The 9th Imagine Science Film Festival

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The theme of the the 9th Imagine Science Film Festival is “LIGHT”

Light through film at 24 frames per second is cinema. Light striking the retina is vision. Sunlight feeding photosynthesis is the foundation of life. Light, then, is always implicitly at the heart of the Festival, but this year we’re going to make it our primary subject as well. Send us your stories of photons and photography, optics and the occipital lobe, solar energy and solar flares, shadows and hallucinations and color perception. Join us in traveling at light speed, seeing in infra-red, experimenting with optigenetics, and exploring all of the ways that light is essential to cinema, science, and our very existence.

Though this subject is the special focus of this year’s festival, we’ll also be accepting films on the full spectrum of other scientific subjects, as always.

When will the festival take place?

The 9th Imagine Science Film Festival will run for one week in October 2016.

Where will the festival take place?

Each year, the festival circulates through a variety of venues, including theaters, museums, and universities throughout New York City, Brooklyn, and Queens. Past venues included The Museum of the Moving Image, The American Museum of Natural History, BRIC Arts | Media House, New School, the New York Academy of the Sciences, Anthology Film Archive, Google NY, the Bell House, Spectacle Theater, Rockefeller University, the Morbid Anatomy Museum, the Made in NY Media Center, and the Liberty Science Center.

What kinds of films should I submit?

Startle us, surprise us, amaze us! We love films that defy categorization: show us fictional documentaries, scientific fact expressed through gripping stories, eye-grabbing data visualizations, thought-provoking experimental film, and innovative animation! And of course, we’ll always welcome documentaries with a strong narrative thread, and science fiction with a sound scientific basis. It’s really very open-ended.

We accept submissions in three categories: Shorts, Documentaries, and Features. Shorts and Documentaries may be up to 40 minutes in length, features are considered to be any film, fiction or documentary, over 40 minutes in length.

What are the submission deadlines and fees?

Earlybird deadline May 1 — $15
Regular deadline July 1 — $20
Late deadline August 1 — $25

Are the films in competition?

Yes. All of our documentary and short films are eligible for four awards, and

Scientific Merit Award (Nature Publishing Group, 2,500 USD )
The Nature Scientific Merit Award is awarded by a jury panel to the film that exemplifies science in storytelling and narrative filmmaking in a compelling, credible and inspiring manner.

Audience Choice Award (Nature Publishing Group, 1,000 USD)
Nature awards the Audience Award to the film that received the most audience votes during the festival.

The Scientist Award (AAAS/Science, 500 USD)
Films made by and about scientists are eligible, and the winner will receive in addition to $500 cash a year-long subscription to Science magazine. The goal of this award is to encourage more scientists to create films that let us into their minds, labs, and lifestyle.

Visual Science Award (500 USD)
The Visual Science Award is given to the film that best depicts science in a visually-engaging manner.

Outstanding Science Feature Award (TBA)
The Outstanding Science Feature Award goes to the film that best expresses scientific htemes or the scientific process in a long-form documentary or fiction narrative.

Honorable Mention
Short Film will receive particular attention by Imagine Science Films, its sponsors, and science/art connections.

What submission formats do you accept?

We now accept (and even prefer!) online submissions. When submitting your film, please send us your screeners through private vimeo or youtube links directly to, or through the online film submissions in Withoutabox.

Or mail DVDs (Region 1 or Region 0, PAL or NTSC) to:

Imagine Science Films
Attn: Film Submissions
315 Flatbush Avenue, #514
Brooklyn NY 11217

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