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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Studying at Cambridge

Dish Life The Film

Dish Life is a documentary short about stem cell scientists' emotional relationship to the cells they grow in the laboratory. As live beings, in vitro cells need constant care - nourishing food, a clean environment and enough space - to flourish. Scientists, in tireless efforts, have to assume the role of parents to keep the cells happy, while the cells at times may act like misbehaving children.

Dish Life was written and directed by Chloe Thomas and produced for the University of Cambridge by Karen Jent and Loriana Vitillo for the Cambridge Shorts Series. Since its premiere, the film has been in the official selection and won awards at numerous international film festivals. The film has also been featured by a number of news media outlets, including the New York Times and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.




National Runner-up      2017 Bristol Science Film Festival, UK

Bronze                         2016 Raw Science Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA


Festival Selections

2016 Cambridge Film Festival, UK (Cambridge Shorts Premiere Event)

2017 Ethnografilm, Paris, France (official selection)

2017 Brooklyn Free Radicals BRIC, Brooklyn, USA (official selection)

2017 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Australia (official selection)

2017 Scinema International Science Film Festival, Australia (official selection)

2017 Bozeman Doc Series, Montana State University, USA (official selection)

2017 Social Machinery, Rizziconi, Italy (official selection)

2017 Wolves Independent International Film Awards, Lithuania (official selection)

2017 Imagine Science Film Festival, NYC, USA (official selection)

2018 Tech Doc Fest, Seattle, USA (official selection)

2018 The Russian Film Festival, Moscow, Russia (official selection)

2018 Global Short Film Awards Cannes (semi-finalist)
















Cambridge University press release (November 21, 2016):

Cambridge News (November 24, 2016):

Review on Bionews: (February 20, 2017)

Signals Blog: (March 17, 2017)

New York Times: Events for Children in NYC This Week (October 12, 2017):

New York Times: 10 Things to Do in NYC Now (October 13, 2017):

EurostemCell Feature (January 25, 2018)

UK Regenerative Medicine Platform feature (February 21, 2018):


Broadcasting and film platforms

Cambridge TV feature:

ABC iView featured Dish Life for over 20 days, during the SCINEMA Festival and now host the film on their website:

Australia’s Science Channel (September 4, 2017)




The Reproductive Sociology Research Group supports research and teaching on the social and cultural implications of new reproductive technologies. ReproSoc is based within the Department of Sociology and is part of an expanding concentration of Reproductive Studies at Cambridge, is led by Professor Sarah Franklin and has funding from the Wellcome Trust, British Academy, ESRC, ERC, and Office of the Vice Chancellor, as well as several other funding bodies.


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The ReproSoc team interviewed Professor Mary Beard, Professor Jack Halberstam and Professor Marilyn Strathern to find out their views on why reproduction matters today, and what role research has to play

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