Science Film Festival … and, of course, the mouse

The film <em>Simply Complex</em> was awarded for the high level of visual craftsmanship it uses to explain genetics
The film Simply Complex was awarded for the high level of visual craftsmanship it uses to explain genetics | Copyright: Scottish Documentary Institute

How does DNA work? Is organic plastic environmentally friendly? What would the rain forest be like without leafcutter ants? And what are those curious figures being created in a workshop at the foot of Mount Fuji? Difficult questions don’t necessarily require complicated answers. The awardees of the Science Film Festival provide proof of that.

Armin built something to celebrate the first of April. He put two blocks on a rail, placed a box on top of them and poured a magical liquid into the box. He then removed the blocks from under the box and the box began to float. He then altered the experiment and was able to fly through the room on a carpet. Is this possible?

Armin is, of course, none other than Armin Maiwald, the father of the Sendung mit der Maus (The Show with the Mouse), who has explained the world to generations of German children with his unmistakable voice. And there’s no doubt that the carpet can actually fly. The only question is: how?

Science Film Festival

It is not at all surprising that Maiwald and his team raked in one of the awards of the 2014 Science Film Festivals for their decades of work and their “quality science television for all ages” – though they call their approach “fun and factual stories.” The show with the magnet rails that made carpets fly was awarded representatively.

Science can be entertaining. The credo has always been pursued by The Show with the Mouse , but also holds true for the other awardees of the festival organized by the Goethe-Institut. What can we learn from leafcutter ants? Will we soon only have organic plastic bags? Could better robots have prevented the Fukushima disaster? These are the questions that their compelling and informative films answer. The six films chosen by an international jury come from Canada, Japan, Scotland and Germany. Today, the awards were handed out at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

The awardees:

The Visual Effects Award: Simply Complex
Simply Complex

IPST Education Award: Annedroids – New Pals

The Eco Film Prize: Nine-and-a-Half: Bio Plastic

Siemens Discovery Award: Wildlife: Sophisticated Farmers – Leaf Cutter Ants

Mercedes-Benz Science Film Award: The Show with the Mouse: Magnet Rails

The Prize of the Jury: Robot Revolution

In 2015, the Science Film Festival will focus on light. It will help visitors discover the different roles light and its applications play in our everyday lives and what it reveals about the nature of the universe. The festival will take place from 1 October until 20 December.