94 films screened at international science festival in Bhopal; India dominates prize list

BHOPAL, Jan 24:  Nine Indian science movies, which highlighted issues ranging from  sustainable development to climate change, received awards in various categories at an international film festival that concluded here on Tuesday, organisers said.

More than 90 films, including 33 from abroad, were screened during the International Science Film Festival of India (ISFFI) which was organised as a part of the India International Science Festival (IISF).             After the screening of these films during the three-day event, 13 movies were selected for various awards by the jury, said Nimish Kapoor, a science communicator working in Vigyan Prasar (an autonomous organization of the Department of Science and Technology) and convenor of the film festival.

He said the science film festival had got 437 entries, of which 61 Indian and 33 foreign films (total 94) were selected for screening. Besides India, films from various countries, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States were screened during the festival.  Among the award winning science movies, nine were from India and one each from the US, the UK, the Philippines and Iran, Kapoor said. Indian movie “Hanle: India’s First Dark Sky Reserve” got the first prize in the “Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development” category. Another Indian movie “Struggle for Survival” got the first prize in “Science, Technology and Innovation to Address Climate Change” category, while American entry “Biophysical Field Methods: Gobabeb” secured the top position in the “Science, Technology and Innovation for Better Life” category, Kapoor said. “Wonders of Hemalkasa” got the special jury prize, while three movies, including “Acharya P C Ray: The Nationalist Scientist”, got the special jury mention prize, he said. Debobrat Ghose, editor of ‘Science India’ magazine, said the 12-minute-long movie “Acharya P C Ray: The Nationalist Scientist” was made in just 20 days.

The film has been directed by science filmmaker Nandan Kudhyadi, written by Prof Rajiv Singh (of Delhi university) and produced by Vijnana Bharati (a voluntary organisation), Ghose said. Acharya Ray, best remembered as the father of chemical science in India, is mentioned as a “revolutionary in the garb of a scientist” in British-era police records, he said.

The film commemorates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (which commemorate 75 years of independence) and showcases the rich contribution made by Indian scientists in the freedom  struggle, Ghose added.  (PTI)