10 years ago, the Imagine Science Film Festival launched its first full-fledged city-wide edition in New York City hosting film screenings in a wide range of sites, notably New York University's Tisch School of the Arts
, New York Academy of Sciences
and at the Secret Science Club
at Union Hall
in Brooklyn. But the festival implanted itself first at The Rockefeller University
as a Film Series on campus and ran secretly for the resident scientists after work from 2006 to 2008. Every Monday evening, the early budding science film club surprised its attendees with experiments on screen, docu-fiction shorts, and on-tape confessions by scientists in a series "Portrait of a Scientist".
Inside the blue bubble of the Caspary Auditorium, the initial mission of Imagine Science was to have the resident scientists watch and discuss what is compelling and accurate science in mainstream media and independent cinema. Where does one draw the line between imagining and distorting science? What place does fiction and speculation have in scientific filmmaking? Can or should scientists be actors?
The Rockefeller University, with its contemporary bronze sculptures lining the green areas and expressionist paintings by Fernand Léger and Chuck Close in the Abby Aldrich cafeteria, became the home for not only experimental science but also experimental cinema.