Films put science themes up in lights

The science of storytelling will be in focus at the 2013 ScienceTeller Festival in October.

A highlight of the second biennial festival will be a premiere of films by University of Otago centre for science communication graduates.

The students have had their own challenges combining the festival's science and storytelling themes.

''My film started out as a film about helping disadvantaged people learn how grow their own vegetables,'' film student Anna Wildes said yesterday.

''But we had all the difficulties you do when you're trying to work science into a conversation. So it went from being a drama to looking at how to make this sort of film and get your points across and why it is important to do that,'' she said.

''It became a film that shows the problems inherent in science communication.''

Her 25-minute film is one of up to seven by 2013 science communication film graduates which will premiere at the ScienceTeller Festival in Dunedin in October.

The festival celebrates storytelling and science through public screenings, events and workshops. Presenters this year will include University of California history and science professor Naomi Oreskes, BBC story consultant Hazel Marshall and Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman.

''There are 16 events on offer, including a variety of stimulating films, exhibitions, talks and workshops, that we hope will motivate people to think critically, demand evidence and keep an open mind,'' festival director Phil Bishop said.

The festival is open to the public and designed to appeal to everyone from children, students and parents to professionals.

The ScienceTeller Festival is on in Dunedin from October 25 to 27, with the full programme to be announced next month.

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