Big Screen under the Microscope

In this week’s post: Exciting news & an awesome prize giveaway!

One of my favourite past times is watching movies in the cinema so I was delighted to hear about the UCD Imagine Science Film Festival taking place in July. This is the first Irish science film festival and is in partnership with the long-running New York festival of the same name.  Earlier this month, I caught up with Alex Boyd from UCD Research who is involved in the organisation of this new venture. She shared some exciting news with me (hear it first on Science Calling) and is giving our readers a chance to win an exclusive prize.

When speaking to Boyd, I learnt there were a number of different elements involved in the science-centric festival: “It’s a very new and dynamic festival to celebrate science”. Films from Ireland and around the world will be screened in a variety of Dublin locations e.g. Wonder House. The full schedule is being finalised but I’ve had a sneak preview and was impressed by the diversity being shown. As well as this, there will be two competitions taking place to encourage both scientists and film-makers to participate.

The open call for the main competition is taking place now. Documentaries, shorts and features can be submitted to the festival until 31st May. The driver behind the Imagine Film Festival is the telling of stories about how science impacts our lives and how scientists think and work. They encourage films to be told in the narrative and previous winners can be viewed on their website. I think it would be brilliant if scientists around the country participated in this festival. Not only would this highlight the wonderful work Irish scientists are doing in video form, it would also increase science communication and make research concepts more accessible to the general public. A great example of the positive effect this could have is the DVD released yesterday as part of International Women’s Day. WITS Inspiring Women Interviews will hopefully encourage more women to choose science as a career. So get your story boards and video cameras out. You never know, you could win one of the three Nature sponsored awards!

Science Speed Dating (UCD & IADT)

Alongside the main competition, students from IADT (Institute of Art, Design and Technology) are collaborating with scientists from UCD to create films that will tell stories about the scientists and their research. To kick-off this process, the teams and scientists had a speed dating session after which 13 teams submitted film ideas. These have been whittled down to 5 films currently in production which will be screened as part of the Irish festival. Boyd commented that “it has been an eye-opening experience for both the film-makers and the scientists”. The winning team receives an AAAS Visual Science Award and two team members will travel to New York for the Imagine Science Film Festival in October 2012. Here are the films to look out for:

  1. DEPENDANCE – Shane Kelly & Amber Miles with Prof Sean Callanan & Brian Cloak UCD Vet
  3. Splintered Concerto – Jeda de Bri and Prof Chris Bean & Dr Ivan Lokmer, UCD Earth Institute
  4. INVISIBLE – Evin O’Neill and Dr Emmanuel Reynaud, UCD Biology & Environment Science
  5. ROGUE WAVES – Niall Toner and Prof Frederic Dias, UCD Mathematical Sciences & UCD Earth Inst

As promised Science Calling has some exciting news to share about the festival. Prof. Cédric Villani, French Mathematician and Fields Medal (2010) recipient will be in Dublin to launch the festival on 5th July. I had the privilege to attend a talk by this eccentric scientist at the Falling Walls Conference last year where his enthusiasm for maths and research was present in abundance. It’s wonderful to have such a prominent scientist involved in the Irish festival. Watch his TedxObserver talk to give you a preview of what to expect! I was also thrilled to find out that Carl Zimmer will be on the judging panel of the main competition. Zimmer is an award-winning science writer and his latest book, Science Ink, was released last year. On a personal note, he wrote my favourite science story of 2011 and has been an inspiration for me since I began blogging about science.

Now for the Prize Giveaway:

  • Science Calling and UCD Imagine Science Films are offering two tickets to the opening night screening & reception on Thursday 5th July in the Lighthouse Cinema with Prof Cedric Villani.
  • To enter, simply tweet / retweet a link to this post and include @maria_daly (to ensure I can find you). For those not on twitter, leave a comment below to be included in the draw.
  • The winner will be announced early next week. Best of luck!

The UCD Imagine Science Film Festival takes place from 5th to 14th July. The open call for submissions is now open. For more information click here.

One thought on “Big Screen under the Microscope

  1. Update: The competition is now closed. Congratulations to @JaneDollard who was first drawn out of the hat and won two tickets to the opening screening of the UCD Imagine Science Film Festival!

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