(writer/director: Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster; screenwriter: Jeffrey Plunkett; cinematographer: Peter Alton; editors: Tom Maroney, Alejandro Valdes-Rochin; music: Jeff Morrow; Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Isaac Lee, Daniel Eilemberg, Keith Summa, George Lansbury; Muck Media/Fusion Media; 2018)
“A crowd-pleasing Spellbound type of documentary.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The educational documentary, filmed in a humanitarian way, made for National Geographic, had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Its co-directors and co-writers are first-timers Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, with Jeff Plunkett as an additional writer.
It gets over as a crowd-pleasing Spellbound type of documentary.
It follows nine high school students from around the globe (with entrants from places like Brazil, Germany and South Dakota) on their adventure to compete in 2017 at The International Science and Engineering Fair (sponsored this year by Intel). As 1,700 teens from 78 different countries face off in Los Angeles for one winner to be crowned and awarded a $75,000 scholarship. A few of the student projects, given in a 6-minute presentation to 4 judges, are concerned with detecting and preventing diseases such as cancer or inventing better healthcare tools. While the film celebrates science as a way to make the world a better place to live in, the well-researched piece allows us to see what takes behind the scenes, to cover many human interest stories and to root for all the teens in this diverse group and hope through this experience they will make their mark on the world in a positive way.
REVIEWED ON 9/14/2018 GRADE: B https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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