Thursday 14 March 2013

Ellipse the Movie

Sci Fi London Ellipse - Emma in Bromley
I thought I'd share this press release with you because, quite frankly, I thought it sounded like a great film and I'd like to watch it myself... also, anything at all which helps encourage girls towards science gets a thumbs up from me, afteral, sciences were my favourite subjects at school!

Ellipse the Movie
Film and science worlds collide at the Royal Observatory

A unique collaboration between SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival and The Royal Observatory Greenwich just wrapped on their co-produced film, ELLIPSE.

The film was shot on location at the Queen’s House and The Royal Observatory Greenwich – a sumptuous backdrop to a story which aims to inspire and encourage interest in science and the creative arts. It will premiere at the BFI Southbank on Friday 3rd May 2013.

What makes this film project so extraordinary is the authenticity of the real science side. At the core of the film is real research data from NASA's Kepler mission and EXOPLANET app. Hanno Rein, from the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton has chosen several stars with Exoplanets to feature on screen and in the accompanying educational pack for schools written by Dr Lewis Dartnell and Marek Kukula, the Public Astronomer at the Observatory.

The film starts off in 17th century London where Louise de Kérouaille, a mistress of Charles II and keen amateur mathematician, persuades the King to build an observatory in Greenwich. She encounters an unusual character, LEO (Brian Bovell). Centuries later, RO (Deborah Bouchard), a young girl also meets LEO and her interest in astronomy begins. As an astrophysicist in adult life, working with real NASA data, RO can investigate whether we are really alone.

Louis Savy, Festival Director, SCI-FI-LONDON says: “Science fiction film has been a key influence on so many of today’s scientists as film sparked their imaginations when they were kids. I want to contribute to making those sparks for today’s generation. Also, I must have seen over 10,000 sci-fi shorts and features coming through the festival and think it’s about time we made one!”

Award-winning Ilana Rein directs Ellipse. She says: "I love that so many incredibly talented people are on board for Ellipse – it proves to me that people recognize that we are creating a film that will spread inspiration through art. I know that women are vastly underrepresented in the sciences and we hope to help be a part of changing that in the coming generation. Having the Royal Observatory as a location is a filmmaker's dream and the fact that it's a true sci-fi story filmed there adds to the excitement."

Encouraging girls towards science
Women are vastly underrepresented in science, and we need thoughtful, positive strategies to engage young girls in science subjects at school. Ellipse begins with a 10 year old girl in a London park, and shows her successful journey as an astrophysicist, leading a crucial mission to the discovery of life in other solar systems. The female lead and real NASA data used in the film work together: Ellipse encourages girls to believe there is room for women in the sciences.

Crowd-funding films
The producers of the film needed to fund this film as cuts to the Observatory's budget wouldn't allow for this type of project. Therefore the film has had to use a crowd funding platform,, to help finance the project. The details are here:

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