Scientists and filmmakers will be paired to produce new forms of science cinema on the topic of 'Resistance" during the 14th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival (Oct 15-22, 2021)

Check out this year's Symbiosis Participants

Learn more :
One Artist. One Scientist. One Week to Make a Film.
Simons Foundation

Submit your application today:

- Cover Letter telling us about yourself and why you want to participate in the Symbiosis initiative at this year's festival themed RESISTANCE.
- CV/Resume
- [Optional but recommended] Any useful links or attachments to prior visual work and or research.

Email us:
Include in email title: Name - [Scientist OR Filmmaker]
(ex: Marie Curie - Scientist)

Please note: Participants are required to attend Symbiosis events on the evenings of October 15, October 15, October 18 and October 22. Even if you are not sure if you physically attend, you should still apply as we may have a virtual component.

Applications due August 15.

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 don't think of themselves as science enthusiasts. We support and collaborate with programs that unlock scientific thinking in everyone.
Symbiosis Protocol

Announcement: Late-September, virtual meet-up early October right before kick-off

Format: Work and collaborations will be done remotely

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 15 to October 22, 2021.
Participants will meet at virtually on Thursday October 14. Shortly thereafter, they receive their pairing assignments and receive a $2500 stipend.
On October 18, participants will be presented their Works In Progress and the audience will lend their voice to the conversation.
On October 22, 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!
The theme is RESISTANCE
Our constant push for change and shaking up the status quo. The act of resisting from the micro to the macro level. What does it mean to withstand opposing forces that sometimes feel overwhelming? How does resistance measure a material's ability to resist the flow of electrons through it? How do organism resist harmful influences such as disease, toxic agents or infection?
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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