NEWS: Imagine Science Film Festival

By Colleen Smith
Published: October 8, 2008

New York, NY, Oct. 9
In its inaugural year, the Imagine Science Film Festival aims to promote the relationship between science and the arts, while effectively and creatively communicating science to the public. The festival is the brainchild of Alexis Gambis, a fourth-year graduate student at the Rockefeller University, whose work focuses on using fluorescent imagery to study the role of cancer and neurodegeneration in fruit flies. He has also created two science-inspired films.

In a recent article, Kate Jeffrey, the festival’s producer and program manager, as well as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University, commented: “We hope [the festival] will also give scientists the opportunity to learn about the world of filmmaking as well as realize the creative potential and accessibility of their work.”

The festival kicks off on Oct. 16 with “Science in Fiction,” a panel discussion on the relationship between science and fiction in cinema, moderated by NPR’s Science Friday host Ira Flatow. The festival will show 24 shorts in competition, and several feature films. All screenings are free of charge.

Events will be held through Oct. 25 in various locations around New York City. Highlights include:

  • “Science in Fiction” panel discussion with: Sidney Perkowitz, physicist from Emory University and author of Hollywood Science; Billy Shebar, screenwriter for Dark Matter; Darcy Kelley, neuroscience professor from Columbia University and scientific advisor for the Tribeca Film Festival; and Juan Carlos López, Editor-in-Chief at Nature Medicine.   
  • The New York Premiere of Blast! by Paul Devlin, which documents a team of astrophysicists from the Arctic to the Antarctic in their scientific pursuit to launch a revolutionary telescope on a NASA high-altitude balloon.
  • Alfred P. Sloan Prize-awarded film screenings.
  • Selections from the 2008 Pariscience Film Festival.
  • The Nature Scientific Merit Award for the short film that best translates a scientific concept or issue into fiction with creativity and imagination, and the Nature People’s Choice Award for the audience’s top pick.

For a complete lineup and information on purchasing opening night tickets, visit

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