Today, National Geographic will launch the 10 Days of Genius Film Festival, a series of short films inspired by the creativity and imagination of Albert Einstein. National Geographic partnered with creative agency Pereira & O’Dell New York to develop the concept, content and strategy behind this unique initiative, kicking off with two short films, “The Instrument” and “The Mirror,” directed by Sam Spiegel (“Kenzo World” commercial) Nat Geo has also partnered with the Tongal filmmaking community to develop and produce eight unique and inspiring short films that showcase the many sides of Albert Einstein’s genius.
Each original short film in the series centers around a unique Einstein quote, such as “I live my daydreams in music,” “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
From executive producers Academy Award winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the latter making his scripted television directorial debut with the first episode, GENIUS stars Geoffrey Rush as elder Albert Einstein, Johnny Flynn as young Einstein and Emily Watson as Elsa Einstein. GENIUS — the network’s first scripted series — reveals how Albert became Einstein, exploring his extraordinary professional achievements along with his volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships.
“With our scripted series GENIUS, we introduced Einstein the man, not just the physicist, showcasing the man behind the mind. He was a true creative spirit with an insatiable curiosity,” said Andy Baker, SVP/global creative director, National Geographic. “The 10 Days of Genius Film Festival will celebrate Einstein’s innovativeness and hopefully inspire audiences to explore their imaginations and find their inner genius.”
“10 Days of Genius honors Albert Einstein in service of GENIUS. Everyone knew how rare this brief was, and it was exciting to explore the intersection of music and science knowing how important both were to Einstein,” said Dave Arnold, executive creative director, Pereira & O’Dell New York.
“Einstein’s creative genius helped us reimagine our world. Through our platform and creative network, we are redefining how we approach content by allowing unique and diverse talent to reimagine his famous quotes,” said James DeJulio, co-founder and chief creative officer at Tongal. “The ‘genius’ behind this campaign is that it helped us empower limitless imagination, bring opportunities to up-and-coming filmmakers and as a result tell incredible stories.”
Beginning May 30, the 10 Days of Genius Film Festival will premiere with the release of “The Instrument” and will live across National Geographic’s digital and social platforms — the GENIUS homepage, VOD, YouTube and Facebook. “The Instrument” imagines a world where music and physics are one and the same and the rules of gravity are meant to be defied.
Additional shorts include:
- “The Mirror,” a short film that questions what if all of time collapsed to an instant and how far would you dare to travel while riding a beam of light across the universe
- “When Pigs Fly,” an animated short film that challenges the hypothetical, “could fly,” and says, I’ll bet there’s at least one that can
- “Take Me Back,” in which a female physicist, drawing inspiration from Einstein's quote that “the past, present and future are an illusion,” travels back in time to stop herself from meeting her future lover
- “Movement,” in which a Taiwanese-American daughter rediscovers her father’s love for dance just after he dies and learns his signature moves as a way to remember him
- “Relativity Ramen,” which explores relativity in the most recognizable of current-day situations — waiting for a microwave timer that never seems to be done
GENIUS, which airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on National Geographic, just passed the halfway mark of the season. Over the next few weeks the series will explore Albert Einstein’s (Geoffrey Rush) later years, including his immigration to the U.S. with his second wife Elsa (Emily Watson) — which was staunchly opposed by then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (T.R. Knight) — his reluctant and remorseful involvement in the development of the atomic bomb and his attempts to reconcile with his family. The special two-part season finale will air Tuesday, June 20.
Globally, GENIUS is averaging nearly 3.5 MM viewers per episode, hitting record numbers in most key markets. National Geographic magazine’s Genius cover story is projected to sell 100K issues; that makes it above average and the third best-selling cover for FY2017 to date.