Cast: Fernando Miguel Sánchez, Intan Utami Putri, Jared Goodwin, Sahithi Pingali, Shofa Latifa Nuha Anfaresi
Grand Jury Prize, Documentary Competition, 2018 Seattle International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2018 Sundance Film Festival
In Bangalore, “the place of a thousand lakes,” giant chunks of foam fly around in the wind, interfering with pedestrians like surreal runaway clouds. The fluff is the noxious byproduct of untreated sewage pumped into nearby lakes and the nemesis of 16-year-old Sahithi, who turns a backyard crisis into a research project that takes her all the way to the Olympics of science fairs – the final round of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) facing 1800 high school age finalists culled from 75 countries.
INVENTING TOMORROW follows Sahithi and five other ISEF teens from Mexico, Indonesia, and Hawaii, a global generation of students who might very well save the planet from ourselves, as they face environmental issues in air, water, and earth – a new reality never seen by their parents or mentors. The stakes are personal, the solutions equally ingenious – from photosensitive paints to crowdsourced water monitoring – and their sense of purpose drives them into the lab and also into the world. In one scene, hijabi-clad Nuha and Intan jump on illegal tin mining ships to interview workers about the brown lead running off into the seas of Bangka, the world’s second largest source of tin, and their hometown.
The film delivers all the adrenaline and nerves of competition, but the real payoff comes from the film’s infectious belief in science, the hope it offers, and deeply exciting scenes of young people laughing and working together across language and culture toward something much more important than winning a big science fair.
– Christina Ree
Admission includes a special pre-screening reception.
Co-Presented by: PBMS Motley Crew, Women’s International Center