FUNK (ФАНК), the Contemporary Science Film Festival

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FUNK is a Russian acronym for the Contemporary Science Film Festival (Festival Aktualnogo Nauchnogo Kino), a novel-format film festival featuring the most interesting full-length documentaries about science from all over the world produced in the last five years. The project has won the Russian Sponsorship Award 2018.

The Festival’s format

The FUNK Festival’s events have taken a variety of different formats, including the Science Weekend held together with the I Love Science Festival, city-wide festival events, science “battles” called Science Slams, and Science Film Days. This varied approach helps spread science-related knowledge to all audiences, from pros to amateurs, and serves as a means to expanding and enriching regional communities’ cultural agendas by helping raise popularity of science and build communities of people who are keen on implementing cultural and educational projects. Over the five years since its inception, the Festival has been successful in forging a large community of experts and researchers who actively participate in various large-scale educational events.

Road shows

Since 2018, a part of the Festival’s program has been following an unorthodox action-packed format of a road show including film viewings, master classes for children, VR film shows, discussions of films, Science Slams, and the All-Russian Laboratory.
4 such road shows were held in 2019 in the cities of Dzerzhinsk, Pyt-Yakh, Gubkinski, Blagoveshchensk and Svobodny (Amur Oblast).

Science Slams

Science Slams are stand-up shows with researchers and developers acting as stage performers. Each participant is given just 10 minutes to present his or her project in an exciting and captivating way. The 2019 Science Slam final was hosted by the city of Tobolsk where it took on a new format of a theatrical performance dubbed Science on Stage. In addition to presenting the results of their studies, researchers were required to illustrate them by means of short sketches. The event’s main prize, a trip to the international documentary film festival Academia Film Olomouc held in the Czech Republic, went to Moscow’s Artur Zalewski, a post-graduate student with the Moscow State University’s Department of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics for his presentation titled HIV: At Home with Strangers. 

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