Film by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster tells story of high schoolers competing in International Science and Engineering Fair
Science Fair -- the endearing documentary that won audience awards at both Sundance and SXSW -- will make its theatrical debut September 14, National Geographic has announced.
The film directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster follows high school-age participants in ISEF -- the International Science and Engineering Fair, which bills itself as "the world's largest international pre-college science competition." The finals are held annually in the U.S., drawing young people from around the world who showcase their projects in hopes of earning a share of $4 mil. in prize money.
Science Fair's characters are engaged in work with potential impact on medicine, computer science, aerospace, and other disciplines. But part of the film's charm is how modest the kids are about their accomplishments -- which may owe something to the fact that they tend not to be the most popular students in their schools.
The documentary puts at least equal emphasis, if not more, on the personalities and personal stories of the kids as on their scientific work. One of the film's cutest scenes shows the characters taking part in one of the event's most highly-anticipated activities -- the ISEF dance.
"Although they're brilliant, they're teenagers too," Costantini noted in an interview with Nonfictionfilm.com at Sundance. "We wanted to capture kind of the joy and the spirit of the international high school science fair. "
Here's the new trailer:
National Geographic acquired Science Fair after its impressive performance at major festivals. It will air on the cable channel at a future date, following its theatrical run. NatGeo has recommitted itself to documentary films in recent years, releasing such titles as Brett Morgen's Jane; LA 92, directed by Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin, and Diana: In Her Own Words, a documentary about Princess Diana executive produced by Tom Jennings.
Below, watch our interview with Science Fair directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.