AiPT Science: Interview with creators of ‘ANYA,’ a genetic mystery movie

“I’m a science nerd. I suppose I have to be to continue in an academic field. At best it helps me break down the confusing concepts that pop up in the media for my friends and family, and I can sort of be a litmus test for what’s legitimate and what bears some scrutiny. At worst, it makes me yell at the screen at theaters and ruin movies for my friends with my impatience and sometime righteous (or maybe self-righteous) anger at obvious, easily correctable scientific blunders.

It’s therefore very satisfying for me to see filmmakers put in the effort to portray science (and scientists) correctly and truthfully in their work. The upcoming film ANYA a genetics mystery and love story, takes real science and turns it slightly askew to ask an interesting question — what would happen if we found another species of humans right here on Earth? Not in the way we usually think of isolated tribes deep in the Amazon rain forest, but right here in New York, fully immersed in our culture and indistinguishable in appearance and general behavior, but just genetically different enough to prevent them from having children with Homo sapiens like us.

How would we find them? How would they have stayed hidden for so long? What would happen if one of them fell in love with a regular person?

I spoke to the writer and director of ANYA, anthropologist Carlyanna Taylor, as well as to Ruth McCole, a Harvard researcher now based in Seattle, who served as a scientific consultant for the film.”

Read the full interview here.

jacob okada