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The 5th Annual
Symbiosis Competition

Themed Survival, this year's competition will again pair scientists and filmmakers who have never met to create short films in one week!
In four years of Symbiosis competitions, we have witnessed the power of concentrated exchanges between active scientists and diverse filmmakers. We structure this program with an eye towards facilitating this exchange and the emergence of new forms of science cinema. Symbiosis films have gone on to screen at International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, and beyond!
How does the competition work?
6 scientists and 6 filmmakers will be chosen to compete in this year's competition from a pool of applicants (see below for 'How to apply').

The competition begins October 12th - the Opening Night of the 11th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival - when the ISF team will generate and announce 6 scientist-filmmaker pairings. Each pair will be provided with a $2500 production stipend. Over the course of the next week, each pair will run wild in NYC producing their short science film on the festival topic of SURVIVAL. We encourage experimental films that defy categorization!

Pairs will receive feedback and mentorship at a mid-competition event (October 15) and present their final film on the festival Closing Night (October 19). A jury of professional filmmakers, scientists and science communicators will select the winners, who will receive awards from the Tribeca Film Institute and Science Sandbox at the Simons Foundation!
How does the competition work?
6 scientists and 6 filmmakers will be chosen to compete in this year's competition from a pool of applicants (see below for 'How to apply').

The competition begins October 12th - the Opening Night of the 11th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival - when the ISF team will generate and announce 6 scientist-filmmaker pairings. Each pair will be provided with a $2500 production stipend. Over the course of the next week, each pair will run wild in NYC producing their short science film on the festival topic of SURVIVAL. We encourage experimental films that defy categorization!

Pairs will receive feedback and mentorship at a mid-competition event (October 15) and present their final film on the festival Closing Night (October 19). A jury of professional filmmakers, scientists and science communicators will select the winners, who will receive awards from the Tribeca Film Institute and Science Sandbox at the Simons Foundation!
Theme: SURVIVAL
Crisis. Entropy. Extinction. Last year we celebrated the past ten years of the Imagine Science Film Festival's existence, but this year we take a hard look ahead at the high stakes for all life on an Earth facing climate change, species loss, nuclear proliferation, the imminent exhaustion of our energy resources. Existence itself is not assured.

But wherever we consider such direly high stakes, we can also aspire to a better world. New technologies constantly open new possibilities and sociopolitical change opens the way for new ideas to take hold. For every dystopia, a corresponding utopia may be within reach. It may be a struggle, but the record of all life is that of an eon-spanning fight to stay alive.

This year, we look for your speculative hopes and fears, your studies of tumultuous natural history and startling feats of adaptation, all your endings and new beginnings. Apoptosis versus immortal cell lines. Half-lives and radical life extension. Obsolete inventions inspiring crucial breakthroughs. Illness and regeneration. The deaths of stars and the necessary paths to SURVIVAL.
How to apply?

Please submit a resume including work samples (if a filmmaker) to symbiosis@imaginesciencefilms.org. Include a few paragraphs explaining how you might plan to work with the competition theme SURVIVAL!

Submissions close June 30 but are rolling, so get them in soon! All participants will be announced July 15!

Please note: Competitors are required to attend Symbiosis events on the evenings of October 11, October 12, October 15 and October 19.

Please send questions to Lauren at lkaye@imaginesciencefilms.org .
Of paramount importance is the level of equal collaboration between scientist and filmmaker - films will be judged on this basis.
A Symbiosis film's life does not end with the competitions. Instead, we ensure that these incredible collaborations continue to be seen by audiences all over the world. Through Imagine Science's always-growing infrastructure, these films have the chance to travel to other festivals and satellite events, and now appear on our Labocine video platform as streaming films and as profiles called Spotlights! Additionally, Symbiosis films have been submitted and screened at festivals around the world!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I do any creative work in advance of the competition?
Creating this film should be an equal collaboration between scientist and filmmaker. This means that all subject manner and strategy must be decided after meeting your partner on the first day of the competition, which is October 12.

All creative work must take place from October 12 to October 18.

Any work created in advance of the competition period will be prohibited. This includes Scriptwriting, Shooting, Costume & Set design, use of preexisting footage.
What kind of films are you expecting?
Startle us, surprise us, amaze us! We particularly love films that defy categorization: not just inventive documentary and gripping scientific fiction, but fictional documentaries, raw lab data aesthetics, thought-provoking experimental film, personal essay narratives, and innovative animation! We also provide a unique platform for sci-art collaboration: scientists and filmmakers working together, but also scientists making their films and artists conducting their own scientific experiments. It's all very open-ended.
Can you provide travel funds and equipment?
Pending availability, yes we have a travel fund as well as a collection of ISF equipment available to be borrowed during the competition.
I still have a question. Who can I ask?
Please send questions to Lauren at lkaye@imaginesciencefilms.org !
This project is supported by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science.
Science Sandbox is dedicated to inspiring a deeper interest in science, especially among those who don't think of themselves as science enthusiasts. We support and collaborate with programs that unlock scientific thinking in everyone. Science Sandbox is an initiative of the Simons Foundation.
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