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Sila and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic
Sila and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic

Imagine Science Films revealed the full lineup of over 83 films for the 9th Imagine Science Film Festival (ISFF), taking place October 14 to 21, 2016. The festival’s theme of light will encompass everything from optics to optogenetics, from the visible spectrum to the all but unseen, with stops along the way for astrophysics, psychology, medicine as well as more penumbral areas of scientific inquiry.

According to ISF Director of Programming Nate Dorr, “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.”

See exquisite entomological detail in the North American Premiere of gorgeous full-dome film The Secret World of Moths, journey to arctic with the U.S. Premiere of Corina Gamma’s crucial documentary feature Sila and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic, discover the surreal challenges of filming the northern lights and insight into the birth of neuroscience with our retrospective screenings of Peter Mettler’s Picture of Light and Ana Martinez’s Butterflies of the Soul. Explore memory and emotion through the work of neuroscientist Daniela Schiller with the World Premiere of her film Reconsolidation and the Synaptic Sparks program.

The festival presents The Scientific Merit Award to the short film that best exemplifies science in narrative filmmaking in a compelling, credible and inspiring manner; The People’s Choice Award to the short film that received the most audience votes; The Authorea Scientist Award to the film that best depicts a scientist in an accurate and original way; The Chroma Visual Science Award to the short film that best depicts science in a visually engaging manner; The Labocine Symbiosis Award to the winners of the Symbiosis Film Competition, and The Nanotronics Illuminated Journey Award to participants who complete the “Illuminated Journey” video hunt.

This year’s jury includes Rachel Chanoff, Artistic Director of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!; Beau Lotto, neuroscientist and Founder of the Lottolab; Erin Espelie, filmmaker and Editor-in-Chief of Natural History magazine; Heather Berlin, cognitive neuroscientist and host of PBS TV series Science Goes to the Movies; Caleb Scharf, Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University; and Matthew Putnam, CEO of Nanotronics Imaging.

This year’s festival includes both the Symbiosis Film Competition, in collaboration with the Ligo Project and the Science and Entertainment Exchange, and a science-video scavenger hunt in collaboration with Traces, a new augmented reality app, and Nanotronics Imaging.

For the third consecutive year, the Symbiosis Film Competition will pair scientists and filmmakers together opening night. This year, they’ll have the entire week to write, shoot, edit, and score an original science short film. Films will be screened during our closing night at the New Lab, and the winning team awarded. Selected scientists include Sally Warring, who runs the popular Pondlife website and Rodrigo Valles, who holds a Ph.D in behavioral pharmacology and is a self-taught visual artist.

The collaboration with Traces begins September 19 with “Science Cinema: From the Screen to the Street,” which will see videos placed through the app throughout pertinent locations in New York City. Participants can tweet the special hashtags at the end of each video for a chance to win free tickets to the festival. This will lead up to the Illuminated Journey, which will explore the very personal nature of light as it reflects the path that light takes from the outside world, through the eye and into the mind, and looks toward the ways technology may come to shape this. Special videos will be discoverable at each of our venues throughout the week of the festival, and participants that find these and tweet about them will be eligible to win a special prize from Nanotronics at our closing night.

The 9th Imagine Science Film Festival runs eight days in venues across New York City: The Cooper Union, Rubin Museum of Art, The New School, Lower East Side Girls Club, Made in New York Media Center by IFP, New York Hall of Science, American Museum of Natural History, Bowery Poetry Club, Morbid Anatomy Museum, The Rockefeller University, Anthology Film Archives, NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, Spectacle Theater, BRIC Arts Media, and New Lab.

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