|Century 21 Films lockdown phenomenon Nebula-75 is due to air early next year in Japan and via cinemas too. To celebrate, the Century 21 Films team have made a free preview episode available on Youtube that you can watch HERE. |
However, without the coronavirus situation of the past 20 months the series may never have been.
Intended to evoke a 1960s Supermarionation series that never actually existed, Nebula-75 began its life during the UK Coronavirus lockdown of 2020. When the team at Century 21 Films found their planned projects cancelled as a result of the global pandemic, they made the decision to attempt to produce something worthwhile using the resources they had to hand in the London flat where a number of them lived. Fortunately, thanks to their work on productions such as Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes, Endeavour, and UK television advertisements, they had numerous puppets, props and models to hand.
Nebula-75 was filmed by a crew of three who happened to already live together during a time when travel was made impossible, with other members of the Century 21 Films team lending their talents remotely. It was originally intended as a one-off production and premiered as a ten minute short, but the resulting film was received so warmly and passionately by online viewers that plans for further instalments were soon made. A full length series of half hour episodes were produced throughout the course of 2020, introducing new vehicles and guest characters.
Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the team have also been able to leave their flat in order to continue production in more suitable studio premises. The result has been a second series of episodes that expand upon the scope and ambition of the original run. Transcending its lockdown origins, Nebula-75 has evolved into a fully fledged Supermarionation production in its own right.
You can watch Season 1 of Neubula-75 on Amazon now and watch the first episode of Season 2 via Amazon Prime.
– Nebula-75 was created during the first UK lockdown and is intended to nostalgically evoke a 1960s series that never actually existed. It takes inspiration from the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson “Supermarionation” series of that era (Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet etc), while remaining its own unique entity.
– The series was created by Stephen La Rivière and Andrew T. Smith.
– Stephen and his two flatmates (his girlfriend Géraldine Donaldson and colleague Elliot Pavelin) filmed and puppeteered the first short film themselves in their small living room and used existing puppets from previous Century 21 Films Supermarionation productions.
– A couple of friends helped from outside – such as making the model of the Nebula-75 remotely and posting it to the flat.
– The voices of Commander Neptune and Lieutenant Solstice were delivered remotely from Canada. The rest were recorded in the UK.
– The sets were initially built onto the back of bookcases and dressed in vinyl and ordinary objects the team had laying around.
– The initial short film went live on YouTube and Facebook in May 2020 and received a huge response – at least a million views across different platforms – The team produced a second episode due to viewer demand and in response received an enquiry about buying from the Tohokushinsha Film Corporation in Japan. TFC have controlled Japanese rights to Thunderbirds and other Supermarionation shows for 50 years.
– BBC Front Row interviewed the team within the first three weeks which increased the series’ following. The team then turned Samira Ahmed into a puppet and she did the voice for the series’ Christmas episode. She later promoted the series on Channel 4’s Countdown.
– In a year Century 21 Films produced 8 episodes in the flat (by the second lockdown, Andrew was able to come to stay so the crew expanded to four). – The initial 8, plus a further 4 episodes produced recently outside of the flat, have been bought by Tohokushinsha Film Corporation to broadcast on Star Channel in Japan in Q1 of 2022.
– This is part of an overall campaign in Japan that showcases all of Century 21 Films’ new Supermarionation work including a theatrical release of Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes, and a broadcast of the documentary Century 21 Slough.
– The first episode of Nebula-75 will be shown at the cinema, along with three new 50th anniversary episodes of Thunderbirds that Century 21 Films produced in 2015.
– One of the four recently produced episodes has been directed by 90-year-old David Elliott, who directed on the original Thunderbirds series.
– David Graham – the 96-year-old voice of Parker in Thunderbirds – also provided a voice for Nebula-75. He played a character modelled on Thunderbirds director David Elliott to celebrate his 90th birthday.
– The series has spurned merchandise, including a DVD and Blu-Ray of the first series, and “Solar Smacks” badges.
|NEBULA-75 CHARACTER PROFILES: |
A lone man in uniform responsible for a crew of lively civilian recruits, Commander Neptune’s overriding desire is to get his shipmates home. In a vast and isolated patch of space, he grapples with the loneliness of command at the same time wondering if his destiny might actually lie amongst the stars.
Fastidious and knowledgeable, German Doctor Asteroid can sometimes care a little too much about the well-being of his patients. Even when distracted by his favourite snack, Solar Supremes, the Doctor’s heart is in the right place and whenever the situation calls for it, he bravely rises to the occasion.
A mysterious telepath from a race known as the Space Maidens, Athena is an unexpected arrival aboard the Nebula-75 and a guiding light in a dark corner of the universe. Kindly and enigmatic in nature, she uses her extraordinary powers to assist the crew when she can.
Ramshackle, rusty, and feisty, Circuit is nevertheless a valuable member of the Nebula-75 crew. Always at the ready, he is an all purpose robot capable of piloting the ship, combatting intruders and making the tea.
Organized, positive, and a little playful, Lt. Solstice multi-tasks to keep the ship running. A calming influence, she uses her knowledge of the crew to bring out the best in them whenever she is able.
Whatever the job, the crew of the Nebula-75 know they can turn to the dutiful Lieutenant Mercury for help. Wide eyed and enthusiastic, Mercury is equally at home on the bridge or in engineering and he aspires to some day be as capable an astronaut as his Commander.
|FILMMAKER PROFILES: Stephen La Rivière (Co-Creator, Writer, Director, Voice Actor), Andrew T. Smith (Co-Creator, Writer, Producer), Geraldine Donaldson (Voice Actor, Writer), Elliot Pavelin (Editor, Post Production Supervisor) |
STEPHEN LA RIVIERE
Stephen La Rivière is a co-founder of Century 21 Films Ltd and the co-creator and co-writer of Nebula-75. He serves as the series’ lead director and co-producer in addition to providing the English language voices of Doctor Asteroid, Lieutenant Mercury and other guest characters. He has written numerous publications both for England and Japan, including his book Filmed in Supermarionation, which offers a comprehensive history of the puppet productions of the team led by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. This in turn led to his 2014 feature documentary of the same name. In 2015, he oversaw Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes – creating three new episodes of classic-style Thunderbirds using the techniques employed during the 1960s.
ANDREW T. SMITH
Andrew is a co-founder of Century 21 Films and the co-creator and co-writer of Nebula-75. Andrew has acted as co-producer for the series in addition to overseeing the recording and editing of the English language dialogue tracks. His most recent documentary film, Cartoon Carnival, was released in 2021 and outside of production he has authored and co-authored books on film and television history.
A puppeteer, script-writer, actress and costume designer, Swiss-born Géraldine Donaldson moved to England to join the crew of Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes. For Nebula-75 Géraldine was responsible for the dressing, stringing and styling of the puppets, as well as lip-sync operating. She also oversaw all elements of the set design. In addition to puppet-wrangling and set-design, she performs the English language voice of Athena.
A puppeteer and post-production supervisor, Elliot Pavelin’s first job with Century 21 Films was on Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes and he has since worked on all their subsequent Supermarionation productions, including a Thunderbirds advert for the Halifax bank and the Endeavour TV series. He has turned his hand to many roles and for Nebula-75 he multi-tasked as the lead puppeteer, picture and sound editor as well as finding time to do visual effects work.
CENTURY 21 FILMS WEBSITE: www.century21films.co.uk
|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
|Lightbulb Film Distribution are pleased to share the official poster and trailer for upcoming meta-physical sci-fi thriller, Every Time I Die.|
The UK premiere took place at Grimmfest last year and soon audiences will be able to stream or download the film from the comfort of their own home.
After Sam (Drew Fonteiro “The Last Ship”) is murdered, his consciousness travels through the body of his best friend, Jay (Marc Menchaca “Ozark”), to protect him from his killer.
The film will be released across all major streaming and download platforms from October 26.
Commenting on the release, Matthew Kreuzer, Commercial Director at Lightbulb Film Distribution, said: “We are delighted to be bringing this enthralling, science fiction thriller to UK audiences. It’s without doubt my favourite independent genre film of the year. For fans of sci-fi, fantasy and horror, there is something for everyone. And it’s the kind of film that demands a second-viewing.”
Every Time I Die will be released on
Digital Download from October 26
On June 12, British indie title The Ascent (known as “Black Ops” in the US) will be available exclusively on BirdBox.Film on June 12th from 7pm.
Alongside the exclusive launch it will be the first film in history to have its premiere in virtual reality. This will be part of AltspaceVR‘s “The VR Film Festival”, with film fans being able to tune in at 7pm BST via the AltspaceVR app.
This groundbreaking premiere will include a Q&A with director Tom Paton, cinematographer George Burt and IndieWire’s executive editor Eric Kohn. To access the premiere on 12th, film lovers simply need to log into the AltspaceVR app and have access to an Oculus headset or similar.
The Ascent follows a group of mercenaries, who are sent to Eastern Europe in the middle of a civil war to retrieve intel. Shortly after the mission, the unit find themselves trapped on a never-ending stairwell; forced to climb or die. To survive, they must revisit their past sins if they ever want to get off.
It blurs the lines of action and horror, creating a visually unique cinematic experience. Practical effects, bone crunching fight sequences and existential dread are combined with time travel and big questions about the repercussions of violence and consequence. This was Tom Paton’s third film to premiere at the prestigious FrightFest film festival in London in August 2019.
BirdBox.Film, the UK streaming platform of choice for the premiere, is a branch of Goldfinch and recently started life with three channels of curated content for TVOD. It works to support young filmmakers and talent and this exclusive digital screening of The Ascent will mark the beginning of their expansion into horror and Sci Fi.
The film, directed by Tom Paton, features an all British cast and marks the feature film debut of National Television Award Winning actor and former X-Factor winner Shayne Ward, alongside Toby Osmond (Game of Thrones), Sophie Austin (Call The Midwife), Alana Wallace (Black Site), Samantha Schnitzler & Bentley Kalu (Wonder Woman).
Never one to rest on his laurels, Paton has announced that his fifth film and third with Goldfinch, “G-LOC”, is in post-production. Little is known about the film but it is set to star Stephen Moyer (The Gifted, True Blood), Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Aquaman). Ward, Osmond and Wallace will also return for the film.
Coventry based production company Mosley Studios and London production financiers Goldfinch have joined forces to bring this British Indie film to audiences in a groundbreaking yet safe way during the pandemic. With distributors and filmmakers seeking ways to keep their release schedules on track, and festivals such as We Are One are seeking to unite film lovers during this difficult time, VR may offer a new alternative. Despite the technology itself not being new, designing cinemas in virtual reality could allow those who aren’t able to walk the red carpet in person to share the experience as part of an online community. This will invite some of the 171 million active users of VR (February 2020 stats) to meet like-minded fans, chat freely and enjoy the social experience together.
UK Release date: 15th June
Director: Tom Paton
Cast: Shayne Ward, Toby Osmond, Sophie Austin, Alana Wallace, Samantha Schnitzler & Bentley Kalu.
Platforms: Birdbox.Film, Altspace VR (From June 15th – iTunes, Amazon, Sky Store, Sony, Xbox, Google Play)
Genre: Sci Fi/ Horror
Runtime: 108 minutes
Munro Films & Lightbulb Film Distribution are delighted to announce that the British independent sci-fi feature, Invasion Planet Earth, will have its UK release later this year.
A theatrical release date of 5th December has been set and the film will be released on Digital Download on 16th December, shortly followed by the DVD release on 30th December.
“After the death of his young daughter, Tom Dunn is a broken man. When his wife falls pregnant again, he cannot believe their luck. However, his joy is short lived, as on the very same day, the people of Earth become plagued with terrifying visions of the end of the world.
When a gigantic, all-consuming alien mothership appears in the sky and launches a ruthless attack on Earth’s cities, chaos and destruction follow!
Tom must find the strength and wisdom to save his wife and unborn child. However, first he must confront a shocking truth. A truth which threatens the key to the survival of the human race.
The ultimate war for Planet Earth is about to begin…”
The story of the production of the film is a remarkable one. A true passion project, Invasion Planet Earth has taken twenty years to make from inception to release.
The film, originally titled Kaleidoscope Man, is the brainchild of British filmmaker Simon Cox, who directed, co-wrote, edited, as well as supervised and produced the vfx. Taking inspiration from sci-fi classics such as Star Wars and The War of the Worlds, Simon began working on the film in the 90s, spending six years filming around the Birmingham area.
After years of pitching to the UK film industry and private investors, a small amount of money was raised which Simon used to produce a pilot and for concept art to be created. However, it soon became apparent that funding this movie in what was then, the traditional way, was not going to happen. In 2012, Simon took the bold decision to crowdfund the film using social media.
It took two years and seven campaigns for Simon and his team to raise a significant amount of money which enabled them to shoot around a third of the movie. These included a spectacular scene in Central Birmingham where nine hundred extras turned up, in an epic, War of the Worlds style battle scene.
Simon then found some investors who financed the rest of the movie. However, this took time and once the live action scenes were finally shot, the special effects took another two and a half years to complete. In total, the movie was in production for seven years with ten years before that in development. Such was the multitude of generous donors and patrons of this project; the film lists over 100 producers on IMDb!
Invasion Planet Earth will also include an end title song by Toyah Willcox (Jubilee, Quadrophenia) who also stars in the film. Matt Allsopp (Godzilla, Rogue One) provided original concept art for the film.
Both Munro Films and Lightbulb Film distribution were delighted to be releasing this testament to independent British filmmaking.
“Simon Cox had the vision and drive to make the kind of film he and sci-fi fans want to see. It’s the ultimate nostalgic homage and very effective,” says Munro Film’s managing director, Frank Smith. “There’s a clear fanbase, and Simon should also be applauded for engaging a community of fans for the film over the years, many of whom featured as extras in crowd scenes. They, along with sci-fi fans across the UK can now enjoy Invasion Planet Earth and we are very happy about that.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be releasing Invasion Planet Earth,” said Lightbulb’s Commercial Director, Matthew Kreuzer. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this film for the past few months with Simon and his team. What he has created over the past 20 years is a fantastic action / sci-fi film with a nod to the sci-fi programmes we used to watch in the 70’s and 80’s (Dr Who, Blake’s 7, Space 1999 and Buck Rogers). It has such a cool retro feel about it and yet he has combined this with strong CGI elements, bringing it up to the modern day.”
Ahead of the UK release, the cast and crew will be present at MCM Comic Con Birmingham on Sunday 17th November, where they will be on a panel on the main stage talking Behind The Scenes of Invasion Planet Earth. Shortly after, Simon Cox will also lead a workshop on Creating Special Effects on a Budget.
Invasion Planet Earth opens in UK Cinemas from 5th December and is available on Digital Download from 16th December and DVD on 30th December. For one night only on 5th December, cinema screenings will be followed by From Dream to Screen, a documentary featurette by Simon Cox.
Sir 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
FB & IG: @luccacomicsandgames;
Halflife Films & DUST are excited to announce that hit sci-fi short film DEEP CLEAN will premiere on DUST on 23rd May
Featuring a lead performance from Game of Thrones’ Paul Kaye, the film has been a festival hit, winning over audiences at festivals across the globe, from Frightfest Halloween and London Short Film Festival, to SF Indie’s Another Hole in the Head (Best Sci-Fi), Knoxville (Best Film & Director) to London’s Comic-Con, where it was awarded its very own panel.
DEEP CLEAN will also have a special preview screening ahead of the World Premiere of hit horror comedy Shed of the Dead at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival on Saturday 18th May.
DEEP CLEAN is the new supernatural comedy sci-fi from director/co-creator Matt Harlock (American: The Bill Hicks Story) and comic artist co-creator Krent Able (I Feel Machine, VICE, NME). Matt and Krent teamed up with Ben Wheatley’s regular SFX collaborator Dan Martin (Sightseers, Highrise, Free Fire, Alien Covenant) and Territory Studio, the VFX team behind Bladerunner 2049 and Ready Player One, to bring the unique world of DEEP CLEAN to life.
What if the council road crews you see causing traffic jams every day were not what you thought? Kicked out of school, 16-year-old Alex has to spend the day with his estranged Uncle on a work placement. What he doesn’t know is that Deep Clean is a secret council unit hiding in plain sight whose real job is… blocking up inter-dimensional portals!
Halflife Films said:
“Gunpowder & Sky’s commitment to finding new voices in the sci-fi/horror genres is a creating an exciting new space for filmmakers to have their work seen by a global audience. Halflife Films is thrilled to be holding Deep Clean’s online premiere on DUST, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Thoughts from DEEP CLEAN’s Co-Creators:
“From an original concept by comic artist Krent Able and then developed with Matt, it was very important to both of us that the characters start firmly in the ‘real world’, and then subvert that naturalistic set up – as if Mike Leigh or Ken Loach were making a horror film! Creating a slacker road crew who secretly battle interdimensional creatures from below was also a hardcore world-building exercise, but that was the challenge of this particular film – to create a fantastical world with rules and a mythology from scratch.”
Avengers: 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)
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
The 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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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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