2018 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Award Winners

The 2018 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has announced its award winners. The sixth annual event took place from February 23-25 and featured exclusive premieres, panel discussions and virtual reality experiences, as well as appearances by Armand Assante, Charles Baker, Jonny Beauchamp, Nicki Clyne, Nana Gouvea, Tom Sizemore and Melvin Van Peebles at the screenings of their film premieres.

The festival awarded films with honors based on originality, creative insight and inspirational storytelling through the prophetic lens of the festival’s namesake. “With each passing year, more people are learning through our festival of the universal appeal of Philip K. Dick,” said Abella. “Our 2018 winning films capture his legacy and serve as a beacon of hope and possibility for independent filmmakers who are not afraid of being different and rocking the boat.”

2018 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Award Winners

Alterscape cinematographer Richard Clabaugh, Sounds of Freedom director Holly Chadwick, Black Wake director Jeremiah Kipp, Black Wake producer Carlos Keyes, The Shaman and the Scientist director Sarah Hutt, The Wanderers actor Armand Assante

BEST PHILIP K. DICK FEATURE

Alterscape (2018) — World Premiere
Director: Serge Levin
Run Time/Country: 88 min, USA

Synopsis: After a failed suicide attempt, a young man coping with loss and depression submits to a series of trials that fine-tune human emotions but his unique reaction to the tests send him on a journey that transcends both physical and perceived reality. Starring Michael Ironside (Total Recall) Charles Baker (Breaking Bad), Alex Veadov (Act of Valor), Serge Levin (Welcome to Willits), Debbie Rochon (Model Hunger), Mack Kuhr (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Olan Montgomery (The Blacklist) and Sara K. Edwards (Mad Women). Produced by Jon Keeyes (American Nightmare) and cinematography by Richard Clabaugh (Eyeborgs).

Alterscape actors Mack Kuhr, Charles Baker

BEST SCIENCE FICTION FEATURE

The Child Remains (2017) — NYC Premiere
Director: Michael Melski
Run Time/Country: 120 min, Canada

Synopsis: An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror as they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where infants and mothers were murdered. Starring Suzanne Clément (Mommy), Allan Hawco (Frontier), Shelley Thompson (Labyrinth) and Géza Kovács (Scanners).

BEST HORROR FEATURE

Black Wake (2018) — World Premiere
Director: Jeremiah Kipp
Run Time/Country: 120 min, USA

Synopsis: Specialists gather in a top-secret facility to investigate a series of strange deaths on beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and examine video evidence to uncover a possible parasitic explanation for the fatalities. When a determined detective sends one of the scientists the crazed writings of a mysterious homeless man, she slowly learns that the actual threat may be more dangerous – and far older – than anyone ever imagined. Starring Nana Gouvea (The Fever), Golden Globe Award nominee Tom Sizemore (Witness Protection), Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts (Runaway Train), Screen Actors Guild Award winner Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos), Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful)  and Chuck Zito (Oz). Inspired by the cosmic horror of genre writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Black Wake producer Carlos Keyes, actress Kelly Rae LeGault, festival director Daniel Abella, actress Nana Gouvea, actor Jonny Beauchamp, actor Tom Sizemore.”

BEST DRAMATIC FEATURE

The Wanderers: The Quest of The Demon Hunter (2017) — USA Premiere
Director: Dragos Buliga
Run Time/Country: 90 min, Romania

Synopsis: A vampire hunter and a reporter investigate mysterious circumstances at a castle in Transylvania. Starring Primetime Emmy Award winner Armand Assante (Gotti).

The Wanderers composer Jeremy Adelman, screenwriter Octav Gheorghe, actor Armand Assante, producer Andrei Boncea, director Dragos Buliga

BEST DOCUMENTARY

The Shaman and The Scientist (2017)
Director: Sarah Hutt
Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: This short documentary explores the topic of traditional plant medicine from two perspectives – that of Don Juan Tangoa Paima, a curandero who works with Ayahuasca medicine in the Peruvian Amazon, and through the research of Dr. Dennis McKenna, who taught ethnopharmacology for over 30 years and is the brother of ethnobotanist Terence McKenna, looking for new medicines to treat schizophrenia and dementia. The story takes viewers from jungle to lab asking what is the value of undiscovered knowledge in the world’s most biodiverse biomes, and what is at stake if we allow those precious resources to be lost.

The Shaman and the Scientist film subject Dr. Dennis McKenna, director Sarah Hutt

BEST SINGULARITY, ESCHATON AND BEYOND FILM

It Began Without Warning (2017)
Director: Santiago C. Tapia, Jessica Curtright
Run Time/Country: 5 min, USA

Synopsis: “The time has come,” the Walrus said. And all the little Oysters stood and waited in a row. Produced by Couper Samuelson, the executive producer of the Golden Globe Award nominated film Get Out (2017) and Efren Ramirez (actor, Napoleon Dynamite).

BEST LATINO, AFRICAN AMERICAN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR SCIENCE FICTION FILM

Program (2017)
Director: Gabriel de Urioste
Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA

Synopsis: A young woman goes back to fix a broken relationship with a lost love.

BEST PHILIP K. DICK AUDIENCE AWARD

Paleonaut (2017)
Director: Eric McEver
Run Time/Country: 16 min, Japan/China

Synopsis: A scientist studying the first human time traveller falls in love with her subject. But if her research succeeds they will become separated by eons of history. She must find a way to connect with him across the ages or lose him forever.

Paleonaut director Eric McEver

BEST SCIENCE FICTION BACKERS AWARD

Metta Via (2017)
Director: Warren Flanagan
Run Time/Country: 10 min, Canada

Synopsis: Set in the future, a young woman wakes up in a mysterious temple-like room and must figure out her purpose.

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT

Paleonaut (2017)
Director: Eric McEver
Run Time/Country: 16 min, Japan/China

Synopsis: A scientist studying the first human time traveller falls in love with her subject. But if her research succeeds they will become separated by eons of history. She must find a way to connect with him across the ages or lose him forever.

BEST HORROR SHORT

Sound From the Deep (2017)
Director: Antti Laakso, Joonas Allonen
Run Time/Country: 29 min, Finland

Synopsis: An international research group is searching natural resources from the Arctic Ocean. They pick up a strange underwater sound from far north, and start to follow it to the uncharted waters. Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Astronaut of Featherweight (2017)
Director: Dalibor Baric
Run Time/Country: 27 min, Croatia

Synopsis: From space spa colonies to alien plantations, everybody is forced to take care of their bodies in this dark vision of a hyper-capitalist trans-human society in which body is a commodity and money is immortality.

BEST WEB SERIES

Sounds of Freedom (2017)
Director: Holly Chadwick
Run Time/Country: 5 min, USA

Synopsis: Two veterans, one of the Iraq War and one of the Vietnam War, both suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. From their jobs at the local newspaper and through a series of flashbacks and sessions with a common therapist, they are challenged to the max when a serial killer strikes at home.

BEST VIRTUAL REALITY

The Making of Marine Butterfly (2017)
Director: Alex Bartuli
Run Time/Country: 23 min, USA/Canada

Synopsis: Exploring the invention of the 3-Dimensional Audio System and where will it take mankind.

BEST TRAILER

Impuratus (2017)
Director: Michael Yurinko
Run Time/Country: 5 min, USA

Synopsis: A police detective in circa 1917 is called to a remote mental hospital to witness the death-bed confession of a mysterious Civil War Vet that forces him to believe in the supernatural. Starring Holt Boggs (The Leftovers), John Savage (The Deer Hunter) and Saturn Award nominee Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial).

About The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival:

The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival launched in 2012 as New York City’s first festival of its kind and honors the enduring legacy of novelist Philip K. Dick, whose work maintains a strong influence over modern culture and society. Organized by individuals and filmmakers who understand the difficulties and challenges of presenting a unique narrative in a corporate environment, the festival embraces original concepts and alternative approaches to storytelling in the form of independent science fiction, horror, supernatural, fantasy, metaphysical and virtual reality films. Since 2013, the festival has held international gatherings in France, Poland and Germany and many domestic screening events throughout the year. The 2018 festival was held at Village East Cinema (181-189 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003) with two screenings at Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106).

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