The SciFi Film Festival (SFFF) announces its 2017 program of films to be screened at Event Cinemas, George Street from 11 to 15 October. From vampires to parallel worlds, teleportation to virtual worlds, and everything in between, the SFFF will deliver an eclectic program of scifi films.

“I am particularly proud of the strength of independent films that are presented in our program.” said Tom Papas, Festival Director “It’s exciting to be screening this year’s line up of established and new talent at Event Cinemas,”

SFFF will screen over five days a carefully curated selection of new indie films from, Australian The Gateway and Project Eden Vol 1 will include Q&A sessions, and a medley of classics Repo Man (Harry Dean Stanton) to David Bowie’s, The Man Who Fell From Earth.

The international film , include the Australian premieres direct from Cannes The Transfiguration (USA) and from UK Anti Matter and Sublimate from UK.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the SciFi Film Festival in 2017 to celebrate one of the fastest growing genres in cinema today” said General Manager Anthony Kierann. ” In an era of ever increasing technology many filmmakers are exploring more and more the imaginative possibilities in science fiction and virtual reality that appeal to a true escape for the Cinema audience.”

This year the festival will be pairing each full-length movie with a short film.

“We’re bringing back the tradition of combining a feature film with a short film.” Mr Papas added.

Opening this year’s festival screening with Q&A by Simon Foster, on 11 October is The Gateway (Australia), directed by John V. Soto and starring Jacqueline McKenzie, Myles Pollard, Ben Mortley and Haley McElhinney. It’s a story about a particle physicist grieving over the loss of her husband in a car crash uses a revolutionary machine to bring him back, with dire consequences for her family.

The festival’s closing night on 15 October, is the Australian Premiere of Sublimate (UK) directed, by Roger Armstrong and John Hickman. A mockumentary about a drug-addled techno producer who invents a device that ‘sends consciousness to the next level’. When experiments go horrifically wrong he takes extreme measures to find more ‘volunteers’.

Direct from Cannes, the Australian Premier of The Transfiguration (USA), which earned a coveted Un Certain Regard slot, directed by Michael O’Shea. When troubled teen Milo (Eric Ruffin), who has a fascination with vampire lore, meets the equally alienated Sophie (Chloe Levine), the two form a bond that begins to blur Milo’s fantasy into reality.

A selection of other feature film highlights include:

Project Eden Vol 1 with Q&A by Simon Foster (Australia), directed by Terrance M. Young and starring Emily Fradenburgh, Erick Avari and Mike Dopud. Aided by an ex-military officer, a young woman becomes an unwitting fugitive after discovering that her son’s catatonic state may be at the heart of a global conspiracy.

Anti Matter (UK), directed by Keir Burrows and staring Yaiza Figueroa, Phillipa Carson and Tom Barber-Duffy. A sci-fi noir take on the Alice in Wonderland tale. Ana, an Oxford PhD student, finds herself unable to build new memories following an experiment to generate and travel through a wormhole. The story follows her increasingly desperate efforts to understand what happened, and to find out who – or what – is behind the rising horror in her life.

The Rizen (UK), directed by Matt Mitchell and Taliesyn Mitchell and starring Lee Latchford-Evans, Laura Swift, Tom Goodman-Hill, Adrian Edmondson and Sally Phillips. The year is 1955. NATO and the Allied Forces have been conducting secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. Now, they have finally succeeded, but what they have unleashed could tear our world apart.

Mountain Fever (UK), directed by Hendrik Faller, starring Tom Miller, Anya Korzum, Julien Caplan and Julien Michel. City boy Jack takes refuge in the Alps but he’s ill-equipped to survive the harsh winter. Things only get worse when renegade Kara breaks into his house and commandeers his dwindling food supplies. His inept plan to get rid of her disintegrates when outsiders also invade, turning his captor into his only ally. As a siege ensues Jack must choose a side if he hopes to survive.

We Go On (USA), directed by Andy Mitton and starring Annette O’Toole, Clark Freeman and John Glover. Miles Grissom, determined to eradicate his crippling fear of death, is offering $30,000 to the first person who can show him a ghost, a demon, a past-life memory – anything to prove we go on after we die – in hopes that having certainty will let him live without fear. He sorts through the thousands of responses to arrive at three viable candidates: a science professor, a local medium working in a Mexican restaurant, and a worldly entrepreneur. Charlotte, Miles’s protective mother, joins Miles on his quest, and they embark on an adventure through Los Angeles – one that will spiral into a nightmare.

Virtual Revolution (USA/French), directed by Guy-Roger Duvert and starring Mike Dopud, Jade Badler, Jochen Hägele and Maximilien Poullein. Paris 2047. Most of the population spend all their time online, connected into virtual worlds, and don’t care anymore about reality. A shadow agent, Nash, working for one of the multinational companies behind these virtual worlds, is tracking down terrorists who threaten the system…

Cult Classics:

The Man Who Fell From Earth 4K Restoration (UK), directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark. Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to get the billions of dollars he needs to build a return spacecraft, and meets Mary-Lou, a girl who falls in love with him. He does not count on the greed and ruthlessness of business here on Earth, however.

Repo Man (1984, USA), directed by Alex Cox and starring Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez and Tracey Walter. Young punk Otto becomes a repo man after helping to steal a car, and stumbles into a world of wackiness as a result.

Short Film Program Highlights

The Grand Palaver 16:10mins (Australia) directed by Michael Cristian Greene and starring Jacob Lentfer-Maguire, Zana Rockwell, Jasper Lloyd and Taryn Wallace. Three young adventurers, bored during their summer holidays, start to follow the obscure actions of their quirky elderly neighbour only to uncover the truth behind his mysterious past.

Pigtails 28mins (Japan) is the animated adaptation of the manga, Mitsuami no Kami-sama by female artist Machiko Kyo. Directed by and produced at Production I.G, Inc. is a Japanese anime studio and production company (Ghost in The Shell and Kill Bill). The earth shook. The sea roared. And then… 
There is a small house solitary standing by the seaside. A young pigtail-braided girl is living there alone since that day. Mail is no longer delivered, but even this morning, she’s hanging out the laundry as usual.

The Ningyo 27mins (USA) a Faustian tale about losing oneself in the process of achieving our goals, directed by Miguel Ortega and starring Rodrigo Lopresti, Jerry Lacy and Tamlyn Tomita

Episode One: Professor Marlowe finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, a mythical Japanese creature, could be found. The legend claims whomever consumes its flesh will attain remarkable longevity. He presents the project to his peers, who mock and dismiss him as a fraud. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.

See You Yesterday 15mins (USA) directed by Stefon Bristol and presented by Spike Lee, two Brooklyn teenage prodigies, C.J. Walker and Sebastian Thomas – determined to outwit fate and role-play as God – build make-shift time machines to save CJ’s brother, Calvin, from being wrongfully killed by a police officer.

Green Light 15mins (Animation from Korea) directed by Seongmin Kim, With the ecosystem destroyed after a nuclear war, Mari, a survivor, does all she can to rebuild. When she stumbles upon a robot soldier in an abandoned city, everything changes.

Abandoned – Growing Up 12:19mins (Australia) directed by Nathan Colquhoun and starring Isabella Martin and Peter Walters. Accompanied by her father and loyal comrade, teenager Madison must exert her extraordinary fighting abilities to overcome a one World Army who have kidnapped her mother for ransom.
Only The Beautiful 11:23mins (Australia) directed by Samuel Lucas Allen and produced by Brenna Harding and starring Cody Ross, Alex Malone and Alison Chambers. Loosely based on John B Calhoun’s mice utopia experiment known as ‘the beautiful ones’, ‘Only the Beautiful’ is a short science futurism fiction film about agency. It follows Harold, the child of a rigid, isolating, humanity preserving metropolitan eco-system, who has to decide whether to take actions, to move freely and imperil the system that sustains humanity, or to sit still and condemn humanity to cyclical stagnation. When the system’s original architect kills herself, will Harold take over her role preserving its functions or topple the system that has oppressed him his whole life?

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