Artist: Cory McAbee

Project Title: Deep Astronomy 

Project Discipline: Moving Image: Non-traditional Narrative

Estimated Completion Date: 01/01/19

Deep Astronomy (a.k.a. Small Star Seminar) has been developed in part through the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier Story Lab. Live events have been documented by local filmmakers in countries throughout the world including Russia, Australia, Poland, Iceland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and throughout the US. Elements are being independently generated in these and other countries as well.

The film follows the story of a singing motivational speaker (Cory McAbee) who travels the world urging people to give up their goals, stop reaching for the stars and to start looking for the stars within their own minds. The seminar features optimistic songs about quitting, accepting one’s own limitations and the power of sitting quietly. Through lectures and conversations with his live audiences McAbee introduces his theories of Deep Astronomy, Truth vs. Fact, transdimensional drifting and the Romantic Sciences.

McAbee’s journey begins when he falls from a barstool and hits the back of his head on the floor. Upon impact he sees a star within himself. Researching, identifying and defending the star’s existence become his calling. He leaves his wife and children behind in his attempt to educate the public about his theories while urging people to pursue the truth by ignoring the facts. His experiments and speeches are based on the crude beginnings of ideas, but in the hands of his followers become much more.

The balance between pursuing his incomprehensible calling and supporting his beloved family back home becomes tenuous as he struggles with the widening gap between his beliefs and his priorities. Faced with financial disaster he is forced to abandon his crusade in favor of love.

This project has been developed in part through the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier Story Lab. Events have been featured and documented at the New York Film Festival, Reykjavik International Film Festival, 36th Stage Songs Review (Wrocław, Poland), Séance Magazine Festival (Saint Petersburg, RU), Unknown Pleasures Festival (Berlin), Marfa Film Festival (TX), and at theaters, museums, galleries, night clubs, pubs and universities throughout the world.



CRAZY AND THIEF – (2012) . Digital . 58 Minutes

POSITION: Writer / Director / Producer / Composer / Musician / Camera

– Official Selection: Los Angeles Film Festival

– WINNER. New Visions. Petit Format Award. Sitges International Film Festival. Sitges, Spain.

– WINNER. Special Features Jury Award. Indie Memphis. Memphis, TN.

– Indiewire. Top 10 Best Undistributed Films of 2012.

– Forbidden Planet International. Best of the Year 2012. (UK)

STINGRAY SAM – (2008) . Digital . 61 Minutes . episodic feature

POSITION: Writer / Director / Actor / Composer / Musician / Storyboard Artist

– Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival

– WINNER. Best Science Fiction Fantasy Film. Comic-Con. CCI-IFF. San Diego

– WINNER. Special Jury Award. Innovation In Filmmaking. Indie Memphis

– WINNER. Best Of The Fest. Ellensburg Film Festival. WA.

– WINNER. Best Director. Montevideo Fantastic Film Festival. Uruguay

– WINNER. Best Music / Original Score. Montevideo Fantastic Film Festival. Uruguay

– WINNER. Innovation Award. Sound Unseen. Minnesota MI.

– WINNER. Audience Award. Special Mention. Intl Young Filmmakers festival. Granada, Spain 

– WINNER: Honorary Mention. Sopot International Film Festival. Poland

THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT – (2001) . 35mm . 92 Minutes

POSITION: Writer / Director / Actor / Composer / Musician / Storyboard Artist 

– Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival. Dramatic Competition.

– Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival.
– Official Selection, Moscow International Film Festival.

– WINNER. Special Jury Award For Original Vision. Florida Film Festival.

– WINNER. Best Of The Fest. 5th Revelation Perth International Film Festival. Australia.

– WINNER. Best Feature Film. LUFF Lausanne. Switzerland.

– WINNER. Best Feature Film. Crossroads Film Festival. Jackson, MS.

– NOMINATION. Independent Spirit Awards.

– TOP 10 FILMS of 2001. Film Threat Magazine.

– Screenplay accepted into 1998 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.



Phone: Contact via email for phone number.



Want to take part in this production? The Academy of Romantic Sciences is calling. Please take a moment to tell us who you are, where you are, your areas of expertise and/or how you might want help in the production of Small Star Seminar.