Pune Science Film Festival

Pune is always happening. This time it was again something different.

First Pune Science Film Festival took place at National film archive of India (NFAI) in association with Vishwa Scientific (VS), Vigyan Prasar (VP) and Khagol Vishwa (KV). During the three days of event, there were screening of films, presentations and Docudramas.

Behind the Scene:

Pune Science Film Festival

Year 2012 is Tapapurti (completing 12 years) year of Khagol Vishwa. KV basically works in Astronomy has organized many outreach programs over the years like arranging Star Parties and Science Congress at Pimpri-Chinchwad. KV and VS two sister organizations decided to host Pune Science Festival. This festival initially had three parts exhibitions of research projects of 15 research institutes in Pune, interactions with eminent scientists and screening of science popularizing films. Experiencing the potential and depth each of these parts, it was decided to organize each past as event independently.

Speaking about the first-ever such festival, co-coordinator of the festival, Mayuresh Prabhune said, “The film medium is the most attractive and effective to reach out to the masses. The graphics and visuals are easier to connect and help understand the subject better.”  Prabhune said that though the films this year have been contributed by research centres and amateurs only, the festival will inspire more contributions from next year.

Day 1:

Prof. Deshmukh, Prashat Pathrabe, Dr. Bhatkar and Dr. Natu

Professor A.L. Deshmukh, president of Khagol Vishwa explained the importance of science films and bringing eminents scientists in front public for direct interacion.

Dr. Bhatkar said “ For the first time science film festival is organised other than by Indian science congress and it is like public private partnership program. Make films on scientist in India show what and how they changed the world. There is need of making films in regional languages and also using hightech facilties suuch as IPTV. Tomorrows directors, scientists are coming from these audience.”

Dr. Ranade told role of Vigyan Prasar in popularizing the science all over India. He said “After the invention of films making, in just a decade of time technology was introduced in India. Comparing this delay with other technologies, surely it was not that late. But still even today we are lagging in using it for science popularsation”

As 2012 is year of mathematics, film festival began with the screening of a film on the life of eminent mathematician Shriniwas Ramanujan titled — the ‘Enigma of S Ramanujan’. Mr. Nandan Khudyadi, alumnus of FTII and filmmaker this film talked about his experiences while shooting. Als he was very impressed by response to festival. About the film he said “Film was made 25 years back for National council for science and technolgy communication. I went to TIFR for gathering research material. Film was shot at Ramanujan’s home and his school.”

There was talk by Dr. Arvind Natu on Nature Inspired Technology.

Next film screened was award winning film at 99th Indian science congress (ISC). Home – our garden of eden.

There was another interactive session with Dr. Medha Khole, deputy director of IMD. She talked about – Extreme weather phenomena.

Last film of the day Electron ki Khoj produced by Vigyan Prasar.

Day 2:

Day started with film – Force of Nature. Documentary portrait of environmentalist David Suzuki, produced by Director Sturla Gunnerson.

X-ray ki khoj film produced by Vigyan Prsar was screened.

Special jury award winning film at ISC – The Dream Fulfilled was screened based on the challenges faced by DMRC during construction metro rail.

Another film made by Mr. Nandan Khudiyadi – C. V. Raman again got appreciation by audience.

In aternoon session Mr. Mayureh Prabhune, coordinator of festival presented project of Vishwa Scietific – Project Meghdoot which is researching the monsoon on difeerent levels. This project is exploring the sSocial effects of monsoon  and traditional knowledge of monsoon in different communities all over India.

There were other  films screened like The Darwin Puzzle and astronomical film – The Cosmic Collision.

Last film of second day was produced by Khagol Vishwa on Lonar crator featuring degradation of unique ecosystem in the salt water lake.

Day 3:

First film of the day was documentary film on Hubble space telescope produced by ESA. Arvind Paranjpye, Director of Nehru Planetorium Mumbai talked after film asnwering questions of audience right from astronomy to science in schools.

Film on biography of J. C. Bose produced by Vigyan Prasar was followed by the interactive session conducted by Ashok Khutwad of IMD – Amazing Antarctica. He spent almost a year on south pole for research.

Pune Science Film Festival finished with astronomical film – Journey to the stars.

During closing ceremony Ashok Khutwad promised to arranged film making workhop in summer vacation for students. Dr. Arving Ranade of Vigyan Prasar announced that VP along with Vishwa Scientic will host such science film festival in every district in Maharashtra. He also encourged studets to take part in next film festival organsied by Indian science congress.

Executive Committee of festival. Photograph by Mayuresh Konnur

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