BSFF 2019 shortlist and winners

For the past several months we invited submissions from amateur and professional filmmakers alike to our short science film competition. The submissions could either be science fact or science fiction, but had to be less than ten minutes long.

We received 26 films from around the UK, and further afield, and whittled them down to our final 16!

The shortlisted films were sent to our judges, who included Malcolm Love, science communicator and lecturer at the University of the West of England; Andrew Glester, host of The Cosmic Shed podcast; and Gabriela Staniszewska, Bristol-based multi-award-winning filmmaker.

Read on to watch some of the shortlisted films… and find out who this year’s winners were!

Science Fact category (amateur)

Gut feeling

Robbie I’Anson Price 

How does an unbalanced diet unbalance how you feel?

How does the bar-headed goose fly in high altitude?

Amy Hong

This film illustrates both the physiological and environmental adaptations used by the incredible bar-headed goose, with footage shot in Tibet and home-made animation.

Targeting the heart of sepsis

Sarah Rixham, Elsa Loissel and Brian Johnston

Sepsis kills 4-5 people every 60 minutes in the UK: what can research do to help? Sepsis is deadly, fast-moving and hard to spot, but new research may help doctors identify it faster and give more people a chance of survival.

The dinosaurs in the garden

Emma Salkeld

A short film about chickens, not eggs!

Blackouts and the brain

Sara Din

A common result of alcohol consumption is forgetting parts of the night before — a phenomenon called blackout memory. This film delves into how this might happen by looking at the influence of alcohol on the hippocampus, a key brain area involved in memory.

Hexagons in science and nature

Anish Mistry

Hexagons are a prominent shape in the solar system, from the smallest, benzene, to one of the largest, a cloud pattern at Saturn’s north pole. If you look around you will be sure to see how common this shape is in everyday life, which makes you wonder if there is something special about it…

Back to the beginning: killing infection with infection

Robert Ramirez Garcia, Erin Hutton, Ahmed Wobi and Jenny Wing Haang Mak

What if Alexander Fleming’s petri dish was brought into the future in 2050? Follow us and see if we can kill infection with infection.

Runner up — Shepherd moons 101

Andy Roberts

A short film about a wonderfully unique type of moon — the shepherd moons. What they are, how they work and where you can find them.

Winner — Theory of mind

Sonya Kaiser

This film explains the concept of ‘theory of mind’ and how it develops in typical children. It demonstrates the famous Sally-Anne task, showing one child who fails the task and one who succeeds.

Science Fact category (professional)

Disarming the mind

Adam Levy

For decades, Colombia has been haunted by violence. Now, following a peace treaty, thousands of former fighters are being reintegrated into society. But can scientific research help Colombia’s ex-combatants to leave their past behind?

Fermi 10X10

Laurence Arcadias

For the 10-year anniversary of the NASA Fermi Space Telescope launch, 10 scientists share their best Fermi moments in 10 seconds.

Tread lightly

Dilruba Tayfun

You are cordially invited to tread lightly. The film aims to refresh your understanding of the intelligent networks we tread upon daily, particularly that of mighty mycelium! Contemplate the pre-eminence of our contemporary internet as Nature’s extension; not exclusively as a human invention.

Runner up — What happens when you get struck by lightning?

Dom Burgess

Third degree burns, brain damage and heart attacks. Dom Burgess investigates what happens to your body when you are struck by lightning and why high voltage electricity is just, like, really not good for you! Prepare to be SHOCKED!

Winner — A voice above nature

Annie Moir

The powerful call of the humpback whale fills our oceans in a way our species will never understand.

Science Fiction category

Runner up — Dodo in the room

Ege Kökel

‘Dodo in the Room’ explores what it means to bring an extinct species back through the lens of a companionship with an unextinct dodo. A fictional interview with the first Viennese Dodo owner invites people into a world where we cohabit with unextinct species.

Winner — The carbon farmer

Andy Clark

A Carbon Farmer reflects on his connection to the peat moor that his family have been managing for generations, helping to tackle climate change, and providing for the population. Could this be the future of peatland conservation?

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