Here is a thing that has been bubbling away in the background for a bit and is now ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world. I’ll let the official statement do the heavy lifting:
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: One of the world’s most beautiful cities finally has a science fiction and fantasy film genre event to call its own, with the launch of the SYDNEY SCIENCE FICTION FILM FESTIVAL.
From November 19-21, 2020, the state-of-the-art facilities at the Actors Centre Australia (ACA) will host a wildly diverse screening schedule drawn from visionaries working in the field of speculative storytelling from Australia and around the world.
The inaugural Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival (SSFFF) will include 8 feature-film screenings, with each session including a curated short-film accompaniment. It all begins with the Opening Night screening and celebration on Thursday, November 19 within the beautiful surrounds of Sydney’s premiere inner-west venue, The Italian Forum at Leichhardt, and continues with two sessions on the evening of Friday 20th and a whopping five sessions on Saturday 21st.
The Founder and Festival Director is Simon Foster, who comes to the new role after three years as Program Director of SciFi Film Festival; he is also currently Festival Director of the Sydney leg of Monster Fest. “There is an enormous groundswell of support amongst the Sydney science-fiction community for an especially dedicated festival,” says Foster, “one that caters to broader tastes yet also services the most fringe elements of the genre.”
While the core of the 3-day event will be the presentation of cutting-edge science-fiction cinema, the SSFFF will also highlight the best speculative narratives in the field of art and photography, with planned exhibition space; engage with the future of science fiction cinema, with students from the ACA taking part in script-reading sessions; and, a special scifi-themed session of the ACA’s popular ‘In Conversation’ Q&A events, with a leading filmmaker offering insight into his creative process.
Deadlines for the 2020 are:
Earlybird Deadline: July 7, 2020
Regular Deadline: August 3, 2020
Late Deadline: August 23, 2020
Extended Deadline: September 15, 2020
Notification Date: September 28, 2020
The full program of the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival will be announced on October 12.
It’s all the work of the redoubtable Simon Foster of ScreenSpace, who asked me to be on the inaugural committee alongside Crystal Pettit (Programs Co-Ordinator, Screen Australia and co-host of the podcast, Spooky Bitch Gang) Virat Nehru (Digital Content Specialist, ACS and film writer/reviewer), and Anthony Kierann (General Manager, Actors Centre Australia), and I of course jumped at the chance. I’m a sci fi geek of many years standing, and I have Strong Opinions on how that genre fares in cinema, and what’s interesting and boring about it in the current clime, and where we should be looking for the next Cool Wave thereof. So, this should be fun.
The website is a work in progress, but should be up soon.
And that’s your lot.