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Science on Screen Ⓡ presents SEARCHING, followed by a presentation on AI and Cyber-Security by Dr. Giovanni Vigna — Thursday, April 11 at 7PM

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This year, we are once again proud to partner with Science on Screen® for a series of screenings followed by special presentations on the scientific principles presented in each film.  We launch this year’s series on Thursday, April 11th, 7pm, with director Aneesh Chaganty’s 2018 cyber-thriller Searching.  This screening will be followed by special presentation Is the “Internet Apocalypse” Nigh? AI, Cyber-Security, and the Threat of the Digital Age” by Dr. Giovanni Vigna.  Click here for tickets.


David Kim (John Cho) becomes desperate when his 16-year-old daughter, Margot, disappears and an immediate police investigation leads nowhere. He soon decides to search the one place that no one else has: Margot’s laptop. Hoping to trace her digital footprints, David contacts her friends and looks at photos and videos for any possible clues to her whereabouts, only to find himself falling deeper into a mystery with some surprising revelations.  Ingeniously told entirely through computer and phone screens, Searching is a masterful film that places the viewer in a time where reality has found itself rooted into the internet, and the various apps and websites through which we currently live our lives.

ABOUT THE PRESENTATION: Is the “Internet Apocalypse” Nigh? AI, Cyber-Security, and the Threat of the Digital Age”

What is our digital footprint? Our actions, our comments, and our relationships are continuously recorded, shared, and commented on—sometimes, we’re not even aware of what information is collected. Our digital identity is composed of threads, crumbs, and hints that may seem unrelated and disconnected but, together, can form a rich digital representation of our lives. Discover the inner workings of our digital life with Dr Giovanni Vigna of UC Santa Barbara who will present an illuminating talk on cybersecurity and its depiction in Aneesh Chaganty’s 2018 film Searching. Drawing from his research in vulnerability analysis, web security, and artificial intelligence, Dr Vigna will explore the film’s portrayal of digital threats and human behavior in the modern world, highlighting central themes of the digital age: Is our digital life more “real” than our physical life? How can we balance privacy and safety? What are the limits to our desire to represent ourselves differently from who we are?

Dr. Giovanni Vigna is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and the director of the NSF AI Institute for Agent-based Cyber Threat Intelligence and Operation (ACTION) at UCSB. He was the CTO and co-founder of Lastline, Inc., a company that provides anti-malware solutions. Lastline was acquired by VMware, Inc., in June 2020, which, in turn, was acquired by Broadcom, Inc., in November 2023. Since then, Dr. Vigna leads the Threat Analysis Unit in the ANS business unit at Broadcom.



Atalia Lopez is an Australian transplant, Letterboxd devotee, and Frida Cinema board member. She teaches classes on the intersection of film, literature, and the urban environment at Chapman University, and is proudly responsible for exposing hundreds of students to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Atalia completed her undergraduate studies in literature at Chapman University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford. You may also know her as the host of The Frida’s monthly Film Trivia Nights, where she invented the “fourth round stretch.”


Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and their grant initiative brings science to cinemas nationwide. The Coolidge Corner Theatre’s series has enhanced film and scientific literacy with this popular program, which launched at the Coolidge in 2005 in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and its pioneering nationwide film program. Since 2011, Sloan has awarded the Coolidge over $4 million to develop and administer Science on Screen programs around the US through partnerships with other nonprofits. The Coolidge has in turn awarded 393 grants totaling over $2.5 million to 121 film and science-focused organizations in 44 states (plus Washington, DC) across the country.

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