January 27, 2018
10 minutes read

Imagine Science Films (ISF) announces today Imagine Science Abu Dhabi 2018, presented by The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, taking place March 8-10. This interdisciplinary festival celebrates science and art through three feature films, two short film programs, a science-art gallery exhibition ‘Hybrid Futures’, an art-science careers panel discussion, gallery talks, and educational workshops.

The film festival and science-art exhibition will take place at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island campus and is open to the public. The Hybrid Futures Exhibition is free. Tickets to the festival will be available mid February at

In its fourth year, Imagine Science Abu Dhabi continues exploration of the global intersection between art and science. Kicking off with opening night featureJane, a personal and deeply inspiring celebration of scientific field research and the life of groundbreaking primatologist Jane Goodall, this year’s festival will continue to explore the human experience and its intersections with the natural, medical, and technological worlds.

The personal-scientific thread continues with Friday night feature Unrest, which follows filmmaker Jennifer Brea’s own struggles with and search for treatment for the little-understood condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and culminates with Saturday night’s closing film, director Michael Almereyda’s science fictionMarjorie Prime, which explores Alzheimer’s Disease and plausible artificial intelligence scenarios in the near future in order to turn a technological mirror on the complexities of memory, love, and familial relationship.

These themes will be developed further with two afternoon short film programs mixing documentary and fiction film from the UAE, the Gulf, and beyond. On Friday, Fragile Lives, featuring Jim Savio’s Tabiib and four other films, bridges themes of family and health to study the sometimes precarious state of human existence. On Saturday, Hybrid Creatures, which opens with an expedition to Mars complete with a live musical performance, brings together all of our themes in seven films that explore the interrelations of humans, animals, and technology. Together, this year’s films shed light on what it means to be a member of homo sapiens in the 21st century.

Festival Details

Hybrid Futures Exhibition

All sci-art is a hybrid proposition, a cross-pollination of aesthetics and information, the visual and the intellectual. In Hybrid Futures, five international artists working in film, virtual reality, and illustration will take this concept further, exploring cutting-edge zones of sci-art catalysis to better assess the present and future state of the human and natural worlds.


Student Film Lab

The Student Film Lab is a science film workshop to teach local middle schoolers the essentials of science storytelling and filmmaking. After gathering camera phone footage on a scientific theme, students will be given a crash course in editing software. The competition prompt this year is ‘Hybrid Creatures’.



Jury and Awards



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

Kamal Aljafari, Filmmaker & Visiting Associate Arts Professor of Film and New Media, New York University Abu Dhabi



Scientific Merit Award (500 USD)

The Scientific Merit Award is granted to the film that best exemplifies science in narrative filmmaking in a compelling, credible, and inspiring manner.

The Scientist Award (500 USD)

Films made by and about scientists are eligible. The goal of this award is to encourage more scientists to create films that let audiences into their minds, labs, and lifestyle.

Visual Science Award (500 USD)

The Visual Science Award is given to the film that best depicts science in a visually­ engaging manner.


Festival Schedule


All festival locations are at the

Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi


Wednesday March 7

Student Film Lab Screenings

4-5 PM // Screening Room

The Student Film Lab is a science film workshop which will teach the essentials of scientific storytelling through video to local middle schoolers.

Thursday March 8


Opening of the Exhibit “Hybrid Creatures”

March 8 6-10 PM, March 9 1-10 PM// Project Space


Explore the latest in the global intersection between art and science. Featuring groundbreaking documentaries, thought-provoking scientific fictions, and dazzling experimental films 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.

Imagine Science Abu Dhabi Opening Reception

6-7:30 PM // East Plaza

Imagine Science Abu Dhabi 2018 begins with a reception featuring introductions by all participating exhibition artists and previews of the weekend lineup.

Opening Night Feature: Jane (90 min, Brett Morgen / USA / 2017)

7:30 PM // Black Box


[Premiere status – Nate]


At age 26, Jane Goodall set out to study chimpanzees in the wild and up close for the first time. Her research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

Preceded by a short animated expedition into the the natural world:

Nex (5 min / Michael Loithaler, Marlene Raml & Philipp Buschauer / Austria / 2016)

Friday March 9

Gallery Talk: Biologist Sally Warring

1 PM // Project Space

Short Program: Fragile Lives (82 min)

2 PM // Black Box

Human existence is precarious. Bodies and minds are not infallible, as far as science and medicine have taken us. The films in this program, including Jim Savio’s Tabiib, Mehdi Barsaoui’s We Are Just Fine Like This (featuring Tunisian director Nouri Bouzid), and Rami Aloui’s This Lovely Life, revolve around stories of disease and healing, of family and home.

Gallery Talk: Artist and Filmmaker Zahra Al-Mahdi

4 PM // Project Space


Gallery Talk: Filmmaker Noah Hutton

6:30 PM // Project Space

Feature: Unrest (108 min / Jennifer Brea / USA / 2017)

7:30 PM // Black Box

MENA Premiere!

Harvard Ph.D. student Jennifer Brea is about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her “it’s all in her head,” she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure, for the condition commonly referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Preceded by a look into Parkinson’s Disease and its treatment in the UAE:

Ranapakhara (10 min / Swapna Kurup / UAE / 2017)

Saturday March 10

Gallery Talk: Filmmaker Giulia Grossmann & Composer Cosmic Neman

1 PM // Project Space

Short Program: Hybrid Creatures + Q&A with Giulia, Neman, Noah (99 Min)

2 PM // Black Box

Are humans a part of nature? Forging into the Anthropocene era, we are alone in our impact, but our fate will be shared with the rest of the biosphere. This is a program about fuzzy boundaries and the questions they raise: human/animal, human/technological, even animal/technological.

Opening with a live-scored sci-fi documentary by Giulia Grossman and Cosmic Neman, Mars Society.

Gallery Talk: Tree, VR Directors Milica Zec and Winslow Porter

4 PM // Project Space

Final Gallery Talk / Panel: “Hybrid Careers in Arts & Science”

6 PM // Project Space

Closing Night Feature: Marjorie Prime + Q&A (99 min / Michael Almereyda / USA / 2017)

[Premiere status – Nate]

In the near future, a time of artificial intelligence: 86-year-old Marjorie (Lois Smith) – a jumble of disparate, fading memories – has a handsome new companion (Jon Hamm) who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. Like the best science fiction, Marjorie Prime uses technology as a mirror back on ourselves. Also featuring strong performances from Geena Davis and Tim Robbins.

Preceded by another look into AI options for the home:

I, Loneliness Gadget (11 min / Can Eren / Turkey / 2016)



3959 posts
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!