Future Gate presents sci-fi films

New films and some classics range from a faked moon landing to dystopian futures

The Future Gate festival will present science fiction films at Prague's Bio Oko from Feb. 23 to 26, and then move to Brno and Ostrava in March.

The Prague edition of the festival will have seven films, all English-friendly. There is also a side program with exhibitions of robots and art, and demonstrations of virtual reality. Lectures and talks including one by Stanley “Robotman” Povoda will be in Czech. The bar at Bio Oko will be serving some futuristic drinks.

The festival kicks off with Moonwalkers, a 2015 film based on the idea that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing. This comedy takes the idea even further, with a fake Stanley Kubrick duping the CIA out of the allotted money. The scammers then have to produce a film of else. The ever-scary Ron Perlman stars as the tough guy sent to get things done. Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter films is one of the con men.

The film was not to everyone's liking, but Roger Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a positive review, calling it “a cheerfully insane, comically violent, often confounding, sometimes tedious but ultimately entertaining trip through the looking glass.”

Any film series that mentions robots wouldn't be complete without The Terminator, which plays Feb. 24. The 1984 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger has contributed catch phrases such as “I'll be back” and the idea of the futuristic Skynet to popular culture.

Anime fans will want to catch Akira on Feb. 25. The 1988 animated Japanese film will be shown in its original Japanese version with English and Czech subtitles. The film takes place in post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, whose residents, divided into gangs, struggle for survival. Director Katsuhiro Otomo based the film on his own manga series. The film had a large budget for animation at the time it was made and helped to bring Japanese anime to a global audience.

Another animated film is also on the program for Feb. 25. The 2016 film Nova Seed looks back the style of the 1980s. Nick DiLiberto wrote and single-handedly animated the film set in a post-apocalyptic era where the survivors participate in gladiatorial combats. The film has 60,000 drawings and took over four years to make. The new film so far has only had a few limited screenings at festivals, so you can be among the first to see it.

The final day of the festival starts with an afternoon screening of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, but in a Czech dubbed version with English subtitles, as the screening is meant for local children. The film, of course, is the 1984 classic by director Steven Spielberg about the friendship of a stranded alien and a young human.

That is followed by a program of shorts from various directors on different sci-fi topics from life on other planets to problems on a future Earth.

The closing film is The White King, a dystopian vision of an Orwellian world where a family of nonconformists are labeled enemies of the state. The 2016 British film stars Jonathan Pryce, Olivia Williams, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson and Fiona Shaw. The film, which was shot in Hungary, has been compared to 1984 and The Hunger Games. “The makers have clearly thought about what a future reversion to twentieth century-style tyranny would look like, and the design, anthems and details all ring true,” David Parkinson said in Empire Magazine.

The festival is in Brno from March 1 to 4 and Ostrava on March 17 and 18.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/futuregatefestival or futuregate.cz/en.

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