How to Build a Time Machine



Stop-motion animator Rob Niosi devotes 13 years of his life obsessively replicating the time machine from the 1960s film adaptation of H.G Well’s The Time Machine. Meanwhile, theoretical physics professor Ron Mallett is working on a time machine with which he plans to save his father’s life.

Jay Cheel’s breakout documentary showcases the artistry and life lessons of his subjects with an Errol Morris flair, combined with exquisite cinematography and a heady dose of philosophy. He captures the thrill of success and the abjection of failure, as Niosi and Mallett fight to recapture their innocence with the utmost perfectionism. Juxtaposed against wickedly jovial archival footage and smart meta references, How To Build A Time Machine takes us on a cinematic journey through personal histories and imagined futures, charting a path of magic and catharsis.


  • web-6-htbatm-director Jay Cheel is a documentary filmmaker from Canada born in 1979. His debut documentary feature Beauty Day (2011) premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and was screened at the Hot Docs International Film Festival. He is also the founder of The Documentary Blog and the co-host of the Film Junk podcast.
  • Michael McMahon, Kristina McLaughlin, Kevin McMahon
  • Jay Cheel
  • Rob Niosi, Ron Mallett
  • N/A

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