Philip K. Dick, who dared to dream electric dreams, wrote the novel that created the BBC series The Man in the High Castle. He also wrote the books that the films Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and Total Recall were based on. Dick is best known for the science fiction masterpiece Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which was the basis behind Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic Blade Runner. The innovative and influential writer will be the center of the ﬁfth annual Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival from May 25-30, 2017.
“I am very excited to present this year’s ﬁfth annual festival in our home of New York City. The lineup includes ﬁlms from throughout the world and represents talent across all backgrounds and beliefs,” Daniel Abella, the founder and director of the festival, said in a statement.
“Science ﬁction continues to entertain but also inform us about current and future trends and it is our mission to bring together likeminded people tied by a common purpose to remain human in a world of progressive dehumanization.”
The timing couldn’t be more fortuitous. Dick’s stories will soon be streamed in a “hugely ambitious” 10-part anthology series based on his short stories Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams for Amazon. The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival will spotlight over 100 ﬁlms, exclusive premieres, discussions, virtual reality demonstrations and celebratory gatherings.
“Philip K. Dick’s message is that in spite of forces marshaled against the human spirit, both political and technological, humanity can prevail if we ﬁnd the will and determination to pave a better future. This festival represents his voice,” Abella said.
“Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.” Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was one of the 20th century’s most profound novelists and writers within the science ﬁction community. His exploration, analysis and beliefs led to the publishing of 44 novels and 121 short stories.
Dick’s enormous library of works led to several ﬁlm and television adaptations including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Radio Free Albemuth (2010), The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Total Recall (2012) and Amazon’s series The Man in the High Castle (2015).
The writer’s enormously effective views composed of ﬁctional universes, virtual realities, technological uprising, dystopian worlds and human mutation foresaw a signiﬁcant observation at the current state of government and contemporary life.
“Sentient robots have been a classic science fiction trope for decades, and with the popularity of works like Her, Ex Machina, and Westworld, they’re not going away anytime soon,” reads the description of one of the many panel discussions that will be held.
The festival supports “freethinking ﬁlmmakers equipped with the knowledge of our world, brave enough to see beyond the barriers of existence and who give to an art form that unites the masses.”
The fest opens Thursday, May 25 at the Lovecraft Bar NYC (50 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009). The Pre-Festival Filmmakers Reception starts at 7:00 p.m. and runs to midnight.
“A special reception honors the ﬁfth annual ﬁlm festival’s anniversary and celebrates its lineup of indie cinema’s most visionary ﬁlmmakers,” reads the official announcement. The gathering, hosted at one of the city’s most lively and atmospheric establishments, is open to all ﬁlmmakers, guests and pass holders.
Among the films:
Monochrome (2016), directed by Kodi Zene. Synopsis: Traded and sold as currency, the outcast people known as “Hues” are hunted down in a black and white world.
The Plague Doctor – Trailer (2014) Director: Emanuele Mengotti. Synopsis: Upon being called to care for an elderly man, a young doctor ﬁnds himself trapped in deranged visions mixing his reality with the obscure legend of an ancient Italian mask and the echoes of a timeless love.
2BR02B: To Be or Naught to Be (2016) Director: Marco Checa Garcia. Synopsis: Set in a dystopian future where population is strictly controlled, a father waits for his children to be born. In a deserted hospital waiting room, one man must ask himself exactly what he is willing to do to give his children a chance at life, any life at all.
FTL (2017) — North American Premiere Director: Adam Stern. Synopsis: A lone astronaut testing the ﬁrst faster-than-light spacecraft travels farther than he imagined possible.
Sociopaths (2016) Director: A.T. Run Synopsis: A girl encounters an android on the street. She ﬁnds something strange about the experience and decides to follow the android to give it a “message.”
The Plan (2016) Director: Pierre Teulières. Synopsis: In an isolated mansion, a creature follows the orders of his master in order to accomplish a plan that will change the world. Meanwhile, a desperate father is looking for his missing daughter.
Olfactory (2016) Director: Christopher. Synopsis: Olfactory is a system that allows users to re-experience memories and when an app programmer hacks the system to alter his memories he loses his grip on reality.
Anamnesis (2016) Director: Sebastien Tobler. Synopsis: A brilliant neuro-cyberneticist attempts to rehabilitate her lost lover who, unable to feel emotions violently questions his existence in a reality that is never what it seems.
Entropy (2016) Director: Tim Cahn. Synopsis: A spaceship travels beyond Earth.
Feature Documentary Time: 8:00pm – 10:00pm The Future Is Planning a Farewell Tour (2017) Director: Milton Moses Ginsberg. Synopsis: Presenting clips from past and present science ﬁction ﬁlms and interviews with members of the scientiﬁc and political communities, the acclaimed editor and director of Coming Apart (1969) and The Werewolf of Washington (1973) examines if these ﬁlms are just entertainment or predictions of humanity’s future and demise.
Animated Sci-Fi Shorts Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm WeiTing InTheSky (2016) Director: Bob White. Synopsis: Imagine a weak signal containing an alien movie from outer space. When threatened a pair of metallic beings strike back.
Remote Viewing Short Documentary + PKD Talks Series Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm A Life Gone Wild (2016) — World Premiere Director: Maryanne Bilham-Knight. Synopsis: A biopic of visionary artist and writer Ingo Swann, the “father of remote viewing,” the CIA’s paranormal spying program and longtime friend of Philip K. Dick. Swann’s life on the frontier of the paranormal included creating the Stargate Project, “psychic probes” of Jupiter, Mercury, the Moon and Mars which detailed many features that came to be veriﬁed years later by NASA. Drawing on archives and new interviews, the ﬁlm is also an exploration of the nature of reality as perceived via the six senses of the world’s most-tested psychic.
The Tomorrow Paradox (2016) — NYC Premiere Director: Bruce Wemple. Synopsis: A young insomniac’s black-market sleep aid sends his mind time traveling one day into the future where he is the suspect in the disappearance of a girl he hasn’t met yet.
Remember (2016) Director: George Kacevski. Synopsis: A virtual reality sci-ﬁ ﬁlm exploring humanity’s relationship with technology and its inﬂuence on our reality.
The End of the Lonely Island (2016) — East Coast Premiere Director: Renchao Wang. Synopsis: A girl named comes to a lonely island to save the world in less than 24 hours as men in black are chasing her. What does she bring with her and how could she save mankind from the supernova explosion?
Megellan (2017) Director: Rob York. Synopsis: After NASA picks up a trio of mysterious signals from within our own solar system, an astronaut is dispatched on a multi-year solo mission aboard the Magellan spacecraft to investigate the sources.
Philip K. Dick Fest will take place at:
THURSDAY, MAY 25 – Filmmakers Reception (50 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009).
FRIDAY, MAY 26 – The Museum of Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106). Block One: International Sci-Fi Shorts Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
SATURDAY, MAY 27 – The Soho Playhouse
SUNDAY, MAY 28 – The Soho Playhouse
MONDAY, MAY 29 – The Producers Club
TUESDAY, MAY 30 – Cervantes Institute
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival launched in 2012 as New York City’s ﬁrst festival of its kind.
Organized by individuals and ﬁlmmakers who understand the difﬁculties and challenges of presenting a unique narrative in a corporate environment, the festival embraces original concepts and alternative approaches to storytelling in the form of independent science ﬁction, horror, supernatural, fantasy, metaphysical and virtual reality ﬁlms.
Since 2013, the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has held international gatherings in Lille, France, Łódź, Poland and Cologne, Germany and many screenings throughout the year. For more information on the festival held for ﬁlmmakers by ﬁlmmakers, visit thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com.