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Film & Science Initiative

    Film & Science Initiative

    The Woods Hole Film Festival’s Film and Science Initiative is a program designed to accelerate collaboration and conversation between scientists and filmmakers. The goal of the Initiative is to provide opportunities to connect filmmakers and scientists to help them create films and other visual media that helps to improve public understanding of science.

    The Initiative will provide opportunities for scientists and filmmakers to work together to create impactful films about science. Through the Initiative’s workshops, panels, fellowships and conferences, scientists and filmmakers will develop expertise to collaborate and create visual media that is both informative and engaging.

    Aspects of this Initiative are incorporated into the annual Festival as part of the broader mission. Through the ongoing Bringing Science to the Screen program, the Festival includes a substantial number of science-focused films in the annual Festival program and year-round series. The Science and Storytelling program brings together scientists, filmmakers and screenwriters during the Festival for topical panel discussions.


    • Film/Visual Media Production Partnership: create and produce science focused films and visual media.
    • Filmmaker Fellowship/Incubator: one year opportunity for up to 4 fellows to work on a film in Woods Hole. Connect filmmakers with studio space, access to leaders in ocean and environmental science, filmmaking mentorship and expert advice.
    • Intensive: 2 month program for filmmakers with science-focused works-in-progress
    • Bringing Science to the Screen Mini-Fests: event-oriented mini-fests throughout the year.
    • Fiscal Sponsorship: Festival serves as a fiscal sponsor for science focused films.

    Key personnel: Judy Laster, Megan Sanchez-Warner, Hanumant Singh, Rachel Somer, Hortense Gerardo, Beth Murphy,

    Note: Due to the pandemic, the Incubator, Intensive and Mini-Fests are on hiatus until the it is safe to proceed with in-person programs.

    Film/Visual Media Production Partnership

    Completed 2021:

    BRUCE AND ALVIN, co-production Seftel Productions and Woods Hole Film Festival Film & Science Initiative.

    Photo Credit Mark Chester

    A short documentary about the history and future of Alvin, one of the world’s only remaining publicly-funded manned submersibles, as told through the eyes of long-time Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution pilot Bruce Strickrott. We learn about the inspiration for this unlikely hero of the sea whose capacity to help us to see the deepest parts of the world’s oceans in person has lead to discoveries that were once considered to be impossible. As a pilot and program manager, Bruce views his job as one which allows him to change lives by taking scientists to the ocean depths. As one of a handful of people on earth who operates this vehicle, Bruce is aware of the importance of what he does and of the need to pass on this knowledge to future generations to support science and discovery.


    Our Future, Our Fight, docuseries co-production Principle Pictures and Woods Hole Film Festival Film & Science Initiative.

    OUR FUTURE, OUR FIGHT celebrates the young activists and scientists tackling the climate crisis. 

    Episode 1: Wildfires –  In this pilot episode, Jonah Gottlieb, a teen moved to action because of wildfires raging in his backyard, investigates the connection between climate change and fire and how the Indigenous practice of cultural burns can offer solutions.  It’s an inspiring look at the movement to save the planet from the teens who say, this is OUR FUTURE, this is OUR FIGHT.

    Screenings: 2021 Premiere 30th Woods Hole Film Festival; 2022 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capitol; Anapolis Film Festival; Indie Short Fest; Cleveland International Film Festival; River Run Film Festival




    Completed: 2019.

    Super Reefs: The Future of Coral, co-production Northern Light Productions and Woods Hole Film Festival Film & Science Initiative. The short documentary Super Reefs: The Future of Coral premiered on May 16, 2019 in Woods Hole to a full house.

    Anne Cohen is a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she studies the impact of climate change on corals. Through her research, she and her team have discovered that some coral populations appear to be withstanding heatwaves that cause other corals to bleach and die. Called “Super Reefs”, these corals are of great scientific and conservation interest because they have potential to survive ocean warming and produce larvae that can help to regrow reefs devastated by climate change.

    So far, just a handful of Super Reefs have been discovered but there are more.  Anne and her team are working to locate them and provide coral reef nations with the information needed to incorporate Super Reefs into Marine Protected Areas to maximize their chances of survival.  Through her scientific research she is working to understand what makes reefs “Super”.

    It is this scientific understanding that will provide the best chance to locate and save the reefs.

    The short film Super Reefs: The Future of Coral tells the story of Anne Cohen’s science and is the first project produced under the auspices of the new Woods Hole Film Festival Film and Science Initiative. This film was produced in conjunction with Boston’s Northern Light Productions with funding from the Atlantic Donor Advised Fund.

    Production still from Follow the Journey

    Follow the Journey: The North Atlantic Right Whale Documentary (working title), feature documentary work-in-progress by Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth, Film-Truth Productions

    Follow the Journey: The North Atlantic Right Whale Documentary is a feature-length documentary that follows the epic journey of endangered right whales from their calving grounds off of Florida and Georgia to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in Canada, woven with the stories of the researchers, rescuers, artists and advocates who uncover challenges that face the species and illuminate discoveries along the way.

    To support the Film and Science Initiative, please contact us at for more information or Donate Here.