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Presenting the Quantum Shorts film festival finalists

Presenting the Quantum Shorts film festival finalists

“Weirdly compelling,” was one judge’s comment. “A very adventurous concept,” said another. “Creative and funny,” came a third verdict.

Otago Museum, a Quantum Shorts film festival screening partner, and the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, a festival scientific partner, are pleased to announce the ten finalists from this year’s competition and to invite public votes for the People’s Choice award.

The shortlist spans a range of styles and genres, from fascinating sci-fi visions to absurdist takes on the multiverse. There are quantum detectives, love stories, and science-inspired comedy.

The 176 submissions came from all over the world, with the finalists from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

David Hutchinson, Director, Dodd-Walls Centre and a festival judge says, “We offer our congratulations to all the shortlisted filmmakers, who have already bagged a $250 prize and a one-year digital subscription to Scientific American – plus the opportunity for audiences across the globe to see their films in dedicated screenings. And now, we wish them luck as the judging panel picks the winners.”

Otago Museum and the Dodd-Walls Centre will host the first New Zealand public screening of the films, each no longer than five minutes, on Friday 8 March from 5.30pm in the Museum’s Beautiful Science gallery. The public is invited to join a team of quantum physicists from the Dodd-Walls Centre to discuss and debate, over refreshments, the films’ quantum concepts — be they from the realm of science fiction, science fact, or somewhere in between.

For those not able to make it to the launch, the Museum will host public screenings in its Barclay Theatre at 12 noon and 2pm on Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March, and the films can also be viewed online at

The 10 finalists are as follows:

In this short by Daniel Baig, a police officer responds to an emergency call, only to find himself caught in a quantum dilemma.

Atoms Searching for Immateriality
Anne-Marie Bouchard’s film shines a spotlight on photoluminescent nanoparticles, displaying their starlike nature.

Gluon Free
Chris Willoughby directed, wrote and produced this absurdist exploration of the multiverse.

Heads or Tails
A noir-ish take on a Schrödinger’s cat situation, by director Lin Tianyun and screenwriter Chen Peishan.

If the World Spinned Backwards
Writers Leonardo Martinelli and Arthur Valverde imagine how quantum theory’s independence of time would change the human experience.

Grace Lambert and Noemi Gunea share the writing, producing, acting and directing credits on this comedic take on the threat of black holes.

LEGIO VIII QUANTAE. "The quantum resurgence after the fall of Silicon Valley"
A sci-fi vision of quantum technology’s legacy, directed by Andrea Rodriguez Blanco.

A Nobel prize-winning theory inspired Chetan V Kotabage’s film about a lost opportunity.

A detective, a serial killer and a parallel universe provide the framework for Tay Li Guo’s quantum thriller.

Under My Bed
Paco Freire wrote and directed this pithy horror-style take on quantum superposition.

About Quantum Shorts
Quantum Shorts has alternated between annual calls for science fiction and science films since 2012. The festival is organised by the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, with media partners Nature and Scientific American and an international network of scientific partners and screening partners.

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