SCINEMA Festival Winners Announced — HILLEMAN Wins Best Documentary

Australia, France, Poland, UK and the USA were all represented as the winners of the 2016 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival were announced June 10th.


Established in 2000, SCINEMA is an international science film festival providing a platform for filmmakers, professional, amateur and student, to showcase their science films, series and documentaries. Six winners were chosen from over 1,300 entries from 80 countries, for awards in Best Film, Best Short Film, Best Documentary, Best Experimental/Animation Film, Award for Technical Merit and Award for Scientific Merit.



Maratus by Simon Cunich (Australia)

When a garbage collector takes a photo of a time colourful spider, he has no idea how it will change his life.

Jury comment: We loved this personal story of the heavy metal rocking garbage collector turned unlikely spider-hunter and ecologist. Funny and moving, this film will change your perception of who a scientist is.



The Amazing Life Cycle of the European Eel by Sofia Castello y Tickell (UK)

Did you know that the Romans kept European eels as pets and adorned them with jewelry? Today, they continue to travel over 12,000 km back and forth from the Sargasso Sea to complete their life cycles.

Jury comment: A charmingly crated short revealing a marine mystery, this film sparks a child-like wonder and awe at the overlooked and humble eel.



HILLEMAN–A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children

by Donald Mitchell (USA)

An American scientist succeeds in developing more than half of the vaccines children receive today, including the MMR vaccine. These have saved 8 million lives every year since the mid-1960s, and yet few know his name. His unprecedented achievements place him among the greatest scientists of all time and reveal the irony of saving us from our worst fears.

Jury comment: This was a fascinating account of a scientist we’d never heard of, yet who has changed the face of modern medicine forever. Why have we never heard this before now? An important story well told.



Metamorphosis of plants by Urszula Zajaczkowska (Poland)

This unique film is the result of two years spent watching and analyzing the movements and metamorphoses of plants. To a frenetic beat a ballet dancer mimics and reflects the movements of plants that remain invisible to our naked eye, revealed through time-lapse photography.

Jury comment: A gorgeous film that gives a new insight into how plants work and grow, without saying a word.



Corpus by Marc Héricher (France)

A complex chain reaction brings human organs to life. This mechanism generates an act of creation. But this creation, can it be actually produce by a machine?

Jury comment: Mesmerizing to watch, this film made us reflect on the chain of cause and effect and the way our body systems intertwine.



Wonders of Life – Size Matters by Paul Olding (UK)

Professor Brian Cox travels across the globe to uncover the secrets of the most extraordinary phenomenon in the universe: life. In Size Matters he visits Australia to explore how the size you are dictates which forces of nature influence your life, and how it also influences your ‘speed of life’.

Jury comment: Once again an outstanding offering from the BBC. Brian Cox never fails to please.


The winning films were shown exclusively at Festival premiere screenings across Australia on Saturday, June 18th. SCINEMA International Science Film Festival is presented by Australia’s Science Channel and supported by major partners BBC Knowledge Australia and Hostworks.


Australia’s Science Channel is Australia’s first dedicated publishing platform for science stories. Bringing together compelling video, audio and written content from Australia’s top Universities, Research Institutions and Scientific Organizations as well as the independent production sector, this ground-breaking web platform is free to all Australians. Australia’s Science Channel is developed and operated by The Royal Institution of Australia.

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