Brace yourself for an unforgettable experience at the 59th International Festival of Science Documentary Films, where captivating film screenings and enlightening lectures and discussions await! Mark your calendars for 23 to 28 April 2024, and join us in Olomouc as we embark on a voyage through the realms of physical and virtual memory.
The leitmotif of this year’s programme is memory, offering docufans ambitious trips down memory lane and days of the future past. From delving into prehistory and the age of dinosaurs to the times of artificial intelligence, our program promises ambitious journeys that will leave a lasting imprint on your mind. The programme curators will look for the key to understanding memory in the context of society and technologies, and they will invite the audience to join them in imagining a world completely lacking memory. The festival will feature exciting guests from abroad, and the off programme will be aimed at adult and child visitors.
“The programme will reflect the different ways memory and storing information affect our world and examine the relationship between memory and knowledge. We will consider human memory in terms of storing information and individual memories as well as technological memory, i.e., how humans design technologies in order to delegate their own memory to them. From the origin of writing to neural networks,” describes Zdeněk Rychtera, the head curator of the Memory section.
Through thought-provoking film screenings, insightful lectures, and engaging podcasts, we’ll look at memory and its profound influence on our world. In addition to our main section dedicated to memory, we’re excited to present a diverse array of non-competition sections exploring various facets of our theme. We will include sections on Resilience, (Human) Nature, Of Fungi and Men, Dynasty: Dinosauria, and Science in Pop Cultcure.
“In honour of Jane Goodall’s 90th birthday, we will remember the invaluable contribution of this iconic scientist and activist. Through film, we’ll also celebrate the work and intellectual legacy of esteemed writer Cormac McCarthy. He spent the last decade of his life being an active member of the Santa Fe Institute, an interdisciplinary research centre. The work Cormac McCarthy’s Veer by Polish director and physicist Karol Jalochowski will have its Czech premiere at our AFO,” adds Ondřej Kazík, Head of Programming.
The festival will build on cooperation with external partners, such as the National Film Archive and Czech Television, AFO’s general media partner. Plus, it is also add on some new and interesting venues. “The renovated Cinema Central in Olomouc Museum of Art, which will undoubtedly become popular with our visitors thanks to its proximity to the festival centre and excellent facilities. Another is Red Church (part of the Olomouc Research Library), where we plan to organise our VR programme. This year, we intend to go bigger and explore new possibilities of working with augmented reality. Our AFO Junior will also be expanding. We’re in the process of negotiating closer cooperation with Czech Radio Olomouc and its beautiful premises, which will host festival visitors from all over the world,” adds Festival Director Eva Navrátilová.
AFO always comes up with a new visual identity that resonates with its central theme. This year, our creative team wanted to tackle the topic of memory and asked AI for help. A canine crew supervises and navigates astronauts on the Moon. The visual design blends in retro aesthetics, and the selected typography evokes the golden era of theme parks. The festival will become a unique place in time and space with its own rules, waiting for visitors to fill it with experiences.
“Using AI, we designed scenarios from the past related to a specific iconic event. It turned out that artificial intelligence has its quirks and makes erroneous evaluations. The visual design hints at humans’ selective memory. History is told by the winners, memories are processed by external servers, and AI interprets all this data with a high error rate. Equally altered is the memory of our festival to be. We are creating a living organism that will come to life in late April 2024. Together, let’s explore this unique intersection of time and space and create memories that will last a lifetime,” Graphic Designer and Art Director Radim Měsíc describes the creation of the AFO59 visual design.