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Unseen Skies


“Unseen Skies” follows artist Trevor Paglen’s decade-long journey to launch an artwork into space. Yaara Bou Melhem, an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, captures Paglen’s intercontinental trek to deploy a 30-meter mirrored balloon visible from Earth. Paglen’s conceptual art exposes the hidden power-structures of technology and surveillance that shape our lives. The film unveils his unprecedented undertaking and explores the global impact of technology on privacy. “Unseen Skies” reveals a reality that remains largely unseen and undetected: our skies are more than the exclusive playground of the military-industrial complex. Or are they?


  • ARTnews
    "His point is to expose the mechanisms of state surveillance, showing how seamlessly integrated into our daily lives they are."
    Alex Greenberger
  • The Globe and Mail
    "Nowadays those landscapes are dotted with drone airfields and black ops sites, surrounded by barbed wire and twitchy guards."
    Chris Knight
  • POV Magazine
    Unseen Skies tackles AI to remind viewers that looking is an inherently subjective act. Paglen unpacks the problematic dynamics of power and control embedded with A.I logic. The film offers an inquiry that’s sometimes confusing, but consistently provocative.
    Pat Mullen

Festival Participation

  • San Francisco International Film Festival - 2021
    Golden Gate Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature
  • Sydney Film Festival - 2021
    Best Australian Documentary Nominee
  • CPH:DOX - 2022
  • Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards - 2022
    Best Sound in a Documentary Nominee
  • Millennium Docs Against Gravity - 2022
    Canon Award for Best Cinematography Nominee
  • Docaviv - 2022

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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