Student - May 12, 2011

Insects in the spotlight

Fans of films starring creepy crawlies can have the time of their lives on 26 and 27 May, when the film festival INSECTENexperience will be on at Cinemec in Ede. Arthropods will be stealing the show in numerous films and documentaries during this event.

The scientist from The Hellstrom Chronicle says insects will beat us eventually
Insects are the most hated kind of animal in the world, it emerged from a 'nasty creatures' survey done by radio programme Vroege Vogels. The biggest bugbear was the tick, which strictly speaking is not an insect. It was followed by the mosquito, the horsefly and the wasp. The rest of the list was mainly insects too.
To show that insects can also be enjoyable and interesting, Wageningen UR is collaborating with a few other organizations to put together the INSECTexperience, an event that includes a symposium, training courses and an insect safari, besides the film festival. After all, insects deserve some respect and admiration, being the most successful kind of animal around. Numbering almost one million identified species, they are also by far the largest group of animals. What is more, the species variety of all the other sorts of animals put together does not match that of the insects. And new species of insects are being discovered all the time.   
One of the films explores just how successful insects might become. In The Hellstrom Chronicle, a scientist claims that thanks to their enormous capacity for adaptation and reproductive drive, insects will eventually beat human beings in the Darwinian struggle for survival. This prizewinning film, half-fiction and half-documentary, combines fragments from horror and science fiction films with beautiful images of butterflies, wasps, ants and other insects which had never before been caught on film (the film was made in 1971).
For the ultimate insect experience you can follow the last film with a nocturnal expedition led by entomologists, to look for all sorts of creepy crawlies. Because the green sound barrier lining the motorway next to Cinemec is an insect's heaven.

You can find the full programme for the insect festival and sign up for activities at www.insectenexperience.nl.

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