SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival 2017 Launches on 27th April

What has 13 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres, a total of 25 features, 51 shorts, live music, immersive experiences and of course SCI-FIDO – the world’s only cosplay for dogs? Welcome to the 17th annual SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival, running from 27th April until the 6th May 2017 across London.

What can you expect? Only the most innovative and exciting genre film event, which opens on 27th April with the UK Premiere of Caught. This is a film directed by Jamie Patterson (Fractured), written and produced by Alex Francis (Moon) and starring April Pearson, Mickey Sumner and Cian Berry. It sounds like a cerebral dose of SF as a journalist couple who’ve become interested in a new base up on the moor. They are visited by a strange couple called Mr & Mrs Blair. Indeed! Think Quatermass via Straw Dogs. Check out the teaser trailer here: Caught is on at Rich Mix (Bethnal Green) and includes a Q&A too.

Missed the terrific The Girl with all the Gifts? Find yourself with time to kill on Sunday 30th April and can get to the Stratford Picturehouse? Fancy listening to a post screening conversation with writer M.J. Carey? What an awesome opportunity thanks to SCI-FI LONDON. Surely another highlight is a double bill of SF classics: A.I. and one of my personal favourites, Ex Machina. SCI-FI-LONDON have teamed up with the Science Museum to highlight their brilliant Robots exhibition. In partnership with Guardian Live, there is also a conversation with Adam Rutherford (scientific adviser on Ex Machina) about the science of robots. See them at the museum’s IMAX on Fri 5 May. But be quick, tickets are selling like hot cakes!

Other films include: Blue World Order directed by Ché Baker and Dallas Bland. Starring Billy Zane this one is set in a post-apocalyptic world. A massive electromagnetic pulse has killed all children on the planet, with the exception of Molly. Flora is the début for director Sasha Louis Vukovic, and is a historical ‘monster-in-the-woods’ movie. Meanwhile Rob Taylor directs Walter Koenig is the awesomely titled Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time. Set in a future time, Neil Stryker is a hardened Elite Forces agent famous for hunting and capturing his former mentor and villainous time-traveller, ‘The Mad Scientist’. This sci-fi/comedy feature is a 1980s throwback where every set, every effect, every puppet was crafted by dedicated artists!

Fancy a time travel flick with lots of loopholes and paradoxes? Yesterday Last Year directed by Jeff Hanley is a World Premier. Sublimate, directed by Roger Armstrong and John Hickman, is a nihilistic satire on twenty first century life – a tale of idiocy, delusion and obsession.

There are documentaries too: Love and Saucers, directed by Brad Abrahams, explores issues of time, space and fractured identity. Unspeakable Horrors: The Plan 9 Conspiracy, directed by Jose Prendes, is a docu-film focussed on Ed Wood who unleashed Plan 9 From Outer Space in 1959 to an audience not yet ready to look beyond the limitations of budget to what was really being said in the film.

There are many other films to browse through so check out the programme here: What else? Did someone mention SCI-FIDO? on Sat 29th April at Juju’s Bar, The Old Truman Brewery (in association with the charity All Dogs Matter). So if you’ve got a pooch who likes to dress up as a sci-fi character, drag – I mean walk – them along to the ‘dressed-up dog’ photo session! Also, budding writers might want to check out the Sci-Fi Screenwriting Workshop called Robots & Rockets. You’ll find it at the BFI on Sunday 30th April.

What about the music? How about some future Krautrock? SCI-FI-LONDON along with PsychFI, Bad Vibrations and Snap Crackle & Pop present Eberhard Kranemann (Piss Off, Kraftwerk, Neu) and Harald Grosskopf (Synthesist, Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Shulze). They will transmit live their cosmic sonic visions of Today, Tomorrow & Beyond. Nice.

There’s also the immersive experience in VR called R.I.S.E. The SCI-FI-LONDON Pub Quiz is a charity affair at JuJu’s Bar & Stage on Tuesday 2 May. You’ll find #Hackstock – Beyond 2017 at The Trampery on Old Street. And there’s a whole more too!

The festival’s closing night is the World Premiere of The Rizen directed by Matt Mitchell and Taliesyn Mitchell. It stars Lee Latchford-Evans, Laura Swift, Tom Goodman-Hill, Adrian Edmondson and Sally Phillips and is on the 6th May at Stratford Picturehouse. The Rizen is historical SF as NATO and the Allied Forces have been conducting secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. It is 1955. Have a look at the trailer:

Keep up to date on social media with #sfl17 and follow on Twitter @scifilondon. There’s something for everyone!

GS Blogger: Ian J Simpson

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