|Some of pop cultures biggest brands, stars and companies will be attending Europe’s largest pop culture festival Lucca Comics and Games 2021 from October 29th – Nov 1st. |
The master of comics Frank Miller, creator of ‘300’, ‘Sin City’ and ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, will be in Lucca for the presentation of the documentary dedicated to him, Frank Miller – American Genius, by director Silenn Thomas. The film explores half-century-long career of the author, who became a point of reference for the art of storytelling, pop culture and politics thanks to his work. From complicated personal affairs to worldwide success in print and film, the documentary is an epic journey into the mind and heart of one of the most prolific and iconic authors of our time.
Roberto Saviano, the author of Gomorrah, a best-selling exposé of the Camorra Mafia in Naples. will be attending to promote is first graphic novel called Sono Ancora Vivo (I’m Still Alive) with drawings by Tel Aviv-based illustrator Asaf Hanuka.
In gaming, Riot Games will be showcasing Arcane. The exhibition will include a series of original sketches artwork and two very special collaborative handmade pieces, the boots of Jinx and the hextech glove of Vi, the two sisters protagonists of the series, on display. The exhibition will be held at the ex-Museo del Fumetto (Comics Museum) and include works dedicated to the cities of Zaun and Piltover for a unique and perfect experience to await the imminent release of the TV series Arcane, available on Nexflix from November 7th.
Netflix will be hosting a special event dedicated to The Witcher with a special panel. Kim Bodnia, who joins the cast for series two as Vesemir, will be joined by Joey Batey, who plays Jaskier. Series creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, costume designer Lucinda Wright and production designer Andrew Laws will be in attendance.
The Walt Disney Company Italia will be present at Lucca Comics & Games 2021 to present some new titles coming to the cinema and on Disney+. The new Disney animated film Encanto and Disney+ will also present the Italian premiere of the first two episodes of Dopesick – Declaration of Addiction, starring Michael Keaton.
Searchlight Pictures films The Dark House and Antlers – Insatiable Spirit will be shown at Lucca Comics & Games 2021 with special screenings.
Finally, Italian Gothic Band Lacuna Coil will be present at the festival’s Rock ‘n’ Comics.
Emanuele Vietina, Director of Lucca Comics & Games says “Lucca Comics & Games is the biggest comic convention in Europe, a cultural festival dedicated to storytelling and modern forms of art. Lucca is a also a community event merging the modern mythology of comics, movies and rock with the Italian monumental heritage of a historic Tuscan town. This year, we offer a unique program which presents Frank Miller alongside Roberto Saviano and brings back major film studios such as Disney and Netflix to Lucca. Bringing this festival to life after a difficult pandemic year is our own way of celebrating Pop Culture.”
Official site www.luccacomicsandgames.com
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|The SCI-FI-LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2021 launches its cosmic 21st annual programme, which will run from the 19 OCTOBER until 26 OCTOBER 2021 with seven days of fabulous film. It will showcase a fantastic lineup with 2 world film premieres, 8 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres. It will host 13 features and 50 shorts alongside its regular classic cult events such as the 48 HOUR FILM CHALLENGE and SCI-FI-QUIZ. |
Opening this year’s festival on the 19th October is Agata Alexander’s WARNING. This film is dark, witty and spectacular. It has a stellar cast, including Annabelle Wallis, Thomas Jane, Alex Pettyfer, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Alice Eve, and the marvellous Rupert Everett. WARNING is a visually arresting, thought-provoking sci-fi exploring themeaning of life through multiple interconnected lives. This is like BLACK MIRROR just jumped out of a plane without a parachute!
Doomsday is coming. But from where? Global warming, the isolation and breakdown of society, because the immortals hate us mortals. Maybe from the asteroids charging toward the planet?
The festival’s Closing Night on the 26 October at Stratford Picturehouse is the World Premiere of MOON HEART. M, played by Peru’s most illustrious actor, Haydeé Cáceres, is alone, almost invisible to society, not an outcast, just old, poor, homeless and ignored. Her only friend is a lone ant. M’s world is full of nostalgic memories and a dark presence that haunts her. Then one day, a ‘mechanical angel’ arrives to help change her life. At its core, this is a film about marginalisation and the abandonment and mental anguish that homeless people suffer. However, it is also an extraordinarily warm film with an outstanding lead performance. WINNER OF THE SFL ‘BEST FEATURE FILM 2021’ AWARD.
Other major Film Premiere Galas this year include the World Premiere of REPEAT, by UK director Richard Millar. Professor Ryan Moore (Tom England) believes that his new device communicates with those who have ‘passed’. He is obsessed with the project because his daughter, Samantha, has been missing without a trace for months, and he fears the worst. But, in one experiment, it appears he has made contact with Samantha. His grief is awful, but he thinks he has found a way to ‘bring her back’. But will the truth of what happened be even more devastating.
The cast includes: Charlotte Ritchie, llila-Jean Wood and Nina Wadia, who is well known from EastEnders, goodness GRacious Me and is currently battling it out on Strictly Come-Dancing.
| UK Premieres include:|
Dir. Mackenzie G. Maur,
Runtime: 90 mins
Set in New York, three days before the world will end, we meet Cam, a struggling and grieving photographer. Coping with addiction, Cam’s only plan is to succumb to his substance abuse as the world collapses around him. His one ambition is to capture final days on a roll of 35mm film. But his plan is disrupted when his friend goes missing, putting him on a journey to find out what happened and who’s responsible. The film was partly shot during the Covid-lockdown in the USA. This adds a sublime realism to the film’s portrayal of loneliness, guilt, and isolation.
Cast: Charles Ouda, Jennifer Leigh Whitehead, Nick Smithson
TIONG BAHRU SOCIAL CLUB
Dir: Tan Bee Thiam
Runtime: 89 mins,
Language: Chinese, English, Malay, Tamil (English subtitles).
Ah Bee’s life is a dull, monotonous one and he seems stuck in a rut. Then, one day, the opportunity arises to work at the new Tiong Bahru Social Club, a data-driven project to create the happiest neighbourhood in the world. His encounters with the neighbourhood’s residents and the authority that runs the place reveal the absurdity of life. This candy-coloured satire flirts with Art Deco nostalgia set in Singapore’s most ‘gentrified’ district. With a sprinkle of THE TRUMAN SHOW and a dash of BLACK MIRROR, though much less pretentious, this is an incisive subtle film, with humour as offbeat as it is caustic. Never has a futuristic dystopia been so heart-warming.
Cast: Thomas Pang, Goh Guat Kian, Jo Tan
Dir: Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney,
Runtime: 91 mins,
Maybe tomorrow, an all-seeing surveillance state will start to invade our innermost thoughts and dreams. And, of course, we’ll be subject to ‘dream audits’ to collect taxes on our unconscious lives. So, one day, mild-mannered government agent James Preble travels to a remote farmhouse to audit the dreams of Bella Isadora, an eccentric artist. But Bella’s vast dream archive hides a secret that offers him a chance at love — and maybe a way out of his dull life. This gorgeous production draws on almost every filmmaking style and technique — as if someone had given Gaspar Noé happy pills.
Cast: Kentucker Audley, Albert Birney, Penny Fuller
Dir: Danis Goulet,
Country: Canada/New Zealand,
Runtime: 97 mins,
The year is 2043, and North America has been shattered by war. The totalitarian regime that remains now forces children into brutal military training to fight in the futile war. To save her daughter, Waseese, from this fate, Niska has been hiding them in the woods, living a reclusive life dominated by fear of discovery. When the pair are forced into the remnants of the city, Waseese is captured along with several others. Niska finds herself among the ‘Night Raiders’, a group of indigenous rebels who plan to free their children. ‘Goulet’s debut feature is a captivating film that astutely uses the sci-fi genre to criticise the treatment of First Nations people.’
Cast: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart, Alex Tarrant
Dir: Kelsey Egan,
Country: South Africa,
Runtime: 94 mins,
The world we know has gone and the ‘shred’ altered our minds. And yet in this desolate, destroyed world, one family exists, out of sight. The daughters work the land, their mother rules with an iron hand. Then, one day the sisters are seduced by a stranger who shatters their peace and stirs up a past best left undisturbed. Glasshouse has a haunting score, beautiful photography and superbly detailed production design. ‘This debut feature by Egan is one of the most tightly written and piercingly observed science fiction films we have seen for years.
Cast: Jessica Alexander, Hilton Pelser, Brent Vermeulen, Adrienne Pearce, Kitty Harris, Anja Taljaard
12 MONTHS OF KAI.
Dir: Mutsumi Kameyama,
Runtime: 83 mins,
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
Something has changed in a world where ‘personal carebots’ are commonplace and cater to our every need. Kyoka, who lives in Tokyo and has a successful career, decides to get a personal care humanoid (PCH) Kai. He is perfect. He learns quickly and knows Kyoka so well. However, Kai seems to have real emotions, and Kyoka is lost in this new relationship. Her friends are worried for her, but soon they will all have to confront an unexpected change in the world.
Cast: Ayaka Nakagouchi, Kosei Kudo
Dir: Alberto Evangelio,
Language: Spanish/Catalan (English subtitles)
Marga lost her sister in a tragic accident when they were children. Years later, she has relationship problems and decides to get some space and visit the old family home. But strange things start happening, and she discovers a portal to another reality, one where her sister is alive and grown-up. In that parallel dimension, her sister and her other self warn Marga that something terrible is about to happen, but who can she trust?
Cast: Jan Cornet, Iria del Rio, Miquel Fernández
ESLUNA: THE CROWN OF BABYLON
Dir: Denver Jackson,
Runtime: 102 mins,
Esluna is ruled by descendants of a sacred bloodline, where technology is powered by the highly advanced relics of the ancients. Raised by the monks who protect the relics of the old world, MAEVE is a treasure hunter who uses her skills to find other artefacts for the leaders. When her mentor, Caz, is kidnapped by a militia group run by a rogue monk, Maeve learns of a powerful relic known as ‘THE CROWN OF BABYLON’, rumoured to have the power to bring back the dead. She teams up with Bataar, a young man who mysteriously came to Esluna from another world years ago and worked with Caz to find the crown at the time of her abduction. Now, they must find the crown, save Caz, and stop the rogue from endangering the lives of everyone they know. A thrilling animated action-adventure set in the retro-futuristic world of Esluna, and great fun for all the family!
Cast: Grace Chan, Shawn O’Hara, Ariel Hack, Alain Williams.
Our Stranger Than Fiction Documentary strand has two remarkable films:
TUNE INTO THE FUTURE
Dir: Eric Schockmel,
Runtime: 72 mins,
One hundred years before the internet, a self-declared tech guru started preaching the future to his flock of outsiders. Meet the most influential nerd you may never have heard of: Hugo Gernsback. Decades ahead of the curve, he foresaw Skype, jetpacks, space mining and drones. But even though he would accumulate over 80 patents throughout his life and befriend the likes of Edison and Tesla, his most influential invention remains Science Fiction!
SCREENS WITH SHORT:
MY BRAIN IS BIGGER: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELEKTRO, THE SMOKING ROBOT
Dir. Ian Johnston,
A whimsical look at the life of America’s first celebrity robot, Elektro. He was the ‘next big thing’, from the World’s Fair to Soft-porn star… and then he disappeared.
THE HIGH FRONTIER: THE UNTOLD STORY OF GERARD K. O’NEILL
Dir: Ryan Stuit,
Runtime: 91 mins,
Gerard K. O’Neill was a physicist and space colony pioneer. In 1977, he wrote The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space, A book that sparked an enormous grassroots movement to ‘open the high frontier’ to make space available and beneficial for all mankind. The film is told through “Gerry’s Kids”, as they affectionately call themselves; his peers, family, and the younger generation who followed that movement and are now in charge of the modern-day space industry.
SCREENS WITH SHORT:
ARTIST DEPICTION BY STEVE R. DODD
Dir. Brett Ryan Bonowicz,
Steve Dodd has painted space scenes since the 1970s. Working at home with no phone, internet or computer, he has created hundreds of beautiful ‘spacescapes’: visions of a positive future amongst the stars. This is his first recorded interview.
For the full line up visit the website: sci-fi-london.com
|Psychological horror Father of Flies, is set for release in 2022 after its online premiere at Grimmfest from 14-17th October and UK Physical Premiere at Raindance on 6th November. Father of Flies will also have its US Premiere at ScreamFest LA, at the Chinese Theatre on 14th October.|
Shot in Suffern – upstate New York, the film stars Camilla Rutherford (Gosford Park, Phantom Thread), Sandra Andreis (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Davi Santos (Tell Me a Story), Page Ruth (Shameless), and Nicholas Tucci, the star of cult horror film ‘You’re Next’ who unfortunately has since passed away. This was one of the final films Nicholas had completed on.
The film is written and directed by Ben Charles Edwards who The British Film Institute said ‘has crafted distinctive, admirable work that seems to have emerged from the unseen margins of British cinema.’ He was also recently nominated for ‘The Discovery Award’ ‘Outstanding Achievement in Craft’ and ‘Newcomer Discovery Award’ at the British Independent Film Awards.
Co-written by Edwards’ writing partner Nadia Doherty, the film is based on a story Edwards had written as a child, a haunting tale of family life. A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her.
Father of Flies will have its Online Premiere at Grimmfest, US Premiere at ScreamFest LA and its UK Premiere at Raindance Film Festival with a general UK release in 2022
Following on from its limited cinema release in August, Escher: Journey Into Infinity – the first complete feature documentary about Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher’s life and work – is available to buy or rent on digital platforms in the UK and Ireland from October 18.
Told in Escher’s own words through Stephen Fry’s narration, drawing from a rich cornucopia of letters, diaries and lectures, the film offers an exploration of the fascinating man whose legacy continues to influence popular culture today.
“A fitting tribute to a multi-layered and unparalleled artist” D-MOVIES ★★★★
Filmmaker Robin Lutz says, “We get under his skin and come as close as possible to meet and understand this great graphic artist. The camera is Escher’s eye!”
“Escher wrote, “I fear that there is only one person in the world who could make a really good movie about my prints: myself.” And that is exactly what Escher is doing in this movie: he is the director, not literally but symbolically.”
The film includes interviews with Escher’s sons George and Jan, as well as musician, and collector of Escher’s work, Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). Lutz’s feature has been described by Variety as ‘an art book that comes to life’, referencing the ingenious use of animation.
“The artist’s words are delivered with characteristic panache by Stephen Fry, while the pictures are brought ingeniously to life using animation.”
Simon Kinnear, TOTAL FILM ★★★★
British mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel Laureate in Physics and Emeritus Professor of mathematics at Oxford University, is patron of the film. Sir Roger has a long-standing interest in and connection with M.C. Escher and is said to have given Escher ideas for some of his world-famous prints.
Escher: Journey Into Infinity is available to watch from October 18 on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Sky Store, Google, Microsoft and Curzon Home Cinema.
|ITALIAN MINISTRY OF CULTURE, UFFIZI AND LUCCA COMICS & GAMES COMBINE TO FOSTER THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMICS WORLDWIDE|
|52 self-portraits of some of the most talented comic book artists on the Italian scene will enter the collection of the Uffizi Galleries, Italy.|
The works – created with different techniques, formats and styles – will be presented at Lucca Comics & Games 2021 from October 8 to November 1 as part of the “Fumetti nei musei | Gli autoritratti degli Uffizi” (Comics in the Museums | Self-portraits of the Uffizi) exhibition, curated by Mattia Morandi and Chiara Palmieri.
The exhibition is an inititative between the Uffizi Galleries and Lucca Crea to foster the development and promotion of comics in Italy and abroad. The initiative will also see one of the portraits, selected by the Uffizi and the Ministry of Culture, going on display in the self-portrait collection of the Florentine Museum.
The new cluster of self-portraits of contemporary Italian comics will add a new dimension to the collection of self-portraits of the Uffizi Gallery – the richest and most prestigious in the world. These works will be exhibited in the new rooms dedicated to self-portraits that will open in the coming months on the second floor of the Vasarian Museum.
The agreement also sees the participation of the Uffizi and the Ministry of Culture in the selection of the Master of Comics within Lucca Comics Awards at Lucca Comics & Games and the entrance, every year, of the winner artwork into the self-portrait collection of the Florentine museum. The agreement will have an initial two-year duration at the outset and within its scope, a variety of shared initiatives may be undertaken in addition to exhibitions, events, cultural productions, creative, educational and scientific partnerships and much more.
| The works that will be on display in Lucca have been generously donated by the artists who participated in Fumetti nei Musei, the project conceived by the Ministry of Culture.|
“Thanks to the artists for this important donation, which represents a further evolution of a path of valorization of contemporary comics that was born around the ambitious project Fumetti nei Musei. This new fund is an important innovation for the Italian contemporary art scene: the Uffizi thus becomes one of the first museums of classical art to bet on the vitality and creative force of the ninth art,” says the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini.
“With this unprecedented, innovative alliance between the Uffizi and Lucca Comics, one of the most important comic events in the world, the goal is to reiterate a key concept: culture is pop and to effectively reach as many people as possible. The agreement we are presenting today is the first of its kind in the world: I am convinced that it will give rise to great results and will be the forerunner to many other ‘crossovers’ that will bear fruit in terms of ideas, creativity and inspiration for the future,” comments the Director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt.
Francesca Fazzi, President of Lucca Crea, adds “Even the most difficult edition of Lucca Comics & Games has generated exciting results. The presence of Eike Schmidt at Lucca Comics & Games in 2020 marked the start of a collaboration, which today takes concrete form in an initiative that will bring, every year, the Master of Comics crowned in Lucca to the Uffizi Galleries. It is a great recognition for the Festival and for all Italian comics“. Her words are reinforced by Emanuele Vietina, Director of Lucca Comics & Games.
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|From left: Eike Schmidt (Gallerie Uffizi Director), Emanuele Vietina (Lucca Comics & Games CEO), Alessandro Tambellini (Major of the City of Lucca) and Francesca Fazzi (Lucca Crea President)|
| To re-behold the stars: light is the claim of the 55th year of Lucca Comics & Games festival happening in person from 29th October to 1st of November 2021 in Italy.|
This year Italy is honouring Dante Alighieri, the poet and philospher, by celebrating the 700th anniversary of his death and Dante’s Divine Comedy sets the tone for the returning festival – a community event that not only produced culture but creates a place where people can share experiences by occupying and interacting with and within a unique and monumental city. Light is the synthesis of this new Lucca Comics & Games, which signals a passage from dark to light, and paves a road to a new kind of normal. Visitors will go back to meeting creators of universes that have been an integral part of the festival – comics, games, storytelling, modern mythologies and big and small industries represented in these worlds.
“Lucca Comics & Games is a unique cross-media event dedicated to pop culture, cosplay and comics held in a medieval Tuscan town. Before the pandemic, each year more than 250,000 fans walked through our city walls to immerse themselves in a world of fantasy. Our organisation has worked very close with government to implement safety rules. We are delighted to be able to open our gates again after a year of darkness. “Thence we came forth to re-behold the stars” is the last line in Dante’s Inferno. To me it means a new beginning and the hope that we will again be able to embrace our imagination and experience an unforgettable live event.” says Emanuele Vietina, Director of Lucca Comics & Games.
THE FESTIVAL RECONQUERS THE CITY
Lucca Comics & Games returns to the heart of Lucca, Italy, offering the public the chance to find the most beloved publishers and exhibitors in historical areas and in places to (re)discover: the central core of comics will remain Piazza Napoleone. The iconic pavilion has is coming back together with Palazzo Ducale and the historical spaces of the Palazzetto dello Sport, where the festival was held until 2005 and returns this year for the first time in 15 years. The world of gaming will be housed in the Real Collegio and in the Cavallerizza area Japan World will conquer the large spaces of the Polo Fiere di Lucca. The Music & Cosplay area will be hosted in the San Francesco complex. All these worlds will be increasingly interconnected within the Festival: visitors will be invited to travel from one to the other, to enrich their passions and rediscover the pleasure of being in Lucca.
The theme of Light will visually accompany the Festival experience with contemporary Italian illustrator Paolo Barbieri, creating the distinctive image of Lucca Comics & Games poster. In the year of Dante’s celebrations, he creates the poetic vision that links Lucca Comics & Games to Dante’s journey with Virgil through the darkness of Hell. The artist visually tells the story of the Festival’s adventurous journey, with its colourful paraphernalia of cosplayers, dragons and spaceships married to the literary and mythological forces that live in Dante’s poetry.
Paolo Barbieri says “I decided to draw a road suspended in the sky that leads us towards Dante who, opening his red robe, reveals a fantastic Lucca opening up to receive the Festival. This grassy road, suspended in the midst of other flying rocks leads to the realm of fantasy with Lucca understood as a true door of the Imagination which I have tried to recreate in my own way to convey the sense of wonder in Dante’s myth.”
COSPLAY WITHIN VILLA BOTTINI
Suspended between theatrical performance and costume craftsmanship, the cosplay world finds its home within the evocative Villa Bottini, an architectural masterpiece of Lucca. The frescoed rooms and the garden will host some of the most interesting communities, including Assassin’s Creed Cosplay, Terre di Mezzo Cosplayer, Ghostbuster Italia, Avengers / X-Men and 501 Italica Rebel/Legion Empisa. There will also be space for medieval fantasy, steampunk, the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, the universe of Harry Potter and the magic of Disney. Dozens of characters will come to life, animating Villa Cosplay, with professional photoshoots, workshops and wardrobe services, to enjoy the Festival in complete safety. The San Francesco Auditorium will host the long-awaited Cosplay Competition on Saturday 30 October: backstage interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and lots of fun for what has always been considered one of the unmissable events of Lucca Comics and Games.
Official site www.luccacomicsandgames.com
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