The theme of the 14th Imagine Science Film Festival is "RESISTANCE." The festival will take place in October 2021.

We're currently living in a time where resistance seems to be part of our everyday life. The act of swimming against the current but not for futile reasons but to spark change and awareness. For our 14th annual festival, we will be exploring the act of resisting from the micro to the macro level. What is mean to withstand opposing forces that sometimes feel overwhelming. How does resistance measures a materials ability to resist the flow of electrons through it. How do organism resist harmful influences such as disease, toxic agents or infection.

Though this subject is the special focus of this year's festival, we'll also be accepting films of any and all other genres, methodologies, and subjects, as always.


Propelled by a movement led by working scientists in 2008 to broaden how science is depicted in media, the Imagine Science Film Festival is committed to promoting a high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers. But not only through the usual channels -- where many other science film outlets focus on classic televsion-style documentary or science fiction, ISFF radically expands the conversation and reaches diverse audiences through a blend of inventive documentaries, thought-provoking scientific fiction, data and visualizations straight from the labs, and stunning experimental film. The resulting hybrid programming defies preconceived notions and provides a unique forum for new ideas and interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as some of the finest filmmaking in the world. The festival also actively cultivates forward-thinking scientific cinema through annual Symbiosis competitions challenging scientists and filmmakers to work together to create groundbreaking new work.

The festival takes places at science and art venues around New York city. This year, we will be partnering with these same organizations but we will be virtual, expanding our feature and shorts programming to serve an audience hungry for better scientific communication in today's world.

Our feature selections are divided into three categories:

- Science New Wave: films that propose singular and hybrid ways to tell scientific stories
- Spotlights: films that are timely and take risks on understanding the landscape of current world affairs.
- Retroactive: films that are timeless where the past inform the present and future and all other permutations of past, present and future are equally important.

All of our films, fiction or documentary, are eligible for several awards, with cash prizes, including

- Scientific Story Award: awarded to the film that best portrays credible science in a narrative context.
- Scientist Award : awarded to a film, made by or about a scientist, that accurately portrays a scientist's life and work in a realistic and human way.
- De Novo Award : awarded to the film that thinks outside of the (science) box

ISFF is always thrilled to received films that address scientific or technological themes and stories, or that have a leading character who is a scientist, engineer, or mathematician.

SUBMISSIONS need to adhere to the underlying requirement of IMAGINE SCIENCE which is that science and/or scientists need to be presented in a narrative framework - in a compelling yet credible manner.

Submissions must be in English or have English subtitles, and there must be a preview AND screening copy available in English or with English subtitles, excepting music videos and films without dialogue.

If your film is accepted, ISFF generally screens from digital files. We may also be able to discuss screening in other formats as allowed by our venues and programming each year.

All filmmakers will receive notification, whether or not their film is chosen to screen. Notifications will be sent out on or before October 1st. Please DO NOT contact us to find out whether or not your film has been received. We do not have a large enough staff to respond to such inquiries.

ISFF accepts submissions for PREVIEW through private screener links

Feel free to send along any additional press material, cast and crew bios or any other information about your film. We will say, however, that it will most likely NOT influence our selections in any way.

Should your work be selected to be part of the Imagine Science Film Festival, Imagine Science Films will reserve the right to show your film during the period.

We will also ask filmmakers if they would like to participate in our Satellite festivals and be featured in our video magazine, These will only be upon requests and optional.

If your work is accepted as part of ISFF we would love for you to be able to attend the screening of your work. Unfortunately, Imagine Science Films is not typically able to cover travel or accommodation.

Overall Rating
  • Lorenzo Monti

    ISFF's team is truly committed to deliver a great experience for its viewers and filmmakers. Thanks for building such a strong community and enabling people to share their vision.

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Lorenzo, we so enjoyed having you part of the Imagine Science family!

  • Sin Wang

    great communication, friendly team with foreigner director, looking forward to attend next time!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Sin, I will say that showing WHALE ISLAND was one of the highlights of this last year's festival.

  • Nidhi Gupta

    Great festival and great people running the festival.

    October 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, Nidhi.