Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Makes West Coast Debut

Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Makes West Coast Debut

The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, the annual festival that honors legendary novelist Philip K. Dick through the dynamic power of Science fiction film, is returning for its seventh outing with a full schedule of events. Festivities begin on Thursday, March 14th in Los Angeles with the city serving as a prime destination to bring the festival. "Blade Runner is set in L.A. in 2019," said founder and director Daniel Abella when referring to the 1982 adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? "There is no better honor than by holding the festival in the very city and year depicted in one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time." Screening titles include Matthew Evan Balz's Corvus, which follows a woman's perilous efforts to build a machine capable of hypnosis and the depiction of EXTANT technology in Emily Dean's Andromeda about an android's awakening of human emotions. Closing the night is Josh Gibson's atmospheric Pig Film about a woman's work on a hog farm during the impending end of the world.

The festival then opens in Santa Ana, CA from Friday, March 15th through Sunday, March 17th. Essential films include Unzipping, the cinematic directorial debut of actress and writer Lisa Edelstein about the poignant unfastening of a marriage and Star Trek veteran Walter Koenig's confrontation with fate in Michael Baker's Who is Martin Danzig? Holding its World Premiere is Tony Dean Smith's mind-bending thriller Volition about a clairvoyant man's quest to avoid his own murder and the U.S. and L.A. Premiere of Sarah K. Reimers' Bitten about a dog's rabid night of risk and adventure. Dive Odyssey kicks off a lineup of feverish documentaries as Janne Kasperi Suhonen takes viewers on an absorbing aquatic journey and Colin Ramsay and James Uren decipher what makes "good" artificial intelligence in the dawn of ethics and technology in Good in the Machine. The festival will run in partnership with Media Arts Santa Ana (MASA), a non-profit organization that supports its community's cultural empowerment through special resources and initiatives. Organizers planned the event as a divine salute to its namesake, a resident of the city in his final years where he wrote several of his last major works. In addition, gatherings were held in New York City on March 7th and March 9th.

The event will also feature a more inclusive brand of filmmaking with 31 percent of the official selections directed or co-directed by women and minority filmmakers. Many films are seen from the perspectives of racially and gender diverse characters. "There is a new freshness entering the genre," said Abella, who curated an equality-driven showcase of films from the emerging talent strengthening the industry. "Science fiction is based on exploring the 'other' and no one is more qualified than those groups who have been marginalized to tell their story using the tools of sci-fi."

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