Quick Q+A with the SMM’s Karilyn Robinson

Even though outdoor temps get a bump, it’s still the Ides of February, and the cold will chase many of us into the cozy confines of a movie theater—or even an omni-theater. This past weekend the Science Museum of Minnesota kicked off Omnifest—which runs Feb. 4–Mar. 6, 2022—so we checked in Karilyn Robinson on what science fans and their science-supportive friends can expect from the big BIG screen. 

DISPATCH: “Omnifest” is a pretty excellent name for a festival, but pretty epic. What’s all encompassed in this ambitiously named festival?
Karilyn Robinson: Omnifest, the celebration of science on the biggest screen in town, will return at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Omnitheater from February 4–March 6, 2022. This year’s movie festival features five larger-than-life treks through unknown corners of Earth and expeditions to the furthest reaches of our galaxy. If you’re interested in big-eyed lemurs, giant dinosaurs, creatures of the deep sea, a living natural science laboratory, or the majesty of space, there’s a movie you’ll like. If you’re not interested in any of those things, you might still think it’s neat because it’s a REALLY big screen. 

We definitely know the difference between an omni-theater movie and a regular movie, but we’d like you to also tell people even though we could do it.
It’s OK, a lot of people don’t know the difference. Think of “omni” like surrounding, all-encompassing. The museum’s William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater is 70 feet wide and 90 feet high, providing an immersive experience like no other movie theater can. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you’ll want to take something for that before you settle in for an Omnitheater movie. 

Every one of the films looks really exciting to see at the SMM, how are they chosen? Since it’s a film fest is there a jury? We’re guessing ‘Dinosaurs Of Antarctica ‘ wins the audience favorite award.
No, it’s not the kind of film festival with a jury or awards. Omnifest exists outside of those concepts on a purer, more educational entertainment level. It’s not about which movie is the most popular, it’s about learning and understanding through feeling that the world is bigger than you. It’s about the experience of seeing a lemur on a screen the height of a nine-story building. 

Omnifest is a great intro to the theater at the SMM, including the Omni Extras, which many folks might now know about. What’s coming up for the diehards?  
Omnitheater Extras! are exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, fun facts, and more, available on our website at smm.org/omnitheater. After Omnifest, we’ll be showing Under the Sea, which is about what it sounds like, through the end of May, followed by Into America’s Wild and A Beautiful Planet. Those are about America, and Earth, respectively. If someone identifies as a diehard fan, they should definitely follow our social media channels or sign up for a newsletter at smm.org/connect

Check out the showtimes and tickets for Omnifest on the SMM website. 

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