Ebert Symposium to feature IMAX film, astronaut videographer, storytelling with data

Former astronaut Terry Virts will be a featured guest for the first Roger Ebert Symposium on Oct. 1, talking about his role in shooting the IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet,” which will be screened free of charge as the capstone to the event. Photo courtesy Terry Virts

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Roger Ebert Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” has celebrated movies each spring for two decades in downtown Champaign and at the University of Illinois.

The first Roger Ebert Symposium will explore the cinematic presentation of science and related subjects – bringing together an IMAX film shot from space, the former NASA astronaut who shot much of it, the film’s writer/director, and a diverse collection of visualization experts, journalists, scientists, media experts, artists and designers.

The one-day symposium, coming to the Illinois campus Oct. 1, will highlight interactive storytelling, data visualization and connections between the arts and sciences – all with an eye on the power of cinematic arts to bring a deeper understanding of nature, society and the universe.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held in the auditorium of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana, starting at 9 a.m. It will feature three visually rich, interactive panel discussions, as well as opportunities to preview movie clips.

Poster for “A Beautiful Planet”

Capping the day will be a free screening of the IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet,” narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. The screening will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Goodrich Savoy 16 IMAX theater, 232 Burwash Ave., Savoy, which is co-sponsoring the event.

Much of the film was shot from the International Space Station, with NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory collaborating on the opening and closing virtual scenes of flight through intergalactic space, based on scientific data.

Tickets for the film and the symposium are not required, but preference will be given to individuals who pre-register online. Online registration will open on the Ebert Symposium website in the near future.

Titled “Empathy for the Universe: Storytelling and Data Visualization,” the symposium is a tribute to film critic Roger Ebert five years after his death. The event is a collaboration between the College of Media, the Ebert Center and NCSA. The theme is drawn from Ebert’s belief that “movies are the most powerful empathy machine in all the arts.”

“The symposium embodies the principles Roger stood for, including empathy, compassion and inclusion, whether we are talking about the earth, the cosmos or our oceans,” said Chaz Ebert, Roger’s widow and co-founder of Ebertfest, who established the endowment of the Ebert Center with Roger. “We will show in an emphatic way that science and the arts are not mutually exclusive, but share a bond that results in greater benefits to humanity.”

Editor’s notes: For additional information about the event or to reach Donna Cox, contact Kristin Williamson at NCSA, 217-343-1594 or kwillia8@illinois.edu.

Source: Illinois NEWS BUREAU

 

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Ebert Symposium to feature IMAX film, astronaut videographer, storytelling with data
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Ebert Symposium to feature IMAX film, astronaut videographer, storytelling with data
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Roger Ebert Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” has celebrated movies each spring for two decades in downtown Champaign and at the University of Illinois.