10 September 2014

Space Cat Hob


A genetically engineered flying cat (yup) crash lands on a planet only to find that he is surrounded by more even more danger than he has just escaped.  Will he survive this new hostile environment?  This animated short was created by Liok, a Paris based concept artist and independent film maker.  Incredibly it was done with a zero budget but completed through sheer time and love, after two years of work.  It was worth it!

6 September 2014

Dark Side of the Earth


Something has gone wrong with the solar system – so badly wrong that it has been kept a secret from the vast majority of people. Yet one scientist is determined that the world learns the truth before it is too late. Written and directed by Aćim Vasić, this is very inventively done – a single stream of consciousness from a desperate man on the run with only seconds to get his message out.

21 August 2014

Abiogenesis


Abiogenesis is the natural process of life arising from non-living matter such as simple organic compounds.

In this breath-taking science fiction spectacle, a strange mechanical device lands on a desolate world and uses the planet to undergo a startling transformation, that has profound implications for an entire galaxy. It was created by Richard Mans.

25 July 2014

The Collector’s Gift


A young girl stumbles across a chest left behind by the mysterious collector many years before. What she has discovered may change her world forever.  This is a story with a simple premise (and let’s face it, that’s always the way with the best ones).  Created by Ryan Kravetz during his time at the University of Southern California it will come as no surprise that this has been included in over 25 festivals and screenings around the world.  It’s just lovely.

8 June 2014

Cough


Set in a post-infectious society on the verge of a collective breakdown, Cough (directed by Jason Kempnich) features the social effects of a deadly virus on just a few individuals.  When food shortages during the pandemic force recently widowed George to drive far from home to survive in search of food,  a simple purchase of rations derails when he stumbles upon a Shopkeeper's secret, placing all of them in mortal jeopardy.

25 April 2014

B-Class Cultural Heritage


An urban skateboarder comes to rest on a manhole and is informed, via his cell phone that he has broken the rules. It seems the manhole is a B-Class Cultural Heritage (B級文化遺産) object and attacks of a lethal nature will be launched against him for 3 minutes. Goodness knows what would have happened if the manhole had been A class! Starring Junya Kasuaga and written and directed by Yuji Harui this is great – if dangerous – fun.

18 April 2014

Honor Is Everything


A young man finds an abandoned briefcase and its contents – a pair of gloves – enable him to stop and start time.  This science fiction short, directed by Mahmut Akay was created for the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge.

I have to say I am impressed with what is coming out of this competition, particularly as all the shorts were made in just two days…

6 April 2014

The Record Keeper


At some point in the future we will take to the stars and unless we develop warp drive (or something like it) then to complete the journey those undergoing it will have to be put in to a state of suspended animation.  The Record Keeper is a talking head style slice of science fiction where a single one of these stellar sojourners tells his story.  Written and directed by Dave Bundtzen it stars Adam Venker as the melancholy record keeper.

1 April 2014

Shifter


Los Angeles - 2023. James Striker is on the verge of bringing down the oppressive government that has crushed all freedom in the United States in Shifter, a short live action science fiction movie by the Hallivis Brothers. But before he can take them on, Striker must get past a homicidal drone and an elite squad of EFT soldiers. His only advantage is the SHIFT, a process that allows Striker to transfer his mind into an identical clone body. New body, Same mission: Bring the whole system down.

27 January 2014

The End


Science fiction comes in many forms and The End is different in a number of ways, not least because of its gentle pace, understated narrative and lack of hi-tech gadgets. And I like fast paced sci-fi full of thingamajigs that do cool things.  Yet that notwithstanding, I found this film, written and directed by Ted Evans (no relation) one of the most touching and thought-provoking shorts I have seen for a while.

The film starts in the past and ends over thirty years from now.  It charts the lives of four young people from 1987 – 2046.  They are different: not telepathic mutants or alien fifth columnists, however.  They are deaf.  The End envisages a cure for deafness and then follows the consequences of such on the lives of the protagonists and, indeed, on deaf culture.

Created in a documentary manner (very similar to those you see which visit their subjects once every decade or so) the four children grow to adulthood and their decision whether or not to take The Treatment has a profound effect on their lives.  The End raises questions not only about the nature of disability but our compassion as a species and our willingness to cleanse what frightens or disturbs us.

7 December 2013

Servo


A bored young businessman acquires the latest technological advancement – Servo.  The robot servant, however, isn’t quite up to the job but nevertheless an unlikely friendship is struck up.  Yet the company plans to rectify the fault and it looks as if the fun might be over… This sweet and funny short was created by students at the Kaywon School of Art and Design in Korea for their moving image graduation project. And altogether, it all adds up to a rather fine bromance.

17 November 2013

Synchronicity


Take some very talented animators and state of the art software using a head rig compatible with all leading game engines. Then take producers Side, 3Lateral and CubicMotion.  Finally, take a wonderful British actress (Lydia Leonard, left, as she is in this short and in real life) and you get Synchronicity. It’s a wonderful vehicle to show the depth of emotion realizable by capturing and animating the finer details of a performance. Plus it makes for great, enigmatic science fiction.

9 November 2013

Azarkant


In the future, a team of astronauts are sent on a ten year journey to a distant planet to find new life. On their way, they encounter a large, abandoned spaceship that is drifting in the orbit of a mysterious planet. They board the ship with anticipation of the great discoveries to uncover inside. However, they do not know what terrible secret this spacecraft keeps - a threat which is far bigger and scarier than anything they could have imagined. Azarkant is a film by Andrey Klimov.

25 October 2013

Mission


When the first mission to Mars takes place one of the astronauts not chosen to go has to face up to the prospect of being left behind.  It is his young son, however, who must carry the greatest burden.  This moving character-driven piece, strikingly shot with great performances slides through its 20 minutes gracefully and engagingly.  It was directed by Mark Buchanan and stars Emun Elliott, Peter Strathern and Siobhan Redmond.

20 October 2013

Run (You Clever) Boy Run


So, just over a month to go until the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.  The BBC showed a specially made one minute plug for the show, which will be broadcast simultaneously throughout the known universe on 23 November.

However, if you are any sort of fan you will have seen that.  Here, then, is a clever compilation of clips held together by Run Boy Run – by Woodkid. Vid by Eva Rechi.

14 September 2013

Handymartian's Illustrated Aliens


Freelance animation director Andy Martin decided a number of months ago that his next illustration project would encompass life not of this world.  As such, Handymartian’s (see what he did there?) Illustrated Aliens features a new extra-terrestrial every day – you really need to visit his Illustrated Aliens Tumblr site to see them in all their glory. 

In terms of the animation side of the project, so far there are eight planets in the collection, each featuring its own weird and wonderful menagerie.  If Planet One doesn’t – in its sublime silliness - make you smile, then probably nothing will.   After your first planet, we’re pretty sure that you will be hooked. So, here are the others…




30 August 2013

Kernel


In the not to distant future a city lies bereft of intrigue and knowledge under a vast smog of ignorance. One man above the dreary bustle seeks to return the vitality of wisdom with his Cathexis Tree; a botanical marvel designed to absorb the clouds of discarded intellect roaming the rooftops and reproduce it in the form of Kernels.

When haste precedes caution, Leonard discovers the true potential of his creation; that one must sow the seeds of knowledge to fight the rot of ignorance.

29 August 2013

Monster


An agrarian, shamanistic society lives in thrall of the monster which visits the woods.  When the monster arrives they must draw lots in order to choose the person who must enter the woodland and feed the monster.

Many years have passed since it last visited but Walter remembers the fear that they provoked when he was a child.  To his own daughter Hannah, however, the monster is little more than a myth.  Then, one day, she hears an enormous roar emanating from the woods…

Monster was directed by Deborah Burns and stars Jodelle Ferland and R.Douglas Hutchison.  It is a fable with a dark and humorous twist that will surprise and delight you. I certainly was!

24 August 2013

Attack of the Giant Straw DaLICK

The quiet English countryside of Cheshire has been recently reverberating to the harsh metallic cries of Exterminate all humans!  Fortunately for the local population this isn’t a presage of (yet another) Dalek invasion but of celebrations to come in November.  To mark the 50th anniversary of the BBC Science Fiction show Doctor Who, his greatest adversary has been lovingly recreated in straw and steel – and it’s 35 feet high! 

The owners of Snugbury’s, a farm-based ice-cream store which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to taste their splendid treats, decided to mark this anniversary with something special.  Visitors are used to their yearly straw sculpture displays but this year they have outdone themselves with this amazing homage to one of the world’s favorite and most long-lived TV shows.


20 August 2013

Beyond - Science Fiction Short Film


Arya has special DNA. Her genetic code allows her to survive the folding of temporal and spatial boundaries.  In plain English that means that she can teleport – anywhere she wants.  Her abilities are inherited but she is the last of her kind.  Now, she explores new planets in the hope that she will find something that explains who she is and where she comes from.

This somewhat inscrutable science fiction short movie did perhaps leave me with more questions than answers, but not unsatisfactorily so whatsoever, even though it is a brave filmmaker who leaves so much up to the imagination.  However, director Raphael Rogers pulls it off and it’s great to see a science fiction movie with a female protagonist, here ably and enigmatically played by Bianca Malinowski (pictured above).

Amung Feedjit