Film festival to screen Newton documentary

“In the Footsteps of Newton,” a documentary examining the life of Sir Isaac Newton, will be featured during the Arts Council of Southern Indiana’s Grand Film Festival in New Albany, Ind.

Shot on location in England, the work was written, filmed and produced by a group of Hanover students and their professors. The documentary reveals more about the man whom history has dubbed the greatest scientist who ever lived than just his theory of gravity.

“In the Footsteps of Newton” will be shown at 2:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, at The Grand Theatre, 138 East Market Street, New Albany. Admission is $5 per person. The festival, which showcases the works of local directors, is scheduled from 1-11 p.m.

During the spring term of 2011, Professor of Mathematics Nancy Rodgers took her History of Math class to England to follow Newton from his birthplace at Woolsthorpe Manor in Grantham, about 25 miles south of London, to his tomb at Westminster Abbey. Instructor of Communication Elizabeth Winters, who was in the U.K. with her video production students at the same time, had her students film Rodgers’ students; the footage ultimately led to the documentary.

“I thought it would be a fascinating story because Newton himself is such a fascinating character,” said Rodgers. “I wanted the students to experience this, and I think it made quite a difference. You get a really personal connection that you just don’t get from reading a biography.”

Throughout the 30-minute documentary, as the classes traveled to significant places in Newton’s life, the students shared their feelings about what they were learning. Others shared of the connection found between their own lives and Newton’s.

The project made its television premiere in late January on WFYI in Indianapolis (PBS) and debuted with a screening last May at the Ohio Theatre in Madison, Ind.