2020 Philip K. Dick European Science Fiction Film Festival

[From a press release.] The seventh annual Philip K. Dick European Science Fiction Film Festival has announced the full lineup for its seventh annual season celebrating the legacy of novelist Philip K. Dick. The two-day live event held at the L’Hybride theater in Lille, France from October 30-31 will showcase films with a variety of themes including scientific and technological advancements, extraordinary events, and dystopian worlds

Screenings begin on Friday, October 30th with a block of shorts that examine what it means to be human. The opening film is Erik Lee’s time-bending romance Wide Awake in Bridgewater about a man who rediscovers the love of his life fifty years after her disappearance. Following are the European Premieres of Adam Hayes’ 4D about a widow in Japan who attends a ceremony in an attempt to reunite with her deceased husband, and Jesca Prudencio’s American Quartet where a small town is bitterly divided over a young Muslim-American woman’s private digitized memories. A second block of shorts investigates the nature of consciousness beginning with Identity directed by Panos Pappas and Despina Charalampous about a woman at an airport who deals with the horrific revelation that her face has changed. Other titles include the Continental European Premiere of Ben Alpi’s Hashtag which follows a popular social media star who goes to great lengths to keep her fame, Diego Mellogno’s Craneoplastia about a debt enforcer who questions his existence following an unexpected event with a mysterious stranger, and the European Premiere of Eamonn Murphy’s A Better You which delves into the dystopian neo-steampunk world of customizable carbon clones.

A lineup of films depicting unexplained encounters on Saturday, October 31st includes Heretic directed by Veselin Efremov about a future where humans merge with technology, and Best Game Ever directed by Kristóf Deák which follows two CCTV technicians whose jobs are threatened by an AI machine. The block will also screen the French Premiere of Tobias Bieseke’s Nucleus where a researcher has succeeded in using bacteria to synthesize a fluid that reveals a form of communication in carbon atoms, and the European Premiere of Hekla Egilsdottir’s adaptation of the Philip K. Dick story Beyond the Door about the influence of a peculiar cuckoo clock. The night continues with several exclusive screenings that delve into the co-existence of man and machine. Opening the block is the World Premiere of Mario Brem’s The Plan that follows a wanderer and his zombie-like puppet. Further titles include the European Premieres of Michele Gurrieri’s Circular about a hermit who intends to create a man by the force of his dreams, and Carl Timms’ Off Grid where a man protects himself and his ill wife against supernatural forces. The festival will also present the French Premieres of Jonathan Degrelle’s Transfert about a man sent to recover a strange mechanism in an alternative reality where the Germans won WWII, Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari’s Dark Water that explores family trauma in the tale of a woman who discovers an ocean within her house, and Charles de Lauzirika’s Love Bite which shows the ramifications of a couple’s deadly bet during a zombie apocalypse.

Through its lineup of innovative and thought-provoking films, Abella hopes that attendees relate to the significance of Philip K. Dick’s crucial body of work as society confronts the effects of a changing world. “PKD offers a way for people to retain their dignity and humanity because his one central message is critical thinking,” he said. “We must always remain open to a different point of view and not let fixed ideological positions rob us of our capacity to empathize with the suffering of others.”

The film program follows the jump.


L’hybride (18 Rue Gosselet 59000, Lille, France)

Block 1: The Human Condition

Time: 8:00pm – 9:30pm

Wide Awake in Bridgewater (2018)

  • Director: Erik Lee
  • Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: In 1968, 18-year-old Michael Gates and Monica Dupré are enjoying an afternoon in the countryside when she disappears. Fifty-one years later, elderly Michael starts receiving phone messages from her, and he discovers what happened on that fateful day.


  • Director: Adam Hayes
  • Run Time/Country: 12 min, Japan

Synopsis: The year is 1898, Tokyo, Japan. A beautiful widow SACHI, attends a moon-lit KUCHIYOSE ceremony on the anniversary of her deceased husband’s death to bring her beloved ANJIN back. Time and space blurs and SACHI is reunited once again with ANJIN for one brief moment in time.

American Quartet (2019) — EUROPEAN PREMIERE

  • Director: Jesca Prudencio
  • Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA

Synopsis: In a 2030s small town bitterly divided over who belongs, a young Muslim-American woman puts herself at risk when she shares her private, digitized memories with strangers, challenging the status quo in the hope that empathy will triumph over hate.

Lucy Unbowed (2019)

  • Director: Denis Gouzerh
  • Run Time/Country: 22 min, France

Synopsis: As a teenager in 2014, Lucy is a feminist dreaming of absolute gender equality. Fifteen years later, she has chosen to side with a regime which re-established the patriarchy in exchange for repressing any harassment of women. Once she realizes her error, the path to emancipation will be perilous.

Rainbow in the Dark (2020)

  • Director: Ben Mosca
  • Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA

Synopsis: An apocalyptic cosmic anti-smoking PSA.

Nectar (2019) — FRENCH PREMIERE

  • Director: Anthony Zwartouw
  • Run Time/Country: 20 min, Canada

Synopsis: A man lives out his days in a drug-induced state, prisoner to a parasitical guard on a disturbing desert island of his own making, when he is awoken by the deep traumas of his past that he can no longer suppress.

Post-Film Q&A:

A discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 2: Who Are We?

Time: 10:00pm – 11:30pm

Identity (2019)

  • Director: Panos Pappas, Despina Charalampous
  • Run Time/Country: 15 min, Greece

Synopsis: A woman discovers with horror that her face has changed; well, if this situation occurs at the passport control of an airport, she really has a big problem!


  • Director: Ben Alpi
  • Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: In a looming future where social media celebrities dominate our culture, X is the world’s supreme online icon — but how far will she go to hold on to her popularity?

Fucking with a Robot (2020)

  • Director: Yann Giraud
  • Run Time/Country: 7 min, France

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

Craneoplastia (2019)

  • Director: Diego Mellogno
  • Run Time/Country: 11 min, Spain

Synopsis: Juan, an enforcer works for an organization he does not have much information about. Together with his partner Bianfa, they are in charge of collecting debts or sending messages. An unexpected event leads him to meet a strange character that will make him question his existence and the environment that surrounds him.

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.

A Better You (2019) — EUROPEAN PREMIERE

  • Director: Eamonn Murphy
  • Run Time/Country: 16 min, Ireland

Synopsis: Set in a dystopian Neo-Steampunk world, Douglas, a shy introvert enlists the help of “A Better You,” a customizable carbon clone to help him win the girl of his dreams.

Post-Film Q&A:

A discussion will be held after the screening.


L’hybride (18 Rue Gosselet 59000, Lille, France)

Block 1: A Meeting of the Minds

Time: 8:00pm – 9:30pm

Heretic (2020)

  • Director: Veselin Efremov
  • Run Time/Country: 8 min, Denmark

Synopsis: In a future where humans and technology can merge, we dare to challenge our ancient beliefs.

Best Game Ever (2018)

  • Director: Kristóf Deák
  • Run Time/Country: 20 min, Hungary

Synopsis: When two CCTV technicians find out about an AI machine threatening their jobs, they must get out of their chairs to beat the system – leading them to an unexpected solution.

Nucleus (2019) — FRENCH PREMIERE

  • 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.

Beyond the Door (2018) — EUROPEAN PREMIERE

  • Director: Hekla Egilsdottir
  • Run Time/Country: 13 min, Iceland

Synopsis: A stagnant young couple named Noi and Irma are dealing with Irma’s depression. Noi buys Irma a cuckoo clock, reminiscent of the one her mother used to have when she was a child, in an attempt to cheer her. Irma’s monotonous, stay-at-home life takes a sudden turn with the introduction of her newfound friend, the cuckoo. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.

Th 13th Member (2019)

  • Director: Lotfai Bouri
  • Run Time/Country: 27 min, France

Synopsis: During the first nuclear War, the destiny of a doomed Eric, still living on the surface of a devastated world, is about to change. His best friend Victor finds him and give him a last chance to be saved before what they call the Wipeout. Eric discovers the existence of a secret society living underground in which he’ll become the 13th member.

TX-Reverse (2019)

  • Director: Martin Reinhart, Virgil Widrich
  • Run Time/Country: 5 min, Austria

Synopsis: In a way never before seen, “tx-reverse” shows the collision of reality and cinema and draws its viewers into a vortex in which the familiar order of space and time seems to be suspended.

Post-Film Q&A:

A discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 2: The Flesh Machine

Time: 10:00pm – 11:30pm

Circular (2019) — EUROPEAN PREMIERE

  • Director: Michele Gurrieri
  • Run Time/Country: 13 min, France

Synopsis: A hermit wants to create a man by the force of his dreams and impose it on reality. After a failed first attempt to create a body, in his dreams, bursts of red color appear. A form is defined. It’s a heart that begins to beat. Loosely based on Jorge Luis Borges’ short story “The Circular Ruins.”

Transfert (2019) — FRENCH PREMIERE

  • Director: Jonathan Degrelle
  • Run Time/Country: 14 min, France

Synopsis: 1967: IV Reïch. The Germans won the war. Isaac, a survivor of the concentration camps, is sent by Max, a Nazi officer, in the middle of the Second World War to recover a strange mechanism. But during his quest, he will be facing his worst nightmare.

The Plan (2020) — WORLD PREMIERE

  • 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 to 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.


  • Director: Carl Timms
  • Run Time/Country: 20 min, UK

Synopsis: A man takes to a remote hideout with his sick wife, where he battles to protect her life, and his own sanity, from supernatural enemies plaguing humanity. Starring James Cosmo (Game of Thrones).

Dark Water (2019) — FRENCH PREMIERE

  • Director: Erin Coates, Anna Nazzari
  • Run Time/Country: 15 min, New Zealand

Synopsis: Familial trauma and loss is explored through the darkly surreal tale of a woman who discovers an ocean within her house.

Love Bite (2019) — FRENCH PREMIERE

  • Director: Charles de Lauzirika
  • Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA

Synopsis: Taking refuge in an abandoned cargo truck during the Zombie Apocalypse, a dysfunctional couple and their dog find their lives on the line when they make a deadly bet over how the undead virus spreads. Is a simple love bite now a death sentence? And how far will someone go to be proven right? Directed by the producer of Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007).

Post-Film Q&A:

A discussion will be held after the screening.

NOTE: The festival’s venue, L’hybride, follows France’s social distancing guidelines. Seating is at 1/3 capacity and the use of face masks is mandatory. Attendees must reserve their passes (on sale beginning October 15th) at https://lhybride.org/programmation/item/1666-festival-européen-du-film-de-science-fiction-philip-k-dick.html before the event. For more information on the venue’s procedures, please contact L’hybride at + 33 (0) 3 20 53 24 84 and [email protected].

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