This is a beautiful tribute to the world of international science fairs and the high school students who participate in them. Following 9 students from around the world, the film gives viewers a glimpse into their lives as they navigate the challenges, disappointments, and unbridled joys of this unique experience - as a viewer you really come to care SO much about each of these nine teenagers. We saw the film at Sundance and every member of the audience was engaged throughout the entire film - laughing, crying, clapping - and a standing ovation from the entire theater at the end of the film. It was an utter joy to watch - highly recommended!
Nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the international science fair. Only one can be named "Best in Fair."
October 31, 2022 at 11:51 AM
An Uplifting Film about Optimism of Youth and the Power of Science to Change the World
Science Fair was warmly-received at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. It details the experience of six different high school students (or teams of students) competing in the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering (ISEP) Fair in Los Angeles. The documentary is well-filmed, edited and highly entertaining. The directors did an excellent job of finding charismatic and charming young people who were doing great research projects. These are great students who are super achievers. (Unfortunately, they are far from the typical students being produced by the American educational system today.) Science Fair is fun and charming documentary that a ray of sunlight in dark times.
Best doc, not worst
I had to balance the 1 star review that precedes this one. This won the Audience Award at Sundance, so I can assure you that emotional response was truer than the cold hearted one expressed by Brian. An industry friend of mine was at the Sundance screenings and says it was a raucous room of joy. I saw this yesterday at the Portland IFF and that audience also had their hearts in their throats from the very start. The film smartly opens with undeniably great footage of a previous winner, a kid named Jack, whose unembarrassed nerdjoy just fills up the screen. The film takes off from there. If you respond to these youth competition documentaries (SPELLBOUND, FIRST POSITION) you will love this one too.