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AFO 2011 Chemistry made Tasty

Academia Film Olomouc - the 46th International Festival of Science Documentary Films (AFO) takes place April 12 - 17, 2011. Celebrating the many charms of chemistry, the programme includes films on strictly science as well as molecular gastronomy. Other subjects include nature and neuropsychology of music; international and Czech films will compete in their respective sections.

Academia Film Olomouc
46th International Festival of Science Documentary Films
April 12 - 17, 2011
Olomouc / Czech Republic

From 12th to 17th April 2011, Olomouc is going to host the 46th International Festival of Science Documentary Films Academia Film Olomouc (AFO). Each year, the festival tries to show that science is not dry and boring at all. AFO presents science in a different light - as a dynamic, exciting, diverse and playful field full of interesting facts. The organizer of the festival, Palacky University in Olomouc, offers all visitors a chance to immerse themselves in an inspiring atmosphere full of screenings, discussions and meetings with renowned science professionals and film makers.

Czech documentary films screened at AFO 2011 include: All for the Good of the World and Nosovice; Cinematherapy; I Haven't Hurt Anyone; MemOry; Midnight; Moon Inside You; My Great-Grandfather Genghis Khan; Saving Edwards.

Chemistry All the Way
UNESCO has declared 2011 the International Year of Chemistry and this year's 46th Academia Film Olomouc is going to celebrate it with all honours. Chemistry is its main theme and also dominates the visual presentation of the festival. AFO is going to cover some less known, but all the more interesting and diverse fields of this science. First, it is going to present chemistry as a science which is literally everywhere around us, surrounding us at every turn. The festival is also going to commemorate the 100th anniversary of awarding the Nobel prize in chemistry to the first woman. In 1911, it was awarded to the scientist Marie Curie-Skłodowska for the discovery and study of radium and polonium. The history of chemistry and its alchemistic roots will be also presented in the screening of a new BBC series called Chemistry: A Volatile History (2010). It is an intriguing account of a fascinating story of chemical elements and various views on the cornerstones of our world.

Science - Crunchy and Appetizing
Chemistry is not only an analytical probe to the core of molecules - it can also smell good and taste good. This is what AFO will try to show its visitors in programme segments focused on molecular gastronomy and the flavour and odour chemistry. In the first one, the documentaries will take the spectators to visit famous restaurants where the desire to experiment knows no bounds. After the projection, the spectators can discuss the films with the main guest of the section, Professor David Cassi from The University of Parma.

They can not only look into the scientific basics of this field, but also actually taste it during the lecture of Professor Miroslav Raab, who is going to present molecular cooking under the direction of Dušan Metelka, the chef of Majestic hotel. The world of pleasant smells will get some room, but so will the unpleasant ones. Both different worlds will be presented in a documentary in which a former AFO guest Nigel Marven quests for the most repulsive stench in the world.

From Nature to the Neuropsychology of Music
Besides the aforementioned series Chemistry: A Volatile History, some other documentaries produced by the respected BBC are also going to appear at the festival. After the documentary series Planet Earth, which gained well-deserved success at AFO, the spectators will have a chance to see a brand-new spectacular series, this time called simply Life. It will be presented by its executive producer Martha Holmes herself. It took five years to make this ten-episode series which focuses on different strategies enabling animals and plants to survive in the most fantastic places on Earth.

The spectators can learn about the roots of British scientific series as Planet Earth or current Life in the lecture of Timothy Boon, the curator of the Science Museum in London. Boon will present the origins of scientific programmes on the example of the series Secrets of Nature, which was created during the years 1922-1933 and was a breakthrough in its time. This year's retrospective section will be devoted to this series.

The spectators who found the last year's section on bioacoustics interesting will be pleased by this year's programme segment about the neuropsychology of music. To be more precise, about the science which is concerned with what it is that fascinates us about music, why we listen to it and how a musician's brain is different from the brain of an ordinary man. The guest of this section is the director of the Centre for Music and Science at University of Cambridge Ian Cross, who is involved in investigations of the perception of tonal structures and of the role of culture in shaping musical cognition.

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