Opening Night will see the Australian premiere of Equals, which sees maverick filmmaker Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Breathe In) take on his first sci-fi, with big screen superstars Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Kristen Stewart (Twilight) falling in love against all odds in an emotionally sterile utopia.
Making its only big-screen appearance in Australia, The Purge: Election Year is the third installment in the cult dystopian franchise whose brilliant central conceit sees a future society where one day a year citizens are allowed to break the law. In the latest film, our hero (Frank Grillo) must protect a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night! Perfectly timed to precede November’s US elections, this screening will allow audiences to live vicariously through the power of cinema.
Rupture puts forth the tried and tested combination of sci-fi and horror, with singular director Steven Shainberg (Secretary, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus) returning after a ten-year hiatus with this story of a mother (Noomi Rapace) kidnapped by a secret organisation intent on turning her into a monster! This tension-filled nightmare also stars Michael Chiklis, Kerry Bishe, Peter Stormare and Lesley Manville.
For the Love of Spock is a lovingly made access-all-areas documentary about Leonard Nimoy by his son Adam, with all the insight and sensitivity only an offspring could bring to a project. Our special presentation will mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and Trekkies of all ages are invited to celebrate by cosplaying at the screening!
The Similars owes a great debt to Rod Serling’s classic Twilight Zone, but in the hands of Mexico’s most exciting young filmmaker Isaac Ezban (‘the new Guillermo Del Toro’) this story of a rainy night in 1968 and a group of disparate people stuck at a bus depot is all kinds of freaky and enigmatic. The Similars will be presented at a late night session as befits this future cult film, and will be followed by a Skype interview with the filmmaker direct from Mexico!
Another cult film waiting to happen, This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy is not only a contender for the longest film title of all time but it is also a lovingly made New Zealand indie which is taking the sci-fi world by storm, winning Best Comedy at London and Boston Sci-Fi Film Festivals, Best Sci-Fi Film at Gencon and Best Independent Film at Starburst. Appropriate for its tongue-in-cheek story of three lads who are transported to a ‘50s sci-fi movie when they enter a booth at a fan convention, patrons will be encouraged to cosplay at this late night screening. Lead actor, co-writer and director Christian Nicolson will be flying in from New Zealand for the screening and will take part in a post-film Q&A!
These feature presentations will play alongside two sessions of the best short films from Australia and abroad.
Screening the best sci-fi from around the world isn’t the end of it! Saturday, October 22 will see free side events held at the cutting edge facilities at AFTRS in Moore Park, and will include snippets of 3 upcoming Australian sci-fi feature films screened and discussions with the filmmakers, and a workshop with concept illustrator/storyboard artist Tani Kunitake (Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Matrix) who not only provided the image that adorns the festival keyart, but is also in development on the highly ambitious sci-fi project Cerulean, which will form the basis of his presentation with the project’s producer, and actress, dancer and motion capture performer, Australian Dani Swan.
Closing Night and much more to be announced shortly.
A special AAA festival pass is available from here: https://www.ritzcinema.com.au/Shop/Ritz-Cinema-Online-Shop/Sci-fi-Film-Festival-Vip-Pass/2016-Sci-fi-Film-Festival-Vip-Pass