Film Festival to Mark Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s Space Flight

Friday, 15 April 2011 06:04

      A “Festival of Science-Fiction Films on Space”, dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s Flight into Outer Space, was held at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) on April 13-14.

The film festival, scheduled within the framework of the International Educational Programme “Cosmic Odyssey”, was organized by the RCSC jointly with Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) and the Citizens’ Film Forum. An Exhibition of Books on Astronomy was also held side by side with the Film Festival.

Welcoming the gathering, Mr. Sergey Isaev, Head of Science and Technology Section of the RCSC, noted that the objective of the film festival was to disseminate the information on space research and development of space science both in Russia and India among the young generation. He referred to the series of functions being organized both in Russia and India to commemorate the epoch-making space mission, accomplished by Yuri Gagarin, a landmark event in scientific history.

In her presentation, Ms. Yelena S. Shtapkina, Deputy Director (Culture & Information), RCSC, acknowledged the commendable support and cooperation of the co-organizers of the momentous event in memory of a scientific genius Yuri Gagarin.

In his keynote address, Dr. Subodh Mahanti, Scientist “F”, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, made an emphatic reference to the indispensable role played by science fiction in the scientific inventions and discoveries, thereby remaining as a guiding factor and driving force in the exploration and exploitation of the mysteries of the Universe. He paid glowing tributes to Yuri Gagarin, whose outstanding feat marked a new era in the history of mankind. Dr. Mahanti also made an interesting observation on both creative and destructive aspects of nuclear technology in the context of proper appreciation of the consequences of scientific development. He thanked the RCSC for making appreciable efforts in organizing such science-oriented events for the wider interest of general public.

Ms. Mila Mitra, Scientific Officer and Event Head of SPACE, dwelt upon the diverse activities of her NGO aimed at facilitating students from schools and colleges in acquiring substantial knowledge of astronomy. She pointed out that SPACE is doing its best in exploding the myth and superstition among the people on nature and celestial phenomenon through scientific demonstrations.

Mr. Vimal S. Mehta, Honorary Secretary, Citizens’ Film Forum, underlined the need for intensified efforts on bringing younger generation to broader exposure to audio-visual media on space science, film festivals, photo exhibitions, etc. He expressed his gratitude to tremendous response shown by the students community in the activities of the forum.

Ms. Kinkini Dasgupta Misra, Scientist “E”, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, underscored the tremendous achievements won by scientists and technologists from India and Russia in the field of space science beneficial to mankind, and the vast potential offered by the Universe for further studies.

The package of films screened at the festival comprised “Gagarin Chosen by Stars” and “Russian Language-the First Language of Communication in Space”, both produced by Russian space agency Roscosmos, and “Exploring the Universe”, “Mars—Our Closest Cousin”, “Mars Missions”, “Asteroids and the Domain of Jupiter” and “Comet the Bird of Passage”, produced by Vigyan Prasar, DST and DECU, ISRO. The films demonstrated the significant milestones of space science, innovations in space technology, and excellent amazing feats of cosmonauts of both Russia and India.

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