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Sci-Fi London Film Festival 2023

Entertainment

Sci-Fi London Film Festival 2023

Today the Sci-Fi London Film Festival 2023 launches its cosmic 23rd annual programme, which will run from Wednesday 31st May until Tuesday 6th June with seven days of fantastic film. It will showcase a fabulous line-up with 2 World Premieres, 10 UK Premieres, 6 World Short Premieres and 13 UK Short Premieres. Alongside the festival is also doing a classic screening of Peter Watkins’ THE WAR GAME with a live score!

Opening this year’s festival on 31 May is the UK premiere of the exciting Swedish blockbuster, UFO SWEDEN by Victor Danell. It’s 1996, and a group of misfits in Norrköping spend their time investigating UFO sightings in Sweden. They debunk 99 per cent of the claims, but the remaining one per cent fuels their passion.

Denise, a rebellious teenager whose father founded the group – and was supposedly abducted by aliens in the 80s – seeks their help to uncover the truth about her father’s disappearance. Discovering her father’s secret archives sheds new light on the mystery but there are forces that want to keep the information very hidden. UFO SWEDEN has a great script, impressive effects, and a brilliantly realised ’90s blockbuster feel; the lovechild of THE X-FILES and STRANGER THINGS.

The festival’s Closing Night on Tuesday 6th June at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, is the UK Premiere of THE BYSTANDERS, directed by Gabriel Foster Prior.

Ever wondered why shit happens to you despite your best efforts? Well, it might just be The Bystanders, screwing with your life because they are bored. Bystanders are invisible immortals supposed to act like guardian angels. Each Bystander is tasked with watching a human, but they have been recruited from the human world and are mostly bitter people with no friends; a bunch of misfits and loners. Into this comes new recruit Pete. He is being shown the ropes by his world-weary tutor Frank, who is mostly irritated by their subjects, and for fun suggests they swap their charges.

Starring comic Seann Walsh, and a brilliant cast of upcoming comedians and actors, including Scott Haran & Georgia Mabel Clarke. This is a superb sci-fi satire of modern life. Imagine THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU as an Ealing comedy.

Other major Premiere Galas this year include the World Premiere of OZMA. One night after another restless sleep Jeff, an insomniac haunted by the loss of his wife, discovers an alien jellyfish-like creature in the alley by his house. The creature communicates telepathically and persuades the reluctant Jeff to help it hide from the hostile forces on its trail.

With themes of loss, memory and meaning, this monochromatic film mixes experimental elements with nods to silent film, film noir and schlocky 1950s B-movies. It’s a dreamy film, its atmosphere heightened by the frequent appearance of musicians who provide a live musical commentary to the action.

The festival will also deliver an outstanding collection of international short films at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. The festival’s short programmes are supported by Adobe and new genre label, Action Xtreme, both of whom are helping the festival develop new talent through the 48hour film challenge.

This year also sees the return of the festival’s celebration of technology and art, HACKSTOCK. Curated in association with Playla.BZ and Mondo 2000, this three-day event will feature Kevin Mack’s latest VR project, the recycled Alien Choir, a Lego tower of Babel and comic fair and workshops.

Full programme details can be found on the festival website http://sci-fi-london.com

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