The Flat Earth movement is a loose coalition of those who believe that the Earth is actually a disc, and that depictions of the planet as a globe are fake. It’s a small cadre of internet dwellers, but it punches above its weight in terms of how vocal it is.
It boasts several extremely active Facebook groups, some heavily-watched YouTube videos, prominent celebrity believers, such as rapper B.O.B. and NBA star Kyrie Irving, and maybe the most important thing you need for success on the internet, countless woke memes.
And now, it’s having a film festival, exploring the idea that science has literally been lying to us THIS WHOLE TIME.
The inaugural Colorado International Flat Earth Film Festival (CIFEFF), scheduled for November, seeks “documentary and fictional projects that promote generally positive messages related to Flat Earth,” which they see as a “cosmological model [that] posits that the Earth exists on a giant, flat plane with the Arctic/North Pole at the center, and a huge wall of ice/Antarctic surrounding the entire disc.”
Like any other film festival, the organizers plan to give awards, hold screenings at major theaters, and even host panel discussions. And they already have plans for expanding further editions of the festival.
And it’s not just Flat Earth evidence that the organizers are looking for, but “Gravity, Electro-magnetism, Time Travel, Time& Space, Time Dilation, Timekeeping, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Astronomy, Astrology, Theoretical/Thought Experiments, Resonance/Frequency, Mathematics/Probability, Sacred Geometry, Mythology, Comparative Religion & all remotely related topics.”
As such, the festival is seeking original works depicting the Earth as “a flat disk, covered by a physical dome, [or] at the center of the universe.”
And lest you think this is just a big scam by the organizers, submission of works is free. Which is actually a refreshing change from much of fringe belief internet, which takes money to publish nonsense.
And in case you were wondering, yes, Flat Earth is nonsense.
The festival website lists a bunch of concepts that Flat Earthers come back to time and again as proof of their claims. These include an experiment performed in 1838, a real phenomenon called “crepuscular rays,” and various quibbles with how aircraft don’t fly in direct lines to their destinations.
But none of these things are actually proof. Most are just based on misunderstandings of how science and aviation work, along with general distrust of the government.
Most Flat Earth beliefs come back to the same discredited concepts – that because individuals can’t see the curve of the Earth, and can’t feel the spin of the planet, they aren’t actually there.
But we know both the curve and spin of the Earth are real, and have for millennia.
It’s been at least 2,500 years since the Ancient Greeks determined that the Earth was a sphere, with no less than Aristotle writing “our observations of the stars make it evident, not only that the Earth is circular, but also that it is a circle of no great size.” And Christopher Columbus wasn’t on a quest to prove the Earth was round, either. That tall tale dates to 19th century author Washington Irving.
The idea of the Earth as a disc surrounded by ice walls has been around since the 1860’s, but found a wider audience in conspiracy theory believers on the internet, who are already inclined to believe things outside the mainstream – especially when most scientists think these beliefs are beneath their contempt.
If authorities consistently lied to us about the planet’s true shape, what else are they lying about? And why?
Going through Flat Earth Facebook groups and message boards, one sees many degrees of belief, and even some people who are just there for trolling.
Some people are “just asking questions,” but others are so deep into the conspiracy that they think every photo of the round Earth is either fake or distorted, and even that gravity itself is a hoax. Mostly, they just insult “globalists” (their term for sphere believers) and congratulate each other for being woke.
The organizers of CIFEFF seem to be in the “just asking questions” portion of the Flat Earth movement. Their website offers little in the way of proof, but asks about everything from how heat travels through space to why airports aren’t moving when planes try to land on them.
These seem silly, but to a believer, they become a form of secret knowledge. Do you know how heat travels through space? Do you know why planes don’t fly in straight lines to their destination?
There’s nothing wrong with exploring Flat Earth beliefs. And if you want to make a movie about it, knock yourself out.
Just don’t expect the body of established science to change because you think you’re right and everyone else is wrong.