Grab some popcorn! Broadway’s Near Now studio for arts, design and innovation have put together this list of films, TV and other examples of things to watch at home during the festival. With many titles free-to-watch and some requiring access to on demand platforms, you’re sure to find something to pass the time during half term while having fun, encouraging curiosity and learning something new.
Kids Invent Stuff
Age Rating: suitable for all ages | Runtime: <15mins per episode | Where to watch: kidsinventstuff.com | FREE
As seen on Tomorrow’s World Live, The One Show, BBC News Online, and at Broadway during FOSAC 2018! Kids Invent stuff is a brilliant Youtube channel where kids get their inventions made.
Presenters Ruth and Shawn set a new invention challenge every month, each with a new theme and a new opportunity for children aged 4–11 to have their invention ideas brought to life.
For their current challenge they’re asking kids to submit ideas for Crazy Exercise Machines – inventions to make exercising more exciting! The closing date is the 25th February 2021. You can download a worksheet for the challenge here. Happy inventing!
Animate Projects: I’m Only Human
Age Rating: unrated, suitable for all ages | Runtime: 3–6min | Where to watch: see animateprojects.com | FREE
Three short animations commissioned by Derby-based Animate Projects that that explore what it means to be human, made in the context of a pandemic. The films by artists Sebastian Buerkener, Kim Noce, and Daksha Patel premiered online in December 2020. They take us from an exploration of the internal body, the perceptive connections between our bodies and the world, to our external, social, lives.
Surge, by Sebastian Buerkener, is a visual approximation surrounding the learning or relearning of sight through bionic implants. Diffuse and abstracted visuals, based on real footage, are barely possible to make out. The soundtrack and movement come to reveal to the viewer that they are watching the experience of someone in a fictional medical experiment.
Daksha Patel’s In the Same Breath focuses on the internal body. Hand drawn images are animated through creative coding in response to data from a soundtrack of heartbeats and breathing.
Kim Noce’s Cities of Ladies is a poetic, animated documentary, inspired by the life and writing of Christine de Pizan, who survived her father and husband in the 15th Century Black Death epidemic, becoming the first woman in Europe to support herself through her writing.
Watch all of the short films at animateprojects.org.
The commissioned films are produced in association with Phoenix, Leicester and QUAD Derby, and are supported by Arts Council England’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
Age Rating: PG | Runtime: 1h 35min | Where to watch: see justwatch.com | Rent or Buy: from £3.49
This year is the 20th anniversary of Osmosis Jones starring Bill Murray and Chris Rock. The live-action and animation hybrid tells the story of Frank (Murray). A zookeeper with poor health habits, Frank inevitably contracts an unknown illness. It’s up to Osmosis Jones (Rock), a white blood cell cop known as “Ozzie”, and Drix, a fussy cold-cure pill, to bring Frank’s body back to homeostasis.
The main character Ozzie is a white blood cell (WBC), a vital component of a functioning immune system. WBCs police viruses, fungi and other pathogens to defend our bodies from illness. Like in the movie, the many systems of our body are constantly communicating. WBCs like Ozzie are stationed all over the body and work with the lymphatic system and other defensive entities to fight infection and disease. (medtruth.com)
While Osmosis Jones doesn’t really depict the human immune system with complete accuracy, it is a good introduction to how the body fights pathogens and to things we can do to reduce the risk of catching diseases, like washing our hands and eating healthily.
Age Rating: 15 | Runtime: 1h 21min | Where to watch: see justwatch.com | Rent or Buy: from £3.49
A vivid journey into the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit— the mushroom. A story that begins 3.5 billion years ago, fungi makes the soil that supports life, connecting vast systems of roots from plants and trees all over the planet, like an underground Internet. Through the eyes of renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, professor of forest ecology Suzanne Simard, best selling author Michael Pollan, food naturalist Eugenia Bone and others, we experience the power, beauty and complexity of the fungi kingdom.
Sloan Science & Film
Age Rating: various | Runtime: various | Where to watch: see scienceandfilm.org | FREE / Various costs
An initiative of the Museum of the Moving Image, Sloan Science & Film examines the intersection of science and film and is an excellent resource of short and feature length films. On the website, over 60 science-themed short films are available to stream any time, all of which have received grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their depictions of scientific themes and characters.
Age Rating: suitable for all ages | Runtime: <15mins per episode | Where to watch: netflix.com | Cost: requires subscription
Great for watching and learning together as a family. In this series, science-loving host Emily Calandrelli makes STEAM fun with activities, demonstrations and at-home experiments that’ll make you think — and blow your mind!
Episodes include learning about ultraviolet light, non-Newtonian fluids, tornadoes, and lots more.
In Event of Moon Disaster
Age Rating: unrated, suitable for all ages | Runtime: 8mins | Where to watch: moondisaster.org | FREE
This immersive project invites you into an alternative history and asks us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.
Can you recognize a digitally manipulated video when you see one? It’s harder than most people realise. As the technology to produce realistic “deepfakes” becomes more easily available, distinguishing fact from fiction will only get more challenging. A new digital storytelling project from MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality aims to educate the public about the world of deepfakes with “In Event of Moon Disaster.” — news.mit.edu
In July 1969, much of the world celebrated the “giant leap for mankind” that the successful moon landing constituted. In 2020, nothing is quite so straightforward. In Event of Moon Disaster illustrates the possibilities of deepfake technologies by reimagining this seminal event.
What if the Apollo 11 mission had gone wrong and the astronauts had not been able to return home? A contingency speech for this possibility was prepared, but never delivered by President Nixon – until now.
Visit moondisaster.org for quizzes, interactives, articles and more.
Lessons From My Nightmares
Age Rating: unrated, adult themes | Runtime: 4mins | Where to watch: youtube.com | FREE
Here’s something a little more experimental… and creepy.
Lessons From My Nightmares is a surreal short film by filmmaker and artist Kira Bursky. Last year, Kira took part in an artist residency where she decided to make a film that was made up entirely of elements produced using a form of artificial intelligence called Machine Learning. All of the sets, characters, textures, etc were made using computer program Runway ML, an application that makes machine learning more easily accessible for creatives.
The film follows the story of a girl dealing with insomnia. When she does sleep, she is haunted by nightmares.
Find out more about how the film was made here. Watch the full film here:
Now Streaming via Broadway
Finally, our doors may be temporarily closed, but you can still find a selection of films available for you to stream at home with a percentage of your rental fee coming directly to Broadway.
During FOSAC 2021, we’re also proud to present ANOTHER PLANET by The Gramophones Theatre Company, an audio adventure for an adult and child (7+) to experience together.
Find out more at broadway.org.uk.