The 2019 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has announced the award winners for its seventh annual event which featured a lineup of screenings, premieres, panels and virtual reality held in honor of acclaimed novelist Philip K. Dick. The festival was held as a bi-coastal gathering in New York and California with eleven films recognized for their distinctive filmmaking styles and quality storytelling.
“Holding the festival on both coasts contributed to a sense of connection to Philip K. Dick,” said founder and director Daniel Abella. “It was a fitting honor to hold the event in communities respected for their cultural influence.” Following two dates in Queens and Manhattan, the festival traveled to Los Angeles, the city and year of the 1982 film Blade Runner based on Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and Santa Ana which served as the writer’s final residence. “These are cities that resonate well with PKD’s work,” said Abella. “Through well attended screenings, we raised awareness of his life and created memorable experiences for all.”
The festival served as a platform for the science fiction genre’s most creative talent often unrecognized in mainstream storytelling. “Our festival is a community because the outsider feels at home,” said Abella of the event’s commitment to diversity and equality. “We value the importance of work from all cultures, genders and backgrounds and are proud to have screened close to 40 percent of films directed by women and minority filmmakers.”
Noting Philip K. Dick’s ability to connect with readers through political, technological and social themes, the festival highlighted the critical narratives of its official selections. “In a world with disinformation, surveillance and paranoia, PKD showed us that science fiction is the science of tomorrow,” said Abella. “Our films show what the world will look like in the near future and more than any other writer, PKD offers a way out of this nihilism by affirming the resilience of the human spirit.”
Congratulations to the award winners of The 2019 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival:
BEST PHILIP K. DICK FEATURE
Volition (2018) — World Premiere
Director: Tony Dean Smith
Run Time/Country: 101 min, Canada
Synopsis: Blending genres, this mind-bending sci-fi thriller about a man afflicted with clairvoyance who tries to change his fate when a series of events leads to a vision of his own imminent murder. But as he sets out to avoid his certain death, he comes to see that his pre-sentient condition is not quite what it seems. Starring Adrian Glynn McMorran (Arrow), Magda Apanowicz (The Green Inferno) and Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing).
BEST SCIENCE FICTION FEATURETTE
Destroyer of Worlds (2018)
Director: Samual Dawes
Run Time/Country: 44 min, UK
Synopsis: A precocious teenager must reluctantly leave his life in 1954 behind when his father makes the most devastating discovery to date: Leap Theory.
BEST HORROR FEATURE
The Dark Red (2018)
Director: Dan Bush
Run Time/Country: 101 min, USA
Synopsis: A young woman is committed to a psychiatric hospital and claims her newborn was stolen by a dark cult.
BEST PHILIP K. DICK SHORT ADAPTATION
Beyond the Door (2018)
Director: Em Johnson
Run Time/Country: 20 min, USA
Synopsis: A mother brings home a cuckoo clock to decorate the baby’s room, unbeknownst that the cuckoo clock has the ability to love and hate just like humans. The cuckoo clock tests the couple’s love by mimicking the presence of their deceased son.
BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT
I Am the Doorway (2018)
Director: Simon Pearce
Run Time/Country: 20 min, UK
Synopsis: After a journey to investigate desolate Pluto, an astronaut returns home a shattered man. He sees eyes forcing their way through the skin of his hands, eyes that distort his friends and the landscape itself into monstrous visions. Believing himself the doorway to alien invasion and gruesome murder, he must take desperate action. Based on the short story by Stephen King.
BEST ESCHATON, SINGULARITY AND BEYOND SHORT
Mise En Abyme (2018)
Director: Edoardo Smerilli
Run Time/Country: 11 min, Italy
Synopsis: An eccentric and aristocratic gentleman devotes most of his time to a bizarre activity. Obsessed by beauty, he wanders everyday in the wood nearby the city, hunting the most rare butterflies. Once captured, he frames them and put in a massive and disturbing collection. He will soon realize to be himself part of a bigger collection.
BEST PERSON OF COLOR SCI-FI SHORT
Director: Dempsey Tillman
Run Time/Country: 13 min, USA
Synopsis: An emotionally detached husband (with a child on the way) gets a rude awakening when aliens invade his home and target his family.
BEST HORROR SHORT
Post Mortem Mary (2017)
Director: Joshua Long
Run Time/Country: 10 min, Australia
Synopsis: A girl and her mother run a post mortem photography business in 1840’s Australia.
Nobody Dies in Longyearbyen (2017)
Director: David Freid
Run Time/Country: 9 min, Norway
Synopsis: Permafrost in a northern island of Norway is affecting Global Seed Vault, infectious diseases like anthrax, influenza and global warming.
Uncle Griot (2018)
Director: Paul Charisse
Run Time/Country: 6 min, UK
Synopsis: A young girl takes her uncle for a walk.
Director: Garcerón Alejo
Run Time/Country: 2 min, Argentina
Synopsis: Monster robots in a car junkyard battle it out.