The seventh edition of the Future Gate festival of sci-fi films runs from January 29 to February 2 at Prague’s Lucerna cinema. The festival will bring 10 new films and some classics from the past. The theme this year is cyberpunk. All films will be English-friendly.
“Cyberpunk culture in cinema often points the mirror of modern society. The technique here is not only used for the benefit of individuals, but is often misused for greater control of the population, to restrict personal or social freedom. We would like to draw attention to current and possible future problems related to modern technologies and their possible misuse,” festival organizer Filip Schauer said.
The festival will have guests, with screenwriter Chips Hardy as the highlight. Together with his son, actor Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Venom) worked on BBC One’s drama series Taboo. Chips Hardy will lead a discussion on screenwriting called “Dislocation and Disruption: screenwriter tools for the future.
Hardy will give a lecture on screenwriting called “Dislocation and Disruption: screenwriting tools for the future.” He is currently working on a script for a sci-fi film based on Karel Čapek’s novel War with the Newts and will also head up the three-member jury that selects the best of the competing new films. There will also be a viewer prize.
Composer and musician Jozef van Wissem will also be a guest of the festival. His soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive won the Cannes Soundtrack Award in 2013. He will present his new album called Ex Mortis at a concert in Prague on February 4 at the Czech Museum of Music.
The opening film is Little Joe (Malý Joe), set in a laboratory that is using new genetic engineering techniques to create a flower whose aroma creates a feeling of happiness. Emily Beecham won the award for Best Actress at Cannes for her role as a scientist.
Also in the competition is Color out of Space (Barva z vesmíru), starring Nicolas Cage. The film, based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, is a psychedelic look at the effects of a meteorite that carries an alien presence.
The Last Sunrise (Poslední úsvit), a low budget film from China, shows us a world based on solar power when the sun suddenly vanishes and scientists look for the last rays.
Rounding out the competition is Vivarium, starring Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg living in a strange suburb; Synchronic, featuring Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie as rescue workers tracking down a new and dangerous drug; and H0us3, a Spanish film about a reunion of three people who studied at a computer academy.
There are also four more new films and a package of shorts playing out of competition. Retrospective films include the Japanese cult films Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and Tetsuo, plus Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 version of Total Recall.
Six documentaries cover topics ranging from the first moon landing in Apollo 11 to the anonymous people who monitor and remove images on social media in The Cleaners.
The festival will end with a symphonic concert on February 2 in the Lucerna cinema by the Prague Film Orchestra, with music from Alien, Star Wars, Transformers and other films. The concert will be dedicated to the memory of film editor Terry Rawlings, who was a guest of the first edition of the Future Gate Festival.