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LI 'Science Fair' director to host local screening

Jericho High School's Doris Fu, right, in "Science

Jericho High School's Doris Fu, right, in "Science Fair," which screens Sunday in Port Washington. Credit: National Geographic Documentary Films

Darren Foster, the Island Park native who codirected the acclaimed documentary “Science Fair,” will host a screening of his film in January via Skype with one of his subjects, a local high school teacher, in attendance.

“Science Fair” follows students from around the world as they work to enter the International Science and Engineering Fair, a global competition held annually. Although the film did not make the cut to become an Oscar finalist, it has been enthusiastically reviewed by critics, One of Foster’s focal points is Serena McCalla, a science teacher at Jericho High School with a track record of award-winning students. McCalla and several of her students will attend the screening in person.

The event will be Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington. Tickets are $15. For information, call 516-829-2570 or go to

Meanwhile, Foster and co-director Cristina Costantini appeared at a recent Los Angeles Times-hosted screening of their film, where they revealed at a Q-and-A session that an initial cut featured much discussion of President Donald Trump and his attitudes toward science.

"We felt that less was more," Foster said at the Times screening. "We had that opportunity to go there, I think, but at the end of the day when you have amazing people and leaders on the local level like Dr. McCalla, why would you overshadow them?"

The film initially addressed Trump’s “climate change denying and poo-pooing of science, and it didn't feel right. It felt like we all know what's happening but these kids are so inspirational and wonderful," Costantini added. "We just didn't want to saddle them with the rest of the adult world that's messing up.”

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