La Selva Student Film Festival


This June, we brought together the brightest young minds in science and science communication at La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica. The students from the OTS grad course in tropical biology had no experience with video and audio (only a couple had ever shot and edited film before) – they were eager and a little intimidated. The experts, Nate Dappen and Neil Losin from Day’s Edge Productions and Pat Walters from Pop-Up Magazine (and formerly, Radiolab), brought the experience and the equipment. The experts got a couple of days to teach the students everything they needed to know to tell a good science story… with audio and film! The students, armed with cameras, tripods, and recording equipment, headed into the forest to shoot footage while they were also doing a group research project. Oh yes, important piece to mention – all this film shooting and editing was happening concurrently to designing and carrying out a research project. For four days, the students worked harder than I have ever seen students work. Hardly anyone slept. Nate and Neil and Pat helped with every step, from story-boarding to shooting some of the footage to helping shape the story to adding music to polishing the final products. The faculty involved in the research projects helped with research design, data collection, and inspiration. Nate and Neil and Pat hardly slept. The professors hardly slept. It was a team effort across the board. In the end, the students made these amazing films. All three films are very different, taking a unique approach to telling a story about their research project, with a distinct voice and point of view. No sleep, countless tiny cups of coffee, many cigarettes (yes, this group of students has a smoking habit), bags of chocolates, and some tears all combined to make these wonderful short films. Enjoy!

A matter of taste


Bats & Piper


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