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Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival (SFFSFF, or “siff-siff” for those in the know) is THE must-see event for fans to experience the latest and greatest of sci-fi and fantasy cinematic arts.

With a record number of submissions from more than 60 different countries, we are geeking out at MoPOP about this year’s SFFSFF lineup. Plus, this is our second year featuring a Youth Showcase winner, carefully selected by MoPOP’s Youth Advisory Board. Throw in a live Q+A with filmmakers from around the world, and we have quite an awesome program.

With amazing films and the option of virtual screenings for folks who can’t make it, this unique festival (in partnership with SIFF) is an accessible way to celebrate the best of the best in fresh/nerdy/awesome cinema.

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Screening times + locations (see below for schedule and list of films):

  • PREMIERE
    Saturday, May 21 | noon–5:30pm | SIFF Egyptian
    Includes intermission and filmmaker Q+A
  • ENCORE + YOUTH SHOWCASE (same SFFSFF films + a special showing of our Youth Showcase)
    Sunday, May 22 | noon–5:00pm | SIFF Uptown
    Includes intermission
  • Virtual SFFSFF + YOUTH SHOWCASE
    Full access to all films from May 22–May 28, on your schedule

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Official SFFSFF lineup for in-person showings (see below for special Youth Showcase line-up – not included in Premiere):

All films included in Virtual SFFSFF

PART ONE

97 minutes


An Adventurer's Guide to the End of the World

Directed by Jayden Byrne (Australia, 13:16)

A troupe of mystical beings gather to play a role-playing game set in the imaginary realm of ‘Earth’, where they must defeat the final boss — climate change. As the realm collapses, rifts between the friends grow wider.


Hakkori

Directed by Aya Yamasaki, Jason Brown (USA, 13:31)

Tato and Bere make their way up the mountain with harvest offerings.


Stargazer Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

Stargazer

Directed by Arvind Jay (United Kingdom, 15:00)

Stargazer follows an estranged, disconnected family on a journey through the stars as they come together after a recent loss.


Heartland

Directed by Jahmil Eady (USA, 10:40)

A woman attempts to immortalize her dying grandfather using virtual reality technology, but her obsession with documenting drives a wedge between them.


Thunderpuss Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

THUNDERPUSS

Directed by Steven Seller (United Kingdom, 10:24)

The adventures of a furry, chonky and fabulous God Cat attempting to conquer the internet from his secret hideout in a loft in Tooting, London.


2083 Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

2083

Directed by Luis Babst (Germany, 12:50)

(YOUTH WINNER)

A retro-futuristic future. Two young people are looking for more than the alienation and permanent commercialization of their world has to offer. A journey through time into a future of the past which is not too dissimilar to our present.


Other Half

Directed by Lina Kalcheva (United Kingdom, 13:20)

As an Individual Being in a world comprised of Merged Couples, Ren longs to find their other half and become complete.


SHE

Directed by Eugenio Villamar (USA, 7:10)

London 2091. Two service androids, a male and a female, have been abandoned in an apartment after the city evacuation. After several decades, the female android wants to know what is outside the door.


Hunting Rabbits Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

Hunting Rabbits

Directed by Kayla Keener (USA, 3:15)

A tale about a rabbit kingdom and a hunting trip inspired by the incredible drawings found in the margins of books from the Middle Ages.

INTERMISSION

30 minutes

PART TWO

108 minutes


Celebritas Ex Machina

Directed by Joe Nicolosi (USA, 12:30)

Rosa makes robots. Living within the robots’ cold metal bodies are the souls and personalities of her favorite fictional characters from the worlds of film and television. Rosa believes this perfect life can continue forever, some of the robots have other ideas. The short features some cameos.


Jettison - Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

Jettison

Directed by JJ Pollack (USA, 11:13)

A restless young woman ships off to fight an interstellar war, only to struggle with the effects of being cut off from her home by both time and space.


Hospice

Directed by Soo-Young Kim (South Korea, 11:07)

A man woke up from the hospital room and was bound to the bed without knowing anything. A strange-looking nurse came into the room and said that soon he would "end" comfortably. The man protests that he is not the one to be here and struggles desperately to let himself go.


Adystopia

Directed by Doug Karr (Canada, 11:02)

Utopia within Dystopia.

A resurgent community works to thrive in the shadow of a decimated industrial empire. Led by a pair of dynamic leaders, they find solace and grace in ancient mind, body, and medical practice… as a half-bionic traveler and a lone gig-economy warrior return to the roots of human flourishing. Filmed in the midst of COVID and the immediate wake of the director's wife's untimely death, Adystopia is a frightful yet hopeful vision for uncertain times, a tone poem for a changing world.


MeTube: August Sings 'Una Furtiva Lagrima'

Directed by Daniel Moshel (Austria, 8:00)

The third part of the internationally award-winning MeTube short film series. This time the intergalactic music nerds August and Elfi conquer the opera stage and orchestrate their final adventure in an opulent manner.


El Camino

Directed by Jamie Jasso, Fernando Campos (Mexico, 14:49)

In order to sustain his family a troubled pilot accepts one last crooked deal to transport a dangerous cargo inside his spaceship.


Clean Slate

Directed by Olubajo Sonubi (USA, 12:28)

After a botched proposal, an apprehensive Jay agrees to try AI counseling in hopes of healing her faltering relationship.


While We Stayed Home

Directed by Gil Vesely (Israel, 5:25)

Boy meets girl during the Coronavirus quarantine, each hides a secret under their mask.


Incarnation

Directed by Noboru Suzuki (Japan, 13:14)

A mysterious old woman who claims to be a 400-year-old vampire, and a con man who tries to swindle her out of money. What will happen at the end? A dialogic play that takes place at a coffee shop outside the town.


Survivers - Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

Survivers

Directed by Carlos Gómez-Trigo (Spain, 6:30)

Natural selection says that only those who adapt will survive. What if humans have become stupid?


YOUTH SHOWCASE


Mountain Climber

Mountain Climber

Directed by Rebecca Snowden (USA, 12:10)

In a room closed off from the world, a climber prepares to scale mountains through VR simulations. When they take on the final assessment of their training, a glitch in the system forces them to push their limits and grapple with their doubts, both in and out of the simulated world.


The ARK - Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

The ARK

Directed by Benjamin South (USA, 14:48)

Two first-time assassins who believe they’re fighting for a higher cause have a crisis of faith minutes before they pull the trigger.


Petition for Alien Spouse

Directed by Sumin You (USA, 9:46)

It’s the year 2044. Humanity now shares Earth with the Quortans, an alien species of intergalactic space travelers. Alex and Sonia are a loving human-Quortan couple. Their relationship is put to the test when they face a series of personal questions at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Alex and Sonia try to prove their relationship is real as the interview starts to spiral.


Undead Grove

Directed by Aiden Siobhan Winter-Deely (USA, 2:30)

A young girl sneaks out at night to retrieve her reanimated cat from the Undead Grove.


2083 Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival

2083

Directed by Luis Babst (Germany, 12:50)

(YOUTH WINNER)

A retro-futuristic future. Two young people are looking for more than the alienation and permanent commercialization of their world has to offer. A journey through time into a future of the past which is not too dissimilar to our present.


He110

He110

Directed by Fritz Frauendorf (USA, 11:27)

In an alternate 2019, people have lost the ability to talk to each other. James (Matthew Ruf) is in search for deeper connections within the behemoth of online dating and hookups that manifest the digital world around him.


2021 Winners

An important message from last year's SFFSFF screening:

A Message From SFFSFF and MoPOP’s Core Alliance for Racial Equity:

Before the program begins, we want to address a glaring error on our part. This slate of films does not feature Black or Native-American led or directed films. We sincerely apologize for the egregious oversight. This is an issue that SFFSFF will address from the bottom up, understanding that this error is systematic racism coming to full fruition. We thank the community member who brought this to our attention and for holding us accountable. We need to think about why there were no Black or Native-American led or directed films and why it took so long to address. To address this issue is not to just add a quota of Black, Indigenous and People of Color led or directed films in our selection process. A band-aid solution will only do a disservice to our community and would not address the root issue of systematic racism and white preference, both of which SFFSFF operates within. Along with Black and Native American folks, other marginalized groups/minorities were affected during the film selection process as well, and will continue to be if we do not do the work. It requires us to completely take apart every aspect of SFFSFF and rebuild with access and inclusion as the driving force of the program. Which is exactly what we will do.

SFFSFF is a community program at its heart, celebrating Sci-Fi and Fantasy films as well as those that love them. We completely missed that mark this year. And we apologize to all of those that love this festival and to our Black and Native American community who we have failed.

Additionally, we want to acknowledge that the contributions from Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Sci-Fi/Fantasy make it what it is today, Afrofuturism and Black Speculative fiction work in particular is a pillar of the genre and in excluding these narratives we cannot fully tell the story of Science Fiction or Fantasy. We take full responsibility for our actions, and we take full responsibility to do the work. To put in the resources, time, and money that is required of us to do better. Again we want to thank the community member that called us in, and for believing that SFFSFF can and will do better.

We hope that you will join us next year for a SFFSFF that is truly reflective of our community.

Thank You.

SFFSFF 2021 Program

Download PDF▸

Grand Prize - uTransfer

d. Giorgio Miraflor

uTransfer is a new device that allows for certain United States Citizens to transfer their consciousness into a utopia called the New World. Though it is unknown to us as to why, Dean Flores is wildly determined to get to the other side.

Second Place - It's Okay

d. Justin Giddings & Ryan Welsh

In this Black Mirror-esque tale, a couple revisit key moments of their past, only for their memories to take an unexpected turn.

Third Place - Pipo and Blind Love

d. Hugo Le Gourrierec

In a dezhumanized world where emotions are rationed and measured by a gauge, Pipo, a factory worker falls in love with a woman sitting on a bench. He will try anything to attract her attention and seduce her with his own « language ».

Audience Award - Cabin For Two

d. Sam Hoiland

Harold, a hermit living in a remote cabin, uses a self-made dating tape to talk about his search for love. As he bears his soul to the camera, we see a montage of his daily activities and it becomes clear that all is not right in the world. A lurking threat is just out of sight, but not even the apocalypse can dampen Harold’s spirit.

Douglas Trumbull Award for Best Visual Effects + Youth Showcase Award - Sunshine Room

d. Nick Lopez

Cutting-edge technology allows a young woman to grow up alongside her beloved Abuela. But on the verge of leaving for college, her financial realities threaten to erase their relationship for good.

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