Don’t we need more scientific literature on the impact of science television documentaries, science and science-fiction films in India?

Rahman, Matiur ; Prasanna, NK

Abstract

In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of science television documentaries, science films, and science fiction movies produced in India. However, scholarly research on these media products is still limited. The scientific literatures already available are largely based on mainstream science fiction films which attempt to make concepts in science and technology popular by focusing more on their ‘thought experiment’ potential to appeal to the audience, rather than letting the audience appreciate the essential scientific concept in their stories. On the other hand, when science documentaries reconstruct a science reality, the script and production decisions are made primarily based on intensive research into the theme which takes precedence over compromising the scientific content for the sake of popular appeal. While the audience does not have much to be concerned about these implicit differences, it is for film scholars and science filmmakers to take note of the accurate presentation of science concepts in television documentaries and science films as against the treatment of the same in fiction fantasy, science-fiction films, comedy, drama, thriller, action and adventure that foregrounds science aimed at entertainment. This study reviews five literature sources that explore communication through science films. The study not only establishes the urgent need for assessing the growth of science films, science fiction movies, scientific documentaries and television programmes in the Indian context that are based on valid scientific concepts and conveys accurate, positive and educational messages but also its cinematic treatment that supports effective science communication through films.

Keyword(s)

Documentaries; Feature film India; Science Fiction; Science films; Television programmes

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