The finalists of the Quantum Shorts film festival are announced!
Quantum Shorts is an annual public engagement competition organised by the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore and involving many scientific partners, including the UK’s own National Quantum Technologies Programme (via its outreach arm – Quantum City). The competition alternates each year between short films and flash fiction and this year, it’s all about the films!
After the Quantum Shorts film festival launched its call for entries in September 2022, filmmakers responded with 232 quantum-inspired films from 58 different countries – the most in the film festival’s history. The festival now presents its nine finalists.
The finalists hail from Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each film gives a different take on quantum physics in less than five minutes. Viewers will see dancers perform an interpretation of the observer effect, abstract audiovisual pieces probe space and time, and the many-worlds interpretation made into quantum comedy, among others.
"As a scientist, it was astonishing to see the range of interpretations of quantum physics: from entangled human feelings, over quantum as a form of destiny, to hypothetical future catastrophes,” says shortlisting judge Mariagrazia Iuliano at QuTech. “It is also impressive to experience how a rigid and strict physical model – which cannot be experienced in daily life – is brought to life in artistic movies.”
For making the shortlist, these entries win a one-year digital subscription to Scientific American and a USD 250 screening award. The finalists could be up for more honours. The First Prize and Runner Up of the festival will now be decided by Quantum Shorts’ eminent judges. You could have a say too. We invite you to cast your vote for the People’s Choice prize. Voting is now open on the Quantum Shorts website and closes at 11:59 PM GMT on 27 March 2023.
To enjoy the films, dive straight into them via the festival website at shorts.quantumlah.org, where you
can also find interviews with the filmmakers revealing behind-the-scenes stories.
In alphabetical order, the shortlisted films are:
- Boundary Of Time – Using old-school visual effects techniques, Director Kevin Lucero Less creates a metaphor for the arrow of time in this abstract short film
- Missed Call – A student grapples with his father’s health crisis at a distance in this short by Director Prasanna Sellathurai
- The Heart of the Matter – Filmmaker Betony Adams presents an atomistic take on the meaning of life while paying tribute to Louis de Broglie’s discovery of the wave nature of electrons
- The Human Game – Director Dani Alava portrays a dystopian future with quantum machines
- THE observer – An artistic take on the observer effect through screendance, a hybrid medium of cinematography and choreography, by Director Alma Llerena
- WHAT IS QUANTUM? – Using a combination of live action, green screen and stop-motion animation, Michael, Emmett and Maxwell Dorfman give their take on what quantum physics is.
- Clockwise – Inspired by Zeno’s Paradox and the recursive subdivision of space and time, Director Toni Mitjanit presents an experimental audiovisual piece of colour and tessellation
- Continuum – In this audiovisual film, the StoryBursts team, consisting of members from Australia and Singapore, give a creative response to research on gravitational waves by Dr Linqing Wen at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)
- Many Excuses Interpretation – In this quantum comedy by Paul, Felix, Alfie, Petra and Ezra Ratner, two brothers argue over broken gadgets and the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics
Congratulations to the finalists!