»Silbersalz – Future Science Media«: German Science Film Festival and Conference

The first edition of Silbersalz took place in Halle, Germany at the end of June. The festival – a first of its kind, as the organizers claim – consisted of public events all over town like science film screenings, exhibitions, science shows etc. and a two-day international conference that brought together scientists and media professionals to network.
Up to 220 registered participants from all over Europe and the US came to the conference at National Academy of Science, Leopoldina, for one day of lectures and one day of workshops and pitching sessions. The speakers (look up some of them here) were excellent while we had the impression that the subjects of their talks often appeared to be relevant to either scientists or media professionals, but not to both at the same time. The atmosphere, location and weather were perfect with lots of interesting people to meet, so that networking was indeed relaxed and easy.
Young international scientists chosen by the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin pitched their research in front of the full audience and were given feedback by a jury of media professionals. A very useful format, obviously, but perhaps pitching and receiving feedback in smaller groups would open-up the discussion with the audience, enhance the networking and make it seem less like a verdict is spoken on these bright scientific minds. It will be interesting to see how this festival evolves and what changes the second edition will bring.
Silbersalz is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation and was organized by the german association Documentary Campus e.V., in their own words »Europe’s most renowned professional training initiative« for documentary producers.

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