Film Harvest and Inspiring Australia joined forces to engage budding filmmakers with science. The result: a series of science film workshops, a regional short science film competition, a movie night to showcase the winner, and the finalists continuing to light up the big screen.
If a picture says a thousand words, imagine what a motion picture can tell you about soil carbon, salt bush, and microbes in the classroom. These are the topics of just three of the Sci Film Regional Short Science Film Competition finalists, made by West Australian film and science enthusiasts.
The Sci Film project uses the ability of cinema and storytelling to capture the imagination to focus filmmakers and audiences on the wonders of science.
The competition invited people to grab a phone, tablet or video camera and create a three-minute film, sharing science that inspires them, and communicating science behind the stories they shared.
The project saw Film Harvest partner with Inspiring Australia to deliver science communication and film making workshops for schools and the community in major regional centres, facilitated by Inspiring Australia’s regional hubs.
Film Harvest co-founder multimedia producer Adrian Gaspari and science communicator Anna Gardiner travelled to Geraldton, Merredin, Kalgoorlie, Albany and Bunbury, providing locals with the tips and tricks of cinematography and science storytelling.
“We are at the very start of the information age,” Adrian says. “Now is the time to share stories and experiences, and to innovate.”
The winning film ‘Have you ever wondered’ was shown during National Science Week at simultaneous launch events at Orana Cinema’s in Albany, Busselton, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie. The film was made in Kalgoorlie by 12-year-old Jared Campbell, and communicates the science of how different animals succeed in an act we all need to survive—drinking water.
“How to engage and communicate science is an ongoing issue for everyone working in scientific fields,” says Inspiring Australia WA manager Carmen Smith.
“The beauty of this contest is that it helps to build the capacity within communities to find scientific information, disseminate, understand and share science that is important to people living in these regions in a creative and informative way.”
The top 15 films will continue to be screened each week, before Film Harvest films at Orana Cinemas. After lighting up cinema screens, videos will also go live on a Sci Film YouTube channel, where people will be able to share the videos using social media.
The 15 finalist short films are continuing to screen throughout 2016 – see scifilm.com.au for details.