Australia gets its only SF-specific film festival this October.
From October 19 – 23, the Ritz Cinema, Randwick , will host the 2016 SciFi Film Festival, serving up a feast of speculative delights for the discerning genre fan. Over five days, the festival will showcase the best and most innovative new SF features and shorts from around the world.
Opening night sees the Australian premiere of Equals, from acclaimed director, Drake Doremus. Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult star as two people who unexpectedly become able to feel emotions in a sterile dystopia where such things are not only forbidden, but unknown. Jacki Weaver and Guy Pearce co-star in this thinkpiece, while SF legend Ridley Scott serves as executive producer.
Making its only big-screen appearance in Australia, The Purge: Election Year is the third installment in the cult franchise whose brilliant central conceit sees a future society where one day a year citizens are allowed to break the law. In the latest film, our hero (Frank Grillo) must protect a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night.
Rupture puts forth the tried and tested combination of sci-fi and horror, with singular director Steven Shainberg (Secretary, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus) returning after a ten-year hiatus with this story of a mother (Noomi Rapace) kidnapped by a secret organisation intent on turning her into a monster. Michael Chiklis, Kerry Bishe, Peter Stormare and Lesley Manville co-star.
For the Love of Spock is a lovingly-made access-all-areas documentary about Leonard Nimoy by his son Adam, with all the insight and sensitivity only an offspring could bring to a project. Our special presentation will mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.
Mexico’s most exciting young filmmaker Isaac Ezban brings The Similars, the story of a rainy night in 1968 and a group of disparate people stuck at a bus depot that quickly takes a turn for the surreal and disturbing. The Similars will be presented at a late night session as befits this future cult film, and will be followed by a Skype interview with the filmmaker direct from Mexico.
This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy is not only a contender for the longest film title of all time but it is also a lovingly made New Zealand indie which won Best Comedy at the London and Boston Sci-Fi Film Festivals, Best Sci-Fi Film at Gencon and Best Independent Film at Starburst. Appropriate for its tongue-in-cheek story of three lads who are transported to a ‘50s sci-fi movie when they enter a booth at a fan convention, patrons will be encouraged to cosplay at this late night screening. Lead actor, co-writer and director Christian Nicolson will be flying in from New Zealand for the screening and will take part in a post-film Q&A.
Also up in the mix are two sessions of Australian and international SF shorts, plus free side events at the AFTRS facilities at Moore Park, including first looks at three upcoming Australian features, filmmaker talks, a workshop with illustrator/storyboard artist Tani Kunitake (Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Matrix) and more.