Download your own copy of our 2005 Program [PDF, 615kb]
SCINEMA 2005 screened across Australia during
National Science Week to audiences at major
museums in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane,
Melbourne, Darwin and Perth; at Universities in
Hobart, Geelong, Gippsland, Bathurst and
Bundaberg; at schools and libraries in Port
Lincoln, Elliott, Richmond and Shepparton; and
Double Helix Clubs everywhere - to an audience
of almost 10,000.
Winners Announced for 2005 SCINEMA
SCINEMA 2005 screened across Australia during National Science Week to audiences at major museums in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Darwin and Perth; at Universities in Hobart, Geelong, Gippsland, Bathurst and Bundaberg; at schools and libraries in Port Lincoln, Elliott, Richmond and Shepparton; and Double Helix Clubs everywhere - to an audience of almost 10,000.
Our audience has spoken - from paper ballots handed in at screenings and through online voting here on the SCINEMA website - and we're please to announce the prize-winners for 2005.
Best Film -
Congratulations to Canberra filmmaker Matthew Higgins. A Curator at the National Museum of Australia, Matthew shot this film, only his second, in his back yard. His first film LITTLE AERIALISTS OF AINSLIE, was screened in SCINEMA last year, so Matthew almost feels like one of the family.
"I'm very pleased that people around Australia responded so strongly to this little film," Matthew said of his win. "It just shows that people are really interested in those intimate connections that we can all have with nature - even in our backyard - if we take the time out to watch and listen, and to accept that we share our living spaces with a lot of other creatures who can greatly enrich our lives."
A major part of our festival this year was a National Student Short Film Competition, which we ran in association with Einstein International year of Physics.
Best Film - Primary Schools - 2005
SCINEMA Festival of Science Film
The Primary Science Class of Elliott C.E.C. in the Northern Territory won Best Film - Primary Schools Section for WHERE IS THE SCIENCE IN THAT? - A class activity where the kids of this remote NT community took a camcorder around town asking and explaining the physics of their everyday lives - what makes the bus move? what makes the sound from a guitar travel to your ears? what path does a kicked football follow?
The class sent us their responses to seeing their work
screening as part of a major Film Festival, and to winning:
Best Film - Secondary Schools -
2005 SCINEMA Festival of Science Film
Young Canberra filmmaker James Hunter's THE HITCH HIKER'S GUIDE TO PHYSICS won Best Film - Secondary Schools Section. James handled the media like a seasoned professional for the lead-up to SCINEMA 2005. He heard ABC radio airing clips from the original Douglas Adams radio play of Hitch Hiker's and got himself invited into the studio to talk about his film.
SCINEMA surprised James at his Yr 9 assembly this morning (Wed 7 Sept) with his trophy, with thanks to his parents, his Principal and his art teacher, who all kept the secret.
Congratulations also to his friend Liam White who appears as the interviewer. Keep an eye out for James. He's going places.
Best Film - Tertiary Institutions -
2005 SCINEMA Festival of Science Film
James Cook University duo Jasper Montana & Danni Lambert had luck on their side as their entry came in very late to the SCINEMA office, but after seeing their film, we just had to rearrange our program to include them. Their film ties in nicely with another of our documentaries this year - Larry Zetlin's Crown of thorns Starfish. A triton is a giant snail, and the only natural predator of the starfish.
"Making 'Remember the Tritons' was an opportunity to learn more about a fascinating animal that has largely been neglected by scientific research," filmmaker Jasper Montana told us. "We encountered the giant triton while studying marine biology in Queensland. In a time of growing concern about the Great Barrier Reef’s shaky future, we wanted to show the giant triton’s remarkable ability to eat the crown-of-thorns seastar, a major predator and threat to the reef."
"SCINEMA provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to share their passion for science with others across Australia," he continues, "In the future, I plan to work in natural history filmmaking and am absolutely thrilled about winning Scinema’s Tertiary Short Film Competition."
Our winners all receive the magnificent trophies designed especially for SCINEMA by the Tasmanian Kaleidoscope Company.
A hearty thanks to all our finalists, a number of whom beat the drum for SCINEMA in their local media - especially Dineth in Adelaide, Megan in Perth, and Claire, Kelley, Kim & Amalia in Canberra. All your films were fantastic, and we hope to see your films in our 2006 Festival.
Plans are underway for SCINEMA 2006, which will run with the theme of 'Sustainability'.
Article: 'In Pursuit of
“Too much information”, is a common cry today. Some of us, however, thirst for even more information and also yearn to share it.
Spare a thought for the “prodigal genius” of Albert Einstein in this, the 100th Anniversary of his most famous scientific theories. Then spare a thought for those like him with the burning urge to explain.
Megan Goldspink, for instance, shares this drive.
With her friend Jacinta Mora, this first year Curtin University physics student has co-produced and directed the short film “Can Physics Ruin your Life?” The film is in the finals of the SCINEMA film festival presented by CSIRO to celebrate the International Year of Physics.
The women set out “to explain everyday things that you see but don’t really think about”. They dressed up Jacinta’s brother with safety glasses, a lab coat and wig. He became Super Science Student.
This character wreaks havoc on innocent bystanders as they “refrain from marvelling at the universe”. He humorously intervenes in the ordinary lives of the film’s characters with the catch cry “I can explain!”
Through Super Science Student, the film depicts the tension between the urge to explain and the unwillingness of others to know.
As the commentator in the film warns, “it takes a special kind of person to study physics and young people should be aware that unless they too want to know how all things work, they should avoid this subject at all cost.”
Megan says, “we liked physics and we always used to go on about how it had ruined our lives.”
They had joked that it had destroyed their “blissful ignorance” because they “now knew how things worked”.
She explained the dilemma by saying, “but if we didn’t know, we would still want to know. You will see something and you’ll think, oh that works like this…and then you explain it to yourself. You can’t really share that with someone. I try and explain things to my mum and she goes yup…yup…yup and she just wants me to go away.”
While her parents may not share her enthusiasm for explaining the universe, they have supported her chosen directions. “My parents have always encouraged me to do the subjects that I enjoy and get something out of.”
Megan mentions her high school, Mater Dei College, in the final credits of “Can Physics Ruin Your Life?”. She speaks glowingly of her final year physics teacher and his approach to problem solving. “He made you think. He didn’t just do rote learning. He’d tell you to go away and think about it. It could be a bit frustrating because you would just want him to give you the answer.”
The process of choosing science-related subjects in high school involved problem solving too. “When you get career guidance it’s like, oh this is the hard stuff - it’ll be more difficult to get good marks.”
For Megan, the implication was that “if you wanted to get good marks instead of struggle and get Cs you should do the easier subjects.” This was not for her.
“I liked the projects that challenged your mind rather than the ones I knew I could do really well. Science does that, you’re learning new things all the time.”
Now at Curtin University, Megan says, “I wanted to study further in the field. The physics in high school was really basic. We didn’t get into anything like quantum mechanics. That is really interesting.
“At the moment thermodynamics and fluid mechanics seem closer to my life. They’re more everyday life things and more direct. Like the solubility of gas with heat or why the shower curtain is always drawn in when you have a shower.”
Heat and the solubility of gas is featured in Megan’s film “We had these two cans of coke and we were boiling them to see whether they would blow up.”
It is of no surprise that Megan finds high profile science commentators Karl Kruszelnicki & Adam Spencer an inspiration. “They find really odd examples, like why it sounds better when I sing in the shower.” This quirkiness “makes science seem a lot more interesting,” says Megan.
There are, however, some negatives to her study. Megan expresses disappointment at the small number of women studying physics with her. “In our lectures there are about 5 women out of about 50. Looking at second and third year there are hardly any. There are few women to relate to and no role models. I’d like it to be different.
The small number of women studying physics is not just an equity issue for Megan. “We need more women doing science because women think differently from men.” She believes woman can provide “a different aspect to problems”.
What are the reasons for such small numbers of women embarking on careers in physics? From what Megan says, career guidance may be involved.
She also refers to a communications journal that suggests that women feel that physics does not apply directly to their lives. They prefer perhaps “to focus on animals or human bodies because they can see a closer link”. Critical of the perception of physics as “male orientated” she states, “it’s not just a male thing, women are capable.”
While Megan sees research possibilities in Perth as limited, she speaks excitedly of the proposed Electron Science Valley. This project is to be based at Edith Cowan University. It aims to integrate new technologies to produce materials that will underpin future growth in the information and communications sectors.
“We went to a lecture last year about the Electron Science Valley, which may be taking a big step forward in advancing areas like nanotechnology. There were about five students there and the rest were scientists. We felt a bit out of place but it was really exciting and interesting.”
Nanotechnology is a body of theories and techniques that allow the production and manipulation of minute objects that measure as little as one billionth of a meter.
In the Anniversary Year of Einstein’s major theories, what about the discovery of the ‘theory of everything’, a unified theory to explain the forces of the universe?
“I think it will be quite a time before we do, if we do. We need another prodigal genius to come along at the right time, when we have the right technology. I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime. Even if they do find a unified theory it will probably mean that we are going to have to change our thinking on a different aspect of it.”
What about the teaching of the creation, another theory of everything? “I believe there is one creator, but I think that natural selection played a part as well. They’re just two different ways of thinking.
“Some of the public want there to be one idea and no one really knows for sure what happened. No one has any proof for either story: they’re just arguments. When Newton presented his theories of gravity they worked but they don’t work on a molecular level: that is where Einstein came in.”
The Super Science Student is positive about the future. She sees herself as “a physicist or science communicator in the media, trying to explain science to the general public”. She may consider a role as science educator.
Megan has strong views on approaches to the teaching of science. In her view, educators and communicators should structure approaches “so students can see how it applies to their lives”.
In addition, “having a sense of humour is really important and it makes it more appealing”. She cites the SciTech roadshow she assisted on as an effective approach. “The children get all excited… they love it. I think it encourages a lot of the kids and they start thinking ‘oh science is really interesting.’”
In her view, the focus of science and education in general “should be on life long learning. We need to learn to solve problems. It’s not so important to know facts like the radius of the Earth.” For Megan it is “about having your eyes opened to what’s really happening around you everyday”.
In the film Megan exclaims, “physics has ruined my life. Now I’m at uni, imagine what it’s doing to me!” The ‘Super Science Student’ and friends are blissfully beyond help.
Reproduced with permission of the author
Matthew Higgins, Canberra filmmaker and Senior Curator at the National Museum of Australia, played host at the launch of SCINEMA 2005 in the Museum's Friend's Lounge on Thursday 28th July. Before our audience was treated to a preview screening of Matthew's film What's Happening at No 99, shot in his Ainslie back yard, Matthew discussed the role that film festivals play for independent filmmakers. Matthew's first film, Little Aerialists of Ainslie, played in SCINEMA 2004, and he acknowledged the young filmmakers present whose films are getting their first break in our festival.
The festival was officially launched by Helen Musa, longtime supporter of SCINEMA, and of science art in general, and Arts Editor at The Canberra Times. Helen recalled being sent to a particular boarding school by her parents because it offered a balanced course of the arts and sciences, and Helen offered her congratulations to the young filmmakers taking part in SCINEMA 2005 for managing to combine both the arts and sciences perfectly in their films.
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