A word from SCINEMA 2019 judge Alison Leigh

A word from SCINEMA 2019 judge Alison Leigh

SCINEMA 2019 judge Alison Leigh tells us about some of the films that have stuck in her mind over the past two years. 

I’ve had the privilege of being on the jury of SCINEMA for the last two years. These are my top three stand out films from those years. All were favourites for different reasons. Sometimes, I learnt a lot of new things. Sometimes these films just did such a good job of explaining difficult concepts. But these films always manage to demonstrate a truly fresh and innovative approach.


This year’s winner of best documentary is Vitamania. And what a truly creative and original film it is. Director Sonya Pemberton combines great storytelling and sumptuous cinematography with entertaining songs and wonderfully clever graphics to get across a lot of facts and figures about Vitamins. Now I know that vitamin supplements are not subject to the same checks and balances as pharmaceuticals and that they can be toxic if taken in high doses. I also learnt that if I eat just one carrot a day, I’ll have all the Vitamin A that I need.


The Kingdom- how Fungi made our world

After watching last year’s best film The Kingdom- how Fungi made our world, directed by Anna Maria Talas, I’ll never look at a mushroom the same way again. Exquisite time lapse photography revealed that fungi are living organisms yet they are neither Animal or Plant. Who knew that if there were no fungi in the world there would be no other life? Yet they can also be lethal.


The one film I cannot get out of my mind is Irony – a short animation that is an absolute masterpiece, written , drawn and directed by Radheya Jegatheva .It’s a dystopian take on the downside of the smart phone. Radheya’s thesis is that  while social media and technology bring loads of benefits they can be used in harmful ways. He focuses in particular on issues like cyberbullying and narcissistic behaviours. The truly amazing thing is that Radheya was only eighteen when he made this film, and it’s been winning awards all over the world ever since.

You can catch a compilation of the award-winning films and festival entries in an amazing two-hour viewing experience, celebrating science on the big screen. SCINEMA premiere screenings will take place at cinemas around Australia from 28 May to 13 June. Tickets on sale now!