The Voyagers (2010)


In the summer of 1977, NASA sent Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 on an epic journey into interstellar space. Together and alone, they will travel until the end of the universe.

Each spacecraft carries a golden record album, a massive compilation of images and sounds embodying the best of Planet Earth. According to Carl Sagan, “[t]he spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet.”

While working on the golden record, Sagan met and fell madly in love with his future wife Annie Druyan. The record became their love letter to humankind and to each other.

In the summer of 2010, I began my own hopeful voyage into the unknown. This film is a love letter to my fellow traveler.

Sound design: Jesse Stiles
Camera: Ashley Connor


“With this wedding present of a film, Lane takes a risky concept and turns it into something deeply personal and cosmically transfixing.” – Mike Tully, Hammer to Nail (full review)

“On Space, Love, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Mix Tape” – Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, The Atlantic (includes an interview with Penny Lane)

“In the end, the film is much more than a documentary about the Voyager probes. At its core, it’s a profound story about love and the fearless ability of the human spirit to stand in awe of its vastness, to dream of its mysteries, and to catch a glimpse of it’s incomprehensible complexity, and, knowing what triumphs and heartache lie ahead, still boldly jump in head first.” – Andrew S. Allen, Short of the Week (full review)

“A beautiful short film [and] a living testament to the creative capacity of remix culture.” – Maria Popoova, BrainPickings (full review)

“My personal favorite was — above all — Penny Lane’s The Voyagers, which was much the superlative effort of the entire festival, in my personal opinion. If there had been a Grand Prize, I certainly would have agitated on behalf of Lane’s picture for the honor . . . [It was] profoundly moving.” – Dave O’Gorman, Cinespect

“A lovely documentary about the love affair between astronomer Carl Sagan and his third wife Ann Druyan while they worked on the Voyager space probe mission in the ’70s.” – Mike Everleth, Bad Lit

“A winsome space love story, Penny Lane’s The Voyagers is a valentine to the cosmos and the skeptic in all of us: reminding us that only by risking everything — and journeying into the unknown — can we ever hope to encounter something (or someone) wondrous.” – DOXA Documentary Film Festival


Winner, Hammer to Nail Short Film Contest (July 2012)
Honorable Mention, Disposable Film Festival (March 2012)
Best Essay Film, Short of the Week 2011 Awards (December 2011)
Impakt Festival, Utrecht (November 2011)
Honorable Mention, AFI FEST, Los Angeles (November 2011)
Best Experimental Film, New Orleans Film Festival, NOLA (October 2011)
Citizen Jane, Columbia MO (October 2011)
Hot Springs Documentary Festival, Hot Springs AR (October 2011)
Festival Signes de Nuit, Paris (October 2011)
Festival of (in)Appropriation, Los Angeles (September 2011)
The Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad (June 2011)
Rooftop Films, NYC (June 2011)
International Short Film Festival Oberhousen, Germany (May 2011)
DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver (May 2011)
European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck (April 2011)
Iowa City International Documentary Festival, Iowa City IA (April 2011)
Directors Lounge, Berlin (February 2011)
Microscope Gallery, NYC (February 2011)
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Missoula MT (February 2011)
First Place (video), FLEX Festival, Gainesville FL (February 2011)
International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands (January 2011)
The Nightingale Gallery, Chicago IL (November 2010)
Dallas Video Festival, Dallas TX (September 2010)
video_dumbo, NYC (September 2010)