Sci-Fi London Festival 2009

This goes to show just how much stuff goes on in the UK that I don’t know about. Towards the end of this month we have the London’s Sci Fi Film Festival to look forward to.

The Festival kicks off on April 29th and runs through to May 4th.

The screening themselves will be show at the Apollo Piccadilly Circus, 19 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4LR.

Here’s a bit of blurb to explain the event.

SCI-FI-LONDON is now in its 8th year is UK’s only dedicated Sci-Fi and Fantasy film festival, it screens world and UK film premieres, documentaries and a selection of classic SF titles. SCI-FI-LONDON also has a strong international shorts programme and screens a short film with every feature screening. It also holds a film school and filmmaking competitions to encourage more science fiction films to be made in the UK .

Below you’ll find a rundown of what’s on. I have to say there are some great panels happening. Look out for the Star Trek All-nighter which sounds like a definate must for the old school Trekkies out there. STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (can never see Wrath of Khan too many times), STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK ,STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME , STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY are all being shown on the night

Full programme details:
8th Annual London Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film:

Dates: Wed 29th April – Mon 4th May 2009
Venue: Apollo Piccadilly Circus, 19 Regent Street, London SW1Y 4LR

EYEBORGS (World Premiere Gala)
Director: Richard Clabough
Runtime: 101min
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Adrian Paul (Highlander) stars in this non-stop action sci–fi movie and we are delighted to welcome him, the Director and Producers to a gala screening on Wed 29th April, our opening night!
After another major terrorist attack the US government has passed the ‘Freedom of Observation Act’, a sweeping new law requiring all CCTV cameras to be linked into a single, all-seeing system known as ODIN (Optical Defense Intelligence Network), which utilises mobile, robotic surveillance cameras called EYEBORGS.
These cameras permanently monitor everyone, looking for suspicious behaviour that will help the law enforcement agencies keep America safe. After a series of fatal ‘accidents’ “Gunner” Reynolds (Adrian Paul), an agent for the Department of Homeland Security, grows suspicious of the system; the physical evidence doesn’t match the video records. He believes terrorists have seized control of the system and are planning to use the EYEBORGS in a plot to assassinate the President during the final stages of the election campaign.
To find out who is really controlling the EYEBORGS, he must operate outside of the system. But how can he work outside a system that watches your every move – all the time? This is a fitting film to open our festival during the 60th anniversary of Orwell’s 1984, and the 25th anniversary of, well, 1984. With the number of CCTV cameras on the rise our privacy and civil rights risk being eroded. Just how much of this film is fiction?

Wed 29th April, 8.45pm

STINGRAY SAM (UK Premiere with Q&A)
Director: Cory McAbee
Runtime: 70mins
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Stingray Sam is a lounge singer created by that master of cosmic gun slinging, Cory McAbee, creator and star of the amazing American Astronaut (which premiered at SFL-1).
A dangerous mission reunites Stingray Sam with his long lost accomplice, the Quasar Kid. we follow these two space convicts as they earn their freedom in exchange for the rescue of a young girl held captive by the genetically designed figurehead of a very wealthy planet.
“This is a musical space western.  It’s cool. It’s committed to its style. It’s self-aware without being self-absorbed. It’s a film you want to bring your new love interest to, because it’ll show him or her that you feel comfortable having your postmodernism smothered in hilariousness. It’ll prove to this new love in your life that not only can the avant-garde disturb filmic conventions, but also be kind­ hearted and sweet, subversive yet caring and generous. This is not, however, some Ice Storm or Squid and the Whale coming-of-age whinery, no, this is the wild galactic frickin’ West. Bring your gun. Bring your dancin’ boots.”
(courtesy of quietearth.us)
This was a huge hit at Sundance and is unique in that it was designed to be watched on everything from a mobile phone to a cinema screen – we’ve opted for the latter. Music is by Cory’s hard-rocking American Astronaut band. Don’t miss out on being part of the vanguard of this movie phenomenon.
We are also delighted to have Cory McAbee as a guest at the festival, and he joins us for a Q&A after the movie. Cory will also be holding a filmmaking workshop on desiging film for screens of all sizes.
Sat 2nd May, 8.30pm

20TH CENTURY BOYS – Chapters 1 + 2 (UK Premiere)

Inspired by the T. Rex song of the same name, 20th Century Boys is a national phenomenon in Japan. The award-winning, 24-volume sci-fi fantasy manga series, created by Naoki Urasawa, has now been adapted into one of Japan’s most expensive movies.
Yukihiko Tsutsumi has turned the manga into a compelling three-part, live-action saga, with the first part proving to be one of Japan’s biggest box office hits of 2008.
20TH CENTURY BOYS – CHAPTER 1: BEGINNING OF THE END
Runtime: 137 mins
Year: 2008
Country: Japan
1969 was a special year for Japan. It was a year before Expo ’70, an event that marked Japan’s progress and bright future. It was also the year that men first stood on the Moon. Everything indicated a path towards a promising future.
In the summer of 1969, Kenji was an elementary schoolboy. He built a secret base in a vacant lot with his friends Otcho, Maruo, Yoshitsune, Mon-chan, Donkey, Yukiji and Fukube. One of their secret activities included writing in the Book of Prophecy. In their Prophecy, the children fantasized that they had to fight villains who were out to conquer the world, bringing about doomsday.
Years later in 1997, Kenji is the manager of a convenience store. He’s given up his dream to be a rock star and has chosen to live a regular life, looking after his sister’s baby girl Kanna after his sister has disappeared for an undisclosed reason.
His boring life is turned upside down one day when his old classmate, Donkey dies mysteriously and then an entire family in the neighbourhood disappears.
At the same time, there’s a lot of talk about a religious cult and its mysterious leader, the Friend. A strange chain of events follow, which exactly duplicate the events described in the Book of Prophecy. Kenji and his former classmates are shocked to learn this horrible truth. If things are happening exactly as described in the Book of Prophecy, then the Friend’s intention is to fulfill the doomsday prophesy. And the Friend is most likely one of the kids they used to play with… Who?
While this is all going on, God, a homeless old man with psychic ability, prophesies that Kenji will be playing a pivotal role in the evil scheme that will bring an end to humanity.
As the events in the Book of Prophecy unfold in their lives, Kenji and his former classmates decide to take on the villain. But the cunning Friend frames Kenji and his gang so people believe that they are a group of terrorists.
Time passes and now it’s December 31, 2000. This is the day described in the Book of Prophecy as the day of mankind’s demise.
“With horrible, earth-shattering footsteps, the shadow of terror arrives in Tokyo. It’s their atomic-powered Gigantic Robot! It walks on Earth, spitting out a deadly virus and treading on anything standing. Will we survive to see the 21st Century? The destiny of mankind is now on the verge of doom!”
Mon 4th May, 2.30pm
20TH CENTURY BOYS – CHAPTER 2: A NEW HOPE

Runtime: 139 mins
Year: 2009
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese/English subtitles
15 years have passed since Bloody New Years Eve and now it’s 2015. People believe that Kenji Endo and his friends were the satanic terrorists behind the horrific act that took place in 2000, the scheme to end humanity using a virus spitting gigantic robot. Friend, on the other hand, is worshipped as the savior who stopped the doomsday plan. Friend now spreads the oracle that the end is coming and salvation will come only to those who believe in him and stay with him.
Kanna, Kenji’s niece is now in high school. Kenji has been missing and Yukiji has been her surrogate mother. History textbook tells a fabricated account of Bloody New Year’s Eve and Kanna openly resents it as she knows the truth.
Britney, a transvestite who has come to know an important secret about Friend is marked for murder. Kanna provides refuge for Britney. As the police continue their search for Britney, Kanna meets rookie detective Chono and Chono starts to trust and help Kanna.
At school Kanna’s teacher tags her as a problem child for her anti-Friend behavior and she’s sent away on a Friend Land program. Friend Land is a facility where people with anti-social behavior are re-educated.
Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi start their program. As the top two contestants they are sent to the advanced program called the Bonus Stage. It’s a virtual reconstruction of 1971, when Kenji and his friends were children. Events lead Kanna to a school lab and Koizumi to a school roof where they learn crucial secrets about Friend.
The surviving Secret Base members have been separated since Bloody New Year’s Eve. But each has spent those 15 years in various activities opposing Friend and his regime. Otcho has been imprisoned in Umihotaru Prison but he breaks out. Yoshitsune now leads an underground group of people against Friend. Maruo aids an important person, waiting for the right time to act against Friend.
Mon-chan’s investigations lead to him finding out about The New Book of Prophecies.
As Yamane and Sadakiyo respectively provide more information about Friend’s secrets the gang learns more about crucial events in their childhood…and the ultimate mystery; Who is Friend?
Friend visits Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, known as the worst crime area in the world, for an inspection. And at the same time, Kanna is at a church in Kabuki-cho.
The New Book of Prophecies describes the event, “In 2015 at a church in Shinjuku, a savior will rise to uphold justice and be struck by an assassin.”
Who is the savior? Again doomsday looms near…
Don’t miss this opportunity to be at the first UK screening, and to catch up with the first part if you missed it on its limited theatrical release.
Mon 4th May, 7.30pm

THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (Gala screening with Marc Caro)
Director: Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Runtime: 112mins
Year: 1995
Country: France/ Spain
Language: French/ English subtitles
Marc Caro, the talent behind this film’s extraordinary imagery, is a guest at the festival this year, and we are delighted to have him talk about his work.
We follow this rare cinema screening of his most ambitious and visually stunning movie, LA CITÉ DES ENFANTS PERDUS, with a Q&A session.
In a bizarre, surreal society, the mad, evil scientist, Krank, who is tormented by his inability to dream, kidnaps children to steal their dreams in order to reverse his accelerated aging process. The problem is the children are so scared of him he only gets their nightmares.
When Denree, the little brother of strongman and former whale hunter One (Ron Perlman), is kidnapped One goes looking for him, helped by the young Miette and a host of eccentric characters. Arriving at the City of Lost Children he tries to put an end to the evil reign of Krank and his Cyclops army. This is a dark and visually arresting fairytale for grownups that deserves to be seen on the big screen.
Fri 1st May, 9pm

THE CLONE RETURNS HOME (UK Premiere)
Director: Kanji Nakajima
Runtime: 110mins
Year: 2008
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese/English subtitles
As a child Kohei Takahara grew up in an idyllic country setting with his mother and twin brother. One day, his brother drowns trying to save his life whilst Kohei grows up to be an astronaut, only to lose his own life in an accident. As part of a special programme he is legally resurrected as a clone. contrary to the scientists’ expectations, Kohei’s clone reverts to the childhood memories of when his twin brother drowned. when the clone discovers his original body he believes it is his deceased twin, and sets off on a journey to his old home, carrying his corpse.
The scientists create a second, improved clone that goes to look for the first one. what discovery will the second clone of Kohei make in the ruins of his hometown?
With Wim Wenders as an executive producer, this is not a typical Japanese sci-fi film.
Beautiful, subdued cinematography sets the mood for this philosophical, art-house film that is reminiscent of ‘Solaris’ or wender’s ‘Until the end of the world’. It is certainly one of the more ambitious and thought-provoking sci-fi films to come out of Japan in recent years, and addresses many moral and spiritual issues relating to cloning that action-packed Hollywood films such as ‘The Island’ were unwilling or unable to do.
Sat 2nd May, 9.15pm

CYBORG SHE (UK Premiere)
Director: Jae-Young Kwak
Runtime: 115min
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese/English
Jiro is a loner. Every year he buys his own present and celebrates his birthday alone, with a plate of spaghetti in the same restaurant. This year a beautiful, but kooky, girl joins in his celebrations and they spend the rest of the evening doing crazy things and having fun. Then, following a cryptic speech, she disappears.
A year later the girl turns up again, except this time she is a cyborg from the future… Her function is to protect him and the world around him.
This Japanese film is written and directed by Korean filmmaker Kwak Jae-yong (My Sassy Girl, Windstruck). Like many of the new wave of Korean filmmakers he manages to successfully mix genres, in this case sci–fi and rom–com. The rom–com part is both funny and charming but never contrived or cloying; the sci-fi element, involving cyborgs and time travel, is well thought out and ties in perfectly with all the other story elements. And even with all the romance there is still time for heroism and urban destruction!
Beautifully shot, with great chemistry between the two leads, and impressive special effects that don’t dominate the story, this really does have something for everyone. It’s also the ideal sci–fi fans’ date movie…
Thurs 30th April, 8.45PM
Sun 3rd May, 11.40AM

ERASER CHILDREN (World Premiere)
Director: Nathan Christoffel
Runtime: 100mins
Year: 2009
Country: Australia
This is set in a world of useless products, police brutality, pre-paid dreams and a list of Violations so long that if you laugh too loudly you will be fined.
Misner Corporation has invented a new source of energy that has given them a global monopoly on all facets of human life, creating a totalitarian society ruled by one man, Misner. Anyone not willing to work for Misner’s regime, lives underground in a dark world of insane ‘system dropouts’, who only come above ground for the one hour of darkness that takes place every day, when a giant ball of rubbish floats between the sun and the earth.
Finnegan Wright, a lower level worker at Misner Corp., is taken on an enthralling journey when forced to live underground by one of the ‘system dropouts’, who convinces Finnegan that he can change the fate of the world by Killing Misner. A satire that comments on the way humans are so easily fooled into buying products they don’t need, having ridiculous jobs and worshiping leaders that have no respect for the planet or anything in it.  In this world it is better to live underground with the freaks!
Imagine Gilliam directing The Matrix meets 1984 by way of Max Headroom and you are near to the wonderful world of Misner and the Eraser Children.

Fri 1st May, 7pm

RECON 2023: THE GAUDA PRIME CONSPIRACY (World Premiere with Q&A)
Director: Christian Viel
Runtime: 101mins
Year: 2009
Country: canada
In 2004 we screened the UK premiere of RECON 2020. In 2006 we presented the world premiere of RECON 2022. In 2009 we are delighted to host the world premiere of the third instalment of the amazingly accomplished RECON series.

We are also honoured to have director Christian Viel introduce the movie, and answer questions after the screening.

After 23 years of a gruelling intergalactic war, humanity is about to launch the biggest coordinated attack in its history in order to take a final stand against the invading Ma’hars.
In order for that mission to succeed, the Ma’hars’ principal weapon must be destroyed. Lieutenant Sharp and his team are dispatched to the treacherous deserts of Gauda Prime, where they are forced to team up with a crack team of android commandos.
They must seek out and destroy the Ma’har weapon before the attack is launched and all is lost. Political intrigues will prove as challenging as the wild fauna populating Gauda Prime, but Sharp and his team are determined to provide humanity a fighting chance against the deadly Ma’har armada.
You don’t need to have seen the previous two movies to enjoy the latest episode of Viel’s epic space opera. If you are already suffering withdrawals from the ending of Battlestar Galactica then Recon 2023 is the perfect antidote.
Sat 2nd May, 6.30pm

G.O.R.A and A.R.O.G (GALA SCREENING – DOUBLE BILL)
G.O.R.A
Director: Omer Faruk Sorak Runtime: 127mins Year: 2004

A.R.O.G
Director: Cem Yilmaz Runtime: 127mins Year: 2008
Both films are in Turkish with English subtitles
Sci-fi spoof at its very best – that’s on a par with Galaxy Quest! Join us for an evening of brilliantly funny film.

Reportedly the highest-budgeted Turkish films ever made, G.O.R.A. and A.R.O.G. tell the tale of Arif, a used-carpet salesman (stand-up comedian Cem Yilmaz), who travels to far-off worlds, and back in time.

The movies are full of references to movies from the sci-fi canon (Star Wars, The Fifth Element, Jurassic Park, The Matrix), and Yilmaz has an irresistible flair for playing the mock-heroic con-man whose chutzpah keeps the films lively and amusing. In G.O.R.A, when Arif is not hustling carpets or scamming tourists, he fakes UFO photos, however, on this trip, Arif is abducted by a real Ufo and transported to the planet G.O.R.A, which is ruled by the evil Logar.
The film is a stranger to political correctness: a midget in latex sporadically warns of imminent disaster, while the ‘216 Robot’ is a gay android that downloads the latest in intergalactic dance steps, embodying an over-the-top sexual identity that C3PO merely hinted at!
Arif’s ability to think on his feet, plus a fan’s knowledge of Hollywood sci-fi epics, allows him to save the alien planet, win Logar’s beautiful daughter Ceku, and return to Earth with her to live happily ever after.
In the sequel, A.R.O.G., Logar is plotting revenge and tricks Arif who is transported 1,000,000 years into the past, where he must civilise the locals in order to rewrite history and get home to Ceku.
These movies are wickedly funny and full of warmth for classic science fiction films – don’t miss out on seeing them on the big screen in this old-fashioned double bill.

We are also honoured to have Turkey’s biggest star, writer and director of the movies, CEM YILMAZ with us to introduce the films and do a Q&A session.

Sun 3rd May, 5.45pm

MONSTERLAND (UK Premiere)
Director: Jörg Buttgereit
Runtime:71mins
Year: 2009
Country: Germany
Language: English
In these days of CGI overkill, Monsterland is a documentary that harkens back to the days when movie monsters were real. From the origins of the latex monster in devastated post-war Japan, to the aliens and serial murderers of 1980s’ American cinema, and on to the rise of King Kong’s digital descendants and the latest 21st-century terrors.
Director Jörg Buttgereit assembles some of the great masters of the genre, including: Gremlins creator Joe Dante; analytical horror director John Carpenter; monster designers such as artist H.R. Giger, special effects guru Gregory Nicotero, make-up artist Rick Baker and Godzilla performer Kenpachiro Satsuma.
They discuss their lives and work with their monstrous creations, and relate to us the dark passion that they share. This film is a visual journey of exploration to the centres of creature culture: the monster-spawning megacity of Tokyo; the sunshine city of Los Angeles, where knife-wielding killers roam the streets; and the high-rise cityscape of New York, which in both film and reality has been transformed into a doomsday panorama.
Impressions of these places converge in the dense images of old and new monster films, and are blended with sinister, surreal drawings by monster designers; views into the chambers of horror that are the special effects studios; and pictures of fans in bizarre creature costumes.
Mon 4th May, 11.00am

IDIOTS AND ANGELS
Director: Bill Plympton
Runtime: 78mins
Year: 2008
Country: USA
Bill Plympton is probably best known for his political cartoons and animated shorts that are instantly recognisable from their distinctive style and sardonic humour. Idiots and Angels, Plympton’s fifth feature-length animation, is a moral tale of good overcoming evil.
The protagonist is a gun-running, booze-swilling, cigarette-puffing arsehole who gets pleasure from causing others misery. One morning he wakes up with wings growing out of his back that force him to do good deeds.
No matter how he tries to get rid of the wings, or fight against them, he can’t overcome their power of good. However, he is soon pursued by those who want the wings for their own nefarious ends.
In these days of 3D CG animation it is refreshing to see an original hand-drawn animation. In this almost dialogue-free, macabre pantomime, it is Plympton’s unique, metamorphosing artwork and visual storytelling, which plays out like a subversive, adult version of The Snowman, that captures the imagination and keeps the viewer engrossed in this battle between man’s lower nature and his inevitable salvation.
This is truly filmmaking as an art form and should not be missed
Mon 4th May, 5.30pm

YESTERDAY (UK Premiere)
Director: Robert Grant
Runtime: 98mins
Year: 2009
Country: Canada

The flesh-munching undead have been popping up all over the cinematic world, and this time the infection hits suburban Canada.
After outrunning and outdriving the zombie hoards, the different groups of survivors become holed up in a grocery store for what is to be the final stand-off against the undead, but decide to escape the city and head for the safety of the wilderness.
It’s like DAWN OF THE DEAD meets DELIVERANCE, and with six, armed alpha males trying to survive in the forest it’s not the zombies that are their greatest threat.
This low-budget first feature pays a lot more attention to the characters and the interaction between the survivors than simply shooting at zombies, which lifts it above the usual splatter movies, but still includes all the blood-soaked, gory elements one expects of the genre.
What is even more impressive is, owing to budgetary constraints on film stock, most of the movie’s shots were done in one take, similar to PRIMER, which showed at SFL4.

If you’ve ever thought about making your own zombie flick, then watch this to see how a fresh idea can make it stand out from the mob.

Writer-director Rob Grant will be at the screening to answer questions about shooting a zombie feature on a shoestring.
Fri 1st May, 6.45pm

MUD ZOMBIE (UK Premiere)
Director: Rodrigo Aragao
Runtime: 105mins
Year: 2008
Country: Brazil
Language: Brazilian/ English subtitles
Forget the urban settings of your typical low-budget zombie flick, the first-ever Brazilian effort takes you to the hot, sweaty mangrove swamps of the remote state of Espirito Santo. Here, the people of this poor community eke out existence fishing and pulling crabs out of the mud, but pollution and progress have been killing off the once abundant swamplands.
Some of the older people believe the land has become cursed and haunted, and they are soon proved right as the undead start to rise from the mud and attack the village with their insatiable hunger for human flesh and blood.
The film’s hero is a rather timid man who has fallen in love with daughter of one of the village leaders, but when the zombies start to attack he finds the courage, and a machete, to try and save himself and the girl.
Apart from the setting, this film doesn’t break as much ground as the zombies do, however, for a low-budget movie that doesn’t always take it self too seriously, it does offer zombie and gore fans something special, which is – how the hell did they get the amputations to look so real on such a low budget, without resorting to effects from the Troma school of filmmaking?  Snuff anyone?
Fri 1st May, 9.10pm

HARDWARE & TALK with KEVIN O’NEILL
Director: Richard Stanley
Runtime: 93mins
Year: 1990
Country: UK
Comic book artist Kevin O’Neill is best known as the co-creator of Nemesis the Warlock and Marshal Law (with Pat Mills), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with Alan Moore).
He joins Alex Fitch on stage to talk about his work, graphic novels and screen adaptations.
Following the talk will be a rare chance to see the British cyberpunk classic HARDWARE on the big screen.
In a post-apocalyptic, nuclear-scarred future the world has become radioactive; a neon drenched, industrial wasteland populated by the disenfranchised and the demented. Amidst the dust and decay of a poisoned landscape a “Zone Tripper” manages to salvage a disembodied robotic head. What is initially mistaken for discarded techno trash is in fact the remains of the M.A.R.K 13: a merciless killing machine programmed to activate, exhilarate and exterminate.
After ending up in the isolated apartment of an introverted artist, the M.A.R.K 13 re-assembles itself for an eye gouging, chainsaw wielding, body drilling, skull-crushing rampage where no flesh shall be spared.
Inspired by O’Neill’s 2000AD comic strip SHOK: WALTER’S ROBO TALE and directed by Richard stanley (Dust Devil), Hardware features a face-pounding soundtrack and appearances from twisted rock legends Iggy Pop, Motorhead’s Lemmy and Fields of the Nephilim’s Carl Mccoy.
Hardware remains a highly original, mind melding, horror/sci-fi cult classic, so plug in, turn on, download and prepare to have your inner circuits pulled out and re-wired.
Thurs 30th April, 9pm

CRYPTIC (UK Premiere)
Director: Danny Kuchuck & John Weiner
Runtime: 83mins
Year: 2008
Country: USA
To shoot an independent time travel movie with a limited budget requires a great story idea, a practical period of time and a believable method of making the temporal jumps, without having to resort to expensive costumes and special effects. ‘PRIMER’ (SFL4) did this to great effect.
Cryptic manages to do a similar thing, with additional elements of mystery and human drama, using the ubiquitous mobile phone as the McGuffin.
Young Jessie is a solitary child, and on her birthday her mum gives her a mobile phone. That afternoon the family are celebrating and her mum is electrocuted in the swimming pool. Years later Jessie finds her old mobile phone and calls her old number, and a young girl answers – her younger self.
Through a series of calls the two Jessies start to change to course of their lives, both past and present. The smart script is brought to life by a great cast of familiar character actors and young unknowns.
With all its plausible scientific explanations, twists, turns and paradoxes the outcome will keep you guessing right up to the end, even after you think it’s over
Sun 3rd May, 7.30pm
Mon 4th May, 11.15am

THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM (World Premiere with Q&A)
Director: Chris Bouchard
Runtime: 47mins
Year: 2009
Country: UK
Inspired by notes in the appendices from Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM follows Aragon as he sets out to find the creature Gollum and discover the truth about the Ring…
This is not an official film production but a ‘fan film’. Fan films are inspired by film, TV, comics or a similar source and created by fans rather than by the source’s copyright holders or creators.
The Hunt for Gollum achieves a notable milestone for fan films when it becomes the first Fan Film to be simultaneously released online at Dailymotion.com and screened at a festival.
This is first ever LOTR Fan Film with serious production values, which aims to bring a unique high quality HD cinema experience to the internet.
Director Chris Bouchard started the project 2 years ago with a small talented cast and crew, which steadily built momentum as more and more enthusiastic filmmakers, volunteers and supporters took up the challenge to finally culminate in an amazing team effort that has had over a 100 volunteers contributing to the project, worldwide.
We are delighted to screen the world premiere of this ‘Lord of the Rings’ fan film made by fans for fans.
FREE EVENT
– register for tickets online at www.sci-fi-london.com/gollum

Sun 4th May, 4pm

THE MOTHER OF INVENTION (UK Premiere with Q&A)
Director: Joseph M. Petrick & Andrew Bowser
Runtime: 100mins
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Not a documentary about Frank Zappa, but a mockumentary about aspiring inventor Vincent Dooly (Andrew Bowser) who is vying for his last chance to win the Young Inventor Award before he is too old, and finally beat his arrogant nemesis and perennial winner, Martin Wooderson.
The trouble is none of Dooly’s brilliantly-conceived inventions, mostly built from junk, actually work, as the film painfully demonstrates. On top of that, his personal life is a bit of a mess.
However, this year he believes he has finally discovered the Holy Grail of invention that will change everything, and, with the help of his friend, stop the smug wunderkind from winning his seventh prize, whatever it takes.
Will Dooly finally build an invention that works and be immortalised? The mockumentary format is often seen as lazy filmmaking, but writer-director (and star) Andy Bowser brings a freshness to the format that harkens backs to the early days of Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap, Best in Show).
The Mother of Invention is a funny, and sometimes sad, tale of (under) dogged determination, with a great cast of characters that are as unreal as they are totally believable. Yes, the geeks shall inherit the earth. www.exploreinspire.com
Andrew Bowser, the lead actor and director will be in attendance and there will be a Q&A after the screening.
Sat 2nd May, 6.45pm

MONSTERS FROM THE ID
Director: David Gargani
Runtime: 71mins
Year: 2008
Country: USA
Does fiction inspire the science, or does science inspire the fiction?

MONSTERS FROM THE ID is a documentary that addresses this question. Going back to the classic sci-fi movies of the fifties and sixties, when the promise of an exciting new age permeated the world, the filmmakers look at the influence these films played on a future generation of scientists, and hears from those that went on to do great scientific work because of what they saw at the movies.
One of the theories put forward is that in those films it was the scientists that were the heroes who saved the day with their superior intellects, rather than with muscles and weapons that permeate today’s movies. They propose that we need more films like those early classics to encourage a new generation of young people to become scientists in order to save our world.
The film also looks at the way sci-fi portrayed man’s fears of invasion and loss of freedom at that time using, in particular, Forbidden Planet (where the title is taken from) to show that most of the terror comes from within man’s own psyche. If you have an enquiring mind, and are interested in the Real Science talks being held at the festival, then this is a great place to start getting your brain cells stimulated – and see fantastic clips from 1950s’ sci-fi classics.
Sat 2nd May, 11.10am

LABYRINTH
Director: Jim Henson
Runtime: 101mins
Year: 1986
Country: UK/USA
Long ago, in a time before computer effects provided children’s entertainment, Jim Henson was using good ol’ fashioned puppetry (or is that ‘muppetry’?) to bring his fantastical tales to life.
Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is a tantrum-throwing teen whose baby brother, Toby, gets on her nerves while she has to babysit him – again. She wishes goblins would come and take her bothersome sibling away. This, of course, comes true and she only has 13 hours to get through a labyrinth to retrieve the baby before Jareth, the Goblin King, (David Bowie) keeps the baby forever.
Although this classic ’80s’ fairy-tale has not aged as well as it might, especially poor Mr Bowie’s costume, the ambitious Terry Jones’ (Monty Python) script is still as enjoyable as ever.
This is a free family screening for children under 16 with a parent or guardian. NO UNACCOMPANIED ADULTS!

Mon 4th May, 11.00am

EVER SINCE THE WORLD ENDED
Director: Joshua Litle & Calum Grant
Runtime: 71mins
Year: 2001
Country: USA
Way back in 2003, we screened this fantastic post–apocalyptic movie and were intrigued when pop icon, Kylie, walked in and bought a ticket! 6 festivals later and it is still a super PA movie – and any pop celebs who want to come along are very welcome.
So many people haven’t had the chance to see this amazing film, consider it part of the service that we’re screening it again.
12 years after a plague has decimated the world population, survivors are interviewed about how they now live.
Set in the San Francisco bay area, the film explores, in often humorous ways, how people might cope. We witness the impatience of the younger generation with their elders’ nostalgia, attempts to administer justice, a new sexual politics, and emergent pseudo-religious beliefs.
This epic yet personal film gently examines how we might start again, left to our own devices.
Sun 3rd May, 2.15pm

THE 8th ANNUAL ANIMÉ ALL-NIGHTER – Sat 2nd May
Our notorious all-nighter features some amazing movies this year, featuring:
AFRO SAMURAI: RESURRECTION (Dir. Fuminori Kizaki, 2009, USA/ Japan)
When his father’s body is stolen from its grave, Afro takes up his sword again to tear through an army of deadly foes led by a sadistic leader. With the voices of Samuel L. Jackson and Lucy Liu.
GHOST IN THE SHELL 2.0 (UK Premiere)
(Dir. Mamoru Oshii, 2008, Japan)

One of the all time classic animé movies gets fresh linen! This is the movie Oshii wanted to make.
Not a sequel, this is GHOST IN THE SHELL with a new soundtrack, new 3D elements and a new colour palette and it looks glorious. And we will project it in HD.
Oshii has made the movie darker, grittier and, not unlike Blade Runner in its texture, it is far more beautiful than the original. Rendered with great subtlety, adding light to middle and background planes; other times using a stunning layering effect. The Major herself is reworked: She is more fluid and more human. When she tears herself apart in an effort to open an armoured vehicle, the effect is heartbreaking in a way that the original, for all its explicit horror, only suggested.
A must for the big screen.
NARUTO THE MOVIE 3: GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM (Dir. Toshiyuki Tsuru, 95mins, 2006, Japan)
A spoiled prince from the Moon Country is to be escorted to his home by Naruto. The Prince ends up buying a circus and, of course, hilarity ensues, as Naruto and his team have to protect the Prince and his new purchase. but wait, who are these three mysterious ninjas?
PANDA GO PANDA (Dir. Isao Takahata, 70mins, 1972, Japan)
This animé about a girl and 2 pandas was made back in the early 70s by two master filmmakers: Isao Takahata (Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and My Neighbors the Yamadas)and Hayao Miyazaki
After helping her Grandma to the station, 7-year-old Mimiko returns home and discovers she has a visitor – a baby panda.
She quickly makes friends with the young panda and names it Pannie, the pair head off on fun adventures.
ORIGIN: SPIRITS FROM THE PAST (Dir. Keiichi Sugiyama, 95mins, 2006, Japan)
300 years from now; Earth’s environment has been devastated by mankind’s foolish plans and humankind is beleaguered by the sentient forests which have awoken. A young boy named Agito stumbles across a machine that glows in a strange blue hue within a forbidden sanctuary.
The machine, which has preserved beautiful Tula from the past, is activated. she is on a ‘mission’ from the past… A beautifully animated movie that exploits the big screen
Sat 2nd May, Midnight

THE SCI-FI-LONDON STAR TREK ALL-NIGHTER
This year sees JJ Abram’s ‘action movie in space’ hit the screens and a whole new cast take the helm of the Enterprise. It also sees the original series and movies released in full digital glory on Blu-ray. To celebrate the continuance of this ground–breaking science fiction franchise we present 4 of the original Star Trek movies back-to-back.
What’s more, everyone attending will be showered in assorted Star Trek goodies along with the usual goody bag, Redbull and ice-cream!
Oh, and even better than that… IT’S FREE!
Yup, courtesy of our friends at Paramount we are giving away all the tickets to this one-off Trek-a-thon.
To be in with a chance to get a pair of tickets you need to visit the website and sign-up:  www.sci-fi-london.com/startrek for full details.
The films screened include:
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN
(Dir. Nicholas Meyer, 1982)
STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
(Dir. Leonard Nimoy, 1984)

STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME
(Dir. Leonard Nimoy,1986)

STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
(Dir. Nicholas Meyer, 1991)
Sat 2nd May, 11.45pm

THE DANTE’S INFERNO ALL-NIGHTER
In anticipation of Electronic Arts’ new title, DANTE’S INFERNO, which is based on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, we present the work of four other nasty Italians.
THE MASK OF SATAN
(Dir. Mario Bava, 87mins,1960)
Mario bava’s directorial debut is a classic and extremely influential piece of Gothic horror that really showed his talent for creating haunting and stylishly shot film.
A witch and her servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch’s beautiful look-alike descendant. Only the girl’s brother and a handsome doctor stand in her way.
SLEEPLESS
(Dir. Dario Argento, 117mins, 2001) A police detective comes out of retirement to try and solve the case of a serial killer who makes an unwelcome return to society. this is the stuff of nightmares. Argento has the ability to turn the ordinary things like a commuter train into a sinister lair for a serial killer. Disturbing.
MACABRE
(Dir. Lamberto Bava, 89mins, 1980)
Lamberto Bava, son of Mario, made his stunning debut as a director in his
own right with a film that is still ranked by many as his best and closest in style to his late father’s. In Macabre a woman devastated by the death of her lover moves into a boarding house where the blind landlord soon begins to suspect that she’s resuming her affair with her dead lover!
BLACK SABBATH
(dir. Mario bava and Salvatore Billitteri, 92mins, 1963)
Nothing to do with the Birmingham band of the same name, this Mario Bava movie is another exercise in style and atmosphere from the uniquely gifted auteur. this is old school Gothic horror with a unique visual flair, a penchant for atmosphere and the great Boris Karloff
Sat 2nd May, Midnight

THE MST3K COMEDY ALL-NIGHTER
Each year we experiment on our MST3K audience, testing their laughing gear to the max. Well this time we deliver the ultimate challenge! Oh yes, a live improv’ soundtrack to a feature film (which we will not announce until the night) delivered by some of the hottest comedy talent in the country.
Featuring improvisers from The Penny dreadfuls, The Institute, The Ken Campbell Company, and The Spontaneity Shop, we are proud to welcome:
Cariad Lloyd (founder of the Institute, star of 50 hour improvathon with Ken Campbell Company)
Gemma Whelan (with Mike Leigh Assoc.)
Sara Pascoe (Runner Up in ‘so You Think You’re Funny’ and ‘Funny Women’ Competitions 2008 and star of channel 4’s Free Agents)
Humphrey Ker (one of Penny Dreadfuls – Edinburgh 5* sell-out 3 years running, regular on BBC3 and Radio 4)
Paul Foxcroft (member of The Institute)
This crack squad of very funny people will have to work hard to provide dialogue and sound effects for a feature film of our choosing!
But wait, not only do you get live comedy, for the first time we welcome CINEMATIC TITANIC to the line-up. Featuring Joel Hodgson (creator of MST3K ), Trace Beaulieu and Mary Jo Pehl from the original MST3K shows, Cinematic Titantic follows the same comedy tradition – find a crap movie and rip it apart.
We also have another Riffed track movie by Mike Nelson, another of the MST3K team… and of course there are two MST3K classics.
We start at 11.00pm and go through to 9.00am the next day – remember to sleep during the day, you will be up all night!
The films playing are:
THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (Rifftrax)
THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE (Cinematic Titanic)
THE PHANTOM PLANET (MST3K)
HAMLET (MST3K)
TO BE ANNOUNCED 5th MOVIE!
Sat 2nd May, 11.30pm

FOCUS ON: ISRAEL
This new feature for the festival showcases a particular country’s contribution to the world of science fiction.
The fundamental SF question is ‘what if?’, posed throughout the world, in different cultures and languages.
This year we examine what are the ‘what ifs’ being explored currently in Israel and look at some unique responses on film.
Presented by Uri Aviv, director of Icon, the Annual Israeli festival for science fiction, fantasy and Role-playing. Aviv has for the past 12 years been managing conventions and consulting film distributors, publishers, media groups and other organisations on SF film, the SF industry and the SF community.
Films screened include:
WAR OF SALVATION (2008, Ittai Meyer, 18 min) Jerusalem 2022. The Jewish nation is at war, led by a messianic warlord, striving to raise a new Kingdom of Israel. 3 art students are recruited by a party official who wants to use their talent.
A TOUCH OF DEATH (2008, Eitan Gafni, 8 min) Death wants to be unemployed.
EMBRYOLOGY (2007, Shachar Freddy Kislev, 17 min) A young pregnant woman is terrorized by her unborn embryo.
Sun 3rd May, 11.30am
SCI-FI-LONDON EVENTS PROGRAMME

LONDON GEEK GIRLS DINNERS EVENT
Thursday 30 April, 6.30pm

We are delighted to welcome London’s geek girls to the festival.
Girl Geek Dinners, founded in 2005, now boasts 53 groups worldwide and eight in the UK.
The group runs regular events as an opportunity for anyone who describes themselves as ‘female, into technology, and a girl geek’ to socialise and talk about technology in an informal environment.

The speakers at this event include:
Dr Rachel Armstrong, a qualified General Practitioner whose concern for patients disfigured by the scars of leprosy led her on a journey that questioned assumptions about what ‘normal’ human anatomy is, or indeed, whether there is anything ‘natural’ about us at all.
Dr Armstrong will present a résumé of her adventures in practical science fiction over the last ten years, revealing a shocking portrait of human identity through the work of radical performance artists and leading to her current work that challenges notions of ‘life’ itself. Men geeks are welcome if invited by a London Geek Girl.
Free event to book visit – www.londongirlgeekdinners.co.uk
Thurs 30th April, 6.30pm

SUPPORTING BRITISH FILM: Neil Oseman
Saturday 2 May, 10.30AM

Each year we invite a UK filmmaker working on an interesting project to come and give us the low-down on the production, show us some of the work-in-progress and generally take us behind-the scenes.
This year we invite Neil Oseman (Soulsearcher) who gave a brilliant talk on lighting DV to look like film back in 2006.
This time we get to see some amazing footage from his forthcoming and ambitious feature THE DARK SIDE OF THE EARTH, set in the 19th century, the world stops spinning suddenly. But there is hope; a mysterious character on the dark side may have the key to getting the planet moving again.
FREE EVENT
Sat 2nd May, 10.30am

THE SCI-FI-LONDON AWARDS
Sun 3rd May, 6.30PM

Filmmaker MARC CARO presents awards to the winners of the 2nd Annual SCI-FI-LONDON 48hour Film Challenge and the Electronic Arts’ DANTE’S INFERNO TRAILER competition.
We also give the award for Best Short Film and Best Feature.
Free event

Sun 3rd May, 6.30pm

THE ANNUAL SCI-FI-LONDON PUB QUIZ
Sun 3rd May, 2.15pm

Think you know a bit about sci-fi and movies? Fancy trying your luck against the experts? We have some cool prizes and giveaways as well. Open to teams and individuals.
FREE EVENT
Sun 3rd May, 2.15pm

THE SCI-FI-LONDON: LAB
This is a brand new feature for the festival.
We have created the SCI-FI-LONDON: LAB because we’re committed to promoting science fact as well as fiction.
Filmmakers often tell us that sci-fi is tough to make due to a perceived need for special effects or lack of credible stories. The LAB programmes offer opportunities to consider new ways of telling stories and puts cutting-edge research and practice in the spotlight. Scientists, comic artists, leading genre writers and filmmakers explore where fact and fiction intersect.  Goggles not obligatory.

FILM LAB:
MAKING MOVIES FOR (SM)ALL SCREENS – with Cory Mcabee

What kind of content works best on broadband platforms? Web serials, television reruns, user-generated, reality programming – why does so much of today’s content seem… a bit juvenile?
Where is the next generation of content for cinephiles, artists, and activists?
Cory McAbee, artist, musician and filmmaker has made feature films, pop videos and, recently for the Sundance Institute, was commissioned to make a film for a 2:2 ratio screen and delivered to mobile phones. His latest movie STINGRAY SAM was planned to be shown as a feature or delivered episodically. It was designed for multiple platforms, any sized screen and to exploit different monetary models. Join Cory and find out how he approaches making movies that work on a phone, pda, the web or in the cinema.

SAT 2ND MAY, 12.15PM

Film Lab:
DIRECTORS GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN PRESENTS
‘THE PROBLEM OF SCI-FI/FANTASY FILMMAKING

Money, money and of course, money – this is often the main reason why many Directors tend to stay away from sci-fi and fantasy film projects. But do sci-fi movies need mega-budgets?
And how do you pitch the idea for a sci-fi film without making it sound expensive? This panel discussion will talk to directors with genre filmmaking experience and try to extract the pearls of wisdom and the magic wand that will get your film off the launch pad:
Guests include:
MARC CARO (Delicatessen, Dante 01)
CORY MCABEE (American Astronaut, Stingray Sam)
GERALD MCMORROW (Thesbian X, Franklyn)
RICHARD JOBSON (A Women in Winter, The Purifiers)
SAT 2ND MAY, 4.15PM

LITERATURE LAB:
WRITING YOUNG ADULT FANTASY

What’s the difference between writing for young adults and writing for everyone else? Is there a difference at all?
We ask these experts to give us the low-down on writing successfully in this very competitive niche.
Panel discussion with:
PAUL STEWART
CHRIS RIDDELL
OISIN MCGANN
CHRIS WOODING
CHINA MIéVILLE
SAT 2ND MAY 11.00AM

LITERATURE LAB:
TONIGHT I’M GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1899 – THE RISE OF STEAMPUNK SUBCULTURE

Steampunk has been bubbling away for years, but now Steampunk theatre and cabaret scenes are slowly establishing themselves, traditional ‘goths’ are replacing their eyeliner for goggles, cogs and gentleman’s jackets and Solaris has just published an anthology of Steampunk writing.
So why has it taken so long for Steampunk to break through? Why now? And where do we think it is going?
Panel discussion with:
STEPHEN HUNT
CHRIS WOODING
BRYAN TALBOT
PAUL DUFFIELD
SAT 2ND MAY 12.30PM

LITERATURE LAB:
COMICS AS SCI-FI LITERATURE

As the graphic novel is increasingly being accepted as a legitimate form of literature, what makes a great SF comic? Why are writers from TV and literature interested in the format? We discuss these issues with some of the finest practitioners of the medium.
Panel discussion with:
BRYAN TALBOT
PAUL DUFFIELD
CHINA MIEVILLE
PAUL CORNELL
SAT 2ND MAY 2.30PM

LITERATURE LAB:
ROBOTS AND REALITY
We live in a world where robots replace real people all the time, yet fictional robots are everything from cleaners to companions, sex toys to sidekicks. Are we being realistic about robots in our fiction? Does the robot reality really matter?
Panel discussion with:
TONY BALLANTYNE
CHINA MIEVILLE
OISIN MCGANN
Followed by the official launch of Tony Ballantyne’s new novel TWISTED METAL (Tor)
SAT 2ND MAY 5.15PM

LITERATURE LAB:
THE NEW HEROIC FANTASY

The days of by-the-numbers ‘swords and sorcery’ seem to be well behind us and modern fantasy writers have brought a new type heroic fantasy to the masses. Is that a conscious effort by today’s fantasy writers or just a new sensibility for a modern world? How has the massive rise in popularity of fantasy fiction changed the writers approach? How hard is it to maintain a fresh approach to such a well-defined genre?
Panel discussion with:
JOE ABERCROMBIE
STEPHEN DEAS
ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY
SUN 3RD MAY 11.00AM

LITERATURE LAB:
COMEDY AND SATIRE IN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY

What makes the sci-fi/fantasy genre different when it comes to writing comedy? What can you do in the genre that you cannot do in straightforward fiction? And if we are doomed, are we likely to go out with a gag? These uniquely funny writers share some insight on the challenges of writing comedy in a sci-fi/fantasy setting.
Panel discussion with:
ROBERT RANKIN
NICK HARKAWAY
NEIL GARDENER
DIRK MAGGS
Followed by Robert Rankin’s The Brightonomicon – LIVE
The Brightonomicon is a hilarious sci-fi / comedy drama that relocates the Necromomicon to modern day Brighton. We’re proud to present an on stage live performance of the BBC radio adaptation featuring Robert Rankin himself, producer Neil Gardner as the narrator and other members of the original cast (TBC).
SUN 3RD MAY 12.30AM

LITERATURE LAB:
WHERE’S MY JETPACK?

Science fiction has promised us interstellar travel, flying cars, hoverboards, teleportation, universal translators, colonies in space and so much more. So where is it? In a world where London’s transport infrastructure can be brought to a standstill by 6 inches of snow and end-of-the-world scenarios play out in fiction, films and TV – is the mobile phone and the Internet really the best we can do?
Panel discussion with:
DAVID MOODY
OISIN MCGANN
KAREN TRAVISS
GEORGE UDENKWO
SUN 3RD MAY 3.30PM

LITERATURE LAB:
CONTEMPORARY URBAN FANTASY

With the rise in popularity of contemporary urban fantasy what is it that we are looking for that’s missing from our everyday lives? Given the well-documented dangers of modern life, why are our modern fantasies filled with ancient dangers?
Panel discussion with:
ALEX BELL
CHARLES STROSS
SUN 3RD MAY 5.00PM

LITERATURE LAB:
BUILDING A SCI-FI/FANTASY WORLD

Science fiction writing can demand a lot from the reader, everything from floating cities to sentient materials, but what are the challenges of creating a convincing SF / fantasy world, the language, the culture, the politics, the technology and the magic… always the magic.
Panel discussion with:
ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY
CHINA MIEVILLE
MARK CHARAN-NEWTON
LIZ WILLIAMS
MON 4TH MAY 2.20PM

LITERATURE LAB:
A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD?
Is hard sci-fi still the preserve of the male author? Do readers still expect male authors and male protagonists? How do publishers react to manuscripts from female SF authors? This panel of female authors discusses their place in the science fiction world.
Panel discussion with:
PAT CADIGAN
KAREN TRAVISS
JAINE FENN
LIZ WILLIAMS
MON 4TH MAY 3.45PM

LITERATURE LAB:
FANTASY FICTION FROM ALL SIDES

Mark Charan-Newton works for the publisher Solaris, in the book marketing dept, he has also been an editor and now he is a published author at TOR (Pan MacMillan). In this workshop session he discusses writing, marketing and publishing.
FREE IN THE BAR
MON 4TH MAY 4.00PM (TBC)

ASSOCIATED LITERATURE EVENT:
THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD FOR LITERATURE
(WED 29TH APRIL, 7.45PM BY INVITATION ONLY)

The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in the UK and recognised as one of the most respected awards in the world. The winner will be announced at this year’s SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival.
This year’s shortlist:
SONG OF TIME: IAN R. MACLEOD – PS PUBLISHING
THE QUIET WAR: PAUL MCAULEY – GOLLANCZ
HOUSE OF SUNS: ALASTAIR REYNOLDS – GOLLANCZ
ANATHEM: NEAL STEPHENSON – ATLANTIC
THE MARGARETS: SHERI S. TEPPER – GOLLANCZ
MARTIN MARTIN’S ON THE OTHER SIDE: MARK WERNHAM – JONATHAN CAPE

SCIENCE LAB:
ALIEN – IS THERE REALLY ANYBODY OUT THERE?

This panel discusses the likelihood of meeting an alien species and the necessary etiquette for First Contact.
Speakers include:
PROFESSOR MARK BRAKE
Author, science communicator and lecturer in Astrobiology
LEWIS DARTNELL
Astrobiologist and space researcher investigating the possibility of microbial life surviving in the surface dust of Mars in the face of the constant rain of radiation from space.
JONATHAN COWIE
Environmental scientist and science communicator
DR RACHEL ARMSTRONG
sf author and medical Doctor with an interest in non Darwinian techniques of evolution and the challenges of the extra-terrestrial environment.
SAT 2ND MAY 11.30AM

SCIENCE LAB:
ROBOTS – RISE OF THE MACHINES
This panel examines the relationship between humans and machines and considers what may happen in the future when robots are capable of directing their own evolution.
Speakers include:
PROFESSOR NOEL SHARKEY
Professor of AI and Robotics at the University of Sheffield. He has held a number of research and teaching positions in the UK (Essex, Exeter and Sheffield) and the USA (Yale, Stanford, Berkeley).
RICH WALKER
Technical Director of Shadow Robots, whose expertise is in robotics research and development.
KLAUS-PETER ZAUNER
Senior Lecturer in the science and Engineering of Natural Systems Group of the school of electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.
IAN PEARSON
Futurologist who tracks developments across the whole field of technology and society, figuring out where it is all going next, and how that will affect our everyday lives.
JAMES AUGER
Designer who explores the role of technology in society and how it affects our behaviour, our relationships or our quality of life.
SAT 2ND MAY 3.45PM

SCIENCE LAB:
DYSTOPIA – ARE WE DOOMED?
Apocalyptic scenarios dominate science fiction cinema today. Is our fearful attitude to the future different to the cold-war terrors of the fifties? What fuels our sense of doom, and is it justified by reality?
Speakers include:
TIMANDRA HARKNESS (Chair)
Writer, comedian and explorer of humanist issues
JON GOODBUN
Multitalented academic and Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster who is known for his attempt to theorize the links between modern digital environments, mass communications, ideas of ecology, and Marxist analysis
STEVE FULLER
Controversial philosopher and sociologist in the field of science and technology studies.
JOSIE APPLETON
Writer and convenor of the Manifesto Club
Presented in association with The Battle of Ideas www.battleofideas.org.uk
SAT 3RD MAY 12.30PM

SCIENCE LAB:
ARTIFICAL LIFE – IT’S LIFE, JUST NOT AS WE KNOW IT!

This session is truly cutting edge science based on experimental evidence and discusses the possibility of synthetic life-like forms being generated in the laboratory and in silicon and what this means for the human race.
Speakers include:
PROFESSOR GEORGE ATTARD
School of Chemistry, Southampton, whose diverse research activities span the traditional disciplines of physical chemistry/chemical physics, materials science, biochemistry and immunology.
PETER BENTLEY
Popular science author whose field of interest includes evolutionary Computation, engineering design, Computer Art, and Artificial Life.
RACHEL ARMSTRONG
SF author and doctor, who has appeared extensively in the media and at international conferences speculating on the future of humankind, non Darwinian evolution.

GS Reporter: Nuge

Source: Sci-Fi London

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