Festival News



Film industry journalist, festival consultant and founder of the website Screen-Space Simon Foster has joined the SciFi Film Festival as Program Director.

“I’ve been trying for some time to get Simon to free himself from his many film industry commitments and focus in on our festival, “ says Festival Director Tom Papas, who first spoke with Foster (pictured, above) in 2016 about working together on an expansive vision for his event.

“The time was right to make some bold decisions about the path we wanted to forge, and Simon’s vision matched the breadth and complexity of our plans,” says Papas, whose festival celebrates its 5th anniversary in 2018.

With a background that includes 4 years as editorial contributor at SBS Movies and Head of Jury for both the Russian Resurrection Film Festival and Sydney’s A Night of Horror Film Festival, the Sydney-based Foster promises the SciFi Film Festival will reflect the most contemporary trends in both international and local science fiction cinema.

“The submissions suggest the global community of science fiction filmmakers are embracing humanistic themes with inspired artistry at a moment in history that demands strong cinematic voices,” said Foster, whose role will be to enhance the unique movie-going experience established by the event’s founder. “Tom has worked tirelessly to forge the festival’s reputation, both with local audiences and within the international film festival circuit,” he says. “It is an honour to have been entrusted with helping to shape the future of the SciFi Film Festival”.

In addition to curating the 2018 program with Papas, Foster will be contributing exclusive content to http://scififilmfestival.com/ in the lead-up to the festivals launch on October 18. Here, the new program director offers up five science fiction films that have influenced his love of the genre. “There are the accepted classics, like 2001 A Space Odyssey and Metropolis and Solaris and Blade Runner, that I know are stunning works,” he says, “but I’ve gone with a few films that helped form my passion for science fiction…”

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977, Dir: Steven Spielberg) Star Wars thrilled me, like it did every other 10 year-old boy, but it was the other blockbuster from 1977 that haunted me (and does to this day). It stands as Spielberg’s most personal epic, as well as being the great legitimiser of ‘science-fiction’ as a serious dramatic genre. Confirmed Spielberg as a master visionary with unparalleled sci-fi storytelling instincts (see also E.T., MINORITY REPORT, A.I. and READY PLAYER ONE)

ALPHAVILLE (1965, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard) On a dystopian future planet, an American gumshoe faces off against an evil ruler who has outlawed love and self-expression. Godard’s sci-fi riff on film-noir detective stories confounds and confuses yet remains his most stylistic, assured and mesmerising work. Good luck hiding your ‘love’ and ‘self-expression’ when face-to-face with Godard’s long-time muse, the angelic Anna Karina.

THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION (1984; Dir: W.D. Richter) Doesn’t make a lick of sense, but no more inspired sci-fi, rock’n’roll, inter-dimensional, romantic-comedy adventure has ever been made. Imagine a Hollywood where the ‘boardroom suits’ would roll their big-budget dice on something as insanely original as W.D Richter’s hilarious, hair-raising vision?!? Early Jeff Goldblum; insane John Lithgow.

SLEEPER (1973; Dir: Woody Allen) When Woody Allen tolerators mutter, “I wish he’d make funny movies, like his old ones,” they are talking about Sleeper (and probably Love & Death and Annie Hall, too). Allen’s sci-fi satire/farce is a side-splitting takedown of overly-serious future visions like George Lucas’ THX-1138, made just two years prior yet unwatchable today next to Allen’s timeless gags and prescient gadgetry.

STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997, Dir: Paul Verhoeven) Actually impossible to split the sci-fi stunners of Dutch bad-boy Verhoeven; any other day, this spot might have been taken by Robocop or Total Recall (or the under-valued Hollow Man, just quietly). His ‘adaptation’ of Robert A. Heinlein’s cult tome catches him at his most boldly satirical, bracingly bloodthirsty and fearlessly funny.

Some Filmmaking Trends You Need to Know in 2018

Some Filmmaking Trends You Need to Know in 2018

Every year, JWT release their snapshot of the year ahead, this year’s report covers culture, tech & innovation, travel & hospitality, brands & marketing, food & drink, beauty, retail, luxury, health and lifestyle

Here are a few relevant to filmmakers and creators:

The Female Gaze – People are paying more attention to women working behind the scenes in film and media. Unfortunately, we did not get the first female president of the United States. However, the success of Wonder Woman and the #MeToo movement has sparked discussion about the need for more female directors, writers and producers and how women can ultimately influence these industries. “A female director will most likely shoot the same scene in an entirely different way and with a different perspective—one that takes into account female ambition, desire, fantasy, agency, not to mention realistic physiology,” says Pam Grossman, director of visual trends at Getty Images.

Intersectionality – In the late 80’s, legal scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” a theory describing multiple threats of discrimination when an individual’s identities overlap with a number of minority classes — such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, health and other characteristics. The importance of diversity on the big and small screens is increasing like never before.

Religious Resurgence – Rapid globalisation and turbulent times has led to some people yearning for a new moral compass, which some people are seeking in religion. In the United States, evangelical Christians helped elect President Donald Trump and in 2018, the New York Met Gala theme will be fashion and religion. Religious and divine related stories about humanity are high in demand. Just have a look at the storyline of Star Wars!

Streaming War – Audiences are increasingly taking control of what video content they are watching, wherever and whenever they want. Tech companies and startups are challenging the likes of Netflix, Hulu and HBO—as well as the entire movie theatre experience. YouTube and Facebook look to join the ranks of original streaming content producers.

Interactive Story Telling – Creators have been telling stories in non-linear ways for a long time. What if the audiences were given an interactive platform where they decide who is the hero or villain is and how characters behavior or how the story should unfold and progress. In October 2017, director Steven Soderbergh released the trailer for Mosaic, an interactive murder mystery show that lets viewers control the storyline.

Data Democracies In Entertainment – New data – and advances in new analytics tools are beginning to shine a light on media content. Similar to how Google collects data on how we search, could a media company like Netflix use a similar tool to identify opportunities to create content that accurately reflects the diversity of its consumers.

Creativity Meets AI – AI will bring massive changes in creative business across the world. Some artists are embracing the way AI can bring a new perspective to the human experience, with intriguing results. An AI, has already written a sci-fi short film.

AR reaches mass – In 2017, augmented reality (AR) went from niche product to must have technology. Tech giants are battling to own the future of AR. Apple unveiled ARKit, a toolkit that lets software developers build AR experiences for the iPhone. Google followed with ARCore, its competitor version for Android. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set to launch in 2018, in cooperation with Warner Brothers Interactive

Space – We will continue to hear more about space travel & exploration. Will 2018, be the year that luxury space tourism takes off? Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which already has its first travelers lined up for a round the moon trip, expected in 2018. Whether or not private carriers are able to blast off, space seems to have captured the public’s imagination, especially content creators.

Note: 4.4.3 Filmmaking Trends in 2018 Sourced from JWT – The Future 100

Mardi Gras Film Festival 2018 – Program is Now on Sale!

Mardi Gras Film Festival 2018 – Program is Now on Sale!

Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival is celebrating its 25th birthday with a massive lineup of LGBTIQ shorts, docos, features & special events.

Taking place over 15 days in February, there is something for everyone, with 56 feature films, 69 short films, a retrospective gala of Australia’s largest LGBTIQ short film competition, My Queer Career, over 60 Australian Premieres and 2 World Premieres.

The full program is out NOW. Get in early – tix will sell FAST!

See the Mardi Gras Film Festival 2018 full program… Click Here

The Carmilla Movie
The movie sequel to the hit web series finds Laura and Carmilla five years after they vanquished the apocalypse and Carmilla became a bonafide mortal human. They have settled into a cozy apartment in downtown Toronto but their domestic bliss is suddenly ruptured when Carmilla begins to show signs of “re-vamping”, while Laura has started having bizarre, ghostly dreams. Enlisting their old friends from Silas University, the couple must now uncover the unknown supernatural threat that’s tied to Carmilla’s past.

Pulse is a unique Australian speculative drama about a gay teenager with a disability who swaps his body to become a beautiful woman. Written, starring and produced by Daniel Monks, Pulse powerfully depicts a quest for acceptance, love and belonging.

Jade Of Death
Jade of Death is an award winning supernatural thriller series. Boasting an exceptional cast led by rising star Bernie Van Tiel, Sydney Arts Guide described Jade of Death as “…fantastically creepy and atmospheric”.




Set in the post-AIDS future of 2060, where the Government is the first to declare the era AIDS FREE, mutated AIDS viruses give birth to ZERO GEN – humans that have genetically evolved in a very unique way. These gender fluid ZERO GENs are the bio-drug carriers whose white fluid is the hypernarcotic for the 21st century, taking over the markets of the 20th century white powder high. The ejaculate of these beings is intoxicating and the new form of sexual commodity in the future. The new drug, code named DELTA, diffuses through skin contact and creates an addictive high. A new war on drugs begins and the ZERO GEN are declared illegal. The Government dispatches drug-resistant replicants for round-up arrest missions. When one of these government android’s immunity breaks down and its pleasure centers are activated, the story becomes a tangled multi-thread plot and the ZERO GENs are caught among underground drug lords, glitched super agents, a scheming corporation and a corrupt government. Check yourself in as a fluid junkie for a super hyper viral ride.

original title: Fluidø
country: Germany
sales agent: m-appeal
year: 2017
genre: fiction
directed by: Shu Lea Cheang
cast: Caprice Crawford, Sadie Lune, Kay Garnellen, William E. Morris, Aérea Negrot
cinematography by: James Carman
film editing: Jörn Hartmann
costumes designer: Ramona Petersen
co-producer: Paula Alamillo, Sonja Klümper
production: Jürgen Brüning Filmproduktion, Amard Bird Films


Source: Cineuropa



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?

The Similars (The 2016 SciFi Film Festival)

The Similars (The 2016 SciFi Film Festival)

“…fans of outré cinema will love this tripped out Mexican homage to old school genre filmmaking.”

First thing’s first: the less that you know about this film going in the better. The Similars is a pastiche of existing horror and sci-fi ideas, yet it somehow manages to feel original. Mexican director, Isaac Ezban, takes strong cues from The Twilight Zone, Hitchcock, Stephen King, and other classic sci-fi and horror, and the film ends up a campy, oddball homage to those works. Lovers of old school sci-fi, horror, and all things weird are in for a treat.

The Similars is essentially a maniac’s extended episode of The Twilight Zone. It is a dark and rainy night in 1968 at a bus station on the outskirts of Mexico City. Martin (Fernando Becerril) is the elderly station manager, while Ulises (Gustavo Sanchez Parra) – an anxious man trying to get to the city before his wife gives birth – and a Native American woman (Maria Elena Olivares) are initially the only occupants of the station. It doesn’t take long for the cast to fill out, however, with your staple gallery of oddball characters falling into place: the hippie, the creepy kid, and his doting mother, to name a few. When they discover that they’re supernaturally trapped in the station and people start having seizures, insanity ensues.

Isaac Ezban does a great job of creating a sense of mystery with these characters and the stranger and stranger events which follow. The Similars certainly takes a while to get going, but when it does, the craziness really ramps up, and you’ll find yourself laughing at the film’s campy horror moments. The sense of drama and insanity is further intensified through dramatic close ups and unconventional camera angles, with moments of revelation and horror punctuated by pounding, orchestral notes à la Hitchcock. There are a few classic scenes that are just so bizarre and inventive that you won’t forget them anytime soon. The film climaxes too quickly, and there are moments bordering on overkill, but fans of outré cinema will love this tripped out Mexican homage to old school genre filmmaking.

The Similars is screening at The 2016 SciFi Film Festival, which runs from October 19-23 at The Ritz Cinema, Randwick, in Sydney. For more on The Similars and to buy tickets, head to the official site.


For The Love Of Spock (The 2016 Sci-Fi Film Festival)

For The Love Of Spock (The 2016 Sci-Fi Film Festival)

“…charming, funny, heartfelt, incisive, and honest.”

In the heady, much-debated world of science fiction, few characters carry the weight of Mr. Spock from the Star Trek TV series and films. As so brilliantly played by Leonard Nimoy, this half-human, half-Vulcan emotionally challenged man of science has become a true icon not just of the sci-fi genre, but of pop culture in general. Before his sad passing in February of 2015, Nimoy was in pre-production with his son, Adam Nimoy, on a documentary about the cultural significance and influence of the character. Upon his father’s passing, Adam Nimoy (a prolific director of episodic TV) shifted gears, and opted to make not just a doco about Spock, but about his father as well. The results are charming, funny, heartfelt, incisive, and honest.

No mere glowing hagiography, Nimoy doesn’t go easy on his old man, painting him as a workaholic who often put his family second. The younger Nimoy doesn’t go easy on himself either, admitting to a history of irresponsible, selfish behaviour that made his often fraught relationship with his father even more difficult. But the portrait that Nimoy crafts of his father is essentially one of a decent, fair man who used his stardom only to help others, including his Star Trek co-stars in a number of pay disputes. He was also intrinsically linked to his most famous creation, with Nimoy shown as responsible for many of Spock’s most interesting and unforgettable tics.

And while Nimoy’s other pursuits (as well as a busy actor, he was also a keen photographer) are duly covered, it’s the “Spock stuff” that really sings. Including warm, candid interviews with all of Star Trek’s main players (from both the original series and films, and the new reboots), every aspect of the Enterprise’s first officer is covered, from the way in which he has become a touchstone to outsiders and the disenfranchised, to the bizarre fan art and fiction featuring Spock that has sprung up on the internet. While Star Trek fans will absolutely adore this tribute to a fascinating actor and his most lasting creation, the reach and appeal of For The Love Of Spock extends far beyond that niche audience. This truly affecting doco is essentially about father and sons, and who can’t relate to that?

For The Love Of Spock is screening at The 2016 Sci-Fi Film Festival, which runs from October 19-23 at The Ritz Cinema, Randwick. For more on For The Love Of Spock and to buy tickets, head to the official site.


The Purge: Election Year (The 2016 SciFi Film Festival)

The Purge: Election Year (The 2016 SciFi Film Festival)

..Election Year is a B movie with brains, balls and blood…

For our third trip into writer/director James DeMonaco’s near future world of government-mandated slaughter, the scope of Blumhouse Productions’ premiere franchise widens once again, embracing the political parody that has so far been more of an excuse than a raison d’etre – and just in time for the Presidential Debates, too.

For those who came in late, the titular Purge is an annual orgy of violence wherein all laws are suspended for a period of 12 hours and America is plunged into a bloody chaos that serves to keep the poor in their place and cement the class inequality that serves the needs of ruling cabal, the far right New Founding Fathers of America. Not everyone is happy with the status quo, though, Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) is campaigning to end the Purge, having seen her own family brutally murdered some 18 years back. Of course, Purge night is a perfect time for a deniable political assassination and it looks like Charlie is going to be a martyr for her cause. Luckily for the senator, her head of security is former cop Leo Barnes (the always reliable Frank Grillo), the MVP of the previous film and not a man to let something as trifling as a Neo-Nazi death squad ruin his night.

Intersecting this main narrative, we get the story of a convenience store owner (Mykelti Williamson) defending his store through the night, and a paramedic (Betty Gabriel) who works Purge Night in an armoured ambulance, trying to help people caught in the crossfire. It’s interesting to see the various little threads that make up the fabric of the Purge universe: the notion of Purge Insurance for businesses (skyrocketing premiums are what put Williamson on the roof of his shop with a rifle), so-called “murder tourists” travelling to the US to kill with impunity, even the ubiquitous Purge masks and their function as both disguise and fashion/political statement. Like its predecessors (and its Blumhouse stablemates), Election Year is realised on a tight budget, but a lot of thought has gone into presenting a world which, while not necessarily realistic, is at least textured and somewhat plausible by its own lights.

The action has been ramped up considerably, too, with our heroes on the run from not only masked marauders, but a hit squad with a cannon-equipped helicopter. You can feel DeMarco testing the limits of his film, both in terms of complexity and scale, milking every scene for everything it’s worth. Indeed, the film’s chief failing is that it goes too far in that direction, abandoning its exploitation roots in favour of something more high-minded. It’d be great to see a Purge movie successfully bridge those two poles, but this one doesn’t quite manage the trick. While the political satire lands solidly, the film often ignores the more base charms of its premise, and let’s face facts: while we might laud the film’s intellectual ideals, we’re also here to watch a variety of people die in enjoyably gruesome ways. Election Year often forgets this implicit promise.

It is the best of the series so far, though, and leaves the door open for a more expansive continuation down the track. The Purge series is one of those rare franchises that keeps getting better as it rolls on, from the first housebound siege film to this more thoughtful installment. Election Year is a B movie with brains, balls and blood, and that should be high enough recommendation.

The Purge: Election Year is screening at The 2016 SciFi Film Festival, which runs from October 19-23 at The Ritz Cinema, Randwick, in Sydney. For more on The Purge: Election Year and to buy tickets, head to the official site.


Equals (2016)

Equals (2016)

Equals is set in a futuristic utopia known as The Collective where emotions have been genetically suppressed in an effort to protect society from the war and strife that has destroyed previous generations. Nia (Stewart) and Silas (Hoult) are colleagues at the science journal, Atmos who find themselves presenting society to great danger with their newfound relationship.

Equals is set in a futuristic utopia known as The Collective where emotions have been genetically suppressed in an effort to protect society from the war and strife that has destroyed previous generations. Nia (Stewart) and Silas (Hoult) are colleagues at the science journal, Atmos who find themselves presenting society to great danger with their newfound relationship.


SciFi Film Festival Comes to Sydney!

SciFi Film Festival Comes to Sydney!

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.

More events, including the closing night film, will be announced soon. For more info, shoot over to the official site, or book your tickets now via The Ritz.

Via: FilmInk

September 14, 2016
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