In Event of Moon Disaster

In July 1969, much of the world celebrated the “giant leap for mankind” that the successful moon landing constituted. In 2022, nothing is quite so straightforward. In Event of Moon Disaster illustrates the possibilities of deepfake technologies by reimagining this seminal event. What if the Apollo 11 mission had gone wrong and the astronauts had not been able to return home? A contingency speech for this possibility was prepared, but never delivered by President Nixon – until now. The immersive project invites you into this alternative history and asks us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.

This material was created for the purpose of enhancing public understanding, criticality, and discernment of deepfakes and showing the power of synthetic media to serve the public good.

An MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality Production.

For more information on this project, visit

Director Biography

Francesca Panetta is an Emmy award-winning experimental documentary maker, journalist and curator. She uses emerging technologies to innovate new forms of storytelling that have social impact. She is curator of Sheffield DocFest’s Alternate Realities programme, at MIT she was a Creative Director, and at the guardian Executive Editor for new forms of storytelling including Virtual Reality.

Halsey Burgund is a media artist and interactive director whose work focuses on the combination of modern technologies - from mobile phones to artificial intelligence - with fundamentally human “technologies”, primarily language, music and the spoken voice. He is the creator of Roundware, the open source contributory audio AR platform, which has been used to create art and educational installations for cultural organizations internationally.


Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund


United States







50 Shades of Fake News

Sunday, 12 June 17:00 - 18:30 / Kijkhuis 2
90 min.

Also in this session

1. Fake News Fairytale
Kate Stonehill, 14
2. Personal Truth
Charlie Shackleton, 17
3. In Event of Moon Disaster
Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund, 8
4. Naya - Der Wald hat tausend Augen
Sebastian Mulder, 24