Founded by scientists in 2008, 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 other science film festivals focus on classic-style documentaries or science fiction, ISFF radically expands the conversation and reaches diverse audiences through a mix of inventive documentaries, thought-provoking scientific fiction, data and visualizations straight from labs, and stunning experimental film. The resulting hybrid programming defies usual categories 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 place over one week each October at locations around New York City, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Rubin Museum, National Sawdust, the New School, Museum of the Moving Image, BRIC Arts, the Rockefeller University, and NYU.
All of our documentary and short films are eligible for several awards, with cash prizes ranging from $500 to $2500, including the Scientific Merit Award (given to the film that best portrays credible science in a narrative context), the Scientist Award (given to the film, made by or about a scientist, that best portrays a scientist's life and work), the Visual Science Award (given to the film that best illustrates scientific principles in a visually stunning manner), the SciArt Award (given to the film that best bridges art and science), and the Audience Choice Award (as determined by audience voting).
ISFF seeks NARRATIVE films that have a scientific or technological theme and storyline, 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 can assist filmmakers in making transfers from other types of masters if necessary. We may also be able to screen in other formats as the festival gets closer.
DEADLINES, FEES & NOTIFICATION
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.
PREVIEWS, ENTRY FORMAT & SUBMISSION
ISFF accepts submissions for PREVIEW through private links, or on NTSC or PAL DVD (any region).
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.
Preview DVDs WILL NOT BE RETURNED. Please DO NOT send a self-addressed stamped envelope. DO NOT send a master tape as a preview copy.
If your film is accepted, we will get a master tape from you, and will mail back masters at our expense.
Please write or print your name, email, phone number, and the name of the film directly on the preview tape or DVD.
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 through the end of that year in case of rescheduling.
We will also ask filmmakers if they would like to participate in our Satellite festivals and be exhibited in our new online video archive and magazine, Labocine.com.
ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL
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 usually able to cover travel or accommodation.