"Bella Gaia" is an audiovisual experience that blends art and science.

Move over IMAX. “Fulldome” film is ready for its close up. At least in Colorado.

The first-ever Fiske Fulldome Film Festival started this week at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium. Its public showcase began Thursday and the event runs through Aug. 20.

Similar to an IMAX motion picture, these films make you feel like you are really there -- gliding through outer space, swimming among the ocean’s wildlife or exploring ancient ruins. The difference: Fulldome films project onto a domed ceiling, enveloping audiences in 180 degrees of moving images.

“The fulldome community is growing rapidly,” Fiske Planetarium director Dr. Douglas Duncan says. “We want to engage new creative people to start producing for the medium.”

The international festival represents work by producers and filmmakers from five continents -- including the new release “Solar Superstorms,” which many Colorado astronomers contributed to, and “Bella Gaia,” a musical montage of NASA satellite imagery and timelapse nature photography.

Aug. 14 marks the premiere of the hybrid production “Vera Rubin: Bringing the Dark to Light.” Two Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company actors perform surrounded by a virtual set displayed on the Fiske’s dome. The play follows female astronomer Vera Rubin, who discovered dark matter in the 1960s.

Duncan hopes to make the festival an annual event.