravityfilm.com.