General Information info@imaginesciencefilms.org

Sponsorship sponsor@imaginesciencefilms.org

Submission & Programming programming@imaginesciencefilms.org

Programs programs@imaginesciencefilms.org

Volunteer volunteer@imaginesciencefilms.org

US Phone (718) 596-6404

Film Submissions
Imagine Science Films
Attn: Submissions
New Lab
19 Morris Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Imagine Science Films
New Lab
19 Morris Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

European Offices
Imagine Science France
16 Impasse Saint Sebastien
75020 Paris
Tel (France): +33 6 19 77 63 66

Middle East Offices
Imagine Science Films
NYU Abu Dhabi
P.O. Box 129188, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Imagine Science Films is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in existence since 2008 committed to promoting a high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers.

Our mission is to bridge the gap between art and science through film, thereby transforming the way science is communicated to the public and encouraging collaboration across disciplines.

Together, scientists, who dedicate their lives to studying the world in which we live, and filmmakers, who interpret and expose this knowledge, can make science accessible and stimulating to the broadest possible audience. Imagine Science Films is committed to drawing attention to the sciences, whether it is through art or our community outreach efforts.



What’s a Science Film, Anyway? by Alex Pasternack
“What’s magical about making films is what’s magical about exploring the frontiers of science: You can control for so much, but you can’t know in advance what’s going to happen. You can’t predict exactly what your subjects or your actors will do once the camera’s rolling any more than you can know precisely how your atoms will behave. Curious, you take measurements as things happen. You might see something you’ve never seen before.”

CITY SIGHTS: Imagine Science Films Annual Festival, by Julia Buntaine
“Opening night of the 8th annual Imagine Science Films Festival, held at Google headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, was a gathering of filmmakers, visual artists, and a variety of those in the sciences including climatologists, cosmologists, astronomers, and planetary scientists. Having attended the 7th annual festival opening night I knew that despite regimented ticket sales there are never enough seats – a good sign in a culture that still routinely ignores science and has probably never heard the term ‘sciart’.”

At World’s Top Science Film Fest, Record Numbers of Genre-Busting Films, by Cynthia Fox
“Sponsored by Google, Rockefeller and Columbia universities, and the two most-cited of all the world’s 14,000 science journals, Science and Nature, the 8th annual Imagine Science Film Festival, which travels the globe, featured more films (140) from more nations (30) than ever before when it landed in New York City October 16 to 24.”

Imagine a Marriage of Science and Art, by Mohammed Yahia
“The Imagine Science Film Festival, a diverse collection of films depicting the everyday relevance of science, has taken place for the first time in the United Arab Emirates between 19 and 21 February. The brainchild of Alexis Gambis, a visiting professor of biology and film at New York University Abu Dhabi, the festival focused on themes Gambis and his team felt were relevant to the region, such as water security and the interface between nature and technology.”



Imagine Science Films is proud to celebrate its 7th anniversary. Created in 2008 by geneticist and filmmaker Alexis Gambis, Imagine Science Films (ISF) has grown from a small film series at The Rockefeller University to  a major venue for the release of new and experimental works bridging the worlds of science and film.

In 2008, ISF founded the annual Imagine Science Film Festival, the first science film festival founded, and still run, by scientists. Each fall, the week long Imagine Science Film Festival celebrates science and art in venues around New York City.

In addition to the New York festival, ISF hosts satellite festivals around the world. Locations have included Berlin | Chicago | Dublin | Quito Bologna | Hong Kong | Athens | Kaluga | San Francisco | and Geneva.

To further engage the public with science through art and film, ISF hosts educational workshops, screenings and online events year round.

The Team

Alexis Gambis, Executive Director

Alexis is a French-Venezuelen scientist, filmmaker and founder of Imaginal Disc, a film production company focused on scientific storytelling. His work is interdisciplinary and diverse, yet focuses on bridging the sciences and the visual arts through film, exhibits and installations, research and teaching. He received his Ph.D in Molecular Biology from The Rockefeller University, a Masters in Bioinformatics from the University of Marne la Vallée and Bachelor of Arts from Bard College. He recently completed the New York University Graduate Film Program as a thesis student, and his first feature, The Fly Room, based on a the true life story of a pioneer geneticist from the 1920s debuted at the Woodstock Film Festival. Alexis is currently working on his second feature.

Nate Dorr, Director of Programming

Nate is a photographer and neuroscientist, though not usually at the same time. During the eight years that he operated a rodent behavioral phenotyping lab at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he kept equally busy photographing concerts for Impose Magazine and exploring New York’s overlooked neighborhoods and architectural history. His photography often focuses on passed-over areas that fall unnoticed between the more recognized, an interest that applies equally to the liminal filmmaking spaces between science and art, and between documentary and narrative. He received his BA in Neuroscience from Middlebury College. He also spent two years as Short Film Programmer at the Brooklyn Film Festival and three as Experimental Film Programmer.

Cassandra Flores, Festival Manager

Cassandra is a recent graduate of NYU Abu Dhabi, where she studied Visual Arts and Theater while soaking up what scientific knowledge she could via her classes and peers. She spent the past year working at one of the largest art galleries in Dubai, and is joining the Imagine Science team to further pursue her interest in the way the arts can be used in service of education and communication.

Allison Hanes, Outreach Coordinator
Allison received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Allison worked with the Schusterman Group: Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory 
at the Long Marine Laboratory, assisting set regulation standards on marine mammal noise pollution for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She completed her Master’s in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University in 2011. Working closely with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Conservation Through Public Health her independent research focused on disease transmission risks between humans and mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Following her MSc she directed the Rwanda based nonprofit Art of Conservation and launched local offshoot nonprofit Conservation Heritage-Turambe, using the arts and creative learning to teach children and their families about living healthy. She works with many nonprofits and professionals across the globe using conferences, events, publications, photography, film and digital media/marketing to share her experiences and knowledge. Between formal education, Allison has worked as a veterinary technician for over seven years and lived in five continents. She is passionate about the world, exploring new places and cultures, meeting unique and extraordinary people, learning, photography, film and would like to improve the health and livelihood of our planet through work as a conservationist, scientist and producer.

Özge Calafato, Programming Consultant

Özge Calafato studied Political Science in Istanbul and Journalism in London. Since 1999, she has worked as a journalist, editor and translator for several magazines focusing on photography, literature, contemporary art, film, jazz and travel. She has worked as an interpreter and reporter for several news publications and agencies, including the BBC World Service and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she has authored five books and translated several others. Calafato has worked for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) as Programming Manager and served as a selection committee member for SANAD, ADFF’s Development and Post-Production Fund. She has also worked as a programmer and consultant for a number film festivals and institutions including Documentarist, Doha Film Institute, DokuFest, Oslo Arabian Film Days, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), and Birds Eye View Film Festival. She is a co-founder and project director of the UAE National Film Library and Archive and a member of the publications committee for the online literary magazine altZine.net and e-book publisher altKitap.net. She currently works as the Project Manager for the Akkasah: Center for Photography at the New York University Abu Dhabi.

Charlotte Salvatico, Coordinator/Coordinatrice
Imagine Science Paris
Charlotte is a french scientist, filmmaker and painter. She worked for five years at the Ecole Normale Superieur (ENS, Paris), collaborating with physicist and chemists, to receive her PhD in Neuroscience, graduated by Pierre et Marie Curie university (Paris VI). In parallel, she created a short movie where the research thematic of her host PhD laboratory is the narrative framework. This project, supported by Paris Sciences et Lettres university (PSL) is a collaboration between ENS, students from the French film school Fémis and dancers from the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP). The scenario highlights the similarity between humanity and the deep brain. Humans, while dancing, are embedded in the same dynamic as the molecules she studied during her PhD. She is currently taking lessons in Art History in Ecole du Louvre (Paris), being truly devoted to science and art.
Lauren Aleza Kaye, Producer
Lauren is a freelance scientific animator making visualizations that explain the work of academics and medical professionals. With an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Harvard, her goals are to aid researchers with their visualization tasks and to reveal the mechanisms of nature through animated movies. Lauren is thrilled to join ISFF in order to broaden public interest in science.

Pina Kingman, Animator

Pina Kingman is an award-winning animator and filmmaker. Originally from Vancouver Canada, she is now based in Bergen, Norway. Her work focuses on telling scientific stories through animation in order to disseminate complex research and promote public awareness of science and medicine. She received her MSc in Biomedical Communications from the University of Toronto and a BSc in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British ColumbiaPina has also been an animator for Imagine Science Films for several years. Her short film about DNA repair, Our Resilient Genome, has screened in Norway, Sweden, Vienna and France, and recently won the Scientific and Educational Award at the St. Tropez International Film Festival. Pina is also working to showcase important science research to the public through art exhibitions, talks and film screenings. Through art, film, and animation, Pina hopes to help make science-education a little less daunting and a bit more fun.

Amani Magid, Regional Researcher

Amani Magid has a degree in Integrative Biology and a minor in Arabic from UC Berkeley. In her career as a scientist, she has worked as a researcher in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and managed biology lab classes at a community college. She soon realized her passion was in finding and locating science information and earned her Masters in Library and Information Science at University of Pittsburgh while interning at Bayer Material Science Library. She worked in Qatar for over 5 years as a Medical Librarian before her present position as a Science and Engineering Librarian at NYU Abu Dhabi. Amani’s interests include using mobile apps and video for science information literacy.

Board of Directors

Thomas Campbell Jackson, President

Thomas Campbell Jackson is the co-founder of the Pamela B. and Thomas C. Jackson Charitable Fund and other entities engaged in strategic planning and financial support for organizations promoting human health, lifelong humanistic science education, economic literacy, and rational inquiry. As the president of Zeitblom Analytics, Mr. Jackson consults in micro and macro health policy.He has over two decades of experience in public sector health policy, and was director of the City of New York’s Employee Health Benefits Program, which arranges health coverage for over a million city employees, retirees and their families.

Mr. Jackson received a BA in economics and German from Tufts University, and a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University. Mr. Jackson has also published children’s books.

Wendy Ettinger, Vice Chair

An award-winning producer and director, Wendy Ettinger co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2005 to fund and mentor women documentary filmmakers. She co-founded Gamechanger Films in 2013. the first equity fund dedicated to financing feature films directed by women. Gamechanger’s first film Land Ho premiered at Sundance 2014, their most recent film Lovesong will premiere at Sundance 2016. Wendy began her career producing the Academy-award nominated documentary, The War Room.  An ardent activist and philanthropist, Wendy believes deeply in the power of change through media, education, and the arts. She serves on the board of The Educational Foundation of America, Working Films and the 52nd Street Project.

Alexis Gambis, Secretary

Alexis is a French-Venezuelen scientist, filmmaker and founder of Imaginal Disc, a film production company focused on scientific storytelling. His work is interdisciplinary and diverse, yet focuses on bridging the sciences and the visual arts through film, exhibits and installations, research and teaching. He received his Ph.D in Molecular Biology from The Rockefeller University, a Masters in Bioinformatics from the University of Marne la Vallée and Bachelor of Arts from Bard College. He recently completed the New York University Graduate Film Program as a thesis student, and his first feature, The Fly Room, based on a the true life story of a pioneer geneticist from the 1920s, debuted at the Woodstock Film Festival. Alexis is currently working on his second feature.

Ehsan Pishyar, Treasurer

Ehsan Pishyar has a managerial position within 32Group, a worldwide holding company, committed to business strategies in the community. He is involved in Marketing, Business Operations and Project Development for 32Group. His duties extend over North America, Western Europe and the Middle East and involve making executive decisions in the divisions of diverse activities, notably financial and investment managements and placement of global financing opportunities. His goal is to provide Imagine Science Films with business experience, an international presence and insight into finances and business affairs.Mr. Pishyar received a BA in Russian Literature and a minor in Computer Science from Bard College. He is a member of the board of 32 Group and vice-president of professional club Servette FC 1980 SA.

Stuart Firestein, Educational Outreach

Dr. Stuart Firestein is the former Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences where his laboratory studies the vertebrate olfactory system, possibly the best chemical detector on the face of the planet. Aside from its molecular detection capabilities, the olfactory system serves as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of signaling and perception in the brain. His laboratory seeks to answer that fundamental human question: How do I smell?

Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience Firestein serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science. Recently he was awarded the 2011 Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, an Alfred Sloan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. His book on the workings of science for a general audience called Ignorance, How it drives Science was released by Oxford University Press in 2012.

Michael Purugganan, Program Development

Dr. Michael Purugganan received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines (1985), an M.A. from Columbia University (1986) and a Ph.D. in Botany with a Global Policy minor at the University of Georgia (1993). After obtaining his Ph.D., he did postdoctoral research as an Alfred P. Sloan Molecular Evolution Fellow at the University of California in San Diego, studying the evolution of development (1993-1995). Dr. Purugganan is a leader in the field of evolutionary and ecological genomics and his work focuses on identifying the molecular basis for evolutionary adaptations that occur in nature. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2006, he was the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Genetics at North Carolina State University, where he also won the Outstanding Faculty Research Award and the Sigma Xi Research Prize. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Young Investigator Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, is a Kavli Fellow, and in 2005 was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Purugganan is on the editorial boards of the journals Genome Biology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology, Trends in Plant Science and the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics.