Last April, I mentioned in this post this interesting cinematic documentary named “400 years of Telescope” produced and directed by Kris Koenig, written by Donald Goldsmith, Ph.D. , Albert van Helden, Ph.D. and Mr. Koenig. Interestingly I somehow became involved in this amazing work. here the story…If you followed my previous posts, you may remember that I ordered a large number of Galileoscopes for UC-Berkeley and SETI Institute staff and students. I got an order from “D. Goldsmith” who happened to be one of the writers of this documentary. As usual in my case (since I am very bad with names), I did not connect the two pieces of informations and it is only when I met Don to give him his Galileoscopes that we discussed and I found out who he was.
A few days later, Don asked me to help them with the translation of the documentary in French (my native language in case you did not notice yet). I basically watched and listened the documentary and checked if the translation was appropriate and adding a few comments when needed. I must mention that the work previously made by the official translator was excellent and I realized that it is not an easy task to translate scientific English into my native language especially after so many years without real practice. It was however a fun thing to do and a great contribution to the International Year of Astronomy.
A few weeks ago, the movie made its foreign-language debut at the Pariscience Film Festival, in Paris, France. We wrote a press-release in English and in French to announce this event that you should read if you want to know more about this documentary. Don and Kris attended the festival, but unfortunately the movie did not get any price in France. The documentary however got several prices around the world such as four Telly Awards. A Silver Award was received for an excellent achievement in cinematography, and three Bronze Awards representing outstanding achievement, for use of animation, writing and the documentary overall. It was also awarded the Best Director award at Australia’s 2009 SCINEMA Festival of Science Film.
You can buy the English version of the documentary in DVD (see Amazon link). It may be soon available in Blue Ray and digital format to really enjoy the visual effects. I will update this webpage with a link to the French version as soon I have this information. In the mean time, you should also explore the educative web site on http://www.400years.org/.
PS: and don’t forget to let us know if you read this blog and if you think that we should continue this initiative in 2010.