Searching For Light

Award winning feature documentary produced by In-House Films


“Searching For Light” follows ex-bricklayer turned professional astronomer Gary Fildes on his unlikely journey from the building sites of Sunderland in the North East of England to the darkest skies on Planet Earth in South America.

His odyssey takes him from Kielder Forest to the bustling metropolis of Santiago where he learns the history of astronomy in Chile, before heading North into the Atacama Desert to visit the most advanced astronomical facilities on the planet, including La Silla, VLT Paranal and ALMA to glimpse the future of mankind’s quest to understand the Universe.

On this expedition Gary witnesses, for the first time, true dark skies, learning from leading scientists how the Chileans protect this most precious natural asset, in order to achieve his ultimate goal… Protected Dark Sky Park status for his home skies in Northern England.

Gary worked as a labourer for almost three decades on Sunderland’s building sites but always harboured a deep fascination with the cosmos. Eventually this passion led him to become the founder of the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland; Europe’s only true dark sky, public observatory.

For distribution enquiries, please contact TVF International.

Festival accolades & awards

Winner “Best Astronomy Movie”, Vienna Science Film Festival

Winner, “Best Feature Documentary”, Tsiolkovsky Space Fest 

Winner, “Best Director”, Kosice International Film Festival

Second “Best Documentary Feature”, Kosice International Monthly Film Festival

Official Nomination, China International Conference of Science and Education Producers

Official Selection, Pinewood Studios Documentary Filmmaker Showcase, 

Official Selection, Vienna Science Film Festival

Official Selection, Kosice International Monthly Film Festival

Official Selection, China International Conference of Science and Education Producers

Official Selection, ECOCUP Green Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection, Interdoc


The Kielder Observatory, Northumberland, UK

Grindon, Sunderland, UK

Santiago, Chile

Manuel Forster Observatory, Santiago, Chile

Cerro Calan Observatory, Santiago, Chile

La Silla Observatory, Coquimbo Region, Chile

Paranal Observatory (VLT), Atacama Desert, Chile

San Pedro de Atacama, Atacama Desert, Chile

Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), Atacama Desert, Chile