Another Earth was a surprise award-winning success at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, coming out of nowhere as the fiction debut from documentary filmmakers Mark Cahill and Brit Marling (who co-wrote the script with Marling starring and Cahill directing, shooting and editing).

Their film is both a metaphysical science fiction movie about a world with a duplicate earth and a delicate character piece about a young woman with a troubled past. In short, it’s a unique vision by a pair of emerging talents.

With an odd concept in their heads and no fiction credits to their names, the filmmakers simply started making Another Earth without a budget or crew, hoping to find financing as they went,

“One of the things that’s wonderful about Mike is that he has an incredible fearlessness and because he’s so talented at everything, from directing to cinematography and editing, he can really execute the vision,” said Marling.

“He said, ‘Look, we don’t really have any money, we just have us, but let’s start and at least something will be happening,’” Marling told Metro, with Cahill adding, “I think you need a healthy dose of hope or self-deception when making a first film because you’re kind of jumping off of a cliff and hoping that you learn how to fly before you hit the ground.”

The gamble clearly paid off as the pair not only managed to finish their movie, but secured a theatrical release through Fox Searchlight.

The fledgling filmmakers have officially started new careers, but hope that as the budget and scale of their films expand, they can still retain the same level of artistic control.

“It’s a huge benefit to know how to do everything on a set,” said Cahill.

“I think all of those different departments on a film can be like one artistic brushstroke and I’ll still be heavily involved with all of it in the future.”

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