ISFF 2020
Oct 16-23, 2020
The festival will take place on this year.
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Learn more about the 13th Imagine Science Film Festival below.

Schedule | Film Line-up | Jury & Awards
Symbiosis | Origins | Festival Partners

The theme of the 13th Imagine Science Film Festival is "MIGRATION"
The flight of the arctic tern, the multi-generational travels of the monarch butterfly, the return of eels to the streams they hatched in. The arduous journeys of displaced peoples. Data systems in flux. The complex movements of cells, from embryonic origins to developed organisms. This year we seek MIGRATIONS of all kinds.

Though this subject is the special focus of this year's festival, we'll be featuring films, installations, and online works of any and all other genres, methodologies, and subjects, as always that push the boundaries of the science narrative - embracing the movement of the Science New Wave.
When & where will the festival take place?
The 13th Imagine Science Film Festival will take place from October 16-23, 2020. The programs will be online and can only be watched in the United States. Some programs will be limited to the New York area. Limitations will be indicated in the program descriptions.

While most films can only be watched in the U.S., we will create a separate Playlist "Imagine Science 13th Festival World" for the titles that are available to view worldwide. You can also watch the past Symbiosis films made over the last few years - short films created over the course of 1-week during the festival.
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The 13th Imagine Science Film Festival will be online this year but, nostalgic of the earlier times, it will still follow a traditional screening schedule.

We will have premieres, international panels and workshops, the pitch session ORIGINS, the annual SYMBIOSIS competition, and many more surprises for our 13th edition. It will be our biggest festival to date.

Where do I watch films and programs?

All of our films and programs are hosted on our partnering platform

Features, short programs, panels, and conversations will have set times. While the events will be free, we strongly encourage you to RSVP as there are maximum capacities for each program (ex: 500 seats) and the number of seats left is critically low (< 50), we will let you know.

Q&A's with directors will happen either in parallel or immediately after the screenings. The conversations post-screenings will be simultaneously shown on Facebook Live so you can watch them there. To view a program after it has screened, purchase a REPLAY Pass.

Each program will each be presented with partnering venues and sponsors listed on the schedule.

When can I buy tickets?

Registration for LIVE events and a limited amount of REPLAY Passes will be available at Imagine Science Films & Labocine sites in early October, approximately two weeks before the start of the festival. We may run out of passes due to quotas on films so make sure to get your pass as soon as possible.

What happens if miss a virtual screening?

The Imagine Science REPLAY Pass allows you to watch films and conversations after the LIVE events and only for the duration of the festival through October 25. Note that some of our films may be SOLD OUT as the festival week takes place and this will be indicated before you buy your pass.

A $10 Pass on to access all films & conversations post-live events for the duration of the festival through October 25
Why is the festival taking place this year?
We're living through a crisis and it has never been more important to find ways to communicate science through visual storytelling and spark conversations. We need to keep experimenting with new ways to bridge the worlds of science and cinema. We also need to prevent false or sensationalized information from reaching the public. Lastly, it is important to understand that science affects all of us in different ways, whether it is as individuals, a society, or the world at-large.

Even virtually, the festival still embodies the spirit of New York City by inviting filmmakers, scientists, and audiences to take part in this grand experiment. We will still keep the spirit of a borderless festival by partnering with different institutions worldwide.
Are the films in competition?
Yes! All of our films are eligible for several awards and cash prizes. For features, we have two awards: Spotlight and Science New Wave. For short films, there are three awards: In Vivo, Theme-Sensitive and Avant-Garde. Each year, the Symbiosis Award is presented to the science/filmmaker pair that wins the Symbiosis Competition (learn more here). Awards are selected by a jury and sponsored by like-minded science and art organizations. For more, visit Jury & Awards.
Science New Wave (in competition)
Films in competition that propose bold, singular, and oftentimes hybrid ways to communicate science. These films are considered to be visionary and outside of the (science) box.
Spotlight (in competition)
Films in competition that are timely, not shying away from controversial topics while providing a well-balanced state-of-matters related to scientific issues and crises.
We normally think of 'time' as constantly moving forward. We reach into the past to inform the present. This category pays tribute to how the past informs the present and future.
Short Film Awards
Our short films are up for several awards:
In Vivo: Awarded to the short film that best exemplifies science in narrative filmmaking in a compelling, credible, and inspiring manner.
Avant-Garde: Awarded to the short film that best emphasizes narrative storytelling related to this year's theme, Migration.
Theme-Sensitive 'Migration': Awarded to the short film that conveys bold storytelling and hybrid aesthetics and narrative.
Symbiosis Award: Awarded to the film made in this year's Symbiosis competition that best embraces the idea of collaboration, scientific storytelling, and originality.
Any questions?
Image above: Daniel Olah
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