From 16 to 19 March 2023, InScience film festival in Nijmegen screened 55 of the most impressive science films available at that time. The eighth edition of the festival was all about experiment. Thirteen films were shown for the first time in the Netherlands, including the latest film by Werner Herzog.
The InScience festival program highlighted current challenges, from climate crisis to virus pandemic and from trauma to transphobia. These films also explored solutions such as rewilding, neurotechnology, mass vaccines and groundbreaking medical science. Films that raise eyebrows. Films that celebrate wonder.
For example, InScience screened Luminous, an intimate portrait of an astronomer at a small American university who makes a groundbreaking discovery. Rarely has a scientific experiment been served up as humanly as in this film. In Theatre of Thought, Werner Herzog, in his well-known eccentric way, delves deep into the world of modern neurotechnology in search of the philosophical, ethical and social consequences of scientific progress. The challenging film De Humani Corporis Fabrica opens up the human body on the big screen, using microcameras that reach places in our body that could not be captured before. The Awesome Algae program delved deep into the extraordinary world of algae and their influence on our planet and our future, in two short films.
InScience also screened some film classics within the theme program experiment, such as The Fly, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and, a feast for both young and old, Back to the Future.
Each film screening became a unique experience through the Talks in which filmmakers, top scientists and leading thinkers further explored the films: in lectures or discussions, workshops, performances and role plays. This year’s Big Ideas lecture was given by cyborg artist Neil Harbisson – known as the man with the antenna in his skull that can hear colours. As a living experiment, on March 17, he broadened our understanding of what a human being is and can become.
During the festival, two podcasts were recorded with a live audience, which can be listened to here.
InScience could not only be experienced in LUX this year. There were also unique film screenings at special locations. The festival opened in the Vereeniging, with a special program around experimental film and a live soundtrack. Geographies of Solitude was shown in POST, followed by a workshop film developing in organic material. Pleistocene Park was shown in the natural history museum De Bastei, in collaboration with the Wintertuin literary festival. After the screening, a conversation about rewilding took place between the colossal mammoth teeth with a performance by a writer, on the theme of solastalgia – the feeling of losing a home. In Triavium Schaatsbaan we invited visitors to come and see Into the Ice, with a Talk by a polar researcher from Radboud University. Hot chocolate was included.
Entering the experiment
Visitors were also allowed to participate in the experiment themselves in all sorts of ways. For example, scientific data was collected for a special experiment in collaboration with Radboudumc and the Stevensloop, and we invite our visitors to participate in research in the Mariënburg library that focuses on scientific imagination. There is a special junior program for younger visitors, with film screenings and an experimental walk through Nijmegen’s city centre.
Jury & Awards
Geographies of Solitude has been named best science film of InScience 2023 by both the InScience Jury and the Student Jury. Director Jacquelyn Mills receives the InScience Jury Award worth €2,500. This year the professional jury consisted of Alexis Gambis, Dan Jin Wu, Ronald Veldhuizen and Valerie van Zuijlen.
The Student Jury praised the film with these words: “Seaweed has become an aesthetic medium of creating images never seen before. The senses are tickled. One becomes truly part of this island. You can almost smell the flowers in between the grasses.”
My Garden of a Thousand Bees wins audience award
The film My Garden of a Thousand Bees was awarded the NTR Focus Audience Award 2023 during the eighth edition of InScience. This documentary was made during the lockdown by Martin Dohrn, who normally travels the world as an award-winning nature film maker. In his own backyard he discovered the amazing world of bees, capturing breathtaking images.
Winner Klokhuis Wetenschapsprijs 2023
The research ‘Dad can’t walk, but can hop’ is the winner of the seventh Klokhuis Wetenschapsprijs. The winning project is by Anouk Tosserams, doctor-PhD student Rehabilitation & Neurology at Radboudumc, and Dr. Jorik Nonnekes, rehabilitation doctor at Radboudumc. The prize was awarded during the eighth edition of InScience – International Science Film Festival Nijmegen.
People with Parkinson’s can move less well. By doing certain ‘tricks’, such as hopping, bouncing a ball or walking like a cowboy, this often works out better. This study investigated why these tricks work so well, and what exactly happens in the brain.
The winner was chosen by children, who were able to vote via the website of Het Klokhuis (NTR) for the research they find most interesting and relevant. A total of 11045 votes were cast. A science episode of Het Klokhuis will be devoted to the research area of the winning research. This episode will premiere during the next edition of InScience, from March 14 to 17, 2024.