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Special Event

The NeverEnding Story: A Science on Screen Presentation

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The NeverEnding Story: A Science on Screen Presentation

The NeverEnding Story: A Science on Screen Presentation

Our 2024 Science on Screen® series of film screenings and presentations continues with writer/director Wolfgang Petersen's iconic fantasy classic, The NeverEnding Story, celebrating 40 years of release! This screening will be followed by the presentation Unlocking Minds: The Power of Shared Reading in Childhood Development by Dr. Kirsten Read.


On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called "The Neverending Story," Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by "The Nothing," a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive.


Join us for an enchanting evening as we embark on a journey through literature and neuroscience with a screening of the beloved 1984 classic, The NeverEnding Story. Paired with this timeless tale is a captivating presentation by Dr. Read, delving into the profound impact of reading to children on their cognitive development. Discover the magic of storytelling as Dr. Kirsten Read illuminates the pathways through which shared reading fosters imagination, learning, and social bonds in young minds. Uncover the hidden treasures within the film as Dr. Read guides us to recognize moments that serve as gateways to children's cognitive growth. Prepare to be transported to a realm where words weave wonders and the power of storytelling shapes the minds of tomorrow. Experience an evening of exploration, enlightenment, and the enduring charm of The NeverEnding Story.


Kirsten Read, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University who teaches courses on child development and publishes research on the language and learning benefits from shared storybook reading with young children.


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. Learn more at

Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

  • Rating PG
  • Running time 102
  • Genre Special Event

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