Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds at the Toronto International Film Festival



 Werner Herzog, Effie Brown, David Byrne and Wendy Ettinger Named Advisors

 Additional films announced with Ondi Timoner,

Penny Lane and Theo Anthony

New York, Toronto – September 10, 2020 – Sandbox Films, a production company formed to produce documentary films that explore the art and beauty of scientific inquiry — and  that are innovative, experimental and filmmaker-driven — launched today timed to the World Premiere of Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s  Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds at the Toronto International Film Festival, which they executive produced. Werner Herzog, Effie BrownDavid Byrne and Wendy Ettinger have signed on as Advisors.  Sandbox Films was founded by producer Greg Boustead (The Most Unknown, Human Nature), who will serve as  Director and Executive Producer, alongside Jessica Harrop (Follow ThisBill Nye Saves the World) serving as Head of Production.

Werner Herzog, who as founding advisor played a key role in shaping the company’s ethos, commented “Sandbox Films is uniquely bold and unorthodox in its approach, and completely unafraid to ask difficult questions. This is what attracts me to Sandbox Films. This is why it’s exciting and an honor to contribute to its vision.”

“More so than ever before, it is becoming the standard to expect audiences to be inquisitive and curious. I am excited to support Sandbox Films because I know they will push the boundaries of exploring untold stories from across the globe,” said advisor Effie Brown.

In addition to Fireball, Sandbox Films has signed onto Executive Produce three upcoming documentaries with award-winning filmmakers Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live In Public) , Penny Lane (Hail Satan?, Nuts!, Our Nixon) and Theo Anthony (Rat Film).  

“Part of what we wanted to do is work with some of the most interesting independent artists in documentary, and collaborate with them on science stories — even if they hadn’t thought about science before, especially if they hadn’t! — to breathe new life into the genre and approach these concepts from less-obvious angles. These are some of the most creative voices in nonfiction, and we’re incredibly lucky and inspired to be working with them,” said Sandbox Films’ Greg Boustead and Jessica Harrop.

Ondi Timoner’s untitled experimental documentary looks through the eyes of scientists and artists at how technology is transforming our ways of connecting and loving, given the societal trend towards increasing physical isolation, accelerated by the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The film is being directed by Ondi Timoner and produced by Timoner and David Turner. Sandbox Films has partnered with Interloper Films to executive produce. 

In Confessions of a Good Samaritan, Penny Lane explores the nature of altruism when she decides to give one of her kidneys to a stranger. A provocative inquiry into the science and ethics of organ transplantation, the film is a fresh take on an ancient question: Who is your neighbor, and what do you owe them? The film is being produced by Gabriel Sedgwick. Sandbox Films will executive produce with development support from Impact Partners.

In All Light , Everywhere director Theo Anthony explores the shared histories of cameras and weapons, images and justice. As surveillance technologies become more and more mainstream, the film interrogates the complexity of an objective point of view, probing the biases inherent in both human perception and the lens. Riel Roch Decter, Sebastian Pardo and Jonna McKone are producing. Sandbox Films has partnered with Memory to executive produce.  

Sandbox Films was created as a mission-driven, artist-first, non-profit, genre-redefining company founded on the following ideas:

  • To tell a science story is to tell a human story.
  • A culture of questioning.

At its core, science is the art of asking questions. It’s a way of thinking — based on evidence, inspired by curiosity — that invites nuance and imagination. Sandbox Films celebrates this sense of possibility, in pursuit of revealing deeper truths about our world. These films ask more questions than give answers. They convey scientific ideas, embedded in culture, designed to inspire new and diverse audiences

  • Inclusive Storytelling:  Science is richer when more perspectives are considered. The experts Sandbox will showcase and the voices elevated will have untold impacts on shaping the public face of knowledge and authority. With this in mind, one of the founding motivations for launching Sandbox Films is to make science documentaries more inclusive. In addition to increasing diversity on screen, they seek to collaborate with artists behind the camera who have different experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. The ultimate goal is to broaden what it means to be a scientist.
  • Ethical Financing:  “artist-friendly” equity.  Sandbox Films ensures all key creative members are appropriately compensated before they recoup their financing.