Science on Screen’s ‘The People There To Catch Us’ Director at DocUtah 2024

Science on Screen event in DocUtah.
Science on Screen event in DocUtah.

Date posted:



  • documentary
  • DocUtah
  • science on screen
  • The People there to Catch Us

In March 2024, CÚRAM and Ardán were delighted to support Luke Brabazon, the director of The People There to Catch Us, on his trip to DocUtah to take part in a screening and Q&A. The documentary, produced by Carbonated Comet Productions, was the latest film to be made as part of the Science on Screen partnership where filmmakers received €35,000 in funding to make a documentary based on a research project. 

Luke kindly wrote down some thoughts from his experience at the film festival: 

“I was honoured to be invited to represent ‘The People There To Catch Us’ at this year’s DocUtah International Film Festival. The festival showcases a wide range of documentaries from around the world, and is held in the town of St. George, just outside Zion National Park in southern Utah.

‘The People There to Catch Us’ received an excellent response during its screening. As I discovered through the Q&A after the film, and the following DocTalk Director’s Roundtable later in the evening, many of the attendees had their own personal experiences with cancer. The audience was very encouraged to hear that funds such as Science on Screen were available for films like this – in the US, most documentaries are typically self-funded by the filmmakers themselves or only made possible by private donors.

We were delighted also to have been nominated for two awards – Best Score (thank you to Nestor Romero Clemente for his incredible work there) and Best Humanitarian Film.

Across the weekend, two topics of conversation often emerged. The first being how cancer was a feature of many of the films showcased during the festival. As is mentioned in ‘The People There to Catch Us’, 1 in 2 people will now be affected by cancer in their lifetimes. However, with the work of the people in the film, and thousands more like them around the world, the prognoses are improving overall for people’s chances to live on, and live well, after cancer.

As it was an event attended by many of the filmmakers, conversations often moved to another topic – funding – and how each filmmaker brought their projects to the screen. It became clear that most people at the festival, despite being highly accomplished, had major challenges in finding funding for their work. I had already been extremely grateful to the Science on Screen fund for the support we received in making ‘The People There to Catch Us’ but I had not realised quite how unique and special it was as an opportunity for documentary filmmakers to tell important stories within the STEM fields in Ireland.

Possibly the best part of the excellent DocUtah was the meeting and connecting with other filmmakers from around the world who had been invited to the festival. I feel extremely fortunate to have met some wonderful people, particularly Anand and Sudha Kamalakar. Anand’s film, Colonel Kalsi, told the story of Kamal S. Kalsi, a Sikh who fought for permission to wear his turban and beard as part of his military uniform. In recent years he was diagnosed with cancer but has continued in his fight for the rights of other Sikh soldiers. I would also like to thank Troy Paff, director of ‘Texas Music Revolution’ who kindly drove me back to Las Vegas for my flight home after the festival.

Thank you to CÚRAM, Ardán, and DocUtah for all their work in supporting and sharing this film.

Thank you also to Carbonated Comet, Science Foundation Ireland, Precision Oncology Ireland, The Patient’s Voice in Cancer Research, and all those featured in the documentary for sharing their stories.” 


Next round of documentary funding to be announced

CÚRAM and Ardán will be launching a new Science on Screen documentary commission in April 2024 and hosting an Open Day to provide information on the scheme to the filmmakers interested in applying. Follow the social media and newsletter of Ardán & CÚRAM to find out when the commission details are released. 

About Science on Screen: 

CÚRAM & Ardán run a partnership project called ‘Science on Screen’ which aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production. The partnership began in 2016 with CÚRAM funding documentary filmmaking and providing access to leading scientists to explore methods of scientific ‘story telling’ and to produce short films that incorporate current research at CÚRAM and its partners. These documentaries are freely available for community and educational screenings nationwide.  

Since 2016, eight Science on Screen films have been produced. These have been broadcast on RTÉ and/or TG4, screened at numerous international film festivals and have scooped 6 international awards. The documentaries are used throughout the country at schools, for community screenings, and at academic conferences. They have reached an audience of over 1 million people to date. Please ask access to these docs. 

The Science on Screen partnership has also recently added a short animations funding round, where animators create animations which can communicate complex ideas in an easy-to-understand way for public and patient audiences. Watch some of the animations here.