Science film fest pushes for more science-inclined PHL

In Photo: Students lining up for the opening of the Science Film Festival Philippines and special screening of IMAX original documentary, A Beautiful Planet.

FILMS have a unique way of educating minds, both of the young and the not so young. They are a unique way of providing information that can stimulate minds of people in different walks of life.

Hence, the Goethe Institut, IMAX, SM Cinema, and the departments of Science and Technology (DOST) and Education (DepEd) have organized the yearly Science Film Festival, which is now on its seventh year.

Dr. Ulrich Nowak, director of the Goethe-Institut Philippinen
[/media-credit] Dr. Ulrich Nowak, director of the Goethe-Institut Philippinen

The Science Film Festival sponsored by the Goethe Institut started 11 years ago in Bangkok.

Dr. Ulrich Nowak, director of the Goethe Institut Philippinen, emphasized the uniqueness of the event in his message at the festival’s recent opening at the IMAX Theater at SM Megamall Cinema.

“This is the one and the only event concentrating and focusing on science films,” Nowak said in an interview with BusinessMirror. He said the festival has been showcased in many countries in Southeast Asia and even in the Middle East.  “But the interesting thing is, the one here in the Philippines is the biggest one,” he said. The previous year’s audience hit the 180,000 mark. “It’s quite a number.”

This year’s science film festival focuses on material science.

Joseph Gutierrez, senior education program specialist from the DepEd, said in his speech at the event that one of his mentors in his graduate classes told him, “This [material science] is the future of physics and chemistry in the Philippines.”

Ruby Roan Cristobal, chief science research specialist of the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology
[/media-credit] Ruby Roan Cristobal, chief science research specialist of the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology

Emphasizing the need for future scientists and leaders in the science community of the country, Gutierrez said the Science Film Festival is timely not because it can give information but also open the curiosity and minds of the younger generation.Ruby Roan Cristobal, chief science research specialist of the DOST-Science Education Institute, said science and technology in the country needs to be pushed forward.

“The promotion of the culture of science and technology in the Philippines is a necessary, and yet a very challenging endeavor, as it entails making the people believe that science and technology transforms lives,” Cristobal said in her message during the opening ceremonies.

She said the Philippines still lags behind many countries in science research and development, and that enticing the public through the Science Film Festival is a great opportunity not to be missed.

She said, “We believe the science festival will continue its high impact in science popularization. For our part, we continue to engage more people in the screenings.”

The Science Film Festival will showcase films from all over the world that were carefully preselected by a jury.

According to Nowak, “These pre-selected movies go to the region, and another jury would make the local selections, which will have to consider the type of schools, the age of students, so you have something for basic up to college level.”

Different venues, locations and schools inside and outside of Manila were selected for a month-long screening of the science films. These include Museo Pambata, The Mind Museum and Liceo de Cagayan University, to name a few.

The Science Film Festival will run simultaneously in its different venues until December 16.

The opening screening was attended by elementary pupils up to college students, with an exclusive screening of an IMAX special documentary, A Beautiful Planet.

The film, according to Walt Cho, Asia Pacific director of IMAX, is an original documentary by Toni Myers.  “This is the latest space documentary by director Toni Myers, and made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency,” Cho said.

It is about planet Earth shown from a different vantage point, the space, through the astronauts that made a voyage in the International Space Station to give importance to the only planet humans know that support life.


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