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Whiz Kids - Benefit Screening June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Tom Shepard
Location Details:
Herbst Theatre 401 VAn Ness Ave, SF CA 94102

Whiz Kids
A Benefit Screening for San Francisco’s Exploratorium and
The Whiz Kids Outreach and Education Project
June 16, 2009 at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. SF 94102
6 pm - VIP Reception
7 pm - Screening followed by Q&A with filmmakers and special guests.

Tickets are $15 for the screening only. Contact City Box Office at
For Premium Seating and VIP Reception, contact 415-331-8333 or email whizkidsscreening [at]

Filmmakers Tom Shepard, Tina DiFeliciantonio, Jane C. Wagner and
Michael Duca, and the three teenaged subjects of the film will be in attendance, along with several special guests.

From the filmmakers who brought you the Sundance and Emmy Award-winning films
SCOUT’S HONOR and GIRLS LIKE US comes the new feature length documentary
WHIZ KIDS. The film chronicles a battle of brainiacs—in this case, the competition is the nation's oldest, most prestigious science competition. The world premiere of WHIZ KIDS is at 7 pm, June 16, 2009 at the Herbst Theatre and will benefit the Exploratorium and the WHIZ KIDS Outreach and Education Fund. A VIP Reception will precede the screening at 6 pm.

WHIZ KIDS is a coming-of-age documentary that marks the distinct paths of three remarkably passionate 16-year-old scientists who vie to compete, win or lose, in the Intel Science Talent Search, which was formerly sponsored by Westinghouse. Spitfire Ana Cisneros is a first generation Ecuadorian American whose parents came to the U.S. in search of a better life for their family. The daughter of a former DuPont chemist from West Virginia, Kelydra Welcker is an earnest environmental watchdog. Pakistani-born Harmain Khan is a mercurial teen with enormous ambition. For a year and a half, they visited high schools around the country searching for teenagers who were engaged in sophisticated research. The team found students, who at 16 and 17, were already working in university and government labs, sometimes alongside Nobel Prize winning scientists. They also found students with fewer resources who were making discoveries in the apocryphal basement or garage lab. Several traits were consistent among these ‘whiz kids’—an insatiable curiosity, a deeply felt determination to communicate their work to the public and a passion to make a difference in the world. The subjects of this film raise questions about class, courage, personal sacrifice, success and failure, and in the process, learn as much about themselves as they do about science.

About the Filmmakers
Director and co-producer Tom Shepard was a teen scientist and a Science Talent Search finalist in 1987 and has directed and produced documentaries for over 12 years. SCOUT’S HONOR won the Audience Award for Best Documentary and Freedom of Expression Award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. He also co-directed and produced KNOCKING, a film about Jehovah’s Witnesses, which garnered several national awards.

Co-director, co-producer and director of photography Tina DiFeliciantonio and editor, writer and sound recordist Jane C. Wagner's collaboration began while they were in Stanford University's masters film program, where DiFeliciantonio made her directing debut with the student Oscar-winning LIVING WITH AIDS. Their film GIRLS LIKE US won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Added to the calendar on Fri, May 29, 2009 4:59PM
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