Scinema 04 - Festival of Science Film  
Download your copy of our 2006 program

Sydney Event Aug 12 to 20 2006
[PDF, 884kb]

Travelling Fest Aug 12 to 20 2006
[PDF, 388kb]


SCINEMA Festival of Science Film 2006 screened in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum and the UTS on August 12 - 20, while our Travelling Film Festival screened 12 - 20 August at 80 venues across Australia.

2006 Films | 2006 Multimedia Films | Special guest tour

Program One: Maths, Physics and Astronomy

Meta4  1 ˝ m D. Katrina Mathers *
A metaphorical, conceptual & experimental exploration of the meaning, the sound, the word, the number and the use of ‘four/fore/for/4’ in our language and every day life, shot mostly using mobile phone technology.

ExperiMentals (The)  5m D. Chrissie McIntyre *
The ExperiMentals, Bernie and Rueben, go to no expense to get you hooked on science.

Mesh 39m D. Beau Janzen *
Mesh explores the advancement of discrete geometry from the ancient Greeks to the contemporary research topics. With a compelling story, artistry, and humour, Mesh takes advanced concepts that have never previously been visualised and conveys then in a way that is palpable and relevant to even a novice audience.

When Things Get Small 28m D. Rich Wargo *
Exploring nanoscience on an irreverent, madcap, comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known. More information.

Transit of Venus  25m D. Rakesh Andiana/Dimple Kharbanda *
The transit of Venus is a rare and spectacular event. While Venus is steeped in many legends, the transit of Venus has an important place in the history of modern science - that of determining the absolute value of astronomical unit.

Program Two: Wildlife at Risk

Suzy, Gracie and BB 10m D. Matthew Higgins *
You’ve seen the injured wildlife signs by the roadside, but who are the wildlife carers? Join Suzy as she works to rehabilitate two sugar gliders.

Devil Diary 53m D. Paul Scott *
Behind the scenes of the World’s largest Tasmanian Devil sanctuary we observe the everyday dramas experienced by park staff as they care for and raise Tasmanian Devils.

State of the Planet’s Wildlife 55m D. Hal Weiner *
Narrated by Matt Damon. Wildlife extinctions are not a new phenomena. On at least five occasions during our planet’s long geological history, catastrophic events wiped out vast numbers of species. But today, the threat of what scientists call "the sixth extinction" won’t come from outer space or a volcanic eruption. The next extinction will be the result of human activities.

Program Three: State of the Planet

Five Seasons 52m D. Steven McGregor *
The Numurindi people of the Northern Territory’s Gulf of Carpenteria have developed a culture where all things past and present, including the weather, are interrelated. This relationship extends to previous generations, together with the animal and plant kingdom.

Future Conditional 55m D. Hal Weiner *
Narrator Matt Damon investigates the global link between the release of toxic pollutants and the health of our planet. From a toxic dust storm in Palm Springs to the desertification of the Aral Sea, from contaminated water in Mexico to rising DDT and mercury levels in the Arctic, meet the communities at risk.

Program Four: Sustainable Health

Our Hearing System: From Sound to Cilla 27m D. Robert Caldwell *
Explores the inner workings of our hearing in 3-D. Viewers are taken from the world of sound into the ear canal following the transformation of the signal up into the brain and back.

Shaken 27m D. Deborah Fryer *
A young man suffering from Parkinson’s Disease decides that 14 hours of brain surgery that is a cross between the Bionic Man and The Far Side is preferable to lying on the couch like a vegetable for the rest of his life. The results are incredible, riveting, mysterious.

Crossing the Line 56m D. Kaye Harrison *
Follows the journeys of two young medical students, Amy and Paul, who leave their safe middle class homes and University behind to be thrust into the harsh reality of every day life on Mornington Island. Like most Australians, they have never been exposed to life in a remote indigenous community. WINNER! BEST DOCUMENTARY - Social and Political Issue - 2005 ATOM Awards

Program Five: Inventions and Discoveries

Word (Slovo)  29m D. Vyacheslav Prokopenko *
When and how did mankind begin writing? In which language? Search for answers to these and many other questions leads the filmmakers from the beginnings of civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China to the present. In multiple languages with English subtitles.

Discovery of Radioactivity  22m D. Rakesh Andiana/Dimple Kharbanda *
The story of the discovery of radioactivity by figures such as Henry Becquerel, Marie and Pierre Curie and Frederic Joliot.

Nerves of Steel 56m D. Andrea Ulbrick *
Four fearless young women hurtle towards the 2006 winter Olympics in a bold Australian scientific experiment to create a champion. More information.

Program Six: Adaptation

Surviving Extremes -  52m D. Daniel Parer  P. Elizabeth Parer-Cook  *
Survival in the lethal environments of the Antarctic and space give rare insights into what personalities will cope best with future trips to Mars.

Triumph of Life: the survivors 60m D. Nick Upton *
Climate changes, the birth of more highly evolved life forms, and changes in ocean currents are just a few of the factors that can play a major role in determining which species will remain triumphant over the coming millennia.

Tree of Kings Q&A with filmmaker Joachim Putz

Tree of Kings  30mins  D. Joachim Putz  *
In Ugandan legend, the first hunter was born out of the Mutuba tree, then clothed himself in its bark. For millenia, the Ugandan people have pain-stakingly processed the Mutuba bark into a fabric akin to a rough cotton or suede. The tradition was in danger of dying out until a German man and his Ugandan wife began investing in technology to take the cloth to the European fashion markets and provide a sustainable future for many in Africa.

Multimedia Entries

MultiMedia, from the internet to CD-ROMs, installations and science art, are the perfect tool to educate and illuminate, to get people thinking about issues, and this year SCINEMA celebrates science MultiMedia from around the world.  Check out the following sites, CD and Media - these are the finalists in our 06 festival.

Wildfiles TV InterActive [external link]
Enter the virtual clubhouse and explore weird, gross and cool facts about animals. Play games, watch video clips, challenge your wild-smarts and discover the secrets that make animals so cool.
Producer: Ava Karvonen for Reel Girls Media
Wildfiles TV Interactive website
Enlightening Ideas [external link]
Albert Einstein comes back to earth to explain in an easy and humourous manner his theory of special relativity. Interactive screens allow the user to assimilate the concepts of time dialation, length contraction, speed of light and simultaneity of events.
Producer: Yannick Mahe
Cartoon image of Albert Einstein
Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Mapping the universe [external link]
Taking a census of all the luminous objects in one-quarter of the visible cosmos is a hefty accounting job: it takes a specially-built telescope on task every clear night for eight years, wielding one of the biggest digital cameras on the planet. Over a hundred million stars, galaxies, and quasars have been tallied so far.
Producer: Michael Hoffman for the AMNH
An enormous telescope takes count of the stars
Lemurs in Madagascar: surviving on an island of change [external link]
On the world's fourth largest island, and virtually nowhere else, lives an entire 'infraorder' of primates: the three dozen or so lemur species. But Madagascar has radically transformed since other primates - humans - arrived two thousand years ago.
Producer: AMNH. Study notes
A Madagascan Lemur (I like to move it move it) [external link]
The word 'Karakuri' means a mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise. It implies hidden magic, or an element of mystery. The Japanese Karakuri puppets utilise subtle, abstract movements to invoke feeing and emotion.
Producer: Kirsty Boyle
Japanese robots, or 'karakuri'
Australia's Desert Wildlife [Flash File, 125kb]
A school project presented as a series of multimedia animations featuring interesting facts about Australia's desert wildlife
Producer: Luke Young
Frog image from Luke Young's multimedia entry 'Australia's Desert Wildlife'
Scope [external link]
The SCOPE website is a fantastic educational tool for classrooms. Our site includes downloadable study guides, bios on all guest scientists, weblinks to related content and video streaming of past stories.
Producer: Kim Woodley
WINNING ENTRY! Congratulations to the team from SCOPE.
Dr Rob from the Network 10 series 'Scope'
From Wireless to Web [external link]
A selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, discover how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.
Producers: Kath Symmons, Steve Thomas, Craig Dow Sainter
A man in a derby operates an old-fashioned plate-glass camera
Biohome  [external link]
An exploration of biotechnologies in the domestic environment.
The Biohome installation launches Wed 16th August 5.00 pm. Additional performance Thursday 17th August at 5.30pm. Installation opening hrs
Wed 16th August - Friday 25th August 9-5pm.
FCA Gallery, Room 112, Building 25, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, North Wollongong. More information.
A scene from the installation 'BioHome'
Residua Fish Dreams [WMV Media Streaming]
This movie functions as mindscape and social comment. "Residua" has been stretched to illustrate the denuding of coral reefs by contrasting a living reef with a reef populated with transparent fish symbolising memories. Fish and coral were drawn with a mouse in adobe Photoshop. "Sea rooms" were also built in Photoshop from scanned glass slides of seaweed, fish scales and cellophane fish. In Macromedia Director, the fish were animated to glide through the coral and sea rooms evoking a dream like effect referencing memory. In the first part of the movie the viewer is inside a cave looking out at the living reef. the scene changes to the viewer looking in on the cave and watching the translucent shadow memories of fish that eventually disappear along with the corals and sound. Dr. S. Simpson, a Scottish Reef fish ecologist, supplied reef sounds, which were collaged into a soundscape with whale singing and water sounds that were downloaded from "Shareware" on the web.
Producer: Anthea O'Brien

Special guest tour - German filmmaker Joachim Pütz

A freelance journalist for non-commercial German public radio and television, Joachim Pütz is interested in communicating about the environment, development cooperation, politics and society.His latest productions are: “The tree of the kings” (30 min TV feature: Germany / Uganda 2004) and “Worlds largest carnival” (60 min documentary: Montevideo, Uruguay 2005).


The renewable resources of the black continent always have aroused  the interest of Europeans. However the film does not deal about gold, silver or diamonds, but a tree - a very special tree growing in the heart of Africa.

It all began in a quiet night in the highlands of Uganda, when the first hunter of man-kind was born out of the “mutuba tree”. He was naked and it was cold, so he pealed the bark of the tree he just came out of, to cover himself and the bark gave him warmth and shelter. At least, this is what the Ugandan mythology tells. Since that time it was only permitted to the kings to wear bark clothing. In modern times the processing of that archaic textile was in danger of dying out, but a love story saved it.

Oliver Heintz from Freiburg in the south of Germany and Mary Barongo from the capital of Uganda, Kampala met each other and live in Germany now. But on Oliver's first trip to Uganda, he discovered the exotic fabric and began to reactivate the ancient tradition. Until today more than 700 farmers started to cultivate and harvest the “mutuba tree” again, which regenerates its bark in a few month like skin. After an extremely labour intensive hand processing the bark is fashioned into a material that seems like suede or rough cotton. With modern methods such as nano technology, Oliver is developing the fabric for European standards in order to conquer the textile markets. Not an easy undertaking, even when fancy fashion designers and established cabinet makers are absolutely open minded for the new product. The necessary backup to arrange this project, Oliver receives from the GTZ, a German NGO, that is supporting private commercial activities which are fulfilling demands of sustainable development in the so called "Third World”. The concept is called a public private partnership, which is financed by taxes as well as by private investments. 

The filmmakers, Joachim Pütz and Siegmund Thies, accompanied this German-Ugandan adventure for one year an example that shows how successful and sustainable teamwork between black and white can be.

Also appearing at SCINEMA 2006

Paul Scott (Director - Devil Diary) Paul Scott is one of Australia’s most established wildlife and science film-makers - having worked as either executive producer, producer, director or writer on 33 hours of television. Paul’s films have won several awards, including Wildscreen Pandas and a U.S. Emmy.
Paul appears 12.30pm Sat 12th August at Powerhouse Museum

Ben Ulm (Producer - When Anaesthesia Fails)  Ben Ulm has been making factual TV for 22 years for a range of broadcasters including Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Channel 4 (UK) and for Australia’s commercial networks and the ABC. He studied broadcast journalism and documentary at Mitchell College AE, Bathurst. He was the co-executive producer of When Anaesthesia Fails which was produced with 10 other medical documentaries for American and British television.
Ben appears 7.30pm Friday 18th August at UTS Broadway

Dick Collingridge (‘Steam Motion’)  Film is in Dick Collingridge’s blood. Son of Australia’s pioneer silent film actor Gordon Collingridge, Dick studied at North Sydney Technical College before heading overseas to jobs at London’s ITV and Lebanon’s Beirut TV in the 1960s. Returning to Australia, he worked as a producer for Film Australia for 14 years. ‘Steam Motion’ is a labour of love on the history of steam power in Australia, produced by his new company Dick Collingridge Productions’.
Dick appears 10am Sun 20th August at UTS Broadway

Dr Ian Russell  Dr Ian Russell is a member of the Divisional Management Team at CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology. He is also Manager of the Environmental Analysis Group, a business unit at the Division. The Environmental Analysis Group monitors environmental impacts of wool processing, providing a range of analytical and environmental, consultancy services. The Group provides analysis directly to the wool industry, and also provides indirect support by assisting the major veterinary chemical companies to develop new and more environmentally acceptable treatments for external parasites on sheep.  CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology has unique expertise in the measurement of pesticides on wool, in wool processing effluents, and in the environment. Under Dr Russell’s guidance, CSIRO has developed streamlined and low cost tests for all current lice and fly treatments on greasy wool (including the insect growth regulators), as well as chemicals not used in Australia, such as the organochlorines.
Dr Russell appears in Geelong at the Council Conference & Reception Centre on Wed 16 Aug at 7pm to discuss the film Tree of Kings

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