Touch the Stars in IMAX

Kim was cast as the female narrator for the 2019 IMAX documentary film, Touch the Stars. The film has been seen at the Kennedy Space Center and Air and Space centres in Oregon, and Washington, in Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Japan. Distribution to more IMAX theatres around the world is scheduled throughout 2020.

Afterglow Studios, producers of the film collaborated with Lockheed Martin for this, the second of three space-oriented IMAX productions.  Touch the Stars is the story of the machines and features incredible footage gathered from NASA space exploration. Unravel the history of unmanned robotic spacecraft, the film reveals how this plays an important role in helping us better understand our solar system.

A Breakdown of the Documentary

The first probes, the Mariners blasted us into the Space Age in the mid 20th century, and we began to catalogue the physical properties of our nearby planets. Then came the Pioneers flying past the asteroid belt and Jupiter. In the mid-seventies, Viking 1 made the first successful landing on Mars. The Voyager program launched two spacecraft that would give us eyes on the outer planets. Other notable players in this film include the Galileo, Cassini-Huygens and Juno probes. The film tells their stories and presents their awe-inspiring findings.

We see the recent launch of a probe that will get to within four thousand miles of the sun, quite literally touching our own star. And Touch the Stars also outlines what’s next in space exploration. A preview that includes humans returning to the Moon, exploring Mars and the Mars Base Camp vision. Each of the space missions discussed in the film is accompanies by original spacecraft photography. The film is more than a historical perspective on our experience with space exploration, but also gives insight into where we are now in the space race, and possibilities for inter planetary life. Touch the Stars is relevant for audiences of all ages. Created with high definition images and rife with scientific data, this engaging film uses real footage, carrying audiences on the backs of the robot explorers to see planets and moons like we’ve never seen them before, taking viewers on an unforgettable journey.

Including Women in the Picture

Space exploration today is much more inclusive of women and girls than in the industry’s beginnings. There is a push within science and technology fields to encourage young females to consider helping to form the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists. To that end, the producers of Touch the Stars made an excellent choice in casting Kim Handysides as the narrator of this film. As the Geena Davis Institute on the Gender in Media tagline says, “If she can see it, she can be it.™” Research conducted by the Institute finds that women are often underrepresented and shown in stereotypical ways in the media. In fact, in the U.S, only 24% of professionals in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields are women. This female-narrated film helps bridge this gap.

Kim was particularly pleased to take on the narrator role for Touch the Stars. Telling the story of what has driven humanity’s space exploration to date, what we’ve learned and bringing to light next targets five, ten and fifty years from now is a point of personal pride for this voice artist. The subject matter dovetails into two of her creative niches. Chiefly, narrations for TV series that have been on Discovery, the Life Channel, and Netflix and numerous independent documentaries. And secondly, voice over work in the air and space industries. She often does voice work for Air & Space museums, NASA, the US Air Force, Boeing, Bombardier and airlines, like Air France, Delta, West Jet, Hainan and many others.

More Documentary Narration Work

Another recent (2018) documentary Kim narrated is SkyGrazers produced by Plan A International, an uplifting story of aviators that explores the pilot shortage from a unique perspective. Markets of the World (2018, 2019) produced by Eureka! is a doc-series travelling the world exploring markets as varied as falconry in Qatar, insects in Bangladesh and flowers in India. Occult Crimes (2017, 2018) a Planet Bleue Production aired on Netflix and reveals the twisted true stories of the dark side of humanity. Other documentary narration credits of Kim’s include In Search of Holy Treasure, Beyond Belief-Sports and Beyond Belief-Travel, Dreams of Africa, Big Ski Adventures and Gourmet Relay.

Stylistically narration for documentaries is as varied as the subject matter itself. From strong and authoritative to folksy and warm, from ominous and dark to bright and engaging, documentary narration work requires a talent with a wide range and great storytelling skills.

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