Guests

In recent years, the AFO festival was visited by thousands of guests from the Czech Republic and abroad – leading scientists, Czech and foreign personalities from film industry or underground musicians from around the world. Among the most distinguished AFO guests are the evolutionary biologist and well-known atheism advocate Richard Dawkins, physicist and science populariser Lawrence M. Krauss, artificial intelligence philosopher Susan Schneider, American volcanologist Kayla Iacovino, robotics professor from Osaka Hiroshi Ishiguro or British biologist and filmmaker Nigel Marven.

Guests’ Echoes

Lawrence M. Krauss

Theoretical physicist, professor, author of bestsellers such as The Universe from Nothing, winner of AFO 2014 award for his contribution to the popularisation of science

“The AFO Festival is remarkable in so many ways: The professionalism attached to every event, the energy and enthusiasm of the audiences, the excitement generated by the films, discussions and associated events, and the remarkable hospitality shown to the presenters and filmmakers. AFO was a wonderful experience in a wonderful environment, and I look forward to returning.”

Nigel Marven

British biologist and filmmaker, BBC collaborator

“I have many affectionate memories of the Olomouc Festival. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the assembled filmmakers were exceptional. The questions following my presentation on a career of presenting and producing wildlife documentaries were astute, and many fascinating discussions followed. The town itself is wondrous, medieval walls surrounding a flower-filled park, squares with sculptures and fountains. I hope to go back one day.”

Jennifer Gardy

Assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, television presenter and writer

“AFO2014 was electrifying! The calibre of films was extraordinary, the event management flawless, the line-up of speakers and special events impeccably curated. This festival was completely unique and inspiring experience. To see full houses at screening after screening for science documentaries was amazing, and it is a testament to the hard work the festival staff put into the event. Coming back? I wouldn’t hesitate for a second.

Pamela Gay

Astronomer, writer and podcaster focusing on new media

“Seeing science and art mixed as well as they are at AFO is very rare. In a relaxed environment, the movers and shakers of both science and art meet as they discuss their own research and creations with attentive audiences. The screened films represent the best in science communications from around the globe, and the accompanying demonstrations, lectures, and panels make science a joy. My own experience at AFO49 is a mixture of incentive conversations combined with challenging films and filled with laughter, curious audiences, and hospitality. The mixture of classic content and new media is particularly noteworthy. From films shot in remote locations by filmmakers who melt into the environments to presentations by YouTube science sensations, all the best in moving documentary films was represented.”

Michael Londesborough

British scientist working for the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry AS CR, co-author and anchorman of CT programme PORT

“Olomouc is, without question, one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic. If you add the opportunity to watch dozens of top-class scientific documentaries in the presence of a young and vibrant intellectual atmosphere of the Festival, the overall impression is outstanding. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at AFO. The organisers are committed, enthusiastic, passionate, and energetic. The vibe is buzzing and fizzing with youth and intelligence.”

Robert A. Rosenstone

History professor at the California Institute of Technology specialising in Spanish history and history of revolutionary movements, AFO 43’s guest

“Of all the film festivals in which I have taken part as a speaker, panellist, judge, debater, or simple observer, the one in Olomouc was the most intellectually stimulating and intense. Without the glitz of Los Angeles, the exoticism of Hawaii, or the lavishness of Rabat, the Academia Film focused on serious scientific issues, which were then passionately debated in the halls of the university, in coffee shops, and restaurants scattered around the town.”

Jeff Lieberman

Holder of two scientific patents, author of robotic sculptures, Time Warp anchorman

“I had a wonderful time in Olomouc; the films were engaging, the town was beautiful, and most importantly, the people were absolutely inspiring. I’m honoured to have been a guest!”

Will Roscoe

Co-founder of a number of LGBT organisations, an active participant of political events supporting the LGBT movement. He also focuses on the third gender among the North American Native tribes, especially the berdaches and the so-called people with two souls

“The AFO Festival is a world-class event. The selected films are extraordinary. I was especially impressed by the power of the dialogue between the audience and presenters. The whole event was amazingly organised and presented. It was a great opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world. It was an honour for me to present my work as part of the Festival and to be part of a truly ground-breaking programme on the third gender. I left Olomouc with new ideas and new friends – and lovely memories of the beautiful city. To the Academia Film Olomouc… děkuji!”

Tim Boon

Curator of The Science Museum in London

“My visit to AFO in 2011 was a joy thanks to the programme, location, and the great reception I was given. I was especially intrigued by the attention of film selection and the wide range of speakers. The program was filled with many exciting events, and Olomouc itself was a revelation for me, it is truly a charming, historic town.”

Andrew Holtz

Prestigious medical journalist, former CNN reporter, Emmy Award holder, author of the bestseller “House M.D. vs Reality: Fact and Fiction in the Hit Television Series”

“My visit to AFO was ideal both in the environment and the content. It was invigorating to spend time with creative people who are interested in stories about contemporary scientific topics. The programme proved that these topics are thrilling, alarming, amusing, and touching. AFO isn’t about a stereotypical dullness which is often seen as an image of science and research popularisation.”