Five must-see SCINEMA films for the holidays

The holidays are a busy time! We all want to get our fix of science, but we won’t blame you if summer’s robbed you of the energy to read an entire news article about it.

So after a busy day wrangling the extended family through the traditional feasting-and-arguing rituals, why not relax on the couch and watch an award-winning science film instead?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with 5 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival award winners that’ll tick all the right boxes this Boxing Day.

1. The Most Unknown

Kicking us off is The Most Unknown – winner of SCINEMA’s Special Jury Award in 2019. It’s an epic documentary film bound to ignite your curiosity about the world around you.

Have you ever wondered how life began? How about “What is time?” And what is consciousness anyway?

Follow nine scientists from diverse fields as they travel to extraordinary parts of the world to ask some of humanity’s greatest questions. Accompanied by stunning visuals and the music to match, The Most Unknown will appeal to science and non-science film lovers alike.

118 minutes.

Available on Netflix.

2. Seven Worlds: One Planet – South America

Combining phenomenal footage, cinematic editing, and the iconic narration of Sir David Attenborough, Seven Worlds: One Planet – South America explores the most species-rich continent on Earth.

International travel has been on hold for a couple of years, but this episode will take you from the bone-dry deserts of the Atacama to the lush cloud forests of the Andes. And you’ll explore how life evolved in South America to give rise to the extraordinary diversity we see there today.

Winner of SCINEMA’s Best Documentary/Film in 2021, this is the third episode in a series from BBC Earth that’ll connect you to the remarkable places and organisms our world has to offer.

49 minutes.

Episode available on RiAus. Full series available on Binge,, and Apple TV.

3. Vitamania

You might be tempted to dose up on dietary supplements to get you through the end of the year, but will they do you any good?

Join host Dr Derek Muller – who you may recognise from the wildly popular YouTube channel Veritasium – as he explores the sense and nonsense of the $100 billion vitamin and supplement industry.

The winner of SCINEMA’s Best Documentary Award in 2019, Vitamania will empower you to make informed decisions about vitamins – which, as you’ll learn, you most certainly need to do.

90 minutes.

Available on Vitamania website, SBS On Demand, and

4. Jim Allison: Breakthrough

This is the story of one man’s visionary quest to find a cure for cancer.

An accessible and immensely entertaining storytelling experience, Jim Allison: Breakthrough seamlessly weaves together the science of cutting-edge medicine with the emotionally compelling story of renegade Texan scientist Jim Allison.

You’ll follow his decades-long struggle against the skepticism of the medical establishment and the resistance of Big Pharma. The film won the 2021 SCINEMA Award for Scientific Merit.

90 minutes.

Available on Apple TV, Prime Video.

5. My Year of Living Mindfully

And lastly as we round out the year and slide into 2022, here’s a fifth science documentary you should watch ahead of those New Year’s resolutions that will inevitably be abandoned.

Winner of Best Film for SCINEMA 2020, My Year of Living Mindfully follows Australian health journalist Shannon Harvey on her year-long journey exploring mindfulness to re-wire her brain.

More relevant to our mental health than ever after the historic events of the last couple of years, the film links personal experience with scientific research to sweep the audience along for a ride to places you won’t expect.

98 minutes.

Available on, Apple TV.

Don’t forget, submissions for SCINEMA 2022 close 31 January!

Please login to favourite this article.