Heather Knight runs Marilyn Monrobot in New York, a robot theater company where she and her cohort create “charismatic machine performances.” She is also a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and Fellow in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program. Her previous work includes: robotics and instrumentation at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs (including an award-winning Rube Goldberg Machine music video with OK GO), electrical engineering at Aldebaran Robotics, and she is an alumnus from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her installations have been featured at the Smithsonian-Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, TED, Pop!Tech, LACMA, SIGGRAPH and the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy. She is also the Assistant Director of Robotics at Humanity+ and a fellow at the Hybrid Realities Institute.
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Robot Film Festival & Botskers Award Ceremony

Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:00 - Sun Jul 17, 2011

New York, New York
United States of America

Two-day celebration of robots in film will open in New York City
with a screening of Spike Jonze’s “I’m Here,” a robot love story
New York City, NY, July 3, 2011 – This is not your ordinary film festival. The brainchild of Heather Knight, founder of Marilyn Monrobot, the first-of-its-kind Robot Film Festival on July 16-17, 2011 at Three Legged Dog theatre in lower Manhattan aims to create an interdisciplinary community that lives on after the event.
The festival will showcase and premiere short films that are one to eight minutes in length that feature robots as main characters in a variety of categories including dramas, comedies, love stories, action adventures and animation. It will feature screenings of juried selections from open-call submissions, live performances by robot entertainers, technology and art installations, cocktail and coffee mixers, a black-tie cocktail party and red-carpet awards ceremony, The Botskers, a film-making workshop, and a Sunday afternoon robot-themed cookout, dubbed the BotBQ.
“Our goal with the film festival and the expanding community that we’re building around it is to explore modern relationships between mankind, technology and nature,” says Heather Knight, founder of Marilyn Monrobot and executive producer and director of the event.

Spike Jonze Robot Love Story to Open Festival
The Robot Film Festival opens on July 16 with a screening of the Spike Jonze’s film short I’m Here, a robot love story celebrating a life enriched by creativity. The movie is set in contemporary L.A., where life moves at a seemingly regular pace with the exception of a certain amount of robot residents who love among the population. A male robot librarian lives a solitary and methodical life — devoid of creativity, joy and passion – until he meets an adventurous and free spirited female robot. The film stars British actor Andrew Garfield (Boy A, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Social Network) and Sienna Guillory, one of Maxim magazine’s 100 sexiest women.
Introducing the First-Ever Botskers (Robot Oscars)
Saturday evening is a black-tie event (think Robot Oscars) following the screening all the films on July 16. Prior to the red-carpet awards ceremony, festival-goers will be treated to interactive art and technology installations and cocktail party. During the awards ceremony, attendees will learn to “do the robot” from L.A.-based robot dance professional Josh Ventura.
*Reggie Watts: A Brooklyn-based comedian has created a special
performance with Data the Robot, in collaboration with festival founder Heather Knight
*Jilted: A human/virtual rock band featuring singer and guitarist
Milena Mepris with lady-clone backup musicians whom Mepris controls and triggers with foot pedals
*Double Rainbow: Guitarist meets fluorescent percussive robot characters, blending prehistoric with hipster futuristic qualities
*Robot Cowboy: The festival’s only Cyborg performance: Dan Wilcox performs with a live monitor mounted on his head, fusing man and machine.
The Botskers award categories include: Best Robot Actor, Best Laughs,
Best Robot Dance, Most Inspiring, Most Impactful, Most Uncanny, Best
Robot Future and more. The 3D-printed Botsker statuettes, designed by
Shawn Sims, will feature award titles that are robotically milled and
carved out by a robot.
Sunday Film-Making Workshop, Followed by Robot-Inspired BotBQ
There will be a film-making workshop during the second day that will rely on participants’ creativity to form interdisciplinary teams, pull together a story and quickly shoot and edit the footage, all in a three-and-a-half hour period. Sponsored by New York Science House, this is a hands-on, action-packed event resembling a 24-hour campus filmmaking contest rather than an instructional workshop. Materials and support resources will be provided. A gallery of the workshop films will be featured online alongside the award-winning films following event.
The BotBQ, a robot-themed cookout on Sunday afternoon is the closing celebration of the festival, during which festival attendees will don tinfoil hats and enjoy botgers, roboribs and heaping spoonfuls of podata salad.
Tickets for the first Robot Film Festival range in price from $25 to $90, and are available for purchase online here:

The website address is and Twitter handle is @robotfilmfest.


Robot Film Festival

Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:30 - Sun Jul 10, 2011

Please submit your outstanding, dazzling, hilarious or throught-provoking short film by June 5. JUST ONE REQUIREMENT: please feature a robot as one of the main characters as or framing devices of the narrative. The Robot Film Festival was founded to inject a sense of playfulness into traditional science and engineering and explore new frontiers for robotics before the technology is even possible. Films should be one to eight minutes long.
The event itself is a two-day festival July 9-10 2011, which will take place at Three Legged Dog theater in lower Manhattan.  In addition to the juried film screenings, there will be a live performances, cocktail and coffee mixers throughout and a red carpet award ceremony with interactive installations and uniquely designed ‘botsker‘ awards.  Don’t forget your party shoes (or wheels)!