To Infinity and Beyond: The Polytech Film Festival Opens in Moscow

Oct 19, 2016 — 13:00
— Update: Oct. 19 2016 — 10:32
Oct 19, 2016 — 13:00
— Update: Oct. 19 2016 — 10:32
"JABBED," a film showing as part of the festival, discusses the role of vaccination in modern society. Polytech

Climate change, virtual reality and a masterclass on eating insects are just some of the highlights of the upcoming 360° Science and Technology Film Festival which kicks off tomorrow in collaboration with Moscow's Polytechnic Museum. Over the course of the festival 20 films inspired by science and technology will be screened at venues including Karo 11 Oktyabr, the Center for Documentary Film and the Multimedia Art Museum. The aim? To encourage Muscovites to look at the world a little differently.

From posing probing questions about our progress-crazed cyber world to examining whether the future we are heading toward is better or worse than our present reality, the Polytech Film Festival doesn’t shy away from life’s big questions.

Alongside a competition program in which films will be judged by members of the festival jury, there will be a “Technology and People” series focused on our interactions with technology and an extensive kids’ program for tech-geeks of the future.

A festival wouldn’t be a festival without a host of special guests and events, including Q&As, lectures and discussions with the likes of American Research Psychologist Robert Epstein, directors Andreas Johnsen and Yael Melamede and geneticists Vera Izhevskaya and Valery Ilyinsky.

Topics ranging from genetic testing to the civil rights of animals will be deliberated through discussions and documentaries. And if you do get confused, it shouldn’t be down to your command of Russian. All films will be screened in their original language — the majority are in English — with Russian subtitles.

Festival runs through October 30. For more information click here

Festival Highlights

Film: “Lo and Behold: Reveries Of the Connected World”.

This movie is Oscar-nominated director Werner Herzog’s chronicle of the virtual world — from its genesis to its outermost reaches. Viewers are taken on an imaginative exploration of the digital landscape of today. Herzog explores how our many online worlds have shaped the way in which practically everything in the real world works — from business to education and space travel to healthcare. At the very heart of the film is the complex question of how this affects our own personal relationships. It's thought-provoking experiment and well worth a watch.

English with Russian subtitles. Screening October 20-23 in various locations.

Discussion: Can search engines impact elections?

Robert Epstein’s research has been widely discussed in the media. A senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and the author of 15 books, Epstein has defined two behavioral effects: Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and Search Suggestion Effect (SSE). This discussion with journalist and cultural commentator Yury Saprykin will explore whether search engines like Google can influence our decisions, actions, feelings and our votes in elections without us realizing it. Prepare to be freaked out.

October 27 at Karo 11 Otyabr at 8 p.m.

Film: “Bugs” and a Surprise Party

A special screening of the “Bugs” documentary will be presented by the director Andreas Johnsen alongside cast members Josh Evans, a researcher of new flavors and Jose Carlos Redon, a chef, a breeder of larvae and an expert at cooking Mexican insects. This will be followed by a Q&A in which audience members will have the chance to question the director and the characters followed by a surprise party at the Danilovsky market for those who have particularly adventurous palates.

October 28 at 9 p.m at Danilovsky Market.

Film: “This Changes Everything”

“This Changes Everything” is prominent Canadian director Avi Lewis’ call to action, inspired by the eponymous internationally bestselling book by Naomi Klein. It was filmed over 211 days in nine different countries on five different continents around the world taking over four years to complete. “This Changes Everything” is an epic attempt to evidence the devastating effects that climate change is having upon our planet. The film is both shocking and a rousing call to action.

October 21 (9 p.m) and October 26 (8 p.m) at Karo Oktyabr

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