Researchers pitch films at DOCVILLE film festival

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is taking over a corner of Leuven during DOCVILLE, the international documentary film festival. Eight VUB scientists are competing to have a film made about their research. The selected researchers will present their work, on current topics in science, at the Science Talkies. The winner will receive a production budget of ¤40,000.

A festival committee selected eight scientific projects after an appeal to scientists and filmmakers. They looked at both the content and cinematic potential of the projects, resulting in a wide range of scientific topics. How do llamas hold the key to curing cancer? How far does deep fake technology, a technique where existing footage is edited or manipulated, go?

The selected scientists have received media training to prepare for their pitch at Science Talkies. After the pitches, they have the chance to go on speed dates with the filmmakers to compare their artistic vision and views on content. Only the researchers who find a match can move on to the next round. They then set to work to develop their ideas further. In April, a jury will then choose the two pairs with the most compelling vision. They will receive a production budget of ¤40,000 to bring their work to life. The two documentaries will have their world premiere at DOCVILLE 2024.

The Science Talkies are hosted by science fan and Nerdland co-founder Hetty Helsmoortel. The event is part of Scienceville, a part of DOCVILLE with a focus on quality scientific documentaries. With the event, VUB and DOCVILLE are committing to supporting Flemish scientific documentaries and contributing to the development of the genre. VUB and DOCVILLE believe in creative, high-quality science documentaries with a cinematic slant. They thus aim to make complex topics accessible to a wide audience. This is a collaboration with the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, copyright association SABAM and TV channel Canvas.

The projects presented are:

The Rainforests of the Sea can be Saved: How Genetic Research and Artificial Intelligence Help to Conserve Coral Reefs in the Indian Ocean: Prof Marc Kochzius

Giving Antiracism Pioneers of Color a Place in Our History: Prof Ilke Adam (in collaboration with Dr Fatima Zibouh and Dr Bambi Ceuppens)

N(An)obody is Perfect: How Lamas Can Cure Cancer: Dr Timo De Groof (in collaboration with Prof Nick Devoogdt and Sonja Van den Block)

Practical information

VUB at Science Talkies
-Tuesday 28 March, 18.00
-30CC/Minnepoort, Leuven
-Admission is free, but registration is recommended.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

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