Brett Ryan Bonowicz, Filmmaker
Bio and Contact Info
Listen (4:00) Where is the "fiction" in your science fiction?
Listen (4:47) Upcoming screenings
Listen (3:51) Learning where to draw the ethical lines
Listen (3:43) What would a biotech company look like with Steve Jobs or Elon Musk as CEO?
Listen (2:42) Would you personally try a service like GenePeeks?
Listen (6:53) Tackling the topic of GMO's next
In today’s interview, we talk with filmmaker, Brett Ryan Bonowicz. He’s the writer, director and producer of The Perfect 46, a new film exploring the future of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Whereas our industry often gets demonized by Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters that are full of special effects and fancy sets, Brett’s film seeks to ask tough ethical questions and show the industry in a more nuanced way.
“I knew I wanted to get into science fiction. And I knew I wanted to get into discussions that didn’t have definitive answers, where I could explore a lot of grey area where each person was right in their own way,” he says in explaining why he chose his topic.
While the film is set just barely into the future, and there is no company existing today like the one in the film, the screenplay unfolds in a very plausible way. A geneticist creates a website called "The Perfect 46" that pairs folks with their genetic match for having children.
To better describe his interest in portraying events that might be right around the corner, Brett calls his work “science-factual,” a term he says he borrowed from some Walt Disney work.
Brett was first attracted to the topic in 2008 when he read about 23andMe in Time Magazine and subsequently used their service. Watching his film and talking with Brett gives us a chance to see the industry from an outsider’s perspective.
The film’s next screening is at Stanford on August 4th, accompanied by a panel discussion with local life scientists.
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