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'We Dance for Life' film celebrating cancer research wins award at international film festival

Two women wearing dresses, holding hands and dancing, with more dancers dressed in black in the background

'We Dance for Life', a creative film that celebrates scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The London Cancer Hub, has won the Best Dance Experimental award at the Experimental, Dance & Music Film Festival in the USA and Canada.

The film, which will be screened in Toronto at the Experimental, Dance & Music Film Festival on 14 July 2023, received glowing feedback from the reviewing audience. Their comments, which were captured on YouTube, included, “it shines a light on an important subject”, “…even though the science is rigid, there is a flow to it” and “…it is overall very powerful, you understand the motivation behind it”. 

The film has also been shortlisted for this year’s European Short Film Festival, a festival showcasing the cutting edge of short film making from around the world.

Communicating science through dance

'We Dance for Life' showcases choreographed dance sequences and creative, yet recognisable, interpretations of scientific concepts. It features local Sutton community groups such as the African Caribbean Heritage Association, Groove Withing Marcia, The Garwood Foundation and NESCOT College and South Sutton Ballet School.

The film features researchers from the ICR – which has a campus in Sutton, south London – alongside beautiful images and videos kindly shared by scientists from across the ICR, including Hira AleProfessor Chris Bakal, Aiden Doyle, Sharon Gowan, Valeria Molinari, Dr Farideh Miraki-Moud, Dr Amin Mirza, Dr Olivier Pierrat, Pallavi Ramsahye, Sumana Shrestha, Kathy Tomlin and Rachel Talbot. 

Cultural impact award

The creative film was the first major element of the Sutton STEAMS Ahead programme, supported by a Cultural Impact Award from The Mayor of London.

The year-long calendar of cultural activity, led by Sutton Council, aims to engage communities and visitors in an explosion of creativity, whilst inspiring and nurturing future scientists and artists alike. Activities are all based around STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

Dr Mariana Campos, Public Engagement Manager at the ICR, said:

“We Dance for Life is a creative interpretation of science and a way of engaging an audience who otherwise may see science as 'not for me'. The film is also a celebration of ICR researchers and the scientific discoveries taking place at The London Cancer Hub. We are thrilled to see it being recognised worldwide.”

Find out more about the Sutton STEAMs Ahead programme.


Chris Bakal public engagement the london cancer hub sutton sutton steams ahead
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