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DNA at the Speed of Light DNA at the Speed of Light 

DNA at the Speed of Light is the first feature film by Pedro Neves Marques.

The film follows the remarkable path of their fiction short films, most notably the Ammodo Tiger Short Award for best short film at IFFR – Rotterdam International Film Festival for Becoming a Man in the Middle Ages (2022) and best film awards at Go Shorts, Short Waves, Sicilia Queer Film Festival, and MixBrasil for The Bite (2019).

The film is currently in its development stage, focusing on establishing a firm co-production partnership and funding options, while on progressing its plot treatment and script.

The Earth receives a message from an alien planet, proof that we are not alone in the universe. At that exact moment, Lourdes and Lana decide to pause their struggling relationship. DNA at the Speed of Light is a film about the mundanity of daily life in the face of world-changing events.

New Arecibo, moon base and radio telescope on the far side of the moon, receives a message from an alien planet, proving that there is intelligent life out there. At the exact same moment, Lana is back in her apartment, after another frustrating night with her girlfriend Lourdes. DNA at the Speed of Light focuses on the failing relationship between two young women in their early twenties, under the shadow of a larger-than-life event: the discovery of intelligent life on a faraway planet.

Lana just graduated from cinema school and struggles between two jobs, as a boring clerk at her school’s library and as an assistant to star artist, Annie Barlow. In turn, Lourdes gave up on her studies and, taking for granted her parents support, feels lost and aimless. Against her enthusiastic expectations, Lana sees that, despite the scale of the news, the world continues to spin in its daily banality: people have to go shopping, take care of family, receive a salary at the end of the month... The normality soon depresses her. In contrast, Lourdes, usually taciturn and struggling with her chronic melancholia, wakes up to the little things in life.  

The film expresses a phase in life filled with ambitions, little economic sustainability, and many mistakes, slowly opening up to both characters’ family relationships. While scientists try to message back to space a code with human DNA, Lourdes and Lana navigate the individual psychologies and social constructions that we inherit irremediably from one’s family. Lourdes is the daughter of a surrogate mother, Mirene, and a homosexual couple, Vicente and Carl, having grown up in a non-nuclear and cultured family. For her part, Lana’s childhood objective was to escape her lower class background and pursue an artistic path for herself. Keeping a distance from her parents, she projects her aspirational desires for acceptance in Lourdes’ family as well as in Annie. But under the shadow of alien life, roles are about to change.

DNA at the Speed of Light is a “slice of life” film, where everyday life is imbued with a meaning greater than the simple naturalness of the passing days—after all, it is also in the small gestures that individual and collective anxieties are sublimated.