Take a visit to the factory to see the nuts and bolts of how chocolates are made, and learn how melting a bar of chocolate was involved in the invention of the microwave. Join us this holiday season for our December issue “Science for Nanos’ — a fun packed learning experience for children that adds zest to the subject of science.
In the middle of a dry, desolate landscape stands Tower 37: a shimmering water processing station, siphoning every last drop of water from a once pristine lake. Day in and day out the station’s lone steward monitors the tower’s activities, never realizing that Tower 37 is slowly destroying an entire ecosystem. But when two unexpected guests arrive, the tower’s operator learns the high cost of his ignorance.
Art and science intersect in unexpected ways, as Da Vinci’s experiments with flight lead him to the discovery of his most famous muse.
Genius Marius Borodine’s spectacular new invention that can transform any and all objects into drinkable water, bewilders the public, scientific communities, and the family of the misunderstood creator, especially after he takes one step too far.
Off-Line is a short stop-motion animated film that I created and produced over four years. It tells about my relationship to work and how I understand it. The film is focused on a small orange capacitor named “IZ” that lives on the circuit-board control-panel of a microwave oven. The microwave is constantly being abused by a human through overuse and inappropriate application and in the end the microwave shorts out. This is based on my own personal experience. When the microwave is shorted-out the human bangs the machine and on the inside IZ is jolted out of its connection holes. IZ is forced to travel around its world, the circuit board, seeking life force and discovering the world around it. In a classic “hero’s journey” fashion, IZ eventually comes to the edge of the world and has a vision about work and its place in that system. IZ discovers its unique role in the grand scheme and decides to return to its position once the human gives the work-command. Now, enlightened, IZ chooses to step out of its connection holes by “free will” and encourages others to do the same. They concur, but in the end greater forces in life overcome the gift of the hero’s journey.
A young man, accompanied by his mysterious mechanical bear, visits an abandoned observatory to confront memories of his past and follow his Father on a journey into the unknown. A magical journey about relationships and what it is to be human.
When Milo’s newest invention, the Reverse Microwave, actually turns out to be a time machine, he and his best friend Levi set out on an adventure through time.
This singular film experience takes place in our planetarium — a 180 degree screening room at Grimstad Culture House. The film explores the world of moths and other insects through 3D Xray images. An upbeat adventure into the world of butterflies and inner structures of the insect world.
Moths are a highly diverse group of insects. In terms of species richness among all animal groups, moths come second only to beetles. Moths and butterflies belong to the same order, Lepidoptera, but the vast majority of all lepidopterans are indeed moths. Despite their abundance, moths have not attracted much attention and they may seem like an odd choice for a film. However, filmmakers Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen show that moths do have fascinating tales to tell. This film presents stunning views of moths using 3D X-ray CT scans. The film, for example, explores the complex respiratory system of a moth which consists of branching tubes that deliver oxygen directly to the cells. Efficient respiration allows flying insects to exhibit higher metabolic rates than any other animals. We do not know much about how the morphology of the respiratory system is connected to individual differences in flight capacity, but micro CT scanning would be a promising tool for studying this question. The film does therefore more than just deliver existing information; it also provokes new scientific questions to be answered. In our changing world, the study of moths is more important than ever. Lepidoptera are very sensitive to environmental change and being cold-blooded, they serve as excellent indicators of changes in their environment. Kristjan Niitepõld, PhD Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki
A follow up refraction experiment featuring the Alphabet spoken by the late GREAT Richard Pryor.
If we could shrink by 10 million times, we would be able to visit a living human cell, as if it were a small planet. In this movie, based on scientific data and an animation technique developed for biological visualization, viewers can get a glimpse of some of the wanders that such trip could offer. During the short visit, we will witness a moment important in the life of all cells and organisms: the binding of a hormone to its receptor, followed by the first effects triggered by this event. Next, accompanied by an explanatory voice describing in simple terms the scenes that we see, we explore other corners of the same cell. The short is a first introduction to a new world that, despite its minute dimension, is incredibly rich with all sorts of fascinating environments, characters, and stories. Up to now these have only been available to the expert, and this movie is an example of the power of biological visualization for curious minds of all ages.
After watching Back to the Future 2, an imaginative young girl and her stuffed teddy bear try to invent a real, working Hoverboard.
A law describes the consumption of soil as the population grows. How much longer can the city continue to grow ensuring enough fertile soil to feed the population of the Earth?
Here is a popular science short film recounting this study, and it is animated entirely through programming code for the open source software POV-Ray.
The scientific research entitled “Is there enough soil to feed a planet of growing cities?”, by Roberto D’Autilia and Ilaria D’Ambrosi, analyzes a scaling law for the consumption of agricultural soil by cities. The nonlinear dependence of the size of the city on the number of inhabitants gives rise to an equation for population dynamics. The limit of the solution for this equation is given by the so-called carrying capacity, in terms of number of inhabitants that can be fed. The carrying capacity as a function of the scaling law exponent shows that this exponent must be very small to ensure food sustainability. A bound for the value is suggested, and trying to achieve it is a challenge for future cities.
Puck remembers the night when his cat gave birth to kittens in his bed.
Most children today learn to use a computer before they learn how to tie their shoes or ride a bike. All around the world a new generation of children is growing up spending more time in the virtual world than playing at their local playground.
This film provides stories from three young protagonists; a twelve year-old talented youtuber riding the highs and lows of overnight internet fame, a thirteen year-old boy passionate about computer games, and a young girl who falls prey to an internet sexual predator.
The documentary exposes the unique attraction of the Internet for youth while also drawing attention to some of the risks children encounter in cyberspace.
The Story of Mr. Plasticine
Constantine Konovalov & Irina Neustroeva: (CA Teeter-totter-tam Animation)
We are a team of animators from Russia. We love to experiment in the field of animation and video art. We create commercials, cartoons, movies, mainly using the technique of stop-motion and an interval shooting (timelapse). And we love to shoot time lapse of our city Moscow. We are interested in the development direction of stop-motion in Russia. We frequently conducts master classes of stop-motion animation for children and adults.
Our stop-motion movies and video art, including “Moscow city of animation”, “Teeter-Totter-Tam”, “Idea Creation”, “Inflation of animation”, “DRINKme-EATme-READme”, have been screened and awarded at festivals worldwide.
“It’s like having thousands of pets!” Dish Life compares the task of raising stem cells in the lab to the challenge of looking after a gang of unruly kids. In conversation with real-life children, scientists show how tricky it is to work with these ‘super cells’.
Dish Life is the result of a collaboration between filmmaker Chloe Thomas (director), and stem cell researcher Loriana Vitillo & sociologist Karen Jent (executive producers). The film was realised with funding from the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust and is part of the Life in Glass initiative.
Director / Writer | Chloe Thomas
Producers | Loriana Vitillo, Karen Jent
DoP | Gabi Norland
Sound | Bridget Bradshaw
Editor | Michael Johnson
Music | Jim Meacock
Set in a post-apocalyptic African slum and city, Kichwateli takes the viewer on a spiritual and metaphorical voyage through a young boy’s dream mixing new imagery of a young boy wondering inquisitively with a live TV as his head to show the effects of media on a young generation. This music-metary is a metaphor for the way we are now all plugged into the same images of global anxiety while at the same time being ourselves subjects of scrutiny of the all-seeing ubiquitous cameras.
After the death of her partner and the rest of the migrating butterflies, the last monarch survivor has one last message to tell humanity.
Creatures transform their own shapes innocently just as in a child’s play. Tearing apart and uniting, this play continues endlessly.
Plant particles are digitally combined with abstract constructions. They thicken till figurative creatures are generated. The viewer is hoaxed to, consumed and regurgitated by these constructed forms. A mystical, threatening journey through the hidden and fantastic world of plants.
On a remote island in the future people are preparing for an important mission.
An eccentric physicist in a room seemingly adrift in space explains the fundamental principles of physics using slapstick metaphors.
Muybridge´s Disobedient Horses is a series of four episodes in which the artist Anna Vasof investigates where she can find the essence of cinematic illusion when she looks into everyday life and what happens when she uses everyday objects and movements as cinematographic mechanisms. Even if the principle behind the illusion has been around for many years and is taken for granted, each of Vasof´s episodes produces its own unique cinematic illusion. Each episode shows together with the animated story of how the illusion has been made. Unlike a magician, the secret behind the “magic trick” in her experiments is revealed, thereby making the cinematic illusions even more magical.
In the first episode with the title “Self-Portrait”, she demonstrates an object made out of simple everyday objects such as a metal bucket, an ordinary lamp, magnifiers, rope and paper coffee cups. When she pulls the rope the lamp starts pending and the object transforms into an audiovisual instrument, which projects a frustrated figure who looks like the artist and starts hitting her head on the wall of the projection. A similar story takes place in the third episode with the title “The book of falling words 2,” Vasof demonstrates a flip-book which shows the footage of a real book in which the words of different meaningful chapters are falling down.
When everyday life is used as a cinematographic mechanism the making off takes the new role. When the making off comes either into a direct dialogue or into conflict with the narrative of the illusion new meaning is created. Muybridge´s Disobedient Horses is a film which suggests a new method to tell stories with social and personal conflicts. (production notes))
In the warm light of a glowing filament the moving machine parts resemble spools, wires and gearwheels. A turntable with a numerical scale spins slowly and shows various readings, though their significance is never revealed. Details, parts of which are out of focus, appear on a black background, and in them the filmmaker and graphic artist Jeremias Altmann shows fragments of four machines he constructed of discarded household appliances. After initial silence the metallic clattering and roar of the mechanism gets louder. Rows of illegible numbers are hammered onto a roll of paper. Views of a dead moth complete the series of macro shots. Viewers are not shown a full view of the machinery or what it’s producing. When the machines stop their operations abruptly, the color temperature changes to cold white, and everything goes silent. This is followed by a second series of partial views of the now motionless machines, in bright neon light, though this doesn’t help clarify matters, producing the opposite effect instead. Questions arise about the function of the individual parts, such as what a spark plug, lamps, cables, metal springs, etc., might do together, how they are related, and which mechanical laws apply here.
Altmann doesn’t draw out the machines’ secret. He’s not interested the electromechanical devices’ practical use, but their aesthetic and acoustic qualities. The idea of machines as efficient tools is taken to the absurd. His machines are given their raison d’être not by logical, rational circumstances of production, but on the basis of their mere appearance and tonal characteristics. In his video study Altmann works in a way similar to the design principle of machines that have no specific purpose: First, he breaks them down to individual audiovisual elements by means of macroscopic shots, and then reassembles them to create a whole that’s as mysterious as it is poetic. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)
A short film exploring the longevity and limitations of artificial intelligence, and the loneliness of deep space.
Fast forward. A camera rushes across Argentina´s stone desert toward a cactus and crashes headfirst through an opening into the plant´s interior. There, a view opens up of an eerie universe. Vibrating insect wings beat, swishing against one another, glistening with a toxic beauty, and wind themselves out from a plastic bottle top. Then they transform into little Sputniks with tender antennas, which rush around clanking in the heart of the cactus until we dive into one of their hollow bodies, and a tin can disappears into the spatial depths of the image.
In Nikki Schuster´s stop–motion–animation Parasit, organic and non–organic, documentary and animation engage in luminuos mutations. Billy Roisz´ experimental, smoldering soundtrack accompanies the unfolding of bizarre microcosms in the depths of trees and crevices. Sizzling, the living combines with the dead, the trash with plants, producing hybrid sculptural organisms with fantastical DNA. In this, the animation has a quasi–parasitical relationship to the documentary, grasping its formations and twisting them onward in nocturnal metamorphoses. Root–like forms proliferate in the dark, transform into long, strands of hair, and wrap themselves with smacking sounds around green, red, and yellow spiral bodies. The hair, a matter, which is equally living and dead, stands emblematically for the synthesis of the natural with the artificial: like the cells of an imaginary body, plastic rings and gear wheels float chaotically, group to bone pieces and eddies, mix together with plastic hangers and pieces of grating. In the end, green caps twist like little UFOs through the image from top to bottom, swing like garlands before a black background before fading away in the dark. Afterwards, the camera pulls hastily out of the nocturnal housing back into daylight–as though having just had a forbidden look into the backside of nature. (Alexandra Seibel)
Here is the world’s first animation made to be watched by chimpanzees. Just for this once, we will show it to you humans.
From the Big-Bang, to understanding our place in the cosmos, we explore the Universe through the imagination of children. “The Universe Within” is a 4 episode series for kids made by kids, and the protagonists explain different astronomical concepts using metaphors invented by them, and create theories for the questions that have not yet been answered by science. Their explanations are illustrated by animations based on their own drawings so we can see how they imagine everything they are telling us about our Universe.
In the episode (The Beginning of the Universe) submitted for this festival, Joaquin (9) asks himself how the Universe began. He narrates a native Tehuelche myth about the Earth’s origins. Then, he explains the Big Bang Theory, using metaphors and drawings of his own. Lastly, he questions the theory and comes up with his own answers.
May 29th, 2019, celebrated 100 years of the eclipse observed from Sobral, in the interior of Ceará, which was the first experimental proof of the Theory of General Relativity, proposed four years before by German physicist Albert Einstein.
Animals are quarreling: to go or not to go to the mountain. A serious incident has happened in the mountain.
Two young brothers living in rural isolation struggle to survive in the wake of a mysterious attack, only to have their fragile world shattered by the arrival of a teenage girl.
Darwin is a very curious frog. En each episode our protagonist explores different subjects and issues that affect and endanger life and the enviroment. He also gives advices and suggestions about how to deal with catastrophic events and new challenges arising from climate change.
The Cosmos. Mankind. The meaning of Life. Come play with us.
Freaks of Nurture is an animated short about a neurotic mother-daughter relationship inspired by the filmmaker’s own unorthodox upbringing with her single-parent mom, who is also a foster parent and dog breeder. Self-deprecating and bursting with energy, the film reveals that no matter how grown-up we think we are, we never quite stop craving the love and support of a parent.
In How Do They Recycle Paper?, find out what happens to all that paper we put in our recycling boxes.
How Do They Put the Centers in Chocolates? takes us on a visit to the factory to see the nuts and bolts (and cocoa!) of how these sweet treats are made.
How Do They Make Potato Chips? is one of a series of short and snappy videos that reveal the mysteries behind everyday things. Almost every child likes to eat potato chips and will love to learn how they’re made. (Bet you can’t watch this video just once!)
Cathon bakes Iris a very special kind of bread for her birthday, and pretty soon the two friends have gone down the rabbit hole, in search of the origins of bread. They even tell the tale of a whole army sculpted from bread.
Cathon proudly shows off her new glasses. Iris is at a loss for words — she’s speechless with admiration. Where do eyeglasses even come from, and how did people first get them to stay on their noses?
Cathon has borrowed her aunt’s camera and wants to take some nice pictures of Iris. But she discovers that her best friend isn’t particularly photogenic. The two pals explore how people preserved memories in the past.
How soap cleans?
Iris and Cathon are shocked to discover how big and heavy the first microwave oven was. Turns out that inventing it involved melting a bar of chocolate.
The Force of Water uses archival footage, animated illustration and amusing narration to explain the Archimedes principle, of why some things float and others sink.
Four strokes of genius.
Lift Off uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain what makes a rocket lift off.
Iris and Cathon are at the beach, and they both have new swimsuits. Cathon makes fun of her friend’s choice of beachwear. You’ll learn a lot about the origins of the bathing suit.
The Moon Changes uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain what causes the different phases of the moon.
Slippery Ice! uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain why we slip on ice.
Sound Is Vibration uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain what is the sound.
Cathon has found something wonderful in the recycling bin — a birdsong clock. But Iris isn’t totally on board with her friend’s taste, so she seeks a compromise. She wonders how people told time before clocks.
The State of the Matter uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain how temperature affects the state of matter.
Wheel Meets Friction uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain how the invention of the ball bearing reinvented the wheel.
The Wonderful World of Colour uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain how the cones of the retina enable us to perceive the spectrum of colours.
Battery uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain: Why do we get a charge out of batteries?
How do we convert motion into electricity?
What do X-rays, microwaves and light have in common?
Mirrors of Time delves into the mysteries of time: how calendars came to be; why the seasons change; why the year is divided into days, etc. From Babylon to 16th-century Europe, this film presents the history of the measurement of time.
What lights your fire?
What keeps us down to earth?
Lightning uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain: What causes the electrical discharge we see as lightning?
What makes a fridge cool?
How do voices travel over the phone?
Knietzsche believes that the future does not just happen, but is created by actions, thoughts and dreams. You cannot plan everything exactly because nobody knows the future. But good ideas will definitely make life better. So put the future in the best hands — in yours!
Increasing in its number, small rabbits take care of a great dolphin. Can the dolphin get to sleep by rabbits’ gentle caress? May many people have good sleep and sweet dreams tonight even in the world with whining sounds and wriggle of yin and yang.
The story takes place in Manazuru, a small coastal town in Kanagawa, Japan.
Through interviews with locals and the time spent there, I collected various anecdotes into this City Cycling Fantasy Film.
Cycling around the town, a girl comes in contact with anecdotes of Manzazuru that are floating in the wind.
In a polluted city a hedgehog searches for food. Nearby, a lonely cricket chirps, hoping to find a mate. But now he finds himself on the menu. An end of days animated comedy about an amorous cricket and a starving hedgehog who wants to eat the last cricket left in the world.
Quantum LOGOS (vision serpent) uses Mesoamerican culture as inspiration for design ideas used to explore quantum mechanics basics. This project uses abstract animated imagery to metaphorically represent the quantum world. I use this approach because of the parallels that are evident in the art and philosophy of Mesoamerica to the quantum mechanics vision of the nature of reality. While I focus on Young’s Double Slit Experiment,1 how light behaves when passed through double slits, as part of this project research, I found additional inspiration in the Observer Effect.2These two phenomena are core issues relevant to this artwork that I use to explain quantum mechanics. I wanted to present new ideas through the ancient artistic interpretation of natural wonders to attest to their intuitive assumptions’ timeless beauty and similarity to current notions. By using designs that are rooted in ideas embraced by Mesoamerican thought, I’ve created a series of visual metaphors that explore, discover, and communicate the counterintuitive and contradictory beauty of nature.
Pancho is 11 years old and visits his grandparents in Concepción, Chile. There he meets Rubén Escribano, oceanographer from the IMO, with whom he’ll be able to answer questions about biodiversity in the ocean. Together they pick plancton samples and watch them in a microscope discovering many life forms that live in the sea.
Two refugee brothers live far from each other. The younger one, Joel, 12, is stuck alone in Athens, while the older has moved to Italy. Although it’s hard to communicate, they share a common destiny.
Mo is an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They spend a lot of time in their brain. Today, a hole started following them.
Exploring the relationship between sound and picture, this film is inspired by the two lights (twi-light) found inside of film projectors. The animation was created by applying both sound and picture directly onto 35mm film. After the soundtrack was created, each individual sound was assigned a specific shape and colour that repeats throughout the composition.
Visual shapes were airbrushed and hand-painted onto orange mask (negative film), then printed positive for further manipulation by bleaching or scratching into the film’s emulsion before the final print copy was made. Sounds were made by drawing Spirograph moire patterns onto clear mylar sheets. The patterns were then cut out and stuck on 35mm film optical sound area, played through a moviola, and recorded into a computer for composition. Many sounds are just one to twelve frames long. The pattern starts with a radar beep and expands into a constantly building loop until the entire optical sound film surface is covered in sound shapes.
Jury Stellar Award for Experimental Film, Black Maria Film Festival, 2019
In the future, we sent our children to the stars. This is their story. The Children of Space is my homage to low budget B-movies and Toho science fiction films of the 1960s, made as part of a film acting class I taught for Spotlight Youth Theater for their winter 2015 semester of classes.
Five young students in a Shanghai school of arts audition for a part in a film. They talk about their inspirations, their personnal story and about what drives them to act. Being adolescents, their motivations are as ingenuous and unclear as the film they are auditioning for. Combining documentary and fiction, the script writes itself around one question: if they could act anything, what would it be? The clashing of their wide-eyed desires and the serious job of acting, the clashing of their rigourous school environment and their most frivolous acting fantasies, and the clashing of two cultures, a disoriented western director meeting China for the first time amidst a bubling crowd of young artists, gives births to fortuitous scenes with an unhinged quality that ultimately, are only for them to act out.
Between the wild fables of Adriana, a modern little girl, and the poetry of Isabella, hanged by her brothers in the 16th century for treason, what is the connection?
Here, Adrian is telling a story, Camille grumbling and Océane, in who knows what boredom, is trying to get her doll to speak its never-ending discourse. The trace of a programme or, on the contrary, the hope of a possible emancipation?
Four-year-old Shimako gets separated from her parents at Ikebukuro Station. Guided by an owl statue, she skips across Toshima Ward and embarks on a small adventure. Travelling back in time, she finds the no longer existing apartment where cartoonists once lived.
A boy chases a girl, who is moving away from her hometown, by bicycle in the rain. Splashed by a truck, he sees Kirin, the Sacred Beast bringing happiness, jumping out of the waves.
A Spacetime Trilogy with Jared Kaplan is a series of three short films that ponder complex and deceptively simple questions about the formation and laws of our universe. Guided by host and theoretical physicist Jared Kaplan, and employing a distinct blend of scientific, metaphoric, and whimsical animations, the videos consider and sometimes question our understanding of basic principles of the universe.
In “Did the Universe have to be the way that it is?” Kaplan explores what would happen to our Universe if the laws of physics were a little different — like if gravity were much weaker, or if we removed the strong force, or even if we lived in a 2D or 4D world. Animation inspired by ‘The Little Prince” helps to visualize the ideas
The short ‘How the Big Bang Governs the Texture of our Universe”, asks viewers whether they’ve ever described the universe as smooth or bumpy. The texture– or the cosmological principle of how matter is distributed throughout the universe — helps physicists characterize the formation of the universe. The concepts are shown, in part, by comparing matter in the universe to a dazzle of zebras distributed throughout the savannah.
he short “Why is Gravity Different” explores and challenges questions of physicist Jared Kaplan’s expertise — quantum gravity. Even though physicists have been studying gravity for centuries, it remains a mystery. By reviewing the history of our understanding of gravity and how the force behaves around black holes, Kaplan’s examination leads to a new way of thinking about quantum gravity and the laws of our Universe.
Labocine is an Imagine Science Films initiative to extend our film programming to a broader and more diverse audience. We have over 3,000 film titles from 200 countries for all ages brought to you by artists, scientists, filmmakers and educators.
By experimenting with cinematic form and style, we are committed to provoking scientific intrigue and understanding, always ensuring compelling and well-founded narratives. Periodically, we release Spotlights online. On the first Tuesday of every month, enjoy our issue selections which complement newsworthy science by proposing a surgically curated online festival. From documentary to fiction to lab footage, we hope to always challenge the way you understand, interpret and appreciate scientific ideas and perspectives.
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