What does it take to get your film into SCINEMA?

What does it take to get your film into SCINEMA?

Ever wondered what stands out to our SCINEMA judges? We got the inside scoop on what they look out for!


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Community screenings might have wrapped up this month, but we’re already looking ahead for SCINEMA 2020. Film submissions for next year will open in October 2019!

So, with that in mind, we thought we’d speak to one of our SCINEMA program producers, Ben Lewis, on what stands out in the crowd of science films.

“Strong story telling is important. Information isn’t a story – it’s important to connect to the audience on a human level with a story.”

How the story is presented is also critical in the judging process. Sometimes it’s not always about telling the whole story. Sometimes it’s about finding the angle that no one has told before.

“The film must have a science element at its core, but within that frame you can be as creative as you can be. Is it the science, or the people, or the application? Is it how it fits into society? Or even better – something completely different!”

“Don’t try and tell the whole story, just tell the best story,”

Of course, with any film making it’s not just about the information, it’s also about tying this story in with the visuals. Take 2019 winner of Best Film, The Face of a Stranger for example. The jury says that the film was “story telling at its best with layers of brilliant cinematography, amazing human connections; emotionally charged and totally engaging.”

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Winner of SCINEMA Best Film: The Face of a Stranger

Ben agrees that visuals are important.

“I look for films that are visually striking. That is something that is different, unique and appealing to audiences. We’re looking for something that makes people want to watch it.”

“We want something that excites the brain, and excites the heart,” he says.

As for length? That doesn’t matter. As long as the story is there, that’s all that matters!

“A feature can be just as good as a short, and vice versa. Some of the best films we’ve seen have been six minutes long and some have been an hour.”

With all that in mind, we can’t wait to see what you produce for SCINEMA 2020!

Keep an eye on our website for more details about when submissions open.