Film partnerships News

Imagine Science Film Festival to open on January 30

The opening night will feature Three Identical Strangers, followed by a discussion expanding on the themes of identity and genetics with NYU Abu Dhabi Professor of Biology Kirsten Edepli, artist and filmmaker Emilia Kikka.

The fifth edition of Imagine Science Film Festival Abu Dhabi (ISFF) will be held from 30 January to 2 February at the The Black Box in the Arts Center in Abu Dhabi. Spread over four days, the festival will feature films, an art exhibition, workshops, gallery talks and discussions.

This year, ISFF will look at issues ranging from climate change, species loss, nuclear proliferation, and the imminent exhaustion of energy resources. The festival aims to bring together issues concerning science, art, and film from the Gulf, the Middle East, and the world in an international conversation. In sync with this year’s theme of ‘survival’, the topics discussed at the festival will include tumultuous natural histories, the deaths of stars and radical life extension and everything that concerns the crucial process of survival.

Speaking to BroadcastPro ME, Nate Dorr, Director of Programming at the Imagine Science Film Festival said: “We are a sci-art festival, and our themes are quite broad, moving from hard science to social sciences, to creative interpretations of science. We hope to inspire as much as inform, and raise questions and new ideas that our audiences, whether interested in art or film or something else, will be mulling over for weeks to come. So, we seek to engage these diverse audiences along with providing a significant platform for unique interdisciplinary filmmaking and art in the UAE, in the Middle East, and around the world.”

From 600 visitors in the first year to close to a thousand last year, the film festival has grown not just in size but has secured new partnerships as well. Shedding light on some of their new projects, Dorr added: “The festival grows each year, and as we become better known and more meshed into cultural life here, we’ve been invited to work with various organisations, that wouldn’t otherwise have a science angle, to curate screenings. Apart from Cinema Akil, we are also working with Dubai Museum of the Moving Image and twofour54, and we have discussed running programmes of Abu Dhabi-produced work in other places with the Abu Dhabi Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy. We also have ongoing relationships with local film production organisations, like Image Nation and Zayed University, who now know there’s a recurring local venue for new science-based work.”

Some of the movies that will be screened this year include: Three Identical Strangers, Evolving Eyes & Revised Societies, and K2 and the Invisible Footmen. The screenings are free, but audiences need to reserve their tickets on the event’s web site.