The overarching theme of AFO58 is ECHO!

4. 2. 2023

Echo, sound visualisation, questions that resonate with society and reflection that spreads new ideas and inspiration – this all inspired the theme of the 58th International Festival of Science Documentary Films Academia Film Olomouc (AFO) suitably titled ECHO. Just like an echo, the festival will return to Olomouc on 25 April and reverberate throughout the entire city for six whole days. An original graphic design is an integral part of the festival organised by Palacký University in Olomouc. The design was created in a recording studio and based on the fusion of art and science.

At the core of AFO 58, which takes place from 25 to 30 April, you will find progressive educational films, discussions and lectures on current topics. From the research of celestial bodies, artificial intelligence, issues regarding human biology or the interpretation of history to the position of women in science and society. The festival will feature intriguing guests from abroad, and the off programme will be aimed at both adults and children.

“We chose the theme of echo, which underlines the need for cooperation between scientific disciplines and interconnection between research and its popularisation. From physics to psychology, the central theme will guide us through worlds, both inner and material, that we share without knowing it. Echo resonates with the experiences that allow us to change and evolve. It is important for AFO that this echo resounds equally across scientific and creative fields. We can understand it as repeating one activity in a spiral over and over again. Re-writing, re-winding, re-cutting. Only by looking in a mirror and taking time to reflect is it possible to turn a topic into a film and a simple stimulus into meaningful research,” Ondřej Kazík, Head of Programming, outlines the creative intention.

The organisers of the festival cooperate with audio-visual experts.

The creators of AFO are in contact with experts on contemporary popular science cinematography, such as the Director of Sandbox Films, Executive Producer Greg Boustead, who specialises exclusively in science documentary films, or Paul Lewis, who is the Director of the World Congress of Science & Factual Producers.

The goal of the festival is to create a space where people can meet, expand and cultivate the science documentary genre in the Czech Republic and improve its global competitiveness. In addition to the selection of competition categories, the audience can look forward to non-competition films that raise all-encompassing social issues from a scientific perspective. AFO will focus on adaptation to the world affected by the climate crisis, economy, the physical and social concept of time, trauma or issues of personal and collective identity,” adds Eva Navrátilová, the Director of AFO. The programme will also feature the Sound is Science section, which will continue the tradition of the AFO Music is Science programme. Among other topics, documentary films will address the origins of electronic music or the use of sound in film.

The visual design of AFO 58 is based on physics!

Every year, AFO comes up with a new visual identity that resonates with its main theme. This year, the creative team endeavoured to grasp the theme of echo using physical phenomena that people do not usually associate with sound. It is the vibration, the inaudible frequencies and the airflow created by speakers. 

“We took the word ECHO and split it in half. We made half of it as a lighting object, which is then mirrored on the water. The two parts then seemingly form the whole word. This image is distorted by a sound frequency, through which we modulate the lighting and the water surface. Both parts of the image started to change and intertwine,” Graphic Designer and Art Director Radim Měsíc describes the creation of the AFO 58 visual design. He cooperated on its creation with Václav Hruška (author of the musical performance and the resulting composition), Michal Švarc (photography and post-production) and Jaromír Pražák (technical solutions and production).


You can find more photos from the AFO58 visual preparations HERE!