Sixteen Legs – award-winning film on sex lives of giant prehistoric spiders comes to campus

29 May 2018 23:16:06.997

An award-winning film featuring the University of Nottingham SpiderLab’s Dr Sara Goodacre among a host of stars, including Neil Gaiman and Stephen Fry, is coming to Lakeside Arts on campus next month for a special free screening and Q&A.

Sixteen Legs is a feature-length documentary that journeys into a world like no other on earth – where giant prehistoric spiders the size of dinner plates seek kinky love in the dark. The film will be screened at the Djanogly Theatre at Lakeside Arts, University Park on Wednesday 6th June at 5.30pm. 

As the world rapidly descends into the next period of global mass extinction, a message of hope comes from an unlikely hero – a creature, often unfairly reviled, that has survived prior mass extinctions and climatic change in a magical ecosystem hidden beneath the World Heritage mountains of one of the world's last great wildernesses.  

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With spectacular imagery and a dark-fantasy twist by the master story-teller Neil Gaiman, this real-world ‘Charlotte’s Web’ brings a story of stability and solitude into our world of rapid change. The film’s prize-winning cinematography documents the 25th anniversary of scientific research into animals that outlasted the dinosaurs. These spiders have survived the splitting of the continents and have endured the entirety of human civilisation in Australia’s deepest caves. From the visually stunning wilderness of Tasmania to an underworld few people have seen, the film takes us on an adventure into an ecosystem that preceded us and may still outlast us. 

The film runs for 1 hour and 40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A with Dr Niall Doran, writer, producer and co-director of Sixteen Legs. Dr Sara Goodacre will be moderating the Q&A, bringing her knowledge of all things arachnid to the stage as director of the University of Nottingham’s SpiderLab

Dr Goodacre said: “This screening is a unique opportunity to see this gripping documentary that captures the lives of these amazing spiders in terrific detail. It’s also hugely entertaining as it examines the human reaction to these creatures that ranges from absolute fascination to utmost terror. It’s also great that the audience will have the chance to ask questions to zoologist Dr Niall Doran, who is coming all the way from Australia to share his personal account of making the film.” 

The screening is a pay what you can event, with a suggested donation of £5. Proceeds will support the Bookend Trust's work supporting students studying unknown aspects of the natural world. 

Booking is via the Lakeside Arts website.

The screening will start at 5.30pm so ticket holders are asked to arrive around 10 minutes before so that there is plenty of time for questions at the end. 

A trailer for Sixteen Legs is available here.

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Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

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More information from Lakeside Arts on 0115 846 7777 or to book online click here.

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