Film Festival



Mathematics – Computer Science

Every year, the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation hosts the week-long Film Festival Mathematics – Computer Science at the Karlstorkino Heidelberg. An open invitation is extended to anyone interested in immersing themselves in the world of mathematics and computer science. Each movie is accompanied by an expert who provides an introduction to the film, guides the subsequent discussion and is available to answer questions. The 8th Film Festival Mathematics – Computer Science is planned for October 30 until November 6, 2021.

Virtual Film Festival
Mathematics – Computer Science

The 8th Film Festival Mathematics – Computer Science that was planned for November 2020 unfortunately had to be canceled due to the pandemic. In response, the HLFF invited any interested guests to the Virtual Film Festival, with four screenings from March 14–29, 2021. The films selected threw a spotlight either on the life and work of outstanding scientists or on social discourse surrounding current issues rooted in mathematics and computer science. Special guests and the films’ directors were available for questions following the screenings.

The Festival kicked off on March 14, the International Day of Mathematics, with the documentary “Math Circles Around the World” from Ekaterina Eremenko, who fielded questions afterwards.

The Virtual Film Festival Mathematics – Computer Science was being held in cooperation with the Karlstorkino in Heidelberg, which received the “Cinema that Educates” award in 2020 and was runner-up in 2019. Among other accolades, it was praised for “unusual topics in selection of films”, explicitly for the Film Festival Mathematics – Computer Science.

Program Overview

  • Sunday, March 14, 6 p.m. GMT+1: Math Circles Around the World

    Germany 2020, Director: Ekaterina Eremenko, 45 Minutes
    English version

    Director will be present.

    Description:

    Every week, hundreds of children meet in different cities around the world to solve complex problems.  “Math Circles Around the World” shows who they are, also how and why they do it.

    Ekaterina Eremenko, the film’s director, was born in Moscow into a family of engineers and scientists, and even as a child she was impressed by the beauty of mathematics. She studied mathematics at Lomonossow University in Moscow and received her degree at the age of 23. She took a break from working towards her PhD after her mother tragically died in a car accident. She spent some time modeling, got into “Vogue” and worked as a television presenter and actress. Eremenko then completed a second degree in film directing and went on to write and direct various films for leading European television channels such as ARTE, BBC and ZDF. She finally returned to her first love, mathematics – only this time to make films about it. She is currently working at the CRC “Discretization in Geometry and Dynamics” and this film was produced as part of their communication and presentation efforts.

    Participants include members of Berkeley Math Circle, Math Circle at TU Berlin/Mathematische Schülergesellschaft “Leonard Euler,” We Solve Problems (UK), Moscow Center for Continuous Mathematical Education.

    “Math Circles Around the World”

  • Monday, March 15, 8 p.m. GMT+1: Hacking for the Commons

    France 2019, Director: Philippe Borrel, 87 Minutes
    English version

    Director will be present.
    Special guest: Steffen Haschler (Computer science teacher in Heidelberg and Open Source advocate)

    Description:

    Digitalization, computing and software are prevalent in most areas of life. At times they are clearly visible and sometimes they are hidden in the complex inner-workings of modern devices and automation. We carry powerful computing machines in our pockets and utilize the possibilities provided by the internet in countless circumstances. Has this given us more freedom, agency and autonomy? Or has this transformed us into passive consumers, entirely at the mercy of the free market? These two opposing views are not new, but have been debated since the 1980s with the advent of the Free Software movement. Around the world, something fundamental is at stake in this discussion: the possibility of using such technology for the common good rather than for to benefit a select few.

    Hacking for the Commons

  • Monday, March 22, 8 p.m. GMT+1: Man Ray and the Shakespearian Equations

    France 2019, Director: Quentin Lazzarotto, 69 Minutes
    French version with English subtitles

    Director will be present.
    Special Guests: Sylvie Benzoni (director of the Institut Henri Poincaré), Anne-Kathrin Marquardt (expert for Shakespeare and English literature), Oliver Labs (mathematician and math-artist)  

    Description:

    In Paris in the 1930s, the surrealist artist Man Ray discovered peculiar geometrical structures in a forgotten closet at the Sorbonne. These models, shaped by science, inspired the artist to create astonishing photography and paintings that carried Man Ray and his camera into a world between reality and abstraction. 

    Man Ray’s work and the “Shakespearean Equations” are dissected by mathematicians, artists, actors and historians, each offering a unique interpretation: scientific or quirky, amusing or illuminating, tangible or poetic. These insights, coupled with strong images and moments of grace, allow the viewer to discover a different, irreverent, funny and refreshing interaction between science, art and theater.

     

  • Monday, March 29, 8 p.m. GMT+2: Secrets of the Surface – The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani

    USA 2020, Director: George Csicsery, 59 Minutes
    English version

    Director will be present.
    Special Guests: Dr. Beatrice Pozzetti (Junior Professor in Mathematics at Heidelberg University), Christina Brech (Associate Professor in Mathematics at University Sao Paolo, Brazil and member of the May12 initiative), Anton Zorich (Professor in Mathematics, IMJ-PRG, France), Jayadev Athreya  (Professor in Mathematics, University of Washington, USA)

    Description:

    Maryam Mirzakhani was the first and is still the only woman to be awarded one of the highest honors in mathematics, the Fields Medal. Mirzakhani was honored in 2014 for her "outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces." Tragically, she died just three years later at the age of 40.

    Filmed in Canada, Iran and the U.S., "Secrets of the Surface – The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani" charts the life and mathematical work of the Iranian woman who emigrated to the U.S. and became a superstar in her field. Mirzakhani's work is explained in the film by leading mathematicians and illustrated with vivid animations. Her colleagues from around the world, former teachers and classmates, and current Iranian students provide profound insights on her achievements. Her educational journey, success on the Iranian team for the Mathematics Olympiad, and brilliant work make Mirzakhani an inspiration and role model for young female mathematicians as well as mathematicians around the world.

    Secrets of the Surface – The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani