Ten-year old Betsey is forced to spend the day with her father in his laboratory, The Fly Room, where scientists study fruit flies, unlocking the laws of heredity that later became the foundation of modern genetics. While at first she feels closer to him that she ever had, she ultimately discovers secrets about him that will transform their relationship forever.
The Fly Room cast brought together a group of today’s most exciting emerging actors. 10-year-old Zoe Brooks, who is making her feature film debut, leads a group that includes rising talents Henry Hopper, Haskell King and Mikal Evans, and features cameos by the actual Betsey Bridges, daughter of pioneer geneticist Calvin Bridges, and several of the world’s leading science minds.
The Fly Room was brought into being by a powerful team that includes writer and director Alexis Gambis, producer Krista Parris, director of photography Pedro Gomez Millan, as well as film and science students from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Bard College. The film partners with Imagine Science, a non-profit committed to promoting dialogue between scientists and filmmakers, and is supported through grants by Spike Lee and the Sloan Foundation.
THE DIRECTORS STATEMENT
"I first learned about the Fly Room in a genetics seminar during my PhD program. Belying its eventual importance, the Fly Room began as a dingy closet-like space at Columbia University from 1911 to 1928 run by Thomas Hunt Morgan. It was here that the basic laws that govern heritability and the passing of traits were discovered – work that would eventually win their lab a Nobel Prize in 1933 and formed the foundation of the genetic discoveries that continue today. The men and women behind this groundbreaking work were geneticists at a time when the field was just emerging. They were young pioneers of a new frontier in science, making the rules up as they worked and fostering a democratic atmosphere open to new ideas and unconventional thinking, which became a standard in laboratory research in practice today. At the forefront of the film, is the dramatic narrative about a girl’s quest to understand her father through his research. But the story also emphasizes the importance of model organisms, such as the fly, to understand universal laws of science and how that speaks to our identity and who we are."
Alexis Gambis, Writer & Director