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The Cinemascience Festival is an international film festival which places the spotlight on science, cinema and the imagination. Taking place annually in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, this festival concept, unique in Europe, is the brain child of France’s CNRS (National Centre of Scientific Research). Now in its third year and attracting a growing number of spectators, the Cinemascience Festival is honoured to have French physicist and President of the international council for science Catherine Bréchignac and film maker Jean-Jacques Beineix as it patrons.
This year’s edition takes place from November 30th to December 5th , 2010.

Why cinema and science ?

Science and film fiction have very close ties. They cross paths, overlap, meet and mutually inspire each other. Since the very beginnings of film, cinematographers, screenwriters and film designers have been inspired by scientific research and discovery, often bringing to the screen stories that offer the public new perceptions of the modern world and an insight into the past.

Science is everywhere – present in each moment of our lives and this festival shows how the film world has embraced science and brought it into mainstream entertainment. From topics on cloning to global warming to detective sci-fi, science stamps its mark on every period of our existence and the film industry recognises this in its films.

Festival programming

The Cinemascience Festival renders science accessible to a public of all ages in an entertaining and original way.
The event showcases feature length motion pictures of all fiction genres – thrillers, dramas, romantic comedies, science-fiction, biopics - that use or make reference to areas that scientific research explores. Cinemascience’s philosophy is that each film serves as a springboard for a debate between film makers, spectators and CNRS researchers and in doing so, invites the public to discover the different fields of CNRS’ expertise.

The event hosts a creative and dynamic program of films coming from all over the world through its three main sections – international competition, premieres and retrospective. A mad scientist’s theme night, special screenings and focus sections add to the variety and widespread public appeal. Running alongside the film screenings, Cinemascience offers an exciting program of exhibitions, special events and workshops for high school students.

The Juries and prizes

Films in the International competition are judged on their cinematographic and story-telling qualities as well as on their scientific criteria by a Grand Jury made up of personalities from both the film industry and scientific fields. The Grand Jury award the Millésime prize, an honorific award sponsored by the winemakers André Luton. Four other awards are presented by the following juries :

  • The young jury award, composed of high school students and overseen by the Bordeaux education dept.
  • The young researchers award, overseen by the national research agency (ANR) ;
  • The audience award, sponsored by the CASDEN bank
  • The “Coup de Coeur” ? prize awarded by INSERM, the national institute of health and medical research.

The venues

Cinémascience takes over the classic 1920’s Femina Theatre in the centre of Bordeaux as its main cinema for the international competition, opening and closing ceremonies. Participating cinemas include UGC Ciné Cité, the Megarama and the Trianon. Other festival venues and partners include Bordeaux’s science museum Cap Sciences, the Mollat bookshop and Bordeaux University 1 Cinema Club. The festival village is housed in the Espace Saint Rémi, an 11th century church rehabilitated as a cultural centre.