The Trieste Science+Fiction Festival announces additional titles and the first wave of special guests attending the 23rd edition of the festival this year.
2023 marks the 60th anniversary of genre film festivals being hosted in Trieste and the 2023 programme celebrates this. The newly announced titles and talent attending are:
Pandemonium by Quarxx (France, 2023, Italian Premiere, Special Presentation in conjunction with FrightFest)
From the creative mind of artist Quarxx comes an aesthetically stunning and relentlessly macabre tale. Nathan and Daniel wake at the scene of a car crash, confused and seemingly unscathed. The two men begin to understand that they did not make it after all. They are dead. Nathan’s previous acts will now determine his fate, however reprehensible they might have been. He will have to leave this earthly world and enter the depths of Hell that await him for all eternity and be confronted with other tormented souls whose pain he will be forced to experience by the demon Norgül.
Film talent in attendance: Quarxx
The Well by Federico Zampaglione (Italy, 2023, Italian Premiere)
From Tiromancino musician and director Federico Zampaglione, the Italian Rob Zombie, comes the third horror shocker after SHADOW and TULPA: DEMON OF DESIRE. TERRIFIER 2 star Lauren LaVera is Lisa Gray, a budding art restorer, who travels to the village of Sambuci to bring a haunting medieval painting back to its former glory after fire damage. There she meets the enigmatic Duchess Emma Malvisi and her strange daughter Giulia who suffers from severe personality disorders. Before she knows it she has placed her life in danger from an evil curse and a grotesque monster born of myth and brutal pain.
Film talent in attendance: Federico Zampaglione, Claudia Gerini
Hostile Dimesnions by Graham Hughes (UK, 2023, Italian Premiere)
Scottish filmmaker Graham Hughes follows his well-received festival favourite DEATH OF A VLOGGER with a fun and twisted multi-verse thriller. Two documentary filmmakers traverse alternate dimensions, confronting nightmares to uncover the truth behind a graffiti artist’s disappearance who seems to have vanished into thin air. These dimensions mix the ordinary with the bizarre – a hilly idyll is thrown off kilter by whales floating across the skies. Hughes describes his sophomore feature as a “Tribute to highly imaginative low-budget films combining found footage with epic sci-fi to create something unique and thrilling”.
Film talent in attendance: Graham Hughes
Max And Molli In The Future by Michael Lukk Litwak (USA, 2023, Italian Premiere)
THE FIFTH ELEMENT meets WHEN HARRY MET SALLY in an intergalactic rom-com that’s charming, diverting, satirical and set in a brilliantly realized BLADE RUNNER-esque future. Molli runs into Max with her spaceship. Forced to take him to his far destination, they strike up a conversation that reveals an instant chemistry. But as their orbits repeatedly collide over the course of twelve years, four planets, three dimensions, one space sex cult and many kooky adventures revolving around robot partners, a political reality show and spiritual dating, are they really meant for each other? Only the space time continuum will tell.
The Moon by Kim Yong-Hwa (South Korea, 2023, Italian Premiere)
In the near future, South Korea’s first manned mission to the moon ends in a tragic disaster when an explosion occurs on board. Five years later, a second human spaceflight is launched successfully but an unexpected solar flare causes it to malfunction. Two astronauts are killed, but lunar survivor Sun-woo is left stranded in the cosmos. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to control the spacecraft making the staff at the Naro Space Centre very nervous indeed. As they can’t afford another fatal catastrophe, they turn to former managing director Kim Jae-guk to help bring Sun-woo back home safely.
SCALA!!! OR, THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE RISE AND FALL OF THE WORLD’S WILDEST CINEMA AND HOW IT INFLUENCED A MIXED-UP GENERATION OF WEIRDOS AND MISFITS by Ali Caterall, Jane Giles (UK, 2023, Trieste Premiere)
The riotous inside story of the infamous sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll repertory grindhouse which inspired a generation during Britain’s turbulent Margaret Thatcher years, 1978 – 1993. The crumbling picture palace showed high-art classics, sexploitation, horror, Kung Fu and queer titles in daily changing double bills and all-night marathons and put the names of Russ Meyer, John Waters, Derek Jarman and David Lynch into cineaste conversations, Archive footage, amazing movie clips and testimonies from those involved in making the Scala’s infamous reputation – including Trieste S+F artistic director Alan Jones – combine for a universal shout-out to the power of cinema.
Plastic Fantastic by Isa Willinger (Germany, 2023)
Our planet is permeated with plastic particles. The film follows several people who deal with the disposal of plastic, on the one hand, and its production, on the other. In the process, the system that causes the plastic mountains to grow gradually becomes apparent.
The Longest Goodbye by Ido Mizrahy (USA, 2023, Italian Premiere)
In the next decade, NASA intends to send astronauts to Mars for the first time. To succeed, crew members will have to overcome unprecedented life-threatening challenges. And while many of these hazards are physical, the most elusive are psychological. Throughout their three-year absence, crew members won’t be able to communicate with Earth in real time due to the immense distance. The psychological impact of this level of disconnectedness and isolation—both from mission control and loved ones—is impossible to predict and endangers the mission itself. Directed to mitigate this threat is Dr. Al Holland, a NASA psychologist whose job is to keep astronauts mentally stable in space. The Longest Goodbye follows Holland, rookie astronauts Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer, and former astronaut Cady Coleman, among others, as they grapple with the tension between their dream of reaching new frontiers and their basic human need to stay connected to home.
A.I Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg (USA, 2001, Special Screening)
More prescient than ever since its first release, Steven Spielberg’s take on the pet project bequeathed to him by Stanley Kubrick, is a fascinating, rich and strange epic adventure. A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become “real” so he can regain the love of his human mother in this dazzling delight. Introduced by Linda Ruth Williams, Professor and Head of Film and Television at the University of Exeter, UK, whose latest book ‘Steven Spielberg’s Children’ concerns the director’s use of child actors, representations of children and childhood in his work. A Q&A discussion will follow the screening.
X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes by Roger Corman (1963, USA, Special Screening)
The first movie to win a prize at the original Triest Science Fiction Festival in 1963, X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes screens at the 60th anniversary festival. Dr. James Xavier is a brilliant but unorthodox researcher whose work with human sight has yielded an experimental chemical that may vastly increase the range of what we can see. He uses it on himself and finds that he is able to look inside the human body in real-time. As he continues to test the drug on himself, Xavier begins to see, not only through walls and clothes, but through the very fabric of reality!
Alan Jones, Artistic Director of Trieste Science+Fiction Festival, said, “With the incredible ‘Alabarde Spaziale’ exhibition just opened at the Castle San Giusto commemorating the past sixty glorious years of Trieste Science+Fiction, it’s important to mark this significant milestone with a galaxy of gala premieres, celebrity guests, extraordinary events and galvanizing discussions of current hot topics. Like the Artificial Intelligence debate taking the world by storm. Science fiction has always had the privilege of being able to twist and change the established real world to dazzle, frighten, excite or mystify with never before seen sights. And here in Trieste we are never afraid of tackling the bigger issues to help focus on the bigger picture! Time to Enter the Hyperfuture to discover the wonders of other worlds and unknown possibilities, the reason why the genre remains so alive and electrifying to every Extra-Triestrians.