Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Announces 2021 Lineup

The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has unveiled the lineup for its ninth annual season. It will be a hybrid event. With theaters safely opened for screenings, the live portion of the festival will run exclusively at the Producers Club Theaters in Midtown Manhattan  on Friday, September 17th and Saturday, September 18th. The festival will stream virtually on Sunday, September 19th. Passes are available here.

Events include film screenings featuring 120 official selections, post-film discussions, virtual reality, and screenplay and graphic novel competitions. As a platform for exploring the evolution of science and technology, the festival showcases a variety of themes associated with independent storytelling.

“There is nothing like the thrill of a live festival,” said Daniel Abella, the founder and director of the event. “Our city has always been a beacon of life with a high concentration on art and film, and we are excited to once again be here in-person. We believe the festival will offer a ray of hope for those seeking inspiration out of the darkness we’ve all been through, because there is no better way to achieve that than viewing the extraordinary work of filmmakers who explore science fiction through the prism of their cultures and beliefs. This festival is a testament to their contributions and to the support of our wonderful audience.”

This year’s lineup consists of 6 features, 95 shorts, 16 screenplay and graphic novel entries, 3 virtual reality demonstrations, and spans 21 countries.

The opening night film will be the World Premiere of Noah Mucci’s Lunamancer about a scientist, armed with only his faith and a crowbar, who enters battle with an otherworldly entity for the soul of his sister. Other highlights on September 17th include the short film DAWN directed by Nona Catusanu, Katherine Castro, and Liza Gipsova about a woman living in the waning days of a post-apocalyptic world, and Samuel Krebs’ The Whooper Returns, a feature film that blends horror with costume performance art when estranged siblings must defend their haunted childhood home from a sinister band of cosplayers.

Alongside a slate of interactive VR, The Last Starship from renowned producer Eric Haywood about a group of survivors who must relocate to a new world, and Between Waves from Virginia Abramovich about a woman who searches for her missing lover through parallel dimensions, will both bow on September 18th.

Then, Martin Guigui’s The Unhealer will serve as the closing night presentation. The feature follows a bullied teen who exacts revenge against his tormentors by using his powers to reverse any attempted physical harm onto his aggressors.

Titles on September 19th include Franz, an animated short from Tom Geibel-Lane about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, Carlo Ballauri’s The Recycling Man which depicts a boy immobilized in a wheelchair who spies on his neighbors from across a courtyard, and No One’s Listening, a timely film directed by Juan Carlos Castaneda about two dark-skinned immigrants whose execution by a gang of white countrymen is intervened by a ghostly deaf woman with supernatural powers. The experimental documentary Origin of the Species by Abigail Child will explore the realities of android development, while Naeri Do’s TRANS about a girl who conducts an electrical baptism to become a transhuman, will close out the virtual event.

Citing PKD’s foresight of world events, many official selections reflect the ongoing circumstances of COVID-19. “There is no doubt that we entered the PKD universe with the pandemic,” said Abella. “A number of films have either anticipated the pandemic or show its consequences. What makes our festival so unique is that we’ve always looked for films that served as warnings, which is exactly what much of PKD’s work is about. As opposed to other sci-fi writers whose stories usually take place in the far future, PKD focused on the near future. He embraced vigilance and critical thinking and offered us ways to resolve our dilemmas.”

The September 18th screening of PROJECT-19 directed by Randy Scott Slavin, is among several films that drew inspiration from the global crisis. That film about a six-year-old engineering genius made use of its confined surroundings as it was filmed at the height of quarantine with the participation of the director’s family. On September 19th, the festival will present Lockdown: The Doctor Who Fans’ Survival Guide directed by Roger Christopher Stevens and hosted by Sophie Aldred, which shows the uniquely personal videos of fans of the popular BBC series and how they coped during the many months of isolation. Then, a character in Russ Emanuel’s Routine shakes up her monotonous lifestyle during quarantine when she runs out of coffee and will do anything to get her hands on another cup, while Sara Caldwell and Walter Gorey’s Glitch explores the chilling ramifications of a single mother’s new assignment while working from home.

For the second year in a row, the festival will hold its science fiction, supernatural, and sci-fi prototyping screenplay competition. “We are looking at scripts that focus on the nuts and bolts of creating an entire sci-fi world,” said Abella, who wants to show festival-goers the precision and accuracy necessary to the craft of screenwriting. “Rather than just prioritizing high concept premises, each of these screenplays deal with originality, characterization, and psychological dimensions on a more granular scale. It is important to note that when telling a good story, the smallest of details truly do matter.” In addition, the festival will introduce a graphic novel category and allow fans to experience even more exceptional narrative styles. “Graphic novels are at the intersection of multiple skills because they include storytelling, illustration, and design,” he said. “As a great starting point to show one’s work, we hope that this medium encourages more writers to become involved in the filmmaking process.”

As life continues to be as unpredictable as ever, the festival remains committed to showcasing various forms of media that emphasize the importance of sci-fi and its lessons for humanity. “Our most challenging moments can be our most fertile as well,” said Abella. “We have come face-to-face with the most basic human conditions and through our shared experiences, the time has come to grow and rebuild our community to be as strong as it has ever been.”

The festival film schedule follows the jump.

[Based on a press release.]

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2021:

Producers Club Theaters (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)

Block 1: Feature Presentation

Time: 6:00pm – 7:15pm EST

Lunamancer

Lunamancer (2021) — WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Noah Mucci

Run Time/Country: 70 min, USA

Synopsis: A scientist battles an otherworldly Lunamancer for the soul of his sister, armed only with his faith and a crowbar. Starring Nicki Clyne (Battleship Galactica).

Block 2: Sci-Fi Shorts

Time: 7:15pm – 9:30pm EST

vEmotion

vEmotion (2020)

Director: Erkan Lüleci

Run Time/Country: 3 min, Germany

Synopsis: A programmer is commissioned to virtually bring a deceased woman back to life. Soon he falls in love with her. When this is revealed, he has to make fast decisions.

Here Comes Frieda

Here Comes Frieda (2020)

Director: Robin Takao D’Oench

Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: As yet another superstorm bears down on a desperate, weary city in the year 2040, a young woman seeks to redeem her winning sweepstakes ticket for a better life in a low Earth orbit paradise.

Don’t Forget to Remember (2020)

Director: Thomas D. Rotenberg

Run Time/Country: 16 min, USA

Synopsis: A young woman must traverse an alternate dimension in order to save the world from a fatal form of insomnia.

The Angel’s Cave (2020)

Director: Ivan Kotevski

Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: After a mysterious transmission reaches his dying Earth, a lonely radio telescope operator embarks on an odyssey to the realms beyond time and space.

One of Their Own (2020)

Director: Allen Colombo

Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA

Synopsis: This groundbreaking DIY short combines motion capture animation with neorealist live action to tell the story of a digital boy who gets into trouble trying to fit in with humans.

Call the Sandman

Call the Sandman (2020)

Director: Lou Blackmon

Run Time/Country: 14 min, USA

Synopsis: A mysterious company called the Sandman Corp., led by the equally mysterious Dr. Esperanza Haddid, boldly claims to have the technology to create alternate realities or dreams by scanning peoples’ memories. The opportunity to reconnect with each other is a temptation the two haven’t felt in years.

Spectacular Reality (2020)

Director: Ben Ditto

Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA

Synopsis: A group of downtown models attend a mysterious casting call.

Gorilla Wants Banana (2020)

Director: Andrew Juncker

Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA

Synopsis: In the deepest depths of a research facility, a desperate scientist just wants to know what a gorilla wants.

Orthogonal (2021)

Director: Ollie Rankin

Run Time/Country: 4 min, Canada

Synopsis: The story of two young women from very different, but equally challenging backgrounds. They each break free from the families, traditions and expectations that are holding them back and set out to find themselves.

DAWN (2020)

Director: Nona Catusanu, Katherine Castro, Liza Gipsova (“Red Dawn Trio”)

Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA

Synopsis: One woman faces her final obligation in her isolated, waning days among a post-apocalyptic world.

Seven Wishes (2021)

Director: Karolina Bomba

Run Time/Country: 9 min, France

Synopsis: In the heart of a forest, in his wheelchair, young Oscar has a magical encounter with extraordinary creatures: fireflies and a mermaid. Is this the beginning of a fantastic journey through time? A parallel world? A dream? Will the queen of the fireflies grant the 7 wishes of the young boy?

Oak (2020)

Director: Dan Elcar

Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA

Synopsis: A man in quarantine attempts to hide from the outside world, but Mother Nature has other plans.

Metrics (2020)

Director: Grant Bergland

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: Bouncing between an unfulfilling personal and professional life, Tom Ford buys a virtual assistant. Out of the box, Marta leads Tom to choices he never imagined while selling him more products. Angered by his loss of privacy, Tom is about to discard Marta when something happens that changes his buying habits forever. Featuring the voice of Johnny Brennan, founder of The Jerky Boys.

Greasy Spoon (2020)

Director: Joelle Mae David

Run Time/Country: 8 min, UK

Synopsis: Ivan and Kyle meet up at their local cafe for their usual fry up, only to discover everything has changed and there’s nothing they can do about it.

Block 3: Feature Presentation

Time: 9:30pm – 11:00pm EST

The Whooper Returns (2020)

Director: Samuel Krebs

Run Time/Country: 72 min, USA

Synopsis: An estranged family must defend their infamous “haunted” childhood home from a band of malevolent cosplayers.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2021:

Producers Club Theaters (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)

Block 1: Welcome To Your Future Sci-Fi Shorts

Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm EST

The Dark Odyssey

The Dark Odyssey (2020)

Director: Michael Lavine

Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: A brave captain and his faithful mate transport a captive warrior, who holds The Inventory of The Mind, across the interstellar line. When their ship is forced to navigate an asteroid field, their mission is jeopardized.

The Shot (2020)

Director: Christian Lucas

Run Time/Country: 12 min, USA

Synopsis: A vaccine that promises protection brings on an unexpected result–and a mysterious visit.

Raze of the Cyborg (2020)

Director: Young-H. Lee

Run Time/Country: 25 min, Taiwan

Synopsis: In the violent underworld of a future Asian city, a group of cyborg criminals abduct women to sell into sex slavery. When they abduct Grace, the girlfriend of an assassin, he seeks out the help of a black-market surgeon who convinces him that there’s only one way to save her: become a cyborg himself.

The Last Starship

The Last Starship (2020)

Director: Eric Haywood

Run Time/Country: 18 min, USA

Synopsis: After most of the human race has evacuated earth and relocated to a new world across the galaxy, a group of survivors forms a desperate plan to escape our planet and join the rest of humanity…but the plan comes with a significant risk. Directed by the co-executive producer of NBC’s Manifest and starring Grace Byers (Empire), Jack Coleman (Heroes), and Loretta Devine (Family Reunion).

Deepfake Therapy (2020)

Director: Roshan Nejal

Run Time/Country: 24 min, Netherlands

Synopsis: This documentary shows the very first experiment ever done in the process of grief in which bereaved family members are having an artificial video conversation with their deceased loved ones through the use of new digital techniques and under the guidance of a renowned grief therapist.

Death of Sam Wolf (2019)

Director: Skye Wallin

Run Time/Country: 14 min, USA

Synopsis: A boy with a magical ability to transport to another planet makes a crucial decision on the cusp of adulthood.

Block 2: International Sci-Fi Shorts

Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm EST

F*cking with a Robot (2020)

Director: Yann Giraoud

Run Time/Country: 6 min, France

Synopsis: Life is a countdown, till death. Will Bob see the end of it?

Flash Back (2020)

Director: Fumiya Yoshida

Run Time/Country: 15 min, Japan

Synopsis: A couple finds a strange black thing in a room, which actually is a time machine. Soon they travel back in time to a few minutes ago to watch themselves.

The Test (2020)

Director: Bartosz Tobo?a

Run Time/Country: 12 min, Poland

Synopsis: The memory scan procedure doesn’t carry any risks to your health or life, Weronika has been told. Stuck between memories and reality, fiction and truth she’s trying to resist intervention to her stranded mind.

Eco (2019)

Director: Aitor de Miguel

Run Time/Country: 14 min, Spain

Synopsis: In 1977, the Voyager probe leaves for the galaxy with a message in Spanish recorded in the RNE (Spanish National Radio Studio).

Hipersensoria (2020)

Director: Isaac Zambra, Jose Luis Gil Bolio

Run Time/Country: 15 min, Mexico

Synopsis: In the near future, humanity lives isolated from nature because of a hypersensitivity disorder in perception. Living clandestinely, two scientists Daniel 2 and Magda 0 are determined to reverse this reality.

Punch It (2018)

Director: Olivier Perrier

Run Time/Country: 20 min, France

Synopsis: Tom is a lonely young skater, he roams an outer-urban environment. Soon, he breaks into a carnival closed to the public and stops in front of a punch ball machine. From this moment everything will be different.

The Voice of the Wind (2019)

Director: Nathan Mouret

Run Time/Country: 10 min, Israel

Synopsis: Itay, a young boy who lives with his father, still struggling with his mother’s death, and hears her voice in the wind. His father, who takes his job before everything else, starts to notice something is not right.

Q: Ghostly Remote Effect (2020)

Director: Marcus Hanisch

Run Time/Country: 20 min, Germany

Synopsis: In the future. A hi-tech lab. Scientist P is testing quantum-gynoid Q and sets off on a mission to an undiscovered nature. On the journey she discovers a ghostly remote effect between herself and the robot. Will she maintain control, when nature starts changing?

Block 3: Best of Philip K. Dick Shorts

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm EST

Eclipse (2020)

Director: Andrew Bowcock

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: A psychological horror film that explores fear, fate, and the end of the universe.

Thing in Itself

Philip K. Dick: Thing-In-Itself (2019)

Director: Russ Kiel

Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA

Synopsis: A short, documentary film in which David Gill, scholar, fan, author and blogger, guides us through the streets of Berkeley, California in pursuit of the elusive, sci-fi author Philip K. Dick.

You Will Never Be Back (2020)

Director: Mónica Mateo

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Spain

Synopsis: Ana and David say goodbye like any other day. The young lady has plans, but she won’t be late. However, something extraordinary happens; something that alters her reality and changes everything completely.

The Prospector (2020)

Director: Wade Chitwood

Run Time/Country: 14 min, USA

Synopsis: A science-fiction film about a mysterious asteroid prospector searching the Universe for his fortune. The journey takes him to a place where he has to look directly at his soul and decide what he is willing to sacrifice to achieve his ambitions.

Pa Pa (2019)

Director: Douglas Petrie

Run Time/Country: 14 min, USA

Synopsis: A lonely mechanic builds a mechanical boy – and becomes an unlikely father to his own creation. Directed by the executive producer of HBO’s The Nevers and starring Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption).

Echo (2020)

Director: Karolina Malinowska

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Czech Republic

Synopsis: This tree will grant all your wishes. You may have anything you want. However, the wish lasts only within the threshold of the tree. A man who’s given eternal youth is faced with an onerous dilemma.

diff (2019)

Director: Keitaro Fujimori

Run Time/Country: 27 min, Japan

Synopsis: Astronaut Anna awakes on Earth alone after an accident on the surface of the moon. As she undergoes rehabilitation with her attending physician and trainer, she slowly remembers. Yet the differences between her present self and her recollected memories trouble her. Anna eventually learns the truth about her accident.

The Uncanny Valley (2020)

Director: Julia Beney

Run Time/Country: 15 min, Canada

Synopsis: An Investigator pushes for a last-minute interview with his only witness: an A.I. called ANDI-7291. There’s only one problem, fearing the A.I. is corrupt, the scientists at Lang Industries made the suspicious decision to wipe her memory. The Investigator has about 10 minutes to find out if any memories remain before ANDI-7291 is dismantled by the scientists.

Block 4: Feature Presentation

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm EST

Between Waves (2020)

Director: Virginia Abramovich

Run Time/Country: 100 min, Canada

Synopsis: After his disappearance, Jamie purses her missing lover through parallel dimensions until she collides with a shattering revelation. This is a cerebral, fast-paced science fiction story, with romantic longing at its core. A visually beautiful film wrapped in shades of blue with highlights of sea green.

Block 5: Supernatural, Sci-Fi and Weird Tales

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm EST

Koreatown Ghost Story (2021)

Director: Minsun Park, Teddy Tenenbaum

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: In this supernatural horror tale based on a Korean ritual, a woman entertains a macabre marriage offer that would let her pursue her dreams, for better or for much much worse. Starring Grammy and Emmy-nominated standup comedian Margaret Cho, and Lyrica Okano (Marvel’s Runaways).

Samsara (2020)

Director: Vivek Nair

Run Time/Country: 6 min, UK

Synopsis: A young boy has memories of being murdered in a past life.

We Come in Peace (2020)

Director: Ryan Abel

Run Time/Country: 20 min, USA

Synopsis: Documentary short interviewing the people of the #StormArea51 event. Medium format Film Portraits taken at the Gates of Area 51.

Doppelbänger (2020)

Director: Sofian Khan

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: It isn’t easy being single in a future society on the verge of the technological singularity.

Household Demons (2020)

Director: John Gray

Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: A young boy is forced to deal with the entity that possesses his mother.

The Immortal (2020)

Director: Carl Firth

Run Time/Country: 20 min, Australia

Synopsis: A man who fears death discovers the secret of immortality, but learns that eventually, everything dies – everything except him.

Pandemic (House of Bones) (2020)

Director: Logan Fry

Run Time/Country: 2 min, USA

Synopsis: There is no greater love than that of a deceased wife, who returns from the dead to claim the soul of her dying husband.

PROJECT-19 (2020)

Director: Randy Scott Slavin

Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA

Synopsis: A sci-fi short film about a six-year-old engineering genius who puts her skills to work to solve her biggest issue with COVID-19. The film was shot using all five family members of a multi-generational quarantine in New York.

Los

LOS (2020)

Director: Martin Del Carpio

Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA

Synopsis: In another time, on a different world, mankind has made progress. Ruled by the very AI they developed and employed to set them free, humans have become slaves to their machine. We have lost friendship, love, and sex, and we are the machine labor and means of production

Swiped (2021)

Director: Edward J. Douglas

Run Time/Country: 3 min, Canada

Synopsis: When Melody decides to swipe a few hot guys on her augmented reality dating app, she meets her match in a man who may be more-or-less-than meets the eye.

Block 6: Feature Presentation

Time: 9:00pm – 11:00pm EST

The Unhealer (2020)

Director: Martin Guigui

Run Time/Country: 92 min, USA

Synopsis: A botched faith healing on a bullied teenager bestows Native American powers that “reflect” any attempted physical harm back on his aggressor. When his lifelong tormentors pull a prank that kills someone he loves, he uses his powers for revenge and goes on a bloody rampage to settle the score. Starring Lance Henriksen (Aliens) and Natasha Henstridge (Species).

Block 7: Virtual Reality Exhibit

Time: All Day (VR Glasses Available)

Hominidae

Hominidae

Director: Brian Andrews

Country: United States

Synopsis: Hominidae depicts an ecosystem of x-ray visibility. Creatures have evolved in surprising ways, where humans, birds, spiders and frogs share unique anatomies. This experience follows an Arachnid Hominid, an intelligent creature with human and spider physiology, as she struggles to raise her young in a hostile environment.

Lost in a Forgotten Place

Lost in a Forgotten Place

Director: Mona Kasra

Country: United States

Synopsis: An encounter with a strange intruder in a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

GEIMU: A Live-Action VR Film

Director: Dorian Goto Stone

Country: Japan

Synopsis: Emi, a gamer, and her friend Hiroshi illegally hack together her gaming console and her AI device (like a Google Home or Amazon Alexa) and then enter the virtual reality RPG (role-playing-game) game world that the AI creates, set in medieval Japan. As they progress in the game, it becomes increasingly glitchy and weird and it becomes evident that Emi and her friend’s lives may be in danger from a deviant AI.

Best Science Fiction Screenplay Official Selections:

Test

Writer: María Vazquez

Country: Spain

Incarnations

Director: Albert M. Chan

Country: USA

Monitor

Writer: Damian Wampler

Country: USA

Inversion

Writer: Suzy Stein, Fernando Perez

Country: USA

Future-Human: A Documentary

Writer: Noel David Taylor

Country: USA

Best Supernatural Screenplay Official Selections:

Promise

Writer: Nikki Smallwood

Country: USA

Mara

Writer: Aayushman Pandey, Vijayendra Mohanty, Karan Nair

Country: India

Ichabod’s Legacy

Writer: John Luerding

Country: USA

JoinWith.Me

Writer: Mike Meier

Lizard People

Writer: Christopher J. Hall

Country: USA

Best Sci-Fi Prototyping/World Building Screenplay Official Selections:

The Hammer Falls

Writer: Travis Heermann

Country: USA

Incarnations

Director: Albert M. Chan

Country: USA

Best Short Screenplays Official Selections:

Simulacrum Vitae

Writer: Arthur Cauras, Ludovic de Gaillande

Country: France

Ads Attraction

Writer: Brenden Hubbard, Damon Russell

Country: USA

The Barn

Writer: Sophie Black, Tommy Draper

Country: UK

Best Graphic Novel Official Selections:

Monitor (GN)

Writer: Damian Wampler

Country: USA

A Little Favor

Writer: Russ Meyer

Country: USA

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2021:

Virtual Event

Block 1: Animation: Doctor Who and Mysterious Friends

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm EST

Franz (2021)

Director: Tom Geibel-Lane

Run Time/Country: 4 min, Germany

Synopsis: A short film about a speculative therapy set in the near future. The film explores themes and topics which are relevant to how mental illness is diagnosed and treated today through a conversation between a patient and clinician. The film follows this dialogue as the guiding story, with the visuals filling in the larger world surrounding the issue, from the thought process of the patient, as he converses with the clinician about his diagnosis, life and the upcoming treatment.

One Last Monster (2019)

Director: Gene Kim

Run Time/Country: 24 min, USA

Synopsis: Empress Eura confronts her greatest challenge as the ruler of the distant world of Adin when she is forced to face her prejudices and to choose between trusting or killing a monster who arrives on Adin with a warning that could save or destroy her people.

Drezden “Davida Olen” (2020)

Director: Vladimir Nefedov

Run Time/Country: 4 min, Belarus

Synopsis: A futuristic journey through parallel worlds. Is there a chance to return to the starting point?

Super Science Friends (2020)

Director: Brett Jubinville

Run Time/Country: 24 min, Canada

Synopsis: A group of super powered scientists are sent through time by Winston Churchill to fight nazis.

Triptych (2020)

Director: Sergey Maslov

Run Time/Country: 3 min, Russia

Synopsis: A short experimental three-act film that reflects an attempt to visualize the laws and theories of astrophysics in an art way.

Philip K. Dick’s ROOG (2020)

Director: Jonathan Nolan

Run Time/Country: 8 min, Australia

Synopsis: A good boi tries to protect his humans from evil shape shifting aliens disguised as garbage men.

Lockdown: The Doctor Who Fans’ Survival Guide (2020)

Director: Roger Christopher Stevens

Run Time/Country: 40 min, UK

Synopsis: During the COVID19 pandemic, a call went out to fans of the BBC TV science fiction series ‘Doctor Who’ to film personal videos of how they coped with being confined in their homes for months on end. Shot on mobile phones, laptops, tablets and cameras…anything they could lay their hands on…the following film is the result. It’s an inspiring tale of the indomitable human spirit – all wrapped up in some utterly unique stories and videos! Hosted by Sophie Aldred.

Ouroboros (2020)

Director: Heather Knott

Run Time/Country: 3 min, USA

Synopsis: A fractured consciousness locked in a perpetual cycle of explosive negativity is interrupted by a mysterious new illuminating presence, inciting a raw discovery of self and what it means to be complete.

Even the Rats (2020)

Director: Mike Hay

Run Time/Country: 6 min, UK

Synopsis: A skull-like artifact is discovered by an alien civilization, in another time, in the outer reaches of space. Is it a weapon or is it something else…?

The Dancing Kettle (2020)

Director: Takeshi Kanabayashi

Run Time/Country: 11 min, Japan

Synopsis: A mysterious package arrives, shape shifting ensues and rescuer is rewarded her kindness

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion with the directors will be held after the screenings.

Block 2: Best of Philip K. Dick Shorts

Time: 12:30pm – 4:00pm EST

Retrieval (2020)

Director: Nick Azzaro

Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA

Synopsis: In the year 2143, a young woman confronts her childhood trauma within a virtual reality therapy session, only to discover her inner demons are real.

The Two Hundred Fifth (2019)

Director: Brock Heasley

Run Time/Country: 19 min, USA

Synopsis: A young college girl reveals to her best friend that she’s a ‘Repeater’–a person who lives the same life over and over again, memories intact.

The Appointment (2019)

Director: Alexandre Singh

Run Time/Country: 20 min, UK

Synopsis: Disturbed by a mysterious entry in his diary, novelist Henry Salt embarks on an obsessive quest to uncover the identity of his 12 o’clock appointment.

Fearfully Made (2020)

Director: Jamie Foreman

Run Time/Country: 15 min, UK

Synopsis: When Arthur receives a robotic carer who stops him from seeing his ill wife. Arthur must find a way to escape his imprisonment to be reunited with his wife one last time.

Strange Lights (2020)

Director: Brian Eric Johnson

Run Time/Country: 19 min, USA

Synopsis: Struggling with the death of his wife and his son MIA in Syria, a middle-aged rancher begins to believe he is being contacted by extraterrestrials.

Mary’s Room (2020)

Director: Christopher Mitchell

Run Time/Country: 19 min, Australia

Synopsis: To middle aged company man Ken, the young and beautiful Mary appears little more than an object whose sole purpose is to satisfy his sexual and domestic needs. She lives trapped like a goldfish in his inner-city Seoul apartment. Through its windows she observes the city outside turn from day to night in an endless loop of detached servitude. That is until the day Ken returns home with another woman and the truth about their complicated relationship is revealed.

Pa Pa (2019)

Director: Douglas Petrie

Run Time/Country: 14 min, USA

Synopsis: A lonely mechanic builds a mechanical boy – and becomes an unlikely father to his own creation. Directed by the executive producer of HBO’s The Nevers and starring Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption).

Nicolás (2019)

Director: Maja Quevedo

Run Time/Country: 11 min, Puerto Rico

Synopsis: Nicolás and Miguel, fraternal twins of nine years, grow up in a middle class family. The rejection of the father and love with pity of his mother, arouses curiosity in Nicolás. When Miguel becomes seriously ill, Nicolás will discover a terrible truth which will depend on his brother’s life.

Loop (2020)

Director: Stuart Langfield

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Canada

Synopsis: A short film set in the middle of the 21st century, that centers around reclusive, retired tech company CEO David Hinton’s attempts to teach AI how to experience and process true human emotions.

Nucleus (2019)

Director: Tobias Bieseke

Run Time/Country: 20 min, Germany

Synopsis: Through his research, Falk Marna has succeeded in using bacteria to synthesize a fluid that reveals a form of communication in carbon atoms. Falk thinks he knows what guides the souls of his fellow human beings deep inside. Yolanda, his colleague, considers the stimulated state of the carbon atoms not as a conspiracy of nature but as a delusional projection of him.

(Dys)Functional (2020)

Director: Adam Nowak

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Poland

Synopsis: In the near future people lose their jobs and are replaced by intelligent robots – androids. Frustrated official – Adrian – is sent to a modern robot called Eva, who stopped appearing at her workplace.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion with the directors will be held after the screenings.

Block 3: Documentary Presentation

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm EST

Origin of the Species (2020)

Director: Abigail Child

Run Time/Country: 92 min, USA

Synopsis: An experimental feature documentary that explores current realities of android development with a focus on human/machine relations, gender & the ethical implications of this research. The film records cutting edge laboratories in Japan & the USA where scientists attempt to make robots move, speak & look human. These scientists & their discoveries are contextualized with cinematic & pop culture references, to underline the mythic, comic & uncanny aspects of our aspirations.

Block 4: High Weirdness Shorts

Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm EST

Come On, Harleen (Trailer 1) (2020)

Director: Christopher Leong

Run Time/Country: 2 min, USA

Synopsis: As grad student, Harleen Quinzel researches a newly deceased Joker for her thesis, she soon uncovers the commonality she shares with Gotham’s most-feared; spiraling back into the darkness of her own private and tortured past.

Postcards (2020)

Director: Julian Findlay, Stan Freeman

Run Time/Country: 13 min, USA

Synopsis: A rare set of vintage postcards. A seller who doesn’t know its value. A buyer who does. A reality that isn’t what it seems.

Under Review: Katahdin (2020)

Director: Kelly Ashton Todd

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: A young boy creates a loving friendship with a tree and her saplings, but as the boy ages he follows his family lineage and becomes a logger.

Incantation (2020)

Director: Peter Miller

Run Time/Country: 4 min, Australia

Synopsis: A reflection on language, symbols, artificial intelligence, avatars, and the coding of human identity.

The Plan (2020)

Director: Mario Brem

Run Time/Country: 14 min, France

Synopsis: Driven by naive curiosity, F is wandering through a world that seems torn apart between concrete and nature. With the structured view of a researcher and the anarchic gesture of the improvising artist at the same time, he’s approaching the traces and fragments of human civilization. Always on his side is the pink zombie-like female puppet R, that F tries to comfort and care for. A silent witness to his lonely search. Their relation becomes a disturbing portrait, a poetic voyage to praise the revealing beauty of the absurd moment.

Trilemma (2020)

Director: R. Paul Wilson

Run Time/Country: 14 min, UK

Synopsis: Detective Walter Day finds himself caught in a cycle of witnesses who all saw the same suspect commit an awful crime but in each case, one important element is always missing: the victims. When another witness appears, his patience begins to wear thin and his nerves begin to fray.

The Crystal Palace (2020)

Director: Ryan Mechling

Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: A neuroscientist unlocks the secrets of the universe, only to find himself trapped in his own personal hell.

Se7en Green Bottles (2020)

Director: Mick Dow, François Zaïdi

Run Time/Country: 6 min, UK

Synopsis: Seven political activists meet in secret online then the doorbell rings.

Speak Only Good of the Dead (2020)

Director: Arminio Rivero

Run Time/Country: 20 min, USA

Synopsis: A science fiction/drama short film in which a lovesick mathematician discovers that EPICAC, the military supercomputer he works with, is actually sentient. After teaching EPICAC about love & poetry, he attempts to use the machine to win the heart of his beautiful co-worker by claiming EPICAC’s poetry as his own.

The Stamp Collector (2020)

Director: Luke Momo

Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: A high-tech thief comes home from the scene of a crime, reeling with guilt and misbegotten plans. How will his artificially-intelligent assistant, designed to help commit crimes, respond to his programmer’s sudden change of heart?

Routine (2020)

Director: Russ Emanuel

Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA

Synopsis: A film about Cassie and her life during a pandemic, one of quarantine, routines, monotony, consistency, day in, day out – that is, until she runs out of coffee.

Alien Grounds (2019)

Director: Sebastien Antoine

Run Time/Country: 13 min, France

Synopsis: A science-fiction writer lost in the night. A cosmonaut crashed on an unknown planet. A dark road in the forest. The story of a strange encounter. Alien Grounds is a musical and visual travel, a concept movie on Mars Red Sky’s Music.

The Recycling Man (2020)

Director: Carlo Ballauri

Run Time/Country: 14 min, Italy

Synopsis: In a crowded, yet lonely suburban neighborhood, a boy immobilized in a wheelchair, fights boredom by spying on his neighbors across the courtyard. 

Glitch (2020)

Director: Sara Caldwell, Walter Gorey

Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA

Synopsis: During COVID, a single mom takes on a new assignment that has chilling consequences.

Floaters (2020)

Director: Aurélie Garon

Run Time/Country: 15 min, France

Synopsis: A strange haunted man seems to be wandering in the mountains. He meets a healer hermit, and relies on the care he provides. What is at stake, in a saving mountain and a salutary darkness, are the unconscious substructures and incantatory rituals. It is the story of a man who turns into a landscape. 

Annie (2020)

Director: Miki Durán Mas

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Spain

Synopsis: Annie is a woman who wakes up in the middle of an abandoned quarry without knowing how, or why, she has got there. As she incorporates herself, she begins to understand her complicated situation. Tied to a pole by a metal chain, Annie can’t run away. As the hours go by her hopes of escape fade.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion with the directors will be held after the screenings.

Block 5: Dark Skies Sci-Fi Shorts

Time: 8:30pm – 11:00pm EST

Sundown Trail (2020)

Director: Luke Guidici

Run Time/Country: 13 min, USA

Synopsis:  In a post-apocalyptic world where toxic mushrooms have made the air deadly to breathe, a timid boy must learn to trust a thieving bandit in order to save his dying father.

Genesis (2020)

Director: Seth Cunningham

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: Genesis follows the sole inhabitants of a faraway planet: a rebellious son, Adam, and a controlling mother, Katara, as they terraform their new home to make it sustainable for human life.

Horizon (2020)

Director: Daniele De Muro

Run Time/Country: 15 min, Italy

Synopsis: In the borderlands, crossed by climate refugees looking for safety, men face their primordial nature, in a bleak reality where the law of the strongest rules the world. Hidden in an underground shelter and resigned to his fate, the main character observes the definitive decline of society as it surrenders to the evil nature of men, until a special encounter, interpreted as a divine sign of light, turns on his faith and hope for the future of humanity.

Rubber and Glue Rubber and Glue (2020)

Director: Cat Dale

Run Time/Country: 13 min, USA

Synopsis: A teen must undergo treatment to rid herself of the thing that makes us most human-empathy.

Upon Waking from Sleep Paralysis (2020)

Director: Pat Bird

Run Time/Country: 3 min, USA

Synopsis: A study of sleep paralysis with minimal dialogue.

Absence (2020)

Director: Richard Marx

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Germany

Synopsis: Odd shining stars in the sky. Something is calling out to Lena. Her life is changing abruptly after a terrible event. Lost in emotions, her passion is leading her in a destructive way. As everything around Lena started to collapse, she is still figuring out where she stands.

Zealandia (2020)

Director: Bruno du Bois

Run Time/Country: 15 min, New Zealand

Synopsis: In 2032, Zealandia has become the only virus free country left on earth but at a high cost to its population due to intrusive medical regulations. But, could the bag carried by a fearless woman be the downfall of this oppressive state?

A Blossom in the Night (2020)

Director: Tayo Amos

Run Time/Country: 17 min, USA

Synopsis: In a future where low-income citizens are sold into slavery, Amara has to decide whether she should find her father or run for freedom with her brother.

No One’s Listening (2020)

Director: Juan Carlos Castaneda

Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA

Synopsis: In a dark open field, two dark-skinned immigrants on their knees pray for their life; a gang of white countrymen is set to execute them. A ghostly deaf woman with witchlike powers hears their plea and steps in.

Red on Red (2020)

Director: Migdia Skarsgård-Chinea

Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA

Synopsis: A classic Catholic school teacher believes she is having an affair with Satan.

Don’t Freak Out (2020)

Director: Casimir Nozkowski

Run Time/Country: 7 min, USA

Synopsis: A visiting alien sends a message home: he has a human family now, and he’s never coming back. But that doesn’t mean he’s got Earth all figured out.

US MX (2019)

Director: Joseph O Hooten

Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: In the not too distant future, we follow LEAH, 36, and her daughter, ARIEL, 7, as they race against the clock to immigrate across the U.S./Mexican border before sunrise. As officers close in, the direction they run becomes less and less clear.

Hypernova (2020)

Director: Tate Young

Run Time/Country: 13 min, Canada

Synopsis: A businesswoman struggles to navigate her increasingly alienating world, disconnected from her work, colleagues, and husband. Lost in grief, can she find connection amidst the chaos? A spellbinding, visually surprising drama of modern inner life, told using the expansive metaphors of outer space.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion with the directors will be held after the screenings.

Block 6: Feature Presentation

Time: 11:00pm – 12:30am EST

TRANS (2020)

Director: Naeri Do

Run Time/Country: 92 min, Republic of Korea

Synopsis: Minyoung Go is a girl who dreams of becoming a transhuman by transmitting electric shocks to her brain. After facing a serious assault from Taeyong Ma’s posse, she plans revenge for the boys that bully her for having an eating disorder. She conducts an electrical baptism and falls into trans.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion with the director will be held after the screening.

Awards Ceremony:

Time: 12:30am EST

Awards will be presented to the category winners of The 2021 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival.


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, and Los Angeles.

4 thoughts on “Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Announces 2021 Lineup

  1. There is no doubt that we entered the PKD universe with the pandemic,” said Abella

    But you know what no one, not even PKD, predicted? The dearth of quarters during the apocalypse. For those of you who own washer/dryers and never need bits, let me just tell you, procuring quarters has become a mad max scenario.

    Zombies ain’t got nothing on dirty laundry.

    How very phildickian.

  2. Brown Robin says But you know what no one, not even PKD, predicted? The dearth of quarters during the apocalypse. For those of you who own washer/dryers and never need bits, let me just tell you, procuring quarters has become a mad max scenario.

    Zombies ain’t got nothing on dirty laundry.

    How very phildickian.

    That’s interesting as Farhia, my personal care assistant, who does my laundry tells me that the laundromat where she does my laundry never has a shortage of quarters. (There’s just two washers and driers here in this nine unit apartment building. Not nearly enough for everyone. And that’s when they’re in working condition.)

  3. There was a point last year where the local bank had no quarters to sell because of shortages and bottlenecks.

    Irony? I bought a lot…and then earlier this year the laundry machines here went to a card system. So I have several rolls of quarters.

    And heck, fewer and fewer toll booths (not that there are many here short of Chicago) take them

  4. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 8-29-21 - Amazing Stories

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