Lucca 2019 breaks records with guest appearances from Star Trek: Picard & The Witcher cast

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luccaThe 53rd edition of Lucca Comics & Games festival  has now come to an end, with a record 270,000 tickets sold.

Every year, the festival transforms the medieval Italian town of Lucca into the cradle of pop culture, gathering a growing number of comics, board games, video games, fiction and fantasy art, animation, cinema and TV series fans over 5 days. Lucca Comics & Games consolidated its position as the premiere pop culture festival in the western world, with over 1,600 activities including meetings, tournaments, workshops, and live performances; more than 4,000 autograph sessions; 1,500 gaming stations with tens of thousands of sessions played; 16 concerts and musical performances; two theatre shows produced by the festival and over 1,000 speakers including 180 international guests.

The beating heart of the festival are guests from all over the world, who year after year enrich the  program. Master Hiroiko Araki told the Italian public the genesis of his most famous work, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.  Rokuda NoboruEmil FerrisDon Rosa and Chris Claremont were some of the many international guests who came to Lucca this year.

RPGs had an imposing presence this year. Fans of all ages played Dungeons & Dragons in a real Dungeon underneath the ancient walls of Lucca. D&D Epic, the largest themed event ever held in Europe took place, with 180 players and 30 Dungeon Masters who played the largest simultaneous D&D session in the continent. Some of the most passionate players of Dungeons & Dragons in the world,  such as the actor Joe Manganiello,  came to Lucca to play in this unique setting. Two of the most famous Magic: The Gathering illustrators, John Avon and Melissa Benson, were also in attendance .

In the Movie Area, Amazon Prime Video came to Lucca for the first time with international star  Sir Patrick Stewart, who took the stage at the historic Teatro del Giglio to announce Picard’s return to Star Trek fans and get inducted into Lucca’s Walk of Fame.

Picard

Netflix was ​​back to Lucca to present their new original series The Witcher  based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. The festival audience was able to watch the world premiere of the trailer and meet, in addition to the author of the famous saga, the showrunner of the series Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and the leading actresses Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan, as well being treated to three never before seen clips.

Piazza Anfiteatro was “taken over” by the Netflix TV Series Money Heist. Among the guests: Joonas Suotamo, the Finnish actor who plays Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; Rebecca Sugar, creator of the cult series Cartoon Network, Steven Universe; As always, there were plenty of Italian premieres: from Terminator: Dark Fate to Zombieland: Double Tap and the much awaited Sky series His Dark Materials.

Video gaming took over some of the most historic parts of the city. At Baluardo San Regolo, Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was celebrated. At Casermetta San Donato, it was time for heroic deeds thanks to Square Enix and Marvel’s Avengers. Fans were able to meet Scott Amos, Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer, and Valerio Schiti, well-known Marvel Comics artist.

Borderlands 3 was the protagonist of unforgettable activities such as the cosplay parade led by Leon Chiro, a world-famous cosplayer. For the first time in the history of the event, Ferrari created a program of intense racing sessions on legendary circuits, such as Imola, Spa and Silverstone. In the evocative setting of the eSports Cathedral many competed in e-sport tournaments, including Brawl Stars and League of Legends, in addition to the Quake Pro League, featuring some of the best players in the world. At the Esport Palace (formerly Cavallerizza) the adrenaline rushes of the Logitech G Challenge were celebrated, a competition that offered a coveted place for the European finals on November 9th in Cologne, and the exciting Gillette Bomber Cup, an official Fortnite Tournament won by the excellent Filoakai. Nintendo came with a double pavilion dedicated to upcoming titles, and Bandai Namco Entertainment gave fans the opportunity to try one of the most anticipated titles of the moment: Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.

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Fantasy literature was one of the stars of the festival, italian authors such Licia Troisi and Paolo Barbieri joined international master Bruce Sterling, creator with William Gibson of cyberpunk. Also present were the duo of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, known as James SA Corey, famous for the saga The Expanse.

Cosplayers took over the town with parades, competitions and rallies. Red Bull brought their Red Bull Cosplay Garage at Baluardo Santa Croce. Among the most popular moments were Zombie Walk parade, the official Marvel Cosplay Italy rally, and the Rat-Man themed parade, dedicated to the character created by Italian artist Leo Ortolani.

At the Junior area, thousands of kids participated in game sessions, imaginative LEGO® constructions (Hidden Side) and meeting with the authors of the their favorite works such as Thomas Astruc, creator and director of the animated TV series Miraculous. Teatro Junior was highly appreciated, a theatrical project featuring titles for children. Workshops and meetings with the Panini author, guided visits to the exhibitions and special initiatives completed the program.

The now iconic Japan Town, was also featured this year, the district in the wonderful historical center of Lucca dedicated entirely to Japanese art and culture was, as always taken over by protagonist of numerous meetings dedicated to Japan: exhibitions, events, food tasting, and initiatives dedicated to the discovery of Japanese culture and traditions.

The Return of Picard – Sir Patrick Stewart to be at Lucca Comics & Games 2019

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PicardSir Patrick Stewart and additional cast members from the upcoming Amazon Original Star Trek: Picard series will be among the main guests at the 53rd Edition of Lucca Comics & Games.

On Friday November 1st, the popular British actor and his fellow castmates, including Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd and Evan Evagora, will take the stage and let Star Trek fans from around the world know that Picard is back, as well as share what to expect from these new and returning characters in the beloved Star Trek franchise. Star Trek: Picard will launch on Amazon Prime Video, on January 24th, 2020.

Furthermore, to honor one of the most beloved talented stars of the theatre, the big screen and TV, Lucca Comics & Games Committee will award Stewart with a tile on the popular Lucca Walk of Fame, where some of the greatest artists, who work in the fields of comics, artworks, games and cinema, have left their handprints. Other members of the cast will join Sir Patrick Stewart in this celebration, an event included in the program of the Lucca Comics & Games Movie Area, curated by QMI-Sturdust.

Star Trek: Picard features Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as “Jean-Luc Picard,” which he played for seven seasons on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The new series will follow this iconic character into the next chapter of his life. Alongside Stewart, Star Trek: Picard will also star Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway and Evan Evagora.

The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, James Duff, Patrick Stewart, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers and Aaron Baiers (Secret Hideout) serves as co-executive producer and Kirsten Beyer as supervising producer. Hanelle Culpepper directed the first three episodes of the series.

Star Trek: Picard will stream on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. In the United States, the series will be available exclusively on CBS All Access, and in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and OTT service Crave. The series is distributed internationally by CBS Studios International.

Lucca Comics & Games Festival is the largest convention of its kind in Europe, and second largest in the world after Comiket (Tokyo), Lucca Comics & Games brings together fan communities from the worlds of comics, games, TV series, film, illustration, art and fiction. A massive event in the pop culture calendar, the 2018 edition saw an amazing 793,818 admissions. 2019 is the 53rd year since its inception, with exhibitions running from October 12th and the main festival beginning October 30th through to November 3rd – all set in the ancient walled city of Lucca, in Italy.

For more information, stay tuned on www.luccacomicsandgames.com

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World Premiere of ‘The Witcher’ trailer to launch at Lucca Comics And Games 2019

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lucca.jpgLucca Comics & Games Festival is back. The largest convention of its kind in Europe, and second largest in the world after Comiket (Tokyo), Lucca Comics & Games brings together fan communities from the worlds of comics, games, TV series, film, illustration, art and fiction. A massive event in the pop culture calendar, the 2018 edition saw an amazing 793,818 admissions. 2019 is the 53rd year since its inception, with exhibitions running from October 12th. The main festival all set in the ancient walled city of Lucca, Italy, will begin from October 30th through to November 3rd.

Some of the headline exhibitions, showcases and guests this year include a trailer world premiere of Netflix’s next original production and tv series The Witcher. Stars from the Netflix Original production Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan are attending, as well as writer of the eponymous bestseller, Andrzej Sapkowski. Producer and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich will be in attendance. Netflix’s Money Heist, the best performing non-English language series on the platform, will occupy one of Lucca’s main squares.

The Italian premieres of tentpole film releases Terminator: Dark Fate (20th Century Fox), which will open the festival, and Zombieland: Double Tap (Warner Bros. Entertainment Italia) will also be shown and accompanied by zombies invading the ancient city.

The underground dungeon, San Colombano, will be transformed for a Dungeons and Dragons tournament, in partnership with Wizards of the Coast. Actor Joe Manganiello (True Blood , How I Met Your Mother ), Scottish comedian Paul Foxcroft ( Cariad & Paul , Questing Time ), Richard Witther (D&D, Senior Art Director), Bill Benham (D&D Game Producer), Mark Hulmes and Kim Richards (two of the most important members of the British D&D community, better known as High Rollers) and many others will be taking part. In total 180 players and 30 Dungeon Masters will create the largest simultaneous D&D game that the Old Continent has ever seen.

A year after the death of William Goldman, Lucca Comics & Games will be honoring him by launching a special extended edition of The Princess Bride, including 100 new pages of adventure.

Bruce Sterling, one of the main exponents of cyberpunk, will be in Lucca discussing the future along with Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, also known as James S.A.Corey, authors of The Expanse.

This year the Baluardo San Regolo will be the setting for the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from Activision in a massive exhibition space.

The Gilette Cup Bomber, one of the biggest Fortnite tournaments, also returns for its second year along with free gaming sessions and a Meet & Greet with some of the icons of gaming including Cicciogamer89, J0K3r, Kekkobomba and Los Amigos.

Nintendo will be attending with Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 and Luigi’s Mansion 3. Blizzard Entertainment titles World of Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft, Hearthstone, Diablo and Heroes of the Storm will also be present.

Bandi Namco Entertainment comes to Italy for the first time with some of its most important titles including Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 and One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows.

eSports fans can experience the fourth edition of the Italian eSports Open with 5 days full of content including tournaments, world finals and panels with exceptional guests in the evocative setting of the Auditorium San Romano, a former church medieval transformed for the occasion into Esports Cathedral.

2K Games will be activating the ‘Borderlands 3 Parade’, when all Borderlands fans will be summoned by one of the most famous cosplayers in the world, Leon Chiro, who will lead the group inside the city.

Sony Interactive Entertainment Italy offer visitors the chance to try PlayStation™ Now, the exclusive subscription service dedicated to video games and based on the cloud, with a catalog of over 700 games including great exclusives, blockbusters and experiences for the whole family,including God of War, Uncharted 4: End of a Thief and Bloodborne.

In an exclusive location, the Scuderia Ferrari will be celebrating its 90th anniversary with the exhibition of the Cover Art of the 2019 Formula 1 Championship. Visitors and aspiring pro gamers will also be able to interact with the Ferrari Driver Academy and find out about its recent entry into the eSport Championship.

Amazon will also be present via a massive 200sqm exhibition, called the Box of Passions. Amongst highlighting their products, they will also be paying homage to the late, great, Stan Lee.

Lucca Comics & Games stalwart Hasbro will be world premiering new lines of action figures, accessories and vehicles dedicated to the Star Wars saga and Marvel superheroes.

BECOMING HUMAN

Becoming Human is the theme chosen for this year and is wonderfully represented in the festival’s official poster, signed by celebrated graphic novelist, Barbara Baldi. Lucca Comics & Games are asking people to join the conversation about what being human means. They will be exploring the relationship between virtual and real, digital and analogue, sleep and wakefulness, flesh and metal, silicon and carbon and all that is possible within these realms.

The festival offers 6,000 gaming sessions at the eSports Cathedral and 12 art exhibitions divided between Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Arnolfini and Piazza San Martino. Lucca Comics & Games embodies the heritage of Lucca – the walls, the squares, the historic buildings, the medieval alleys and the mysterious undergrounds. It welcomes the participants, the great sagas and all the event partners who together build a great community ready to live an unparalleled experience through a unique event.

Emanuele Vietina, Lucca Comics & Games Director says “The strength of a festival that every year brings together more than 750,000 people – one of the largest community events in the world – lies precisely in it’s ability to combine its’ historical heritage with the imagery of American superheroes, the big videogame franchises, the fantasy and sci-fi literary sagas, the TV series and films. An event that is now one of the most advanced examples of a pop culture festival at international level. Lucca is more than a festival – it’s a festival that produces culture.”

In #Community #Inclusion #Respect #Discovery #Gratitude we trust.

Cops and Monsters: Uprising offering Producer credits to donors

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copsandmonstersWant to become a Monster or Exec Producer in the second Season of the award-winning Amazon Prime TV show?

SillyWeeFilms have confirmed that they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to secure funding for their second season of Cops and Monsters. Donors to their crowdfunding campaign are set to be rewarded with a number of incentives, which include a role in an episode (as a monster), a credit in the titles and signed scripts and DVDs. The highest donors will even be listed in the credits as Associate or Executive Producer in the credits and on IMDb.

Cops and Monsters is an on-going, award winning supernatural police thriller set in a near-future Scotland. When vampires, werewolves and zombies come out of hiding, the country breaks out into war and riots with both sides fighting for control. Eventually the First Minister and the heads of the vampire and werewolf societies meet and form a treaty that will allow humans and supernaturals to co-exist. As such a police team, the Paranormal Investigation Team Scotland, are put into place to police and protect both sides.

In 2017 the team successfully crowdfunded the budget for the 8th and final episode of series 1, raising over £15000 to shoot the episodes over two years, starting in 2015. The episodes were released via their YouTube channel along with behind the scenes videos, cast and crew interviews and more.

Series 1 featured guest stars such as Sophie Aldred (Doctor Who), Rachel Teate (Wolfblood), James Mackenzie (Raven), Leona Kate Vaughan (Wolfblood), James Payton (Harry Potter), Caitlin Blackwood (Doctor Who) and Katrina Bryan (Nina and the Neurons), working alongside upcoming actors including Simon Weir (Trainspotting 2) and Chris Bain (Shooting Clerks).

Moving ahead with series 2 the team have secured Debbie Moon (BAFTA winning Wolfblood creator), Philip Lawrence (Big Finish) and Simon Underwood (Wolfblood) to join James T Harding (Broadway Baby), Laura Anne Anderson (BAFTA winning team member of CBeebie’s OOglies) and series creator Fraser Coull to pen 6 x 20 minute episodes, which will stream directly on Amazon Prime UK, US and Amazon Instant Video.

The team have set up a several crowdfunding accounts to raise funds to shoot the brand new series, which will consist of 6 x 20 minute episodes, focusing on a “story of the week”. Once complete, the episodes will be streamed from Amazon Prime UK, US and Amazon Instant Video.

To support the TV Series, go to Patreon ($) or Drip (£) to make your donation!

People can also donate via PayPal. Details are at https://copsandmonsters.co.uk/support-the-show/.

Crowdfunding Packages include (but not limited to)

£1000 – Be an Executive Producers!
As well as being credited as an Executive Producer for series 2 on the episodes, you’ll also be given an IMDb credit for the series, listed on the end credits on Amazon Prime UK and US. You’ll receive a blu-ray and DVD copy of Volume 1 and 2, signed script from volume 2, a signed A3 poster, a Cops and Monsters t-shirt, personalised PITS badge and a digital copy of the soundtrack.

£300 – Be a Producer!
We’ll credit you as a producer on the IMDB entry for Cops and Monsters series 2, along with a signed copy of a series 2 script and a copy of series 1 on DVD! We’ll also give you a DVD copy of episode 1 and 2 of series 2.

£150 – Be Our Sponsor!
In return for buying this perk we will feature your company’s logo and website on our official website, plus a credit on the end titles of this episode. We can also feature your product or branding in our new episode.

£100 – Be An Associate Producer!
We’ll credit you as an associate producer on the IMDB entry for Cops and Monsters series 2, along with a signed copy of a series 2 script!

£40 – Be a Monster!
Buy this perk and you can be a vampire, werewolf or zombie in an upcoming episode of Cops and Monsters: Uprising. We’ll also take your photo with the cast and crew, providing a digital copy for you. Travel and accommodation is not provided. Dates to be confirmed. Filming will take place in Glasgow, Scotland.

Applaudience: Avengers Endgame to break records

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avengersendgame.jpgAvengers: Endgame set to become the top grossing film of 2019, surpassing £22 million in advanced ticket sales.

It will come as little surprise to most but after a very quiet Easter Box Office Weekend, data experts Applaudience have forecast that Avengers: Endgame will match the astronomical financial expectations set by the previous films, and is set to become the highest grossing film of 2019.

Due to the very warm weather over the Easter Weekend and the prospect of Avengers: Endgame launching in the following week, ticket sales were desperately low last weekend, without a single film making over the £1m mark.

This weekend’s forecast, however, will make delightful viewing for cinemas chains across the country, with 3.25% of the entire UK having already purchased advanced tickets.  As of Midday today, a staggering 1,177,613 tickets have been bought for Fri-Sun screenings and 2,148,092 sold over all dates.

This means that Avengers: Endgame has already made £12.1m in advanced ticket sales over the Box Office weekend and a further £10m across additional dates (based on an average opening weekend ticket price of £10.28 and all dates of £10.24).

Applaudience have confirmed that Avengers: Endgame will beat predecessor Avengers: Infinity War‘s hefty £29m Box Office opening weekend in 2018.

This will propel Avengers: Endgame to 2019’s No.1 and will take some feat to replace before the end of the year.

“Sold out” showtimes for Avengers: Endgame
Below are showtimes that are 95%+ sold out (only corner / front-row seats are left to book)

Regional Statistics

Applaudience data highlights how cinemas in the East of England have sold out of the greatest amount of Avengers: Endgame tickets in UK, with 34.3% of the total seats available in the region being pre-booked. This high percentage is closely followed by cinemas in the South East (28.9%) and East Midlands (28.5%). More rural regions of the UK such as Northern Ireland and Wales are less taken by Marvel madness, with only 15.3% of total seats available being sold out in Wales and 18.5% in Northern Ireland.

 

Applaudience have uncovered that the most popular time to head to the cinema for Avengers: Endgame this weekend is 7pm this Friday (26th April), with 80 cinemas reporting screenings that have sold-out or reached 95% capacity, with only corner and front-row seats left to book. 

However, time seems to be no obstacle for Marvel fans this opening weekend with 95% capacity sold out screening being reported every hour from 8am to 11pm across the opening weekend, with 904 screenings reaching this capacity in total over the weekend.

Most popular times: Friday: 17:00 – 21:00 | Saturday: 13:00 – 20:00 | Sunday: 13:00 – 16:00



UK Premieres at Sci-Fi-London Film Festival

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fonotune.jpgThe SCI-FI-LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2019, which runs from 15th May until 22nd May across London, will showcase a fantastic lineup with 5 world film premieres, 11 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres. It will host 17 features, 36 shorts and 7 VR shorts alongside its regular classic cult events such as the 48 HOUR FILM CHALLENGE and SCI-FIDO, the world’s only cosplay for dogs!

UK Premieres include:

FONOTUNE: AN ELECTRIC FAIRYTALE
Dir: Fint, 2018, Japan/Germany, 74 mins, Japanese/German (English subtitles).

The world will end soon, so what to do? Outside of time, a teen hooker, lo-fi cowboy and a mute drifter cross the white desert to experience the final performance of the mysterious rockstar hero.

This visually stunning work MUST be seen on the big screen.  Its soundtrack will leave you humming and tapping for days to come, and its beautiful production design burns your brain.

The film stars Kiki Sukezane (Westworld) and features performances by Guitar Wolf Seiji and Stereo Total.

“Is it daft punk? Is it THX? No, it is FONOTUNE, and you will never forget it.” SFL


ALIEN ADDICTION
Dir: Shae Sterling, 2018, New Zealand, 90 mins, English.

New Zealand is beautiful, and often we only see the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscapes and not the everyday life of your average stoner.Riko (Jimi Jackson) lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere (Waikato, New Zealand). Life was pretty normal until two aliens crash-landed near Riko’s house. He welcomes the aliens, and together they develop an intergalactic relationship of epic proportions.

“Raw and real as Peter Jackson’s “Bad Taste”, more bro’ than Taika Waititi’s “Boy”, and up there with Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” as a debut indie film. Garth Bray, Amazon”SFL


AXCELLERATOR
Dir: David Giancola, 2019, 93 mins, USA

Dane (RYAN WESEN) was going to steal one last car before he quit forever, but is disturbed by Tomas, an inventor being chased by the police, the F.B.I., and the C.I.A.

Trapped in the manic crossfire, Tomas passes a device to Dane, who is teleported miles away into the arms of Kate (LAURA JAMES, S*W*A*T). She could be the girl of his dreams except for the global conspiracy he has just embroiled her in. The FBI’s Ray Moritz (MAXWELL CAULFIELD, Grease 2) wants to destroy it, Amanda Graham (SEAN YOUNG, Blade Runner) wants it for the C.I.A., and rogue agent Sy Devol (JOHN JAMES, Dynasty) has his sinister plans.

Sy unleashes his brutal assassin, Brink (SAM J. JONES, Flash Gordon) who leaves a trail of corpses behind him while pursuing the ‘Axcellerator’ device. To stay alive, Dane and Kate must discover the Axcellerator’s secret. An exhilarating rollercoaster ride reminiscent of 80s blockbusters – a classic, fun action thriller

John James is confirmed to attend, others TBA.


AFTER THE LETHARGY
Dir: Marc Carrete, 2018, 82 mins, SPAIN

Sara, a journalist with a keen interest in UFOs, receives a video from a paranormal researcher, talking about a hotspot for landings and sightings. She travels to the forest to meet the researcher and meets the park ranger who tells her of a dark character who lives alone deep in the woods and the abandoned retreat. Soon she discovers the truth about the UFo sightings and must fight for her life.

“All-out monster, promising a mesmerising mix of terror and adventure” Bloody Disgusting

“Takes hybridisation to extremely graphic proportions'”Dread Central

“Old school sci-fi horror at its finest, great twists and turns, seat of the pants thrills and some truly gross-out moments.” SFL


THE FINAL LAND
Dir: Marcel Barion, 2019, 113 mins, Germany, German (English subtitles)

Across the bleak wilderness, the prisoner has escaped, looking for a rumoured ship that might get him off-world.  One of his pursuers discovers him aboard the craft and instead of turning him in declares he also wants a way out and together they fly away. But who built the ship and where did it come from, more importantly, where are the crew?  As they try to answer these questions, they hear a strange signal and obsessing on its origin head toward it.

This feature debut by Barion is a testament to what performance and pragmatic use of resources can achieve.  At times it feels like ALIEN, at others like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

“An outstanding science fiction story that never once reveals a low budget.” SFL


LAST SUNRISE
Dir: Wen Ren, 2018, 104 mins, China, Mandarin (English subtitles)

In a future reliant on solar energy, the world falls into chaos after the sun disappears, the skies are lit only by the stars and the temperature is rapidly dropping; eventually, oxygen on Earth will be exhausted.   Yang, a reclusive astronomer, and Mu, a neighbour he hardly knows, must find their way to a supposed sanctuary located in District Four.

Ren’s debut film has a unique take on end of days stories with spectacularly realised special effects showing how different our world, and everything that we take for granted in it, would look in the absence of the Sun.

“It is fantastic to see China producing high concept and stylish indie sci-fi, don’t miss this one.” SFL


MAJIC
Dir: Erin Berry, 2019, 82 mins, CANADA

Bernwood (Paula Brancati, Slashers) is an anti-conspiracy video blogger.  She spends all her time debunking conspiracy theory until she gets a note from an old man claiming to have worked for the legendary Majestic-12 (aka majic), a secret US spy agency, created after the UFO incident at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.  So begins her trip down the rabbit hole looking for answers as reality as she seems to know it is unravelling.

“Sitting squarely in X-files territory and plays brilliantly with alternate realities and what we perceive to be real” SFL


ARTIST DEPICTION
Dir: Brett Ryan Bonowicz, 2018, USA, 82 mins, English.

Conceptual artists Don Davis, Charles Lindsay, and Rick Guidice have helped bring NASA projects to life. Their incredible pioneering artwork, which helped define the aesthetics of futurism and space travel, is ubiquitous; and yet these artists have always been hidden behind the scenes until now.

The second documentary that Bonowicz has had at the festival, last year we screened CLOSER THAN WE THINK about conceptual artist Arthur Radebaugh. Again, Bonowicz delivers a love-letter to concept art and design.

“If you’ve got an eye on the future, then learn about those who’ve helped shape it.” SFL


CHASING EINSTEIN
Dir: Timothy Wheeler and Steve Brown, 2019, 81 mins, USA

Einstein’s vision of gravity has shaped our understanding of the universe for the 100 years since Eddington confirmed his theory in 1919.

Nobody has succeeded in challenging Einstein’s theory despite its startling conclusion that the vast majority of gravity must be caused by an invisible form of ‘matter’ that has yet to be detected.  The search for this missing “Dark Matter” will either confirm Einstein or disrupt a century of physics.

Following leading scientists including Nobel Laureates on the brink of paradigm-shifting discoveries, CHASING EINSTEIN travels behind the scenes of some of the most extraordinary experiments ever created to probe the mysteries of the dark universe (LIGO, CERN, XENON 1T).Will Einstein stand the test of time, or will a controversial new theory change the way that we see the universe?


LUCID
Dir: Adam Morse, 2018, 86 mins, UK

A young man practices an experimental form of therapy after his enigmatic neighbour offers to help him overcome social anxiety and win the girl of his dreams.

Isolated in a big city with no friends, young Zel simultaneously fears and craves intimacy. He has a pitiful obsession with a dancer called Jasmine and is caught spying on her by an eccentric neighbour Elliot (Billy Zane) who offers to help him win her heart.

Lust leads Zel on an intense subliminal adventure as Elliot teaches him how lucid dreaming can be used to practice the art of seduction but will Zel be able to charm Jasmine in reality? This thought-provoking film, with great cinematography and luscious production design, will stay with you for a long time.


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World Premieres at Sci-Fi-London Film Festival

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perfectThe SCI-FI-LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2019, which runs from 15th May until 22nd May across London, will showcase a fantastic lineup with 5 world film premieres, 11 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres. It will host 17 features, 36 shorts and 7 VR shorts alongside its regular classic cult events such as the 48 HOUR FILM CHALLENGE and SCI-FIDO, the world’s only cosplay for dogs!

World Premiere Galas include the World Premiere of SHED OF THE DEAD, directed by Drew Cullingham, it’s darkly funny, gruesome and a little bit rude!  Shaun of the Dead meets The Archers.  Trevor (Spencer Brown) doesn’t really like gardening but has an allotment in which he spends his days avoiding his overbearing wife.  Most of his time in his shed is spent painting figurines for wargames he plays with his friend, Graham (Ewen MacIntosh), both of them dreaming and arguing about their gaming alter-egos.

One day, Mr Parsons, one of the other allotment tenants, knocks with a petition to have Trevor evicted as his plot is a disgrace. After what should have been a simple argument, Trevor is left with a corpse to hide. Unfortunately, this untimely accident coincides with the Zombie Apocalypse and Mr Parsons’ return is just the start of Trevor’s problems. More pressing is whether or not he should try and save his wife (Lauren Socha) and her beautiful best friend (Emily Booth), who both he and Graham have a thing for… The film also features a little BDSM fun provided by Michael Berryman.

Celebrating its World Premiere, AFTER WE LEAVE is a brilliant début for director Aleem Hossain, a vibrant script, satisfying special effects and outstanding performances – the type of film this festival searches for every year.

Near future, Los Angeles is a bleak place: permanent recession, water shortages, and rising crime. Six years ago, Jack abandoned his wife and vanished. Now he’s back because before he left, they’d applied for a visa to immigrate to a better life on an off-world colony. The permit has finally come through, but there’s a catch: it’s a couple’s visa, and Jack cannot leave Earth without his wife. Is Jack back because he wants to make things right or because he needs his wife so he can use this “lottery ticket” to a better life?

Another World Premiere is THE TANGLE, a brilliant sci-fi noir written and directed by Christopher Soren Kelly and stars Jessica Graham (Crazy Bitches) and Nicole Da Silva (Wentworth)

In the near future, the TANGLE, an AI with airborne nanotech, connects the world. The Tangle is benevolent; it has stopped crime, keeps us well and safe.  But to make sure it never turns rogue a government agency watches over them from within technology safe rooms, locations impermeable to the nanobots that make up the Tangle. When field agent Margot Foster is found dead in one of these rooms, the agency needs to investigate the first murder in years.

Also having its world premiere is ZOO-HEAD, directed by Navin Dev. With the aesthetic of TRAINSPOTTING and the weirdness of GROUNDHOG DAY, this is a strong debut from Dev, with great performances and awesome techno soundtrack to boot.  Charlie is a zoo-head, a slang term given to junkies addicted to a powerful hallucinogenic that has memory munching side-effects.  Squatting in a foetid apartment and existing on benefits, Charlie is a mess, and it is about to get worse.  The Social Service is forcing the long-term unemployed to under-go radically experimental treatment to get them ‘normalised’; the only danger would be to zoo-heads.  Charlie gets called in and lies about his situation, and so begins his treatment.

And closing the festival is the World Premiere of THE RIZEN: POSSESSION directed by Matt Mitchell and starring Julian Rhind-TuttSarine Sofair, Adrian Edmondson and Sally Phillips.

In 1955, NATO and the Allied Forces conducted secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. They succeeded, but what they unleashed almost tore our world apart and sent a human through a portal to somewhere very alien. This was the story of THE RIZEN, our closing night premiere in 2017.  Come forward to now, and a group of urban explorers is exploring the abandoned bunker.  But will they and a private military unit sent in after them, become the final pieces in a 60-year plan to reopen a door that should have stayed closed.

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Sci-Fi-London Film Festival announces Openers & Closers

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perfect.jpgEarlier this week the SCI-FI-LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2019 launched its stellar 19th annual programme which will run from 15th May until 22nd May across London with eight days of amazing film, immersive experiences and more. It will showcase a fantastic lineup with 4 world film premieres, 11 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres. It will host 17 features, 36 shorts and 7 VR shorts alongside its regular classic cult events such as the 48 HOUR FILM CHALLENGE and SCI-FIDO, the world’s only cosplay for dogs!

Opening this year’s festival on the 15th May at the Prince Charles Cinema is the UK Premiere of PERFECT– a film that sends us tripping into a science fiction world like no other. Directed by Eddie Alcazar (KUSO) it is unclear if the young man (Garrett Wareing) has committed the horrible crime, but his mother (Abbie Cornish) sends him to a luxurious retreat full of beautiful hedonistic people for therapy.  He will receive an experimental treatment to cure his ills and discover his true self. His mother has been there, but does she want to help him become ‘perfect’? Frenetic editing, soul shocking set-pieces and some eye-popping animation by Kidmograph, PERFECT alternates between calm and chaos, and picks at themes of AI, genetic engineering and esotericism. With its super-heightened visuals worthy of Gasper Noe, production design that DAZED would find hard to beat and a stunning soundtrack by Flying Lotus, this is ALTERED STATES for the iGeneration.

Steven Soderbergh presents an overwhelming sensory assault”. ScreenAnarchy

The festival’s Closing Night on the 22nd May at Stratford Picturehouse is the World Premiere of THE RIZEN: POSSESSION directed by Matt Mitchell and starring Julian Rhind-TuttSarine Sofair, Adrian Edmondson and Sally Phillips. In 1955, NATO and the Allied Forces conducted secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. They succeeded, but what they unleashed almost tore our world apart and sent a human through a portal to somewhere very alien. This was the story of THE RIZEN, our closing night premiere in 2017.  Come forward to now, and a group of urban explorers is exploring the abandoned bunker.  But will they and a private military unit sent in after them, become the final pieces in a 60-year plan to reopen a door that should have stayed closed.

“Violent and witty in equal amounts, this is a very British sci-fi horror.” SFL

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Canine Cosplay Competition coming to Sci-Fi London

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sci-fido.jpgSCI-FIDO – THE WORLD’S ONLY COSPLAY FOR DOGS EVENT, returns this year on Saturday 18th May outside the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, in association with DOGSTARPHOTO and ALL DOGS MATTER for the Crufts of Science fiction! Do you have a four-legged friend who likes to dress up as a sci-fi character? Or a pooch that looks like Princess Leia? Bring them along to our ‘dressed-up dog’ photo session!

Augmented, virtual, enhanced, trans or multimedia – it’s ‘mixed up’.  A few brands have led the way – adding a VR thing here, an AR thing there – but does it make any difference and does this usual corporate approach get to the audience in a way that makes them care? #HACKSTOCK: 5 on the 16th – 18th May at festival’s secret HQ is our answer – bringing creators, makers, disrupters, artists, musicians, hackers, developers and you together in one place to talk it, think it, do it and play with it. And it’s Free! We have every flavour of headset – from cardboard to Magic Leap and a myriad of other toys to play with.

Access to the Hackstock playground is by password only, register on the festival website for the details.
#SFL19

Applaudience: Wild Rose blossoms under Shazam!

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wildrose.jpgWild Rose to bloom this weekend whilst Shazam! holds the Box Office top spot and the cinematic juggernaut, Avengers: Endgame, continues to dominate pre-sales, having already sold 865,000 tickets.

Entertainment One’s Wild Rose is forecast to be the underdog winner at this weekend’s Box Office, with the film expected to gross over £800,000. The delightful drama, starring Jessie Buckley as a Glaswegian with aspirations of Nashville, has received a number of strong reviews and great word of mouth from talker screenings, which has led to a surge in pre-sales.

According to cinema data experts Applaudience, the top two films remain unchanged this weekend, with Shazam! and Dumbo retaining the top spots, holding off Lionsgate’s latest blockbuster, Hellboy, which is expected to gross approximately £1.4m. It seems that the Box Office will be healthily spread this weekend, with the majority of films forecast to take between 550k – 850k.


1 – Shazam! – £2,700,000 – 2,900,000 (-30%)
2 – Dumbo  – £2,400,000 – £2,600,000 (-28%)
3 – Hellboy – £1,300,000 – £1,500,000 (New Entry)
4 – Captain Marvel – £840,000 – £940,000 (-23%)
5 – Pet Sematary – £790,000 – £890,000 (-46%)
6 – Wonder Park – £775,000 – £875,000 (New Entry)
7 – Wild Rose – £760,000 – £860,000 (New Entry)
8 – Us – £510,000 – £610,000 (-40%)
9 – Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun – £490,000 – £590,000 (-45%)
10 – Missing Link – £480,000 – £580,000 (-18%)

Avengers: Endgame has continued on its theatrical pre-sale rampage, with Applaudience forecasting that a staggering 865,684 tickets have already been sold as of 11am today. With an average ticket cost of £10.82, the Box Office has already reached £9,366,700.88, still with a whole two weeks until release!