ASC Reflection – SCINEMA 2016

Julia Cleghorn, ASC Victoria committee member and movie lover reflected on attending SCINEMA this year:

On a chilly Saturday afternoon in Melbourne, ASC-Vic members joined a relaxed bunch of science-movie buffs at the RMIT Cinema for the premier of the 2016 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival.

It was a long-ish event – over three hours in total, but the selection of home grown and imported films did not disappoint. Act 1 saw a wide variety of shorter-style productions, including the stop motion ‘The Amazing Life Cycle of the European Eel’ by researchers from the UK, the interpretive dance style ‘Metamorphosis of Plants’ made in Poland, and charmingly hilarious ’Parasitism’ staring ASC-Vic’s own Claire Farrugia as a chatty emerald wasp trying to innocently find the right guy (cockroach) to start a family.

After filling up on some hearty intermission food, the group settled in for the Act 2 Double Bill of Best Film – Maratus, about the accidental discovery of a new species of spider, and Best Documentary – Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children. Both completely deserving of their titles.

As the lights came up at the end the event, many in the audience felt overwhelmed with the quality of the films, and compelled to talk through each one and tease out the most important and insightful points. As such, the crowd stayed outside the venue long after it finished, and eventually meandered over the road to continue discussions over a few drinks.

By far the most talked about film was the heart-warming and brilliantly told story of Maratus, not just about a new species of spider, but also the human story of it’s unlikely discovers, and the humble journey of scientific discovery.

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About George Aranda

Dr George Aranda is a former psychology researcher who has moved from the world of neuroscience to pursue a career in science education research and science communication. Now researching and teaching at Deakin University, he has broad interests in writing, social networking modes of communication, podcasting, science communication videos and understanding how scientists and their work are perceived in the world.