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Director Mike Cahill made his name with the low-budget science-fiction drama Another Earth (2011), about a woman's attempts to make reparations for her past, while the world comes to terms with the appearance in the sky of an Earth identical to our own, populated by our doppelgängers.

Cahill's new film I Origins is just as ambitious, a philosophical romance running alongside two scientists' investigations into the evolution of the human eye.

Both films were awarded the Alfred P Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, an award which recognises movies which focus on science and technology.

Astrid Bergès-Frisbey takes the third lead, and it is her eye (whose two-tone colouring indicates a condition called sectoral heterochromia) which appears on the film's poster.Here the Telegraph's chief film critic Robbie Collin talks to the 35-year-old director about his fascination with the eye, the changing nature of science fiction, and why every young filmmaker should teach themselves visual effects.There was a time when the only auditions Brit Marling could get were for the archetypal blonde in ‘torture porn’ flicks – and everyone knows the blonde is the first to die.So she decided the only way to get good roles was to write them herself and enrolled in a screenwriting course.Now the writer, producer and actor has film legends such as Robert Redford and Ridley Scott singing her praises.

Redford – whose film The Company You Keep she starred in (it’s released in Britain in 2014) – calls her ‘an emissary for her generation’.

Scott was so impressed with Marling that his company, Scott Free, came on board to produce her new thriller, The East.

Marling, 30, co-wrote it with director Zal Batmanglij and plays Sarah Moss, a spy for hire who infiltrates a group of anarchists.

Led by the charismatic Benji (True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård) and Izzy (Juno’s Ellen Page), the group carry out attacks on corrupt corporations.

The pranks are clever and harmless to start with but become increasingly dangerous. But I’m excited that more women seem to be writing, acting and directing.

‘It’s about modern-day rebellion and anarchy,’ says Marling. Look at what Lena Dunham and Tina Fey have done in television.