Scientists and filmmakers will be paired to produce new forms of science cinema during the 15th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival (Oct 14-21, 2022)

Presented by Science Sandbox.

Symbiosis 2022 is here!

Learn more :
One Artist. One Scientist. One Week to Make a Film.
Check out the 2021 Symbiosis Participants

Symbiosis is supported by Science Sandbox
Science Sandbox is an initiative of the Simons Foundation dedicated to inspiring a deeper interest in science, especially among those who have been historically underrepresented in science engagement efforts. We collaborate with programs that support science in culture.
Symbiosis Protocol

Open-call: Every year in the Spring time!

Announcement: We announce the cohort in Mid-September, approximately 1 month before the festival

Output: We accept all formats: fiction, documentary, animation, installation, interactive game.

Stipend: Each pair will be given $2,500 production fund.

Award: Winning team receives $1,500 cash prize

Watch Symbiosis from prior years on Labocine.
Symbiosis is 8 days from
October 14 to October 21, 2022.
Participants will meet on Thursday October 13. Shortly thereafter, they receive their pairing assignments and receive a $2500 stipend.
On October 17, participants will be presented their Works In Progress and the audience will lend their voice to the conversation.
On October 21, the films are premiered and awards are presented. One team will receive a $1,500 cash award presented by Science Sandbox. The films begin their journey around the world. The cohort celebrates!
The values & traits of Symbiosis
During production, filmmakers share with scientists their craft and scientists share with filmmakers their process. Each cohort forms a mentorship network.
Local audience
The public is invited to participate in production during special events designed to stimulate conversation about science on film.
International stage
Original science films are released into the wild. And by wild, we mean the international film festival circuit and beyond. Films have gone on to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and the New York Film Festival!
Scientific pursuit is free to co-exist and blend freely across disciplines and cultures.
Submissions are closed for this year!
Deadline: Aug 15 but we encourage you to submit early.
The Symbiosis competition will be in person this year.

- Cover Letter telling us about yourself and why you want to participate in the Symbiosis initiative at this year's festival.
- Complete your Labocine Habitat profile by following these steps.

[Optional but recommended]
- CV/Resume
- Creative portfolio: Any useful links or attachments to creative work and/or research.

[Send by email]
- Email us:
- Include in email title: Name - [Scientist OR Filmmaker]
(ex: Meilin Fernandez - Scientist)
- Share your public Habitat profile in your email submission

Please note: Participants are required to attend in person all Symbiosis events on the evenings of Oct 13 (Mixer), Oct 14 (Opening Night), Oct 17 (Symbiosis Lab Meeting) and Oct 21 (Symbiosis Closing Night).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I do any creative work in advance of the competition?
Creating this film should be an equal collaboration between scientist and filmmaker. This means that all subject matter and strategy must be decided after meeting your partner on the first day of the process.

All creative work must take place during the 8 days of Symbiosis.

Any work created in advance of the 8-day period will be prohibited. This includes Scriptwriting, Shooting, Costume & Set design, and use of preexisting footage.
What kind of films are you expecting?
Startle us, surprise us, amaze us! We particularly love films that defy categorization: not just inventive documentary and gripping scientific fiction, but fictional documentaries, raw lab data aesthetics, thought-provoking experimental film, personal essay narratives, and innovative animation! We also provide a unique platform for sci-art collaboration: scientists and filmmakers working together, but also scientists making their films and artists conducting their own scientific experiments. It's all very open-ended.
Can you provide equipment?
All pairs also receive a $2500 production stipend and need to manage their own productions and account for their expenses
I still have a question. Who can I ask?
Please send questions to
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