"Study the science of art. Study the art of science." -Leonardo da Vinci
Eliza McNitt is a writer and director of films and Virtual Reality experiences. Her work has been described by the New York Times as “beautiful and surprising.” Her unique voice as a director, fusing science with narrative storytelling has been supported by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, TED, Google, Intel, Samsung, VICE, and Time Warner OneFifty. Her films have played at festivals around the world including SXSW, Hot Docs, and Cannes NEXT VR.
Eliza found filmmaking through science. A top winner of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her research on Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder, Eliza's first film was inspired by a desire to communicate the devastating impact of vanishing honeybees. Her honeybee research received the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering’s Gerber Medal–the state’s highest award for student science research–as well as special awards from The Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory, MIT-Lincoln Lab, the Audubon Society, CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research), the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, Pfizer, the United States Armed Forces, the United States Air Force, and Connecticut Governor Jody Rell.
Her documentary Requiem for the Honeybee was broadcast internationally on C-Span. Since then, Eliza has developed a passion for telling stories that challenge contemporary views of science. She is the recipient of over 50 film-festival nominations and prizes – including eight Best Film and Best Director awards. At NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Eliza was the winner of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Production Grant for her film Without Fire which was filmed on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, starring Magdalena Begay (Drunktown’s Finest) and Misty Upham (Frozen River, August: Osage County). Eliza's short film Artemis Falls starring Adepero Oduye (Pariah, 12 Years A Slave) was commissioned by TED and follows an astronaut on her journey into space.
She is the creator of Fistful of Stars a Virtual Reality experience following the journey of The Hubble Telescope through the cosmos that drew an audience of over 6,000 people at BRIC! Celebrate Brooklyn and was the world’s largest communal virtual reality experience to date. The New Yorker profiled the experience writing “it astounded me, this feeling of floating above Earth, and tears began to emerge from my cardboard goggles.” Fistful of Stars is available through Samsung x VICE on Beyond The Frame. She is an artist-in-residence with Time Warner OneFifty and a member of the New Museum’s NEW INC, an incubator to foster innovative projects in art and technology.