Above image is from official 2018 festival poster “Popcorn & Lasers,” designed by tattoo & graphics artist David Poe
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Thursday, December 6
7:42pm Alien Nation (30th anniversary screening)
Graham Baker | USA | 91min | 1988
Writer: Rockne S. O’Bannon
Cast: James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp
Three years after 300,000 “newcomers” crash landed in the Mojave Desert, the aliens are adjusting to life as second-class citizens in Los Angeles. After a police homicide forces a hardened detective to work with a newly promoted newcomer, he finds a complex immigrant culture has developed in the shadows of society. There couldn’t be a timelier opportunity to screen a film that looks at how Americans treat otherness when it shows up on our doorstep. Science Fiction can force us to face ourselves in the mirror, even if the view isn’t pretty.
Rockne S. O’Bannon broke into television writing for AMAZING STORIES and THE TWILIGHT ZONE. After writing ALIEN NATION, he went on to create the SciFi cult classics seaQuest and FARSCAPE, as well as serve as Developer and/or Executive Producer on DEFIANCE and REVOLUTION and write for V and CONSTANTINE.
Friday, December 7th
4:30pm CYGNUS (Texas Premiere)
Hugo Félix Mercado | Mexico | 87 min
Writer: Carlos Alvahuante Contreras
Cast: Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Jorge Luis Moreno
An astronomer discovers a strange signal emanating from Cygnus. Things begin to get strange at the observatory, and he has to find out just what exactly it is that he has found.
4:40pm Space Docs (72 Min)
A New View of The Moon
Alex Gorosh & Wylie Overstreet | USA | 3 min
On the streets of Los Angeles, strangers get an up-close view of something familiar.
Cath Le Couteur | UK | 11 min
The hidden world of space junk.
Sputnik 2 or: Laika, Our Hero
Tom McNamara | USA | 4 min
In 1957, a Soviet street dog named Laika launched into space aboard Sputnik-2 and became the first animal to orbit the Earth. And truth of that trip has remained a state secret until now.
Adam D’Arpino | UK | 5 min
When we look for aliens, why do we always find ourselves staring back?
Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee | USA | 31 min
50 years after capturing the first image of the Earth from space, the Apollo 8 astronauts look back on that fateful voyage and the impact it’s had on the world since.
To Scale: The Solar System
Alex Gorosh & Wylie Overstreet | USA | 7 min
On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends illustrate our place in the universe.
The Search for Earth Proxima
Brett Marty & Josh Izenberg | USA | 10 min
Where do we go? Where do we go now? How about Alpha Centauri...
7:00pm Battlestar Galactica (40th Anniversary screening)
Defender of the universe Award
Richard A. Colla & Alan J. Levi | USA | 125 min | 1978
Writer: Glen A. Larson
Cast: Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene
After the destruction of the Twelve Colonies of Mankind, the last major fighter carrier leads a makeshift fugitive fleet in a desperate search for the legendary planet Earth. More than just a television pilot, “Saga of a Star World” was shot in widescreen, re-edited and released theatrically in Canada, Australia and some countries in Europe and Latin America before the Battlestar Galactica aired in the United States. Although he never received on-screen credit, Alan J. Levi took over direction of “Saga of a Star World” after Richard Colla was dropped several weeks into shooting.
Defender of the Universe, Alan J. Levi
The Defender of the Universe Award honors a cinematic star or mentor whose heroic actions help mold us into the future humans we aspire to be. In stories that examine what it means to be human, often in the face of rapidly developing technology, alternate histories or multi-galaxial space sagas where we are just one of the many players in a political landscape, SciFi heroes teach us who we are and what we value.
Alan J. Levi has directed of 350 hours of prime-time network television, including such SciFi staples THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1978), THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (1974), THE BIONIC WOMAN (1976), QUANTUM LEAP (1989), MISFITS OF SCIENCE (1985), THE INVISIBLE MAN (1975), PROBE (1988), VOYAGERS! (1982), LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (1994), and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1996). Alan also helmed other notable series, such as MAGNUM, P.I. (1980), DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN (1993), NCIS (2003), ER (2002), JAG (1997), COLUMBO (1971), and countless others.
Dec 8th, 4:50pm // Bonus Levi Screening!
A one-of-a-kind chat with Levi about his career as well as a secret selection from his past, hand-picked by the director himself.
7:30pm The Axiom (North American Premiere)
Multidimensional Monsters (SciFi/Horror)
Nicholas Woods | USA | 98 min
Writer: Nicholas Woods
Cast: Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro
A young woman and her friends travel into a National Forest in search of her missing sister. As the search progresses, they realize the trees may serve as a doorway to another dimension, and what has come through is not friendly.
10:00pm Diminuendo (Texas Premiere)
Technology with Unexpected Consequences
Adrian Stewart | USA | 106 min
Writers: Sarah Goldberger & Bryn Pryor
Cast: Richard Hatch, Chloe Dykstra, John Champion
A director’s life crumbled after his Hollywood starlet girlfriend Cello killed herself. He becomes obsessed with a robot designed to replicate his lost love after he’s offered an opportunity to direct the film of Cello’s life.
10:15pm I’ll Take Your Dead (Texas Premiere)
Chad Archibald | Canada | 83 min
Writers: Chad Archibald & Jayme LaForest
Cast: Aidan Devine, Ava Preston, Jess Salgueiro
A father provides for himself and his young daughter by disposing of dead bodies for criminals from the city. Just as he nearly has enough money to get his daughter away from this morbid lifestyle, one of the recently delivered bodies wakes up.
Saturday, December 9th
11:20Am Elijah & the Rock Creature* (US Premiere)
Jennifer Walden | Canada | 80 min
Writer: Jennifer Walden
Cast: Allie Dunbar, Jesse Wheeler, Cam Zimmer
A young boy gets lost on a camping trip, but befriends an extraordinary creature from the stars who tries to help Elijah find his way home.
*Open to the public, FREE for anyone under 15.
Elijah & the Rock Creature screens with:
Gustavo Teixeira | Brazil | 11 min
Writers: Gustavo Teixeira & Rodrigo Estravini
Dudu knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up. The problem is, he’s still a little afraid of his future patients...
12:00PM Born In Flames (35TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING)
Lizzie Borden | USA | 80 min
Writer: Lizzie Borden
Cast: Honey, Adele Bertei, Jean Satterfield
Ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, a progressive dystopia exists where minorities, gay rights organizations, and feminists should be further along than they are. Governmental preference and violence has forced these groups to take the revolution farther than they ever imagined. An indispensable, radical, and strangely timely manifesto on racism, sexism, and heteronormative culture in an alternative United States socialist democracy.
2:10pm SciFi shorts 1 -
Reaching for Beyond (87 min):
Louis Yin | China | 18 min
Writers: Aditya Rawal & Louis Yin
Sam and his Chinese immigrant grandfather Bo meet in an odd space-time meld between present day and 1943. Things get messy, and soon they need to save each other’s lives; in fact, Sam’s existence depends on it.
Colin West | USA | 18 min
Writers: Colin West & Corey Aumiller
Mac has been having a tough go of it after his wife (and co-host of their children’s science show) dies. With the help of his lonely teenage neighbor, he considers building a time machine to reunite with his lost love.
Alumni: WE WERE NOT MADE FOR THIS WORLD (2016).
Gabriel de Urioste | USA | 8 min
If she could just change the course of their last interaction, she could save their relationship.
Mark Kerins & Elliot Mayen | USA | 12 min
Writer: Elliot Mayen
A young woman can’t escape a recurring nightmare of losing her children. Why is it happening, and when will it stop?
Charlie Ainsworth | USA | 18 min
An examination of time travel from a vantage point rarely explored: those who will cease to exist because of changes made to the past by others.
Luis Tinoco Pineda | Spain | 15 min
The timelines of a space fighter pilot and the teenage sole survivor of a car crash converge in this meditation on grief and loss.
2:35pm Pulse (Texas premiere)
Personal Consequences of Future Technology
Stevie Cruz-Martin | Australia | 85 min
Writer: Daniel Monks
Cast: Caroline Brazier, Daniel Monks, Scott Lee
A gay disabled teenage boy changes into the body of a beautiful woman, so that he can be loved.
4:50pm Ascension (Texas premiere)
Otherworldly Possession (SciFi/Horror)
Ross Wachsman | USA | 86 min
Writers: Gregg Meller, Steven A. Mourning, & Ross Wachsman
Cast: Ana Mulvoy Ten, Christie Burke, Farrah Mackenzie
A troubled teenage girl’s life begins to unravel as she discovers the dark power that drove her mother to suicide has infected her older sister, driving her to do horrible and terrifying things.
7:00pm The Dead Center (Texas premiere)
Billy Senese | USA | 93 min
Writer: Billy Senese
Cast: Shane Carruth, Poorna Jagannathan, Jeremy Childs
A good-hearted hospital psychiatrist risks his job by treating an amnesiac patient who just wandered into the psych ward after waking up in the morgue. The doctor must decide if the evil that lives inside the man’s head is a threat to himself or other people. A suspenseful, eerily vague, and terrifyingly original twist on the psychological trauma trope, the film stars producer/Texas son/indie SciFi auteur Shane Carruth.
7:30pm The Wrong Todd (Texas premiere)
Rob Schulbaum | USA | 90 min
Writer: Rob Schulbaum
Cast: Jesse Rosen, Anna Rizzo, Sean Carmichael
Todd is having some issues with his girlfriend. After a thorny disagreement, he finds himself in a parallel universe, replaced in his own by his other self. Now Todd has to stop Todd from stealing his own girlfriend. Can he outsmart himself?
The Wrong Todd screens with:
9:45pm 2050 (Texas premiere)
Writer: Brian Ackley
Cast: Dean Cain, David Vaughn, Irina Abraham
In the near future, a married father of two stuck in a rut is shown a warehouse that makes custom androids for “human companionship.” It isn’t weird at all.
10:15pm Soul To Keep (Texas premiere)
Toying with Rituals
David Allensworth & Moniere | USA | 94 min
Writers: David Allensworth & Eric Bram
Cast: Aurora Heimbach, Sandra Mae Frank, Conor McKenna
A group of friends travel to an old country house to party. After exploring the old house they find a room in the basement and decide to host a séance. Enter Beelzebub and his hunger for human souls.
Sunday, December 9th
12:00pm Scifi shorts 2 - Electoral Collage (80 min):
Alexander Frank | Germany | 21 min
Norman is in a lot of debt from student loans. He can pay it off by letting a client inhabit his body for 10 years. Alas, the transfer doesn’t go quite as planned.
Cidney Hue | USA | 8 min
A woman is subjected to a horrifying virtual reality experience before making a difficult decision.
Alumni: ODESSA (2014).
Emily Limyun Dean | USA | 15 min
Amidst a changing world and growing tensions between humans and robot domestic workers, A.I. Andromeda discovers how far she’ll go to retain her hard-won humanity.
Larry McKee | USA | 6 min
Writer: Robert Jauregui
Five minutes in the life of two salvage yard workers who provide a disturbing energy source to clients.
Hiroki Yokoyama | UK | 10 min
In this not-too-far-from-present-day social commentary, ex-cons are having a hard time getting a fair shake.
Phil Bucci | USA | 3 min
The time has come for a young woman to escape the violence of her home life. But doing so is a little complicated.
Alumni: PAUL’S BAD DAY (2017); SPECIAL FORCES (2016).
Stephanie Donnelly | USA | 19 min
Penny’s boyfriend has been acting weird ever since he took a tour of the mysterious science lab in town. But she doesn’t have time for his changes or rumors of the “mysterious” new superhero in town – she has a science fair to win.
12:10pm Artist Depiction (World Premiere)
Brett Ryan Bonowicz | USA | 82 min
Conceptual artists Don Davis, Charles Lindsay, and Rick Guidice have helped bring NASA projects to life. Their incredible pioneering artwork, which helped define the aesthetics of futurism and space travel, is ubiquitous; and yet these artists have always been hidden behind the scenes. Until now.
Alumni: CLOSER THAN WE HINK (2017);THE PERFECT 46 (2014).
2:30pm Precognition (North American premiere)
Technology with Unexpected Consequences / Dystopian Societies
Luke Tedder | UK | 107 min
Writer: Luke Tedder
Cast: Adam J. Bernard, Vanessa Russell, Jessica Andrews
In a post-apocalyptic future, the only thing holding society together is a shadowy agency that manipulates memories. James begins to have memories of events he has never experienced, and his attempts to unravel those mysteries lead him to some shocking revelations.
2:40pm White Chamber (Texas Premiere)
Paul Raschid | UK | 89 min
Writer: Paul Raschid
Cast: Shauna Macdonald, Oded Fehr, Amrita Acharia
The United Kingdom. Soon. Civil war rages. A woman wakes up in a blindingly white cuboid cell. Using its sophisticated functionality, her captor tortures her for information; information she claims not to have - or does she?
5:05pm The Fare (World premiere)
D.C. Hamilton | USA | 82 min
Writer: Brinna Kelly
Cast: Gino Anthony Pesi, Brinna Kelly, Jason Stuart
A cabbie picks up a young woman, only to have her completely disappear from his back seat. In a panic, he resets his meter and is brought back to the moment she climbs into his cab. The two are stuck together in a seemingly endless cab ride that will change their lives forever.
5:15pm DeadTectives (Texas premiere)
Tony West | USA | 92 min
Writer: Tony West
Cast: Martha Higareda, Chris Geere, Tina Ivlev
A phony group of paranormal investigators travel to a haunted house in Mexico to attempt to save their television show. Once the house reveals that it is truly haunted, the group must come together to figure out what the house wants and how to actually send evil spirits back to hell.
7:40pm Encounter (world premiere)
Closing Night Film
Paul J. Salamoff | USA | 92 min
Writer: Paul J. Salamoff
Cast: Luke Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Tom Atkins
A group of friends uncover an otherworldly object in a rural f ield, which they soon discover holds greater secrets than they could imagine. A nod back to classic B-movies of the 60s and 70s, this simple setup allows for a much deeper emotional story than would be expected, exploring the human will in the face of grief and loss.
Encounter screens with:
David Michael Yohe | USA | 7 min
Writers: Christopher Stein & David Michael Yohe
A young woman is faced with a nightmarish reality when aliens begin to take over everything (and everyone) she holds dear.
8:00pm Under Worlds shorts - Unexpected Dangers (96 min):
Chris McInroy | USA | 6 min
Just be cool, man.
Heath C Michaels | USA | 17 min
Cass and Jules’s life becomes a literal hell after they discover a portal to their house – and themselves - in countless other dimensions.
Jake Jarvi | USA | 1 min
It’s less confusing this way
Kevin Sluder | USA | 13 min
Edgar Allan Poe meets 9-TO-5 in this tale about Shelby, who’s ready to nail her work presentation if only she can stop thinking about the horrific crime she committed the night before.
Michael Escobedo | USA | 13 min
Alice has made some mistakes, but is she really the “demon” that her ultra-Christian girlfriends say she is?
Nic Alderton | UK | 11 min
Our hero should know better than to sell his soul to the devil. And he really shouldn’t be so surprised when things take an unexpected turn for the worse.
Charles A. Pieper | USA | 16 min
Chris is really not dealing well with the birth of his first child. But how can his wife, Sophie, ignore the fact that their child is alien and, frankly, pretty scary-looking? Something’s not right here.