The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival
2020 Lineup and Schedule Announced
February 11, 2020
Earlier this week, The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, which spotlights the literary genius of novelist Philip K. Dick, unveiled the full lineup for its 8th Annual Season! Announced events include film screenings and premieres, panel discussions, virtual reality demonstrations, and the launch of a new screenplay competition aimed at enhancing the film-making experience for audiences!
The Festival, which runs from March 4-8, 2020, will be held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. Read on for all of the Festival’s details and schedule of events!
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival maintains its annual presence in New York, this time screened exclusively in the borough of Queens. “There is a strong cultural scene and appreciation for science fiction here,” said Daniel Abella, the founder and director of the event. “Everyone has been impacted by the advantages and disadvantages of this new world we live in and that knowledge strengthens the overall experience of the festival.”
Festivities begin on Wednesday, March 4th with U.S. Premiere of the feature film Imperial Blue directed by Dan Moss and produced by David Cecil and Semulema Daniel Katenda. The film, which follows a drug smuggler on the quest to locate a sacred African herb that gives the power of prophecy, will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers.
A short film block runs on Thursday, March 5th with the presentation of A Poem in Bamboo directed by Xufei Wu and Chan Yao Chang, an atmospheric study of a beautiful mansion plagued by strange noises. The program continues with titles such as Jesca Prudencio’s American Quartet, a revealing look at a small town bitterly divided when a young Muslim-American woman puts herself at risk when she shares her private, digitized memories with strangers in an attempt to triumph over hate, and Tim Hall’s Memory Unit about the mysterious hospitalization of an Alzheimer’s patient.
On Friday, March 6th, science fiction and horror shorts take center stage with Izzy Ezagui’s Good Head about a man immobilized in a strange room, and Jason Rogan’s Stalag III-C about a U.S. paratrooper in WWII who leads a daring escape from a Nazi POW camp and encounters even more evil beyond prison walls. Then, Chris Levitus greets viewers with a man bleeding from a hole in his chest in The Wound and Warren DiFranco Hsu brings forth a dystopian world in Obsolete Model, where the past must be changed to save the future.
A dynamic lineup on Saturday, March 7th features director Gisella Bustios, renowned scientist Dr. Ronald Mallet, and lecturer Wanda Gregory on hand for the screening of A Brief History of Time Travel. The documentary takes viewers on a journey through the origins of time travel and its influence on the science fiction genre with commentary from distinguished members of the science community. The day continues with a block of shorts influenced by the work Philip K. Dick including Hekla Egilsdottir’s Beyond the Door about the influence of a peculiar cuckoo clock and the U.S. Premiere of After Ray directed by Natasha Halevi about a modified human struggling with memory loss. Also screening is the poignant Wide Awake in Bridgewater directed by Erik Lee and produced by Mark Lynch about a man who rediscovers the love of his life fifty years after her disappearance.
International sci-fi shorts starts the final day of the festival on Sunday, March 8th with the NYC Premiere of Eva – A Crispr Story directed by Puneet Bharill about a group of researchers confronting the unknown upon the implementation of a new technology. Further shorts include Christopher Armstrong’s Memory Man about a future society where psychic abilities are outlawed and Charles De Lauzirika’s Love Bite that shows the ramifications of a couple’s deadly bet during a zombie apocalypse. The night continues with two feature film presentations beginning with Anya directed by Jacob Akira Okada and Carylanna Taylor about a newlywed couple’s journey to parenthood that catapults them into a genetics mystery that threatens the future of humanity. Erin Berry’s Majic, which follows the discovery of a secret U.S. spy agency founded after the 1947 UFO incident in Roswell, is the festival’s closing night film. Filmmakers and guests of both features will be available for panels.
The Screenplay Competition:
Expanding its outlook to incorporate the many stages of the filmmaking process into festival events, a screenplay competition has been introduced. “The screenplay is the beating heart of a film,” said Abella, who developed the category to help audiences value films beyond their visual aspects onscreen. “Our plan is to emphasize the importance and necessity of good storytelling.” The category semifinalists for Best Sci-Fi, Best Sci-Fi Prototyping, and Best Supernatural screenplays were chosen based on story, characterization, originality, readability, and attention to detail. “For sci-fi prototyping, the emphasis is on the design and architecting of an entire future world from scratch. Attention to detail and the impact of its surroundings is paramount,” said Abella. “For the sci-fi and supernatural categories, our focus is more on the characters themselves and how their inner world is affected by science, technology, nature, and politics.” Winners will be announced on Sunday, March 8th.
Virtual Reality Demonstrations:
The festival will also continue its popular virtual reality demonstrations on Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th. “Virtual reality enables us to explore our world in a more immersive way,” said Abella. “Through this simulation, we can better understand other environments and the challenges in people’s lives.”
Guests will experience Davey Jose’s Living with Spinal Cord Injury from the perspective of future patients restored to health by “the cure.” The Inner World of Miss Q directed by David Wesemann will help users locate the whereabouts of a woman’s missing ghost and body.
As the festival remains committed to presenting innovative and thought-provoking independent films, Abella hopes audiences recognize the relevance of Philip K. Dick’s work. “PKD had his finger on the pulse of today’s society and our future,” he said. “His work resonates so well because he explored themes of artificial intelligence, the surveillance state, and the genetic modification of humans. He established himself as an icon of science fiction, which is truly the science of tomorrow.”
For the complete schedule of programming along with details on each film and short being presented, head to the Festival’s Website where each day’s schedule and the individual films are broken out and described!
Sunday, March 8, 2020, 8:00pm – 9:00pm, at the Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106). Official selection filmmakers, screenwriters, and special guests will be in attendance when awards are presented to the category winners of The 2020 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival.
Passes to screenings can be purchased at https://www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com.
About The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival:
“The core of my writing is not art but truth.” – Philip K. Dick
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival launched in 2012 as New York City’s first and only festival of its kind. The festival honors the enduring legacy of novelist Philip K. Dick, whose enormously effective works composed of fictional universes, virtual realities, technological uprising, dystopian worlds and human mutation served as a significant observation of the current state of society. Organized by individuals and filmmakers who understand the difficulties and challenges of presenting unique narratives in a corporate environment, the festival embraces original concepts and alternative approaches to storytelling in the form of independent science fiction, horror, supernatural, fantasy and metaphysical films. Since 2013, the festival has held additional gatherings in France, Germany, Poland, Rotterdam, Los Angeles, and in 2020, will debut the festival in London.
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