Guest post by Brittany D. Friesner, Associate Director of Indiana University Cinema.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, IU Cinema will commemorate the fifth annual National Evening of Science on Screen® with a 7:00 p.m. screening of the new documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. IU Cinema joins 28 independent theaters in 25 states as part of a coast-to-coast celebration utilizing film to promote public understanding of science.
Bombshell reveals the Hedy Lamarr hidden behind the Hollywood star’s glamorous image—a technological trailblazer whose pioneering work helped revolutionize modern communication and formed the basis for secure Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. An Austrian Jewish émigré, Hedy invented a covert communication system to help defeat the Nazis during World War II, but when she gave her patent to the Navy, she was ignored and told to sell kisses for war bonds instead.
Hedy never publicly talked about her life as an inventor, but in 2016, film director Alexandra Dean and producer Adam Haggiag unearthed four never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life. Combining this newly discovered interview with intimate reflections from her children, closest friends, family, and admirers, Bombshell finally gives Hedy Lamarr the chance to tell her own story.
The screening will be introduced by IU Cinema Associate Director Brittany D. Friesner and a panel discussion with women in STEM across Indiana University will follow the film.
Moderating the post-film discussion is Laurie Burns McRobbie, Center of Excellence for Women in Technology Advisory Council Chair and IU First Lady. The panel will also include representatives from IU’s Women in STEM LLC (Maria del Valla Coello), the IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (Sharlene Newman), and the IU Office of Science Outreach (Teddie Phillipson-Mower).
The National Evening of Science on Screen is the annual showcase event of the nationwide Science on Screen grant initiative, which is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and administered by the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Mass. Over the past eight years, the Sloan Foundation and the Coolidge have awarded a total of 164 Science on Screen grants to 72 independent theaters nationwide.
IU Cinema was among 36 cinemas to receive a Science on Screen grant in 2017−2018 and previously received grants in 2014–2015 and 2016–2017.
Grantee theaters run three or more Science on Screen events per year, pairing screenings of classic, cult, science-fiction, and documentary films with presentations by notable experts from the world of science and technology.
Films previously screened in IU Cinema’s 2017–2018 Science on Screen series have included:
- Baraka with Associate Professor David Stringer from the Department of Second Languages
- Change of Mind with professor Ray Guins from The Media School
- Contact with Emeritus Professor Richard H. Durisen from the Department of Astronomy
- Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry with filmmakers Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell and Professor James Capshew from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
- Love & Mercy with Rock Historian and IU Provost Professor of Music Glenn Gass
- Swamp Thing with producer and IU alumnus Michael Uslan
- The Day the Earth Stood Still with IU Cinema’s Assistant Director of Events, Facilities, and Guest Services Jessica Davis Tagg
The full list of the 28 cinemas participating in the 2018 National Evening of Science on Screen are: Amherst Cinema, Amherst, MA; Athena Cinema, Athens, OH; Austin Film Society, Austin, TX; Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN; Bozeman Film Society, Bozeman, MT; Cable Car Cinema, Providence, RI; California Film Institute/San Rafael Film Center, San Rafael, CA; Cameo Cinema, St. Helena, CA; Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, PA; Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA; Egyptian Theatre, Coos Bay, OR; Enzian Theater, Maitland, FL; FilmScene, Iowa City, IA; Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN; Film Streams, Inc., Omaha, NE; Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries/Juneau Public Libraries/Gold Town Theater, Juneau, AK; Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, NY; Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI; Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, IN; Loft Cinema, Tucson, AZ; Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, Vineyard Haven, MA; Montclair Film, Montclair, NJ; Old Greenbelt Theatre, Greenbelt, MD; Pickford Film Center, Bellingham, WA; Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; Salina Art Center, Salina, KS; Shotgun Cinema, New Orleans, LA; The Gem, Bethel, ME.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story screens at IU Cinema at 7:00 p.m. March 27, 2018 for the Fifth Annual National Evening of Science on Screen and as part of our ongoing Science on Screen Series. IU Cinema is honored to be one of the 2017–2018 Science on Screen® award recipients. Thanks to Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the generous support.
Brittany D. Friesner is the IU Cinema’s associate director and a double IU alumna with a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in arts administration. Brittany researches and develops film programming, leads IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations program, and manages the cinema’s marketing and engagement efforts, including donor cultivation and stewardship initiatives. She has also worked in programming, marketing, and theater operations for the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival, and Indy Film Fest.