Fans of science and film who'll be in New York City over the next couple of weeks should check out the second annual Imagine Science Film Festival, from October 15 through October 23. The festival will screen some 50 films from nine different countries at such venues as Tribeca Cinemas, New York all of Science, CUNY Graduate Center and The New School.
The over-arching message is "science is for everyone," according to festival founder Alexis Gambis, who has a PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Rockefeller University, and has just enrolled as a film student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. "There is a definite need to create a dialogue between scientists and the public," he says. "The [festival] provides a creative platform for scientists to share their inspiration with the public in relatable and engaging ways."
That's a mission the Science & Entertainment Exchange shares, which is why we're sponsoring a special sneak preview of the CG-animated feature, Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey,directed by Harry Kloor and Dan St. Pierre. The screening will take place on Wednesday, October 21, 7 PM, at the CUNY Graduate Center's Proshansky Auditorium. It's free, although seating is limited, so reservations are required.
Quantum Quest is the story of a plucky little photon named Dave who lives in the sun and is drawn into an epic galactic battle between good and evil as the forces of the Core (protons, photons and neutrinos) face off against the antimatter forces of the Void to determine the fate of the universe.
Several Hollywood luminaries lent their voices to the film, including Chris Pie, William Shatner, Mark Hamill, Amanda Peet, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Abigail Breslin, and Hayden Christensen. And Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, makes his first film appearance voicing one of the characters.
Quantum Quest is also unusual because it is the first time NASA has collaborated with an independent filmmaker to produce a fictional animated film based on the agency's numerous missions. Kloor dreamed up the film back in 1996, when NASA launched the Cassini-Huygens mission to orbit Saturn. Production couldn't begin until NASA released the final images and radar data in 2008. So Quantum Questcombines state-of-the-art CGI with actual images taken not just by Cassini-Huygens, but also other NASA missions (SOHO, Stereo, Mars Odyssey, Venus Express and Mercury Messenger).
Kloor himself will be on hand after the screening to talk about the making of Quantum Quest, along with special guests, including Space Shuttle astronaut Dan Berry, who made four spacewalks during his NASA tenure. So if you're in the area, reserve a seat here.