Imaginative filmmakers have often used science's endless possibilities to peer into strange worlds. In the process, they've introduced many far-off concepts to audiences around the world.
Take, for example, Fritz Lang's Metropolis. In the 1927 film, which depicts a dystopian industrial world, moviegoers see — in vivid detail — the gilded robot Maschinenmensch. Lang looked into the telescope that is science to squint into the future. By doing so, he was able to give audiences of the Roaring '20s a glimpse of robotic technology that is still being developed today. Decades later, Lang's shining automaton inspired the design of C-3PO, who appeared alongside extraterrestrials in George Lucas' iconic Star Wars. Through these classic sci-fi movies and those created by other groundbreaking directors — Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, and beyond — we have not only met robots and aliens but also been inspired by them.
Sci-fi films have spurred generations of people to rethink what's possible. In doing so, we've collectively re-envisioned our world. It's with that tremendous influence in mind that the people behind Science Art Cinema, a Knight Foundation-funded event series, set out this year to find the next generation of talented directors.
To accomplish this task, they put out a global open call for newly created short, five-minute films informed by both art and science. This Thursday, the winners will be announced when the Frost Museum of Science hosts the Science Art Cinema Film Festival.
"We were overwhelmed by the response and submissions, and I could not be prouder of all the film directors who have made this event possible," says Frost Science astronomy curator Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego, who is on the judges panel. "It is no secret that I'm passionate about the sciences and the arts, so I'm thrilled to be a part of the Science Art Cinema Film Festival. [It] fuses two of my passions. My only hope is that it continues to inspire and engage future creators to explore this intersection of art and science."
Other judges include actor Christian Slater, Miami Film Festival Director Jaie Laplante, University of Miami psychology professor Dr. Elizabeth Losin, Filmgate Miami Executive Director Diliana Alexander, Barron Sherer of Obsolete Media Miami, and culturist Kevin Arrow, who manages Frost Science's collection.
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The festival, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will include preshow entertainment by musician Buffalo Brown, and attendees will have the chance to win prizes such as a telescope — to gaze at far-off things — and a Frost Science family membership. A complimentary featured cocktail during the preshow reception will be available for adult guests.
At 7:30, attendees will gather in the state-of-the-art Frost Science Planetarium to watch the short films projected within the dome theater. Afterward, the winner announcements will be made. If you're interested in checking out the films and seeing who wins the grand prize — $250 cash, a special 3D-printed model of the museum, and the honor of having their film showcased on the museum website — reserve tickets here.
Science Art Cinema Film Festival. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 31, at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-434-9600; frostscience.org. Admission costs $10 for nonmembers and $8.50 for members via tickets.frostscience.org.