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Einstein’s Light: an ode to Nobel Prize winners Einstein and Lorentz

Einstein’s Light, a new film about Albert Einstein, will be premiered on Monday 2 November during the Leiden International Film Festival (LIFF). Leiden University has contributed to the film as part of the University’s 440-year anniversary celebrations. Several Leiden professors are also featured in the film.

Innovative spirits

Einstein’s Light by film maker Nickolas Barris and Leiden University is an ode to the scientific curiosity and the innovative spirit of Nobel Prize winners Albert Einstein and Hendrik Lorentz. Around a century ago, Einstein was professor by special appointment at Leiden University.

The foundation of the theory of relativity was laid in Leiden, due in part to the construction of the Old Observatory in 1860 and the subsequent scientific discoveries. ‘Lorentz and Einstein met one another frequently at the University and they worked together on a regular basis. They were totally different personalities, but they admired one another,’ commented Jan van Ruitenbeek, Leiden Professor of Experimental Physics.


Barris uses film, based on light, to illustrate the power of science. The title of the film, Einstein’s Light, isn’t just about research on light. Barris explains: ‘It embodies the scientific exploration of light, but also gives ‘light’ or guidance to the modern pursuit of expanding knowledge.’ The influence of music on Einstein’s creativity is an important theme, a theme that is highlighted with a soundtrack composed specially for the film and performed by Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Marija Stroke. Watch the trailer

Four centuries of freedom

The film Einstein’s Light will be preceded by another special premiere: Vier eeuwen vrijheid (Four centuries of freedom). This short film is based on the book Edele, wijze, lieve, bijzondere by Professor of University History Willem Otterspeer. The book was published this year on the occasion of the 440th anniversary of the foundation of Leiden University.

Premiere of Einstein's Light in the Trianon

A hundred years after the development of the theory of relativity, the world premiere of the film will take place on Monday 2 November during the Leiden International Film Festival (LIFF), in the Trianon cinema. The cinema will be open from 19:00 hrs., and the programme is expected to end at 22.30 hrs. There are still free tickets available! As is appropriate for a special occasion, the dresscode for the evening will be lounge suits.

After the premiere, the film will be shown twice more at the LIFF:
Thursday 5 November, 17.00 hrs., Kijkhuis 1
Sunday 8 November, 14.15 hrs., Trianon 1

Publ. 23-10-2015 09:38
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