PHENOMENA is an experimental documentary project that explores naturally occurring patterns, and the forces of nature that create them. Art and science collide to take us on an ambitious, innovative, and psychedelic journey through the fabric of the universe.
Filmmaker & artist Josef Gatti takes nine natural phenomena and controls them with science and technology to produce mesmerizing and hypnotic imagery that visualize the most fundamental aspects of nature. The images are captured by camera, and produced with practical experiments without the use of CGI.
Guided by a narrator, each chapter explores a natural phenomenon and the forces behind it, including energy, matter, soundwaves, light, electricity, magnetism, gravity, magnitudes and evolution. They build on each other to reveal the story of the universe unfolding from it’s elemental origins to create the stars, earth, and life. Each chapter is synchronized to an exciting and original electro-cinematic score composed by Kim Moyes from Australian dance music duo The Presets.
Requiring countless experiments and innovative thinking, these natural phenomena are manipulated in a controlled environment and captured with state-of-the-art technology. Time is stretched with slow motion to reveal moments that would otherwise be unseeable. Microscopic characteristics beyond the human eye are made visible by Electron Microscope. Days are turned into seconds with time-lapse photography. And light is manipulated to make the invisible visible. These powerful visualizations create a unique experience that leads to new insights and perspectives on nature, the universe, and our place within it.
PHENOMENA was created by filmmaker Josef Gatti over 5 years in which he experimented with science, technology, and art.
It began as a simple project between Josef and his family & friends. Together they created three short films which formed the basis of the concept, which were notably screened at Adelaide Film Festival (2018), Splendour In The Grass (2019), and SCINEMA International Film Festival (2020).
Over more than 18 months, it was developed in collaboration with producer Rob Innes (Mashup Pictures) before it was funded by Screen Australia, Film Victoria, and the ABC.
Josef completed the project in 2021, creating a 9-part anthology, a featurette, and an immersive experience for exhibition.
Under the name WORLDS Immersive, Melbourne Museum featured the work in their multi-projector space ‘The Learning Lab’ throughout summer. Additionally, Powerhouse Museum curated the work for Earth Day 2021.
PHENOMENA was released digitally by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on their streaming platform ABC iview, and across social media.
In August 2021, it was an official selection and won the ‘Special Jury Prize’ at the SCINEMA International Film Festival 2021.
Distribution & Media:
Media & Resources:
- Winner: Special Jury Award – SCINEMA International Film Festival
- AACTA Spotlight Featuring Phenomena
- NME The 10 best Australian films and TV shows of 2021 – so far
- Phenomena: art meets science in spectacular and profound mini-documentary series – The Guardian
- Double J – The Presets’ Kim Moyes has written a cinematic electro-score for Phenomena
- ‘Phenomena’ is a Psychedelic-Free Trip – Monster Children
- Kim Moyes chatting about Phenomena on Matt & Alex All Day Breakfast Podcast
- Director Josef Gatti talks ‘Phenomena’ on ABC Artworks Program
- Museums Victoria – WORLDS Immersive @ Melbourne Museum
- Design Week – Designing WORLDS IMMERSIVE
- MAAS – WORLDS Immersive at Powerhouse Late: AGDA
- Screen Australia Funding Announcement