Vice Motherboard's The Most Unknown - Documentary Premiere

The Rialto proudly presents

Vice Motherboard's The Most Unknown - Documentary Premiere

Dr. Luke McKay

Fri · June 1, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


We here at The Rialto are incredibly excited to be one of the few selected host theaters to premiere Vice Motherboard's first feature film, The Most Unknown, a documentary exploring why scientists explore the unknowns of the universe.

"In a world where the knowledge we gain from basic research faces a variety of threats ranging from apathy to outright antagonism, how do we make people care about science? For one, we can start with asking scientists why they're doing the work in the first place." - Motherboard

How did life begin? What is time? What is consciousness? How much do we really know? These essential questions have fueled scientific inquiry for generations. Tackle them with us June 1st when we will be joined by one of the film's stars, Bozeman's own, Dr. Luke McKay for an introduction as well as a follow-up Q&A where you'll have a chance to ask your most burning questions. 

Join us for a special event, as engaging as it is enlightening.

Vice Motherboard's The Most Unknown - Documentary Premiere
Vice Motherboard's The Most Unknown - Documentary Premiere

Directed by Ian Cheney and with Werner Herzog serving as an advisor to the film, The Most Unknown is a film primed to reinvigorate love for scientific inquiry exploring some of the universe’s toughest questions

BROOKLYN, NY, April XX, 2018 — VICE's science and technology channel Motherboard premieres The Most Unknown, an epic documentary film that follows nine scientists to extraordinary parts of the world to uncover unexpected answers to some of humanity’s biggest questions. Motherboard has partnered with Abramorama, the leading documentary film distribution company to release Motherboard’s first feature film in theaters. In August, the film will stream exclusively on Netflix before arriving on Motherboard’s own platforms.

Directed by Peabody-Award-winning filmmaker, Ian Cheney (The Search for General Tso and King Corn), and advised by filmmaking legend, Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, The Wrath of God, Grizzly Man), The Most Unknown was created in partnership with Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation. The film tackles the essential questions that have fueled scientific inquiry for generations: How did life begin? What is time? What is consciousness? How much do we really know?

Abramorama will release the film theatrically, beginning May 18th at the Quad Cinema in New York City, with additional cities to follow.

A first-of-its-kind filmmaking experiment, The Most Unknown follows these scientists around the globe as they explore new fields and visit new places. Through these scientists’ journey — the film begins underneath a mountain and ends on a Monkey Island — The Most Unknown examines what it means to dedicate one's life to questions humanity has yet to find answers for.

"The Most Unknown was something of an experiment; an attempt to break new ground in science storytelling while showcasing the work of remarkable scientists all over the world,” says Cheney. “Our hypothesis as filmmakers was that in pairing up scientists from different disciplines, we might reveal the common languages of science, and provide a raw, human glimpse of what propels scientists into the unknown."

Motherboard is an online magazine and video channel from VICE that explores the intersection of culture and technology. Through short and long-form documentaries, photography, editorial and community participation, Motherboard provides a refreshing voice in the tech media landscape, filling the gap between more sterile gadget review sites, and industry news. Whether it's gaming, art, sports, or food, Motherboard is there telling the story of technology's role.

Abramorama is the preeminent global rights management partner for music films today and is recognized for the consistent high quality of its work on award winning feature films. An innovator in the focused, personalized form of film distribution and event cinema, Abramorama provides invaluable alternatives to filmmakers and content owners. An industry leader in marketing, promotion, and global distribution, Abramorama continues to trail-blaze exciting new pathways for filmmakers to find their audience.
Dr. Luke McKay
Dr. Luke McKay
My name is Luke and I am a scientist on planet Earth who is utterly captivated by the overwhelming diversity of life. Most of these lifeforms are invisible to the naked eye but they are ubiquitous and incredibly abundant—in fact, there are more of these organisms living associated with your body than your body’s own human cells. But they don’t stop there. Microbes live in the dirt under our feet, the ocean, hot springs, Antarctic ice, deep sea hydrothermal vents, animal guts, and even deep mud layers beneath the ocean. They are crucial to our understanding of global chemistry like the oxygenation of our atmosphere and the regulation of many greenhouse gases. They have the power to elucidate the evolutionary history of life on Earth and some of them may even provide clues as to where else life may exist in our solar system and beyond! Not to mention, there is likely a wealth of untapped medical and industrial applications that these microbes have to offer.

In the grand scheme of things, though, we know very little about microbial life. Classical studies of microbiology were based on cultivation, or, growing organisms in isolation in a laboratory setting. However, only a minuscule fraction of extant microbial life has been captured in cultivation whereas the vast majority is still out there doin’ its thang, whatever that may be. That’s where I come in. My career is dedicated to understanding the “uncultivated majority” of microbial life via cultivation-independent methods. I use a variety of techniques, including stable isotope probing, fluorescent in-situ hybridization, metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics to scratch the surface of major unanswered questions regarding life. I use information from the DNA and RNA of a microbial community to inform enrichment and cultivation attempts of microbes who are recalcitrant to laboratory growth. I travel to extreme environments, which are likely similar to where life originated on our planet or extraterrestrial systems where it might exist, and I use all of these tools to investigate microbial life and how it survives under such conditions.

I teach a class called Microbial Diversity, Ecology, and Evolution, and I work in a laboratory in the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University. I also run a business called Boom Biotech that helps people analyze nucleic acid datasets. I live in Bozeman, MT with my amazing companion, Greta, who is working on a project that uses art to address climate change. I love wilderness adventures, dancing, and rap music. My favorite movie is either Hook or Jumanji (the original), depending on the day, and if you haven’t read The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin, I highly recommend it!
Venue Information:
Rialto Bozeman
10 West Main St.
Bozeman, MT, 59715