The Athena Cinema announced today it will take part in a first-of-its-kind national evening of Science on Screen on Monday, March 31. Seventeen independent theaters across the country will participate in this evening, which will feature a unique film and speaker presentation at each venue as part of its Science on Screen program. The Athena will screen Soylent Green with a talk featuring Ohio University Russ Professor of Chemical Engineering Gerri Botte, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The Athena chose to feature the 1973 sci-fi thriller for several reasons. “We wanted to pick a fun film that would get our audience excited about the topic,” says Operations Director Alexandra Kamody, “Soylent Green had a campy, cult classic aspect but still retained the message of societal anxieties concerning the environment. The Athena has been very involved with Ohio University’s Sustainability initiatives and we realized this would be a great way to integrate Science on Screen into that discussion.” Before the film, Botte will discuss her work with clean, renewable energy sources and technologies – including converting human wastewater into hydrogen for use in fuel cells, also known as "pee-to-power" -- followed by a Q&A.
The Athena’s next Science on Screen, slated to take place during the 41st Annual Athens
International Film + Video Festival (April 11th-17th) will feature a screening of Particle Fever paired with a talk by Professor and Chair of the Ohio University Physics and Astronomy Department, David Ingram. Particle Fever is a documentary that explores a group of physicists on the cusp of one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.
With Science on Screen, theaters pair a variety of films with science and technology experts. Each film serves as a jumping-off point for the expert speaker to explore a related scientific or technological topic in a way that engages general audiences – from time perception in Inception to the theoretical neurobiology of the zombies in The Night of the Living Dead. This program began in 2005 at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston, MA and has since expanded to other independent cinemas through a national grant initiative funded by the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and administered by the Coolidge. The Athena was among only 20 cinemas to receive a Science on Screen grant in 2013. This was the second year the Athena was selected to receive the grant.
"We're delighted to join with the Coolidge in expanding Science on Screen to independent theaters across the country and to celebrate the surprising insights and sheer fun of looking at great movies from a fresh scientific and technological perspective,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "Science and technology are fundamental to both the making of the modern world and our understanding of it, and the movies are a gateway to that exhilarating convergence of our two cultures, whether it's original films honored or developed through our own independent "studio system," Oscar-winning films like Gravity or Her, classic and cult favorites, and so on.”
The national evening of Science on Screen aims to highlight the rich and varied connections between science and film. Movie-and-speaker pairings will address such diverse concepts as time travel, human memory, robotics, space exploration, and green energy. Each participating theater will present a different program, with audiences nationwide experiencing the excitement of discovery as they enjoy some scientific enlightenment along with their popcorn.
The 17 cinemas participating in the national evening of Science on Screen are as follows:
Amherst Cinema, Amherst, MA; Athena Cinema, Athens, OH; Athens Ciné, Athens, GA; BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Brooklyn, NY; Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN; California Film Institute/Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael, CA; Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA; Dairy Centre for the Arts, Boulder, CO; Enzian Theatre, Maitland, FL; Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN; Hollywood Theatre, Portland, OR; The Little Theatre, Rochester, NY; Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI; Nickelodeon Theatre, Columbia, SC; SIFF Cinema, Seattle, WA; and The State Theatre of Modesto, Modesto, CA.
For a list of some of the Science on Screen events taking place on March 31, please see addendum below.
About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The New-York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan’s program in public understanding of science and technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.
Sloan’s Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past 15 years, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country – including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC – and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute.
The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs at Sundance, Tribeca, Hamptons International Film Festival and Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab and has developed such film projects as Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit sloan.org.
NATIONAL EVENING OF SCIENCE ON SCREEN – Monday, March 31
PROGRAMS AT A GLANCE
Amherst Cinema — Amherst, MA amherstcinema.org
*Grizzly Man — Director Werner Herzog chronicles the life and death of grizzly bear activist Timothy Treadwell, who with his girlfriend was killed by grizzlies in October 2003 while living among the bears in Alaska. Before the film, Dr. Richard Halgin, clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at UMass Amherst, explores the question: Was Treadwell a nature lover, an eccentric narcissist, or a person with an unusual psychiatric disorder?
BAM — Brooklyn, NY bam.org
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — Heartbroken over their failed relationship, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) turn to medically-induced amnesia, only to fall in love all over again—and repeat the same mistakes. Joseph LeDoux, director of the Emotional Brain Institute at New York University and author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life, discusses emotion
and memory following the screening.
Belcourt Theatre — Nashville, TN belcourt.org
For All Mankind — Director Al Reinert’s Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of the Apollo missions from the perspectives of the astronauts who made the harrowing but breathtaking journey from the earth to the moon. A discussion with Apollo mission engineers Brooks Moore and Aloysius (Al) Reisz follows the film.
Coolidge Corner Theatre — Brookline, MA coolidge.org
Paths of Glory — Stanley Kubrick’s antiwar classic stars Kirk Douglas as a World War I French colonel who takes on ruthless generals when his men are accused of cowardice after failing to complete an impossible mission. Before the film, Harvard experimental psychologist and acclaimed author Steven Pinker discusses human nature and why – as implausible as it may sound – we may be living in the most peaceable, least violent era in human history.
Hollywood Theatre — Portland, OR hollywoodtheatre.org
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure — Two totally excellent dudes (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) travel back in time to learn from influential historical figures for a history report. James Butler, a physics professor at Pacific University, and Todd Duncan, PhD director of the Science Integration Institute and physics instructor at Portland Community College, introduce the film with a talk entitled “Einstein’s Excellent Adventure: The Physics of Time Travel.”
The Little Theatre — Rochester, NY thelittle.org
*Another Earth — On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the solar system, an ambitious young student (Brit Marling) and an accomplished composer (William Mapother) cross paths in a tragic accident. After the screening, Adam Frank, professor of astrophysics at University of Rochester and co-founder of NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog, discusses parallel universes, followed by Q&A.
Contact: Athena Cinema Operations Director, Alexandra Kamody, email@example.com, 740-594-7382.
College of Fine Arts Manager of Marketing and Communications, Claire Berlin, at (740) 597-3340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.