In a world where movies about scientific theory are as popular as those about aliens and sharks, the Imagine Science Films is bridging the divide between art and science via film. Well, maybe these films aren’t as popular as sharks in tornadoes or aliens destroying cities, but the 9th annual Imagine Science Film Festival is full of interesting, and informative, films.
Currently in the middle of its week-long run, the festival is taking place at venues throughout New York City. To give you an idea of what “science film” entails, here is a small selection of the subjects being screened:
- How teosinte, a wild grass, transformed into the worldwide crop we all know: corn (Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn by Nathan Dappen)
- An artist growing cells on a 3D printed scaffold in a bioreactor (Bringing Bones to Life by Amy Karle)
- A history of the microscope (STED – Microscopy Beyond Optical Limits by Beate Hautemann)
- Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s work on eyes, brains, and neurons, plus his amazing artwork (Mariposas del Alma [Butterflies of our Soul] by Ana Martínez)
There are also many more intriguing films that range from documentaries to “scientific” fiction to experimental pieces, all blending scientific thought with the power of video screens. As the Director of Programming, Nate Dorr, notes:
The Imagine Science Film Festival, now more than ever, exists as a conversation between scientists, filmmakers, and artists to explore the latest scientific advances and theories in unique and thought-provoking ways. The theme for this year’s festival is LIGHT, but light has always been at the heart of what we do — from the methods of scientific observation to the medium of film itself. This year we’ll be exploring those connections even more deeply.
In addition to full-length films, there are several shorts that showcase science research from around the world. For example, here is short from Andrew Zwicker at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab called Order out of Chaos. It depicts silica dust particles swirling in a vacuum chamber of argon gas.
To learn more:
- 9th Imagine Science Film Festival
- To read about the work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, see our profile of him and Camillo Golgi: The Two Fathers of Neuroscience
Written by Eric Dillalogue
Eric Dillalogue holds a MS in Library and Information Science and a BA in English. He has worked in a variety of roles from service industry management, academic libraries, and grant administration. He has taught courses on information literacy, web research, and developmental reading. Eric joined the Visionlearning team as a project manager in 2014.