The legend of threes is certainly a token of truth for The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has the annual event enters its third year with the additions of three exciting new films to its glorious lineup. In honor of the literary world’s most nuanced and visionary author Philip K. Dick, the highly-anticipated four-day experience from January 15-18, 2015 will screen at three distinguished locations including The Cervantes Institute, Tribeca Cinemas and The Producer’s Club. A slate of innovative features and shorts capture the distinctive boldness of the the genre and brings forth the most riveting moments of science fiction cinema ever to grace the big screen.
Get ready for a non-stop fright-night on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at The Producer’s Club. Kidnapping, torture, time travel, mind control, extraterrestrial contact and even murder is said to have been committed in the quaint hamlet of Montauk, Long Island. Discover the shocking details in Christopher P. Garetano’s Montauk Chronicles (2014) from 5-7pm. Equipped with all new footage from its previous release, the documentary film follows the story of three men who claim they were brainwashed by a clandestine organization and forced against their will to take part in secret experiments beneath the surface of the Camp Hero Air Force base in Montauk. Survivors Alfred Bielek, Stewart Swerdlow and Preston Nichols tell their tales of the infamous location where criminal experiments of nearly 100,000 people took place over the course of 10 ghastly years. A Q&A with Garetano is scheduled afterwards.
Following in its own trail of macabre is Chris Alexander’s feature Queen of Blood (2014) from 6-7:30pm. With numerous rave reviews, the film is a follow-up to the 2012 PKD Festival “Best Horror Supernatural Feature” Blood For Irina (2012). Hold onto your seats as vampire Irina, exceptionally portrayed by Shauna Henry, is reborn as a “vampiric plague” and must escape the danger of a vampire slayer as she lays waste on those around her to claim her unborn child. The film also stars Nivek Ogre, Carrie Gemmell and David Goodfellow in what is a modern masterpiece set to a haunting score and vivid scenery. The film previously screened to immense success at the International Horror Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix, The Italian Horror Fest in Nettuno, Rome, Italy, The Montreal Horrorfest, The Oaxaca FilmFest in Mexico, La Samain du Cinema Fantastique in the South of France, the South African Horror Fest in Cape Town and Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival in Toronto. The evening closes with Suicide or Lulu and Me In A World Made For Two (2014) in a midnight screening from 11:30pm-1:30am. Written, directed and starring Christian Carroll, the film follows an inventor who develops a camera to preserve a loving moment between himself and his lover in order to achieve never-ending happiness. The film stars Adeline Thery, Brian Shoop, Mathieu Lagarrigue and Quentin Brussieux and has screened at the Sci-Fi-London Film Festival, the Arizona Underground Film Festival and recently premiered on VOD in the UK.
These films will be feasted upon the eyes of audiences but not before the festival hosts a special panel made up of the directors and producers whose films are official selections. From 12-1:30pm, Perils and Profits: Independent Filmmaking In The 21st Century will delve deeply into the challenges faced by independent filmmakers as they navigate the exciting and turbulent waters of today’s industry. The distinguished guests include Mark Netter, director and producer of Nightmare Code (2014) starring Andrew J. West (AMC’s The Walking Dead) who will discuss how to assemble a winning production team and how to bring out the best in them. Kathleen Behun, in her feature film debut as director and co-producer of 21 Days (2014) starring Whitney Rose Pynn (NBC’s Aquarius) will relay the importance of narrative and how to shoot a great film on a shoe-string budget and Stephanie Bell, producer of Inverse (2014) starring Josh Wingate (World War Z) will examine creative methods of self-distribution.
The films and panels join the already announced festival which launches on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at The Cervantes Institute with a free-admission night of international science fiction shorts beginning at 7pm. The exciting schedule includes Martín Rosete’s Voice Over (2011, Spain), Michel Goossens’ Exit (2013, Spain/Netherlands), MacGregor and Bruno Zacarías’ Similo (2014, Spain), Daniel Romero’s No Mires Ahí (2014, Spain), Fernandez Sanchez’s Sujeto Darwin (2014, Spain), Antonio Souto Fraguas’ Renacimiento (2013, Spain), Thierry Lorenzi’s On/Off (2013, France), Didier Philippe’s Seule (2014, France), Lee Citron’s Martian American (2014, USA/Mexico) and Federico Telerman’s Albino (2014, Argentina).
On Friday, January 16, 2015 at Tribeca Cinemas Nightmare Code (2014) opens the big night at 7pm in Theater One. The star-studded film features Andrew J. West, widely known to audiences as Gareth on AMC’s mega-hit The Walking Dead, Mei Melançon (X Men: The Last Stand, The L Word) and Googy Gress (Apollo 13, Parenthood) and follows the gripping account of a start-up programmer who battles a mysterious software code that takes on a life of its own following the murderous rampage of his predecessor. The feature film is directed and produced by Mark Netter, written by Netter and M.J. Rotondi and executive produced by Craig Allen and Avi Bachar. A Q&A session with Netter is scheduled to follow. At 9pm, Jacob Akira Okada’s documentary short Painting the Way to the Moon (2013) will have its exclusive New York City premiere in Theater One. Produced by Adam Morrow and Carylanna Taylor the film follows Princeton mathematician and artist Ed Belbruno, who discovered a new form of space travel. A Q&A session with Belbruno is scheduled to follow.
A block of international science fiction short films begins at 7:30pm in Theater Two. A highlight of the evening is Room 731 (2014, USA) which stars Tim Kang, best known as Kimball Cho on CBS’ smash-hit The Mentalist, Yoojung Kim and Nikki SooHoo. The film directed by Young Min Kim and written by Kim and Christie Cushing is a supernatural mystery which sheds light on the traumas of the WWII-era Japanese concentration camp known as “Unit 731.” The evening continues with Thomas Charles’ Désaffection (2013, France), Mat Owen’s Turn On (2013, UK), Winnie Cheung’s Dear Lucas (2014, USA), Laura Maxfield’s A Girl, A Cat, A Bomb (2014, USA), [followed by Room 731 in sequence], Faroukh Virani’s Vimana (2014, USA/India), Aldo Romero’s Silent Threat (2014, USA), Erin Li’s Kepler X-47 (2014, USA) and Vanessa Gould’s The Atom Bomb (2013, USA). And just when you thought the screams had died down, three filmmakers barricade themselves in a haunted house where no one has survived past 21 Days (2014) at 9:30pm in Theater Two. The spine-chilling and multiple award-winning feature film written and directed by Kathleen Behun stars Whitney Rose Pynn (co-star of NBC’s upcoming David Duchovny series Aquarius), Max Hambleton and Mickey River. A Q&A session with Behun is scheduled to follow.
The festival continues on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at The Producer’s Club with three blocks of short films. First up are Philip K. Dick-inspired films of “Paranoia, Conspiracy and Dystopia” at 3pm including John Butler’s The Terminal Node (2014), Stephen Parkhurst’s Frontier (2014), Scott Danzig’s Sky Paradise (2013), Alessandro Bricoli’s Ignorenatus Alius (2014), Gavin Williams’ Sleepworking (2013), Anthony Willis’ Escapement (2014), Etienne Gravrand’s The Fischer Case (2014), Joachim Huveneers’ I Wish My Life (2014), Ayoub Qanir’s Artificio Conceal (2014) and William Hart and Ciaran Birks’ Serpent Dreams (2014). After the block, audience members will have the opportunity to vote for the “Best PKD Short.” Next is “Wonders, Curiosities and Oddities” at 5pm include Zac Grant and Jason Markowitz’s The Dahl House (2014), Peter LaSala and Christopher Ventura’s Except for Us (2014), Dustin Lee’s The Astronomer (2015), Michel Goossens’ Ego (2014), Edmond Deraedt and Kristin Arnesen’s Reliquary (2014) and Keaton Smith’s The Story of Christopher Jenkins (2014). “Horror and Supernatural” closes out the lineup with Andy Green’s Vomica (2014), Lauren Morrison’s Viscera (2014) and Kristen Swinkels’ Nigredo (2013). But the night is far from over with the screening of the award-winning feature film The Perfect 46 (2014) starring Whit Hertford, Don McManus and James M. Connor at 7:30pm. Written and directed by Brett Ryan Bonowicz, the film follows the story of a geneticist who develops a website to pair individuals of a pure genetic match in order to create the “perfect child.” Ending the night is the feature There (2014) at 9:30pm, a high-octane thriller about a socially displaced war veteran who ” justifies domestic terrorism by interpreting his actions with alien invasion.” Written and directed by prolific underground filmmaker James Fotopoulos, the film stars Xander O’Connor, Brenda Bakke and Sarah Brooks.
The festival ends on Sunday, January 18, 2015 but not before the twists and turns of Inverse (2014) at 4pm in Tribeca Cinemas’ Theater One. Written and directed by Matt Duggan, the feature film stars Josh Wingate (World War Z), Luisa Beck, W.C. Boelter and John Burish in this story of eternal ruination and forbidden desire. Experience captivating shocks as a man awakens from what he perceived as death but is in fact a parallel universe all the while he falls in love with his doppelgänger’s wife and mankind is threatened with total destruction. All Things Horror praises the film in an exceptional review citing, “Inverse is a solid entry into the pantheon of new speculative films. It dares to ask “What if?” and it makes you care about the answer.” A Q&A session with Duggan is scheduled to follow. When all is dead and done, the highly anticipated awards ceremony brings the festival to a satisfying close.
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has thrilled its attendees with entertaining and visually captivating themes which have made the event a favorable and continued success. The festival will take place on January 15, 2015 at The Cervantes Institute (day is free admission) at 211 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017, January 16 and 18, 2015 at Tribeca Cinemas at 54 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013 at Laight Street, one block below Canal Street and January 17, 2015 at The Producer’s Club at 358 W 44th Street, New York, NY 10036.