In its third edition in Abu Dhabi, Imagine Science Film Festival, running from 2 to 4 March, 2017, is dedicated to light, reflecting on it through a multitude of films spanning documentary, fiction and experimental genres.
The film festival, which contemplates the intersection between science and art and which takes place at the Arts Centre in New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), chooses a theme for its productions every year, and creates a conversation around it through talks, workshops, performances, and screenings of both local and international films.
In the past, the festival has collaborated with Zayed University, Petroleum Institute, Masdar in addition to NYUAD’s Arts Center in a keen effort to encourage local filmmakers to particpate in programming and filmmaking.
This year, the festival explores another fundemntal of life: light, and “how in multiple ways it has shaped how we see and understand the world providing us new insights, methods and understandings of how investigate our surroundings, and their scientific and artistic subtexts,” according to NYUAD professor and festival founder Alexis Gambis.
The festival is still accepting film submissions until December 5, 2016; works that, in the words of the festival founders, give viewers “a deep look into the natural, technological, and theoretical worlds, from the smallest molecule to the furthest reaches of space and everything in between”.
Many of the artists showcased are usually in attendance at the festival, which, in 2017, is expected to include panels on how we process and make sense of an overflow of media and information, a career talk with scientists, artists and filmmakers and how they navigate worlds that incorporate scientific and artistic dimensions, in addition to a retrospective of Larissa Sansour’s Space Triology: Nation Estate, Space Exodus, and In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (the latter featured in the second edition of Imagine Science).
Imagine Science will also exibit a revisited animation about Quantum mechanisms where data visualizations (inspired by CERN) will be projected on sand from Liwa desert.
According to Gambis, in 2017, the featured films will move from traditional documentaries to regional science fictions, experimental studies, and narratives inspired by essential science issues.
“We’re seeking new science films of all styles and subjects. Possible themes include technological shifts, neurological and cognitive functions from vision processing to memory and even dream, and the ecological and sociological studies of the Gulf and MENA landscape,” he elaborates.
To know more about the festival, how it began and what its creators have in store for it, listen to the latest edition of Nature Middle East‘s monthly podcast where this editor talks to Gambis about his brainchild and how it rose to prominence over the years.