February 24, 2018
6 minutes read

Imagine Science Films is a global science film organization showcasing science films from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

 In its fourth year, Imagine Science Abu Dhabi explores the latest in the global intersection between art and science. Featuring groundbreaking documentaries, thought-provoking scientific fictions, and dazzling experimental film from the UAE, the Gulf, and beyond, this hybrid festival seeks to break down interdisciplinary boundaries and inspire new directions for creativity, innovation, and reflection.


The festival this year will open with the UAE Premiere of JANE, courtesy of National Geographic, a feature documentary covering Jane Goodall’s career and research.

The program showcases the following films from the MENA region:

We Are Just Fine Like This by Mehdi Barsaoui, Tunisia

Pink by Mahboobeh Mohammadzaki, Iran

That Lovely Life by Rami Aloui, Morocco / Algeria

Bird Watch – Health by Zahra Al-Mahdi, Kuwait

The Best Life by Meqdad Al Kout, Kuwait

Tabiib (The Doctor) by Jim Savio, UAE

Insan by Alexis Gambis, UAE

Ranapakhara by Swapna Kurup, UA:

I, Loneliness Gadget by Can Eren, Turkey

The jury is comprised of UAE leaders in the arts and sciences. The jurors are Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation; Ramesh Jagannathan, Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of startAD, New York University Abu Dhabi; Khansa Al Blouki, Director of Environmental Outreach, Environmental Information, Science and Outreach Management, Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi and Kamal Aljafari, Filmmaker & Visiting Associate Arts Professor of Film and New Media, New York University Abu Dhabi.

Special Guest Speakers

The Opening Night of the festival on March 8 features the UAE Premiere of JANE, courtesy of National Geographic, alongside the opening of the sci-art exhibition Hybrid Futures. During an Opening Reception 18:00-19:30, all seven artists from the exhibition will give short introductions, as a preview to the gallery talks that will occur in the exhibition space for the remainder of the festival weekend.

At the 19:30 JANE screening, there will be an exclusive video message from Jane Goodall, filmed during her recent visit the Abu Dhabi, and also a post-screening discussion with Khansa Al Blouki, the Acting Director of Environmental Outreach at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and Sanjay Raina, General Manager of National Geographic Abu Dhabi.

Saturday March 9 includes three gallery talks a matinee short film program Fragile Lives and an evening feature film Unrest. The short film program begins at 14:00 and will include a post-screening discussion with two of the directors: NYUAD Lecturer in Writing Jim Savio and Kuwaiti Artist Zahra Al-Mahdi. The feature film program includes a Skype conversation with Unrest director Jennifer Brea.

Sunday March 10 opens with two gallery talks and a matinee short film program Hybrid Creatures featuring post-screening discussions with directors Noah Hutton, Alexis Gambis, Giulia Grossmann and conductor/live music performer Cosmic Neman.

From 18:00-19:00 will be a careers panel Hybrid Careers in Arts & Sciences moderated by Pakinam Amer, Editor-in-Chief of Nature Middle East, featuring the seven artists of the Hybrid Futures exhibition. The panel will cover our guests’ experiences working at the intersection of art and science as well as pathways in science filmmaking, science journalism and sci-art.

The Closing Night of the festival on March 8 features the MENA Premiere of Marjorie Prime (starring Lois Smith, Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins and Geena Davis)  with a post-screening discussion featuring Marjorie Prime producers Uri Singer and Isen Robbins, in addition to Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of startAD, New York University Abu Dhabi, Ramesh Jagannathan.



About Imagine Science Films


Founded in 2008 with the mission of bridging the arts and sciences through filmmaking, Imagine Science Films encourages collaboration between scientists, who dedicate their lives to studying the world in which we live, and filmmakers, who interpret and convey this knowledge, to make science accessible and stimulating to the broadest possible audience. It is ISF’s vision that the way science is portrayed in the media will be artful, compelling, and accessible to all. ISF produces the annual Imagine Science Film Festival in New York to showcase short and feature length films of all genres that explore scientific concepts in compelling ways. In February 2015, the Imagine Science Film Festival Abu Dhabi was inaugurated in partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi, and 2016 saw the first edition of Imagine Science Film Festival Paris.

Founder and Executive Director, Alexis Gambis is a French­-Venezuelan filmmaker, biologist and a New York University Abu Dhabi professor where he teaches courses at the intersection of art and science. His films combine scientific research and narrative often blurring the lines between reality and fiction. He received his Ph.D in Molecular Biology from The Rockefeller University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the NYU Graduate Film program.


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