The 3rd Annual Psychedelic Film and Music Festival Announces Virtual Event

The festival will run from January 14-17, 2021.

By: Dec. 29, 2020

The 3rd Annual Psychedelic Film and Music Festival Announces Virtual Event

The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival has announced the full program for its third annual event, this year held virtually with a lineup of science fiction, horror, and fantasy films, music videos, and in-depth panel discussions. Screenings set to explore the altered states of consciousness and truth behind the vibrant and enduring psychedelic culture will run from January 14-17, 2021 and can be accessed on

The mission of the festival is to raise awareness about the psychedelic experience through media and meditative practices with an emphasis on helping audiences explore their innermost creativity and self-expression. "Psychedelic methods free us from our rigid mindsets," said Daniel Abella, the founder and director of the festival. "These experiences are produced by visceral art forms that force the viewer to step out of their comfort zone and explore the unknown so they can become stronger and feel more alive." Through its lineup, the event will showcase films that cinematically explore psychedelic experiences through abstract imagery, saturated colors, hyperreal dialogue and surrealistic landscapes. In addition, music videos invoke these experiences through various melodies and mantras that disorient and expand the consciousness of the listener.

Screenings begin on Thursday, January 14th with a collection of 'groovy' short films including Burning Man - The Build directed by Matthew Emmi that explores the art and culture of the Burning Man festival, and Flaming Chicken directed by Gerald Varney which examines the psychedelic 1960s memories of a San Francisco-bound plane passenger. The block also features Phoebe Parsons' Terror Fervor which draws upon the experimental films of the 1960s and 1970s to take viewers through a psychedelic non-linear journey, and Jil Guyon's Heat Wave Hallucination which transports the viewer into the world of vibrant colors and hypnotic sound. The night concludes with the documentary The People Who Suspend directed by Lukas Larson who sets out to study people who practice body suspension. On Friday, January 15th, a block of 'surrealistic' short films kicks off with The Chamber of Genesis directed by Konstantin Pavlenko which questions our existence through the use of unusual images. Further films include Circular directed by Collectif A BAo A Qou about a hermit who intends to create a man by the force of his dreams and impose it on reality, and the nightmarish Voices: Final Cut directed by Odd Magnus Grimeland about a man who is awakened from an uneasy sleep and is haunted by evil. The screening is followed by the Edgar Pera-directed feature Magnetic Pathways which follows a soul-searching man in an authoritarian-controlled Portugal.

A packed weekend schedule begins on Saturday, January 16th with short films that deal in 'myth, magick and madness.' Titles include the animated Demiurge directed by Ben Panfil about an overbearing creator of a new world, The Legend of Bryngolau directed by Amy Daniel about a birdwatcher whose search for a falcon takes a strange turn, and the music video Holy Water directed by Noor-un-nisa Touchon about the spiritual path to enlightenment. Next up is a block of shorts that tackle 'the mind revolution' which includes Pierre Ajavon's Fixing a Hole that uses NASA lunar sound recordings mixed with experimental electronic music, and Michael Ben Abu's Lucid about the vibrant correlation between dreaming and painting. Also presented are a pair of visual music collaborations by Jing Wang and Harvey Goldman including Strange Attractors and Uriel, both of which create synesthesia-like experiences where the audience is able to "see" the music and "hear" the visuals. A block of psychological horror follows with films such as Stew directed by Tommy Hallal about a suburban housewife who confronts an inner-darkness during a dinner with her family, and the stop motion The Funhouse Waltz directed by Carvin Knowles about an abandoned carnival funhouse where the sins of the past are doomed to be repeated. Then, the supernatural thriller Nina of the Woods directed by Charlie Griak closes out the night. The feature serves as a meditative take on the thriller genre and follows an aspiring actress and a documentary crew who encounter an ancient force while filming a supernatural-themed reality series.

On Sunday, January 17th, psychedelic animation takes center stage with films that include The Daily Heavy directed by Arturo Baston which follows the infiltration of a bacterium from outer space, and La Vuelta de la Polilla directed by Brian C O'Malley and Daniel A Peneng about a young shaman's discovery of a moth that holds the secret of transcendence. Then, a series of films display visionary landscapes with the presentations of Zareh Tjeknavorian's Embers of the Sun about the beauty of Armenia's prehistoric monuments, and Chris Myhr's Fathoms - The Weight of Smoke about the complex interrelationships between land, water, living things and air. The event also features a trio of music videos composed by Ava Lynch, a solo artist who blends new and old genres to create unique and stimulating sounds. The works include the January 16th screenings of Panic about a catatonic man who faces his inner demons, and Unbeliever about a man who rejects his religion but finds his heart, followed by Awakening about the voyage of transcendence on January 17th.

The festival's closing film will be the documentary Veterans Journey Home directed by Frederick Marx, which follows 12 military veterans participating in a 12-day ancient ceremony in the desert to transform their lives. This film selection continues the event's tradition of highlighting inspirational stories of veterans, who upon their return to civilian life, begin their pursuits of alternative treatments for their struggles with PTSD, addiction and suicide. "The festival feels an obligation to help our veterans by sharing stories of how many service members have recovered through psychedelic practices," said Abella who views the festival as a platform for helping audiences understand the mental health crisis affecting returning veterans and their families. "The emotional arc of veterans in these stories is wider than most people. After witnessing combat, many are left with a wound that won't heal through traditional channels. They are among the bravest of individuals and are willing to think outside the box to heal themselves."

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the festival has embraced a virtual presence as a means of reaching out to a global audience. "The psychedelic mindset understands that we are all connected," said Abella. "We as humans have a need to interact with others and that will always be an important part of the festival."