“Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA” will open in select movie theaters nationwide for one night only on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
The documentary film presents the inspiring true story of how renowned actress Nichelle Nichols pioneered the National Aeronautics and Space Administration recruiting program to hire people of color and the first female astronauts for the space agency in the late 1970s and 1980s. Directed by Todd Thompson, the film chronicles how Nichols transformed her sci-fi television stardom into a real-life science career when, in 1977, she embarked on a campaign to bring diversity to NASA.
Nichols, who portrayed Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek: The Original Series,” formed the company Women In Motion Inc. and recruited more than 8,000 African American, Asian and Latino women and men for the agency. She and her program continue to influence the younger generation of astronauts as well, including Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut in space. Despite an uphill battle against a bureaucracy that was hesitant to let her get involved, Nichols persevered and is credited by NASA for turning it into one of the most diverse independent agencies in the federal government.
The following Tampa Bay area theaters are expected to screen the film:
• AMC Woodlands Square 20, 3128 Tampa Road, Oldsmar
• AMC Regency 20, 2496 W. Brandon Blvd., Brandon
• AMC Bradenton 20, 2507 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton
For a complete list of participating locations and to purchase tickets, visit www.fathomevents.com.
In addition to Nichols, “Woman In Motion” features notable celebrities, activists, scientists and astronauts including Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Takei, Pharrell Williams, Martin Luther King III, Al Sharpton, Vivica A. Fox, Walter Koenig, Rod Roddenberry, Michael Dorn, Guy Bluford, Charles Bolden, Ivor Dawson, Frederik Gregory and Benjamin Crump.
Following the feature presentation, fans will be treated to an exclusive behind the scenes documentary about the making of “Woman in Motion,” which includes additional interviews with Nichols and other notable guests from the documentary, deleted scenes and additional footage from the making of the film.
"We are thrilled that Woman in Motion will be getting its U.S. premiere and launching the Fathom Events Celebrates Black History Month series next month,” said Thompson. “This is a great American story with incredible global impact. Nichelle Nichols helped create the brighter future we are living in today by proclaiming that space exploration is for everyone. It's a simple but very strong statement that opens doors and allows all humankind to boldly go."