Imagine Science Film Festival

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 11:00am

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at; AARP has additional resources at

This year's 13th edition will be fully online due to the current world crisis we're living in. It was critical nevertheless for Imagine Science to have the festival as we're committed to communicating science, especially in a time where facts can easily be distorted through media channels causing misunderstandings, fears and anger in our world. People crave to understand scientific facts and stories around how our cultures and societies are intimately linked to science. We hope it also gives people hope for a better future where priorities are recalibrated and where we can act to stop some of the major issues we're facing - starting with a vaccine against COVID-19 but also tackling climate change, ecosystems in peril, pollution, and contamination, among others global issues.

The festival kicks off on the evening of October 16 with an ambitious schedule including 28 programs with over 80 films, with 30 countries represented. For the first time, the festival broadens its selection of feature films and explores new ways of putting science in the spotlight. It also introduces the movement of Science New Wave where we celebrate cinematic work that encourages bold, hybrid new forms of scientific storytelling.

Over the course of eight days, we will have provocative documentaries that explore the intersection of science and society, compelling scientific fictions, mesmerizing scientific imagery, and engaging film experiments.

This year our theme is Migration and we explore this concept in all of its facets. We will also be featuring films and online works of any and all other genres, methodologies, and subjects that, as always, push the boundaries of the science narrative.

According to our Artistic Director and Founder Alexis Gambis, "The Imagine Science Film Festival plays an important role in today's time as we're living through uncertainties; better science communication and radical experimentation at the intersection of arts and sciences are ever-so critical." Our new Programming Coordinator Wangechi Ngugi says about the programming: "We have an eclectic program composed of 26 features and 58 short films touching on relevant issues affecting the world today and showing how science and art are important and more powerful together than apart." Our Festival Coordinator Veronica Castillo adds: "Now more than ever we need to get more involved with science, virtual or physical, the festival must show on and we're holding a few surprises for our online networking."

A few highlights:
Every year that goes by, the gender discrimination present in today's society is further exposed. For this year's opening film, Ian Cheney and Sharon Shattuck's eye-opening documentary "Picture a Scientist" explores the cases of three leading women scientists who overcome brutal harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science.

Our closing film is the US Premiere of Ai Weiwei's Coronation, a remarkable document, that follows the lives of people in the the city of Wuhan, China during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and how the country's government and citizens have responded to and been impacted by the outbreak. Our other feature films are just as engaging. Journey to heart of the Angolan capital, Luanda, with the U.S. Premiere of Fradique's debut feature film Air Conditioner. Meet Hugo Gernsbackthe, the most influential nerd you may never have heard of, with our retrospective screening of Eric Schockmel's Tune into the Future. Explore sisterhood and the evolution of communication in two of the most social creatures on earth, humans and ants, in Anna Lindemann's feature The Colony.

Our selection includes 10 World Premieres, 5 East Coast Premieres, 28 U.S. Premieres, and 10 New York Premieres.

11:00am Ironic Time
Shorts film program
Followed by QandA with directors
in partnership with Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi and Zayed University's Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival
"The Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi and Zayed University's Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival in February 2020 in Abu Dhabi, UAE focused on Waste. To my chagrin as artistic director, I did not focus on one element that is wasted. Time. On the one hand, Time is an elusive invisible mythical character that mesmerizes artists; on the other, it is the most scientifically calibrated, ubiquitous concept confronting and confounding scientists. The three films we curate frame time to challenge and bend political perspectives of our quantum selves and constructed collectives—to move beyond an ethos of outrage at the horrors of fires and floods. Immediate, spectacular, live, and broadcasted, we live perhaps in instant quick time environmentalism. However, the time of environmental violence is also slow, anachronistic, ancient, and non-human. This is invisible irony of time is what our cinema artists represent. Our paradoxical age needs migrations in time too. " Artistic Director, Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival, Nezar Andary

In Vitro - Larissa Sansour / Søren Lind, Palestine, 2019, 27 min
The Last Days of the Man of Tomorrow - Fadi Baki, Germany/Lebanon, 2017, 29 min
Glory At Sea! - Benh Zeitlin, U.S.A, 2008, 25 min

1:00pm As Above So Below
Reflecting on the Moon Part II
Feature film
Followed by QandA with director Sarah Francis
This hushed, pared-down essay weaves together different facts and myths surrounding the moon: images, texts, and sounds are spun into a dense, delicate tissue of ideas, with humans both at the centre and infinitely small in this celestial context.

3:00pm Ticket to the Moon
Reflecting on the Moon Part II
Feature Film
Followed by QandA with director Veronika Janatkova
At the frenzy of the Space Race almost 100,000 people on both sides of the Iron Curtain signed up to fly to the Moon at the PanAm's First Moon Flights Club. Today, 50 years later, are the "Moon" generation's dreams and aspirations the same as ours?

5:00pm At the Bottom of the Sea
Feature film
Followed by QandA with director Karsten Krause
"At the Bottom of the Sea" traces forms of migration, interweaving them with geological and archaeological cartographies.

7:00pm Whale Island
Feature film
Followed by QandA with director Chia-chun Huang
Oceanic literature author Liao Hung-chi and underwater photographer Ray Chin lead the audience out to the sea and into the water.

9:00pm Space Dogs
Feature film
Laika, a stray dog, was the first living being to be sent into space and thus to a certain death. Legend has it that she returned to Earth as a ghost and still roams the streets of Moscow alongside her free-drifting descendants.

All films and conversations will be streaming on Labocine.

All films are limited for viewing to NY.
Conversations with directors will follow immediately film screenings.

This event listing provided for the Brooklyn community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in Brooklyn

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at; AARP information and resources are at En español, visite