Belle

Seventeen-year-old Suzu is chasing away the gloom of losing her mother in virtual reality. In an app called U, anyone can be whoever they want. The girl chooses the identity of freckled singer Belle who soon becomes popular on the network. All is sunshine and rainbows but then a ferocious Dragon disrupts her concert. Suzu is determined to find out who the hate-filled beast is. In this coming-of-age story in the age of social media, director Mamoru Hosoda draws on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, particularly the theme of finding the line between how the world perceives us and our true identity. During its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the film received a 14-minute standing ovation.

Rons Gone Wrong

The animated film Ron’s Gone Wrong tells the story of a somewhat lonely twelve-year-old seventh grader named Barney, and Ron, his new walking, talking, and completely digital friend who is supposed to be, at least according to the commercials, a robot best friend. However, the lovable robot Ron is not quite right and seems to be broken. Against the backdrop of an age bound by social networks and permeated by digital relationships, the boy and the robot experience an extraordinary and affectionate adventure during which they discover that true friendship is not about perfection.

Czech Short Sci-fi Films from iShorts

If you think that domestic cinema is not very sci-fi oriented, this block will try to convince you otherwise. A series of short live-action and animated films brings dark visions of the future and glimpses into the bowels of giant anthills but all the shorts are united by an original authorial vision.

BEING ALIEN

Director Tomáš Krejčí

Cast Theodor Besser, Tomáš Hadrbolec, Sára Besserová, Jana Javurkova, Erik Víšek

Year 2022

Runtime 13 min

Země původu Czech republic

Reports are coming in from all over the world that humanity is being attacked by an alien civilization. Inhabited areas in particular are being affected. People have decided to leave their homes and hide in the forests. Seven-year-old Theodor, who is left all alone, discovers what is behind humanity’s demise and faces the most difficult decision of his life.

AJZBOŇÁK Director Jakub Vrbík, Patrik Balonek, Matěj Sláma Year 2020 Runtime 14 min

Country Czech republic

In a not-so-distant future in the rubble of a collapsed society, there survives a man dreaming of an ordinary life… or is it just an unfulfilled train dispatcher, longing for a life in a world of action?

I HEARD THE MOON-LADY WEAVING

Director Vasco Viana Year 2020 Runtime 9 min

A cosmic drifter receives a mysterious message on his radio as his ship heads towards collision with the Sun.

ANT HILL Director Marek Náprstek Year 2020 Runtime 14 min

The story of the end of humanity from the perspective of ants. Rebellious worker K99980335 longs for a different future. When her dream suddenly comes cruelly true, it’s too late to take it back.

RAVEN Director Eva Doležalová Year 2020

Runtime 11 min Tasked to create new DNA and bring about the rebirth of the Planet Earth. Ravens, the engineered executioners, were designed to rid humankind of its very nature – humans.

CHRONOS Director Martin Kazimír Year  2015

Runtime 11 min A troubled old businessman finds himself looking at the world upside down through a hotel room where time runs backwards. EPIZODA 11 Režie Viktor Svoboda Rok výroby 2019

Runtime 9 min Space hero Hart is captured by evil robots. As a result, his son loses both his father and his right hand at the same time. Now he must save Hart from the mechanical clutches of the evil robots before it is too late.

World Short Sci-fi Films from iShorts

The diverse selection of foreign sci-fi films from renowned foreign festivals brings from animated reflections on the meaning of life through references to classic sci-fi films of the 80’s. Time-stopping superheroes stand next to aging men and scientists exploring deserted landscapes.

The screening will take place in the original version with Czech and English subtitles.

AVARYA

Director Gökalp Gönen

Cast Sermet Yesil, Damla Çay

Year 2019

Lenght 22 min

Country Turkey

A man who boarded a spaceship hoping to find a new habitable planet becomes a prisoner after an overseeing robot finds every candidate planet unsuitable.

THIRD KIND

Director Yorgos Zois

Cast Alexandros Vardaxoglou, Effi Rabsilber, Nikos Hanakoulas, Miankhail Waris Awalgul

Year 2018

Lenght 32 min

Country Greece

Earth has been abandoned for a long time and humanity has found refuge in space. Three archaeologists return to Earth to investigate the origins of the mysterious five-tone signal.

MOMENT

Director Geoffrey Uloth

Cast Emelia Hellman, Patrick Abellard, Dayane Ntibarikure

Year 2019

Lenght 21 min

Country Canada

It’s Halloween night and a young homeless girl is brutally attacked by three masked figures. The mysterious heroes can help the girl out of this nightmare and maybe they can save the day.

IRRADIATION

Director Sava Zivkovic

Cast Lazar Djukic, Nebojsa Jez, Dejan Jovanovic

Year 2021

Lenght 10 min

Country Serbia

Yevgeny slowly moves forward through the illuminated landscape, experiencing strange visions in his head. The question is, what is only in his head and what is real, and why was it him who was sent to this place?

THE DESERT

Director Michael Dockery

Cast

Year 2021

Lenght 5 min

Country Australia

Our creations wander the ravaged world on Earth in a post-human age.

Student sci-fi film competition

Last year’s student film competition attracted a great response and the quality of the films submitted surprised even the jury. The competition is thus becoming a tradition and you will find it in the festival programme this year as well.

Error

Director Lucie Vostárková

School FAMU

Year of production 2020

Length 3:45 min

A cyberpunk romp about everyday human dramas and struggles.

Isolation

Director Patrik Polák

School Střední škola uměleckomanažerská

Year of production 2021

Length 28 min

The captain of a spaceship wakes up in a life pod on an alien planet with no memory of what happened.

Posledná

Director Lukáš Vízner, Miriam Fulmeková

School VŠMU

Year of production 2021

Length 24 min

A post-apocalyptic vision of a world where the last standing cities are for sale and understanding is hard to find.

The universe is too beautiful not to be experienced by someone

Director Patrik Bałon

School Ostravská univerzita

Year of production 2021

Length 19 min

A meditative journey into the soul of the universe and a reflection on the impermanence of life.

Malý orel

Director Adam Kús

School FAMO

Year of production 2020

Length 16:20 min

The story of an astronaut who accidentally crash-lands on an unknown planet and tries to return home.

The Phenomenon

In this documentary directed by James Fox, we look at the history of UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) sightings in modern history. We will not only focus on the famous Roswell incident of 1947 but also, for example, on the 1966 event in which students from Westall High School in Australia were together to witness a saucer-shaped flying craft hovering. Unexplained sightings have occurred (and continue to occur) everywhere but perhaps the most bizarre event was to occur in Zimbabwe when in 1994 over sixty primary school pupils were subjected to an experience that they recall with amazement to this day. They were to witness what is known as a close encounter of the third kind – not only did they see a flying craft but they were even to be in direct contact with its crew… The documentary features high-ranking government and military officials, eyewitnesses, and investigators, not only through archival footage but also through specially recorded interviews.

The Hunt for Planet B

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the largest, most powerful, and most expensive (at a cost of $10 billion) telescope ever launched into space. The scientific research of this infrared telescope will once again move us towards a better understanding of the very beginning of the universe, try to spot the first galaxies, unravel the mystery of the formation of the oldest stars and, last but not least, focus on the study of exoplanets – the search for a second Earth. The American documentary film The Hunt for Planet B captures the human drama behind the development and construction of the giant space telescope, which, after many delays, was sent on its mission on 25 December 2021. We will witness the story of a pioneering group of scientists, mostly women, on a journey to find life beyond our solar system. What will these eventual discoveries mean for our own existence as we look back on planet Earth?

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest

Kim Cannon Arm is not your average grandpa. With killer hand-eye coordination and a mean mullet, he’s a legendary fixture at Copenhagen’s Bip Bip Bar, and renowned for playing the 80s arcade game Gyruss for 49 hours straight on a single coin. With help from his buddies at the bar, a community of heroic outsiders who support one another no matter what, Kim attempts to obliterate his previous record and play for 100 consecutive hours (four days!).

Dense with nerdy narration and deep thoughts, quantum physics and pattern recognition, this quest follows Kim and the gang as they apply their collective knowledge to the task at hand: leaving their mark on the world and paying tribute to a fallen friend.

In this quirky comedy, filmmaker Mads Hedegaard provides a surprisingly philosophical look at legendary world records, quirky hairdos, the importance of community, and what a real hero looks like.

Cyberpunk: Golden Age

Accept our invitation to the third part of the documentary miniseries, which will once again take you to the futuristic environment of cyberpunk, a world of dystopian society with technological and scientific advances such as artificial intelligence or cybernetics. This time, we will engage with cyberspace through hacker culture and, of course, the internet, which began to change our world significantly in the 1990s and connect us through the information superhighway. We started to look more into virtual reality as well. We will once again look at the world of cyberpunk through novels, philosophical works, comics, films, computer games, and television. For example, do you remember the films Network (1995), Death’s Head (1998) or Johnny Mnemonic (1995)? Did you get your hands on the book Snow Crash (1992) by American writer Neal Stephenson or the book Virtual Light (1993) by William Gibson? Or did you rather become a player of the successful 1994 computer game System Shock? Either way, we must not forget the highly successful film that significantly and, moreover, globally changed our view of the nature of reality itself – The Matrix (1999).

The Prophet and the Space Aliens

The Prophet and The Space Aliens follows Rael, who after an alleged encounter with extraterrestrials – who appointed him the last prophet – became the founder and leader of the world’s biggest UFO religion. The story of this modern day prophet and his ambitious attempts to venture into new territories in search of loyal followers, sheds light on the many themes and questions that religion and faith lay bare.

Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified

The various testimonies of alleged encounters with extraterrestrials have long been labelled as unreliable. But many people still believe that UFOs definitely exist. In 2020, the United States Department of Defense released several videos of unexplained flying objects and a year later established a special office to investigate and evaluate UFO sightings. In 2021, Petr Vachler, a well-known Czech filmmaker, produced a six-part documentary series on the UFO phenomenon for Netflix. The first and sixth episodes of this series will be available to watch at the Future Gate festival, free of charge.

E1: Unknown Blue Book Project / 45 minutes

After the Second World War, there was a rapid increase in UFO sightings in the USA and the public became fascinated by the subject. Therefore, the US government had to take action.

E6: After publication / 43 minutes

If aliens have indeed arrived on planet Earth, how long ago did it happen? And what are their intentions for us? Do they want to hurt us, help us or even save us?

Life Beyond

Join us on a journey through breathtaking animations to solve one of the biggest questions of our time, one whose ultimate answer is closer than ever thanks to today’s modern technology and advanced research. So, are we alone? We’ll take you to alien – often exotic – worlds in the distant universe in search of extraterrestrial life. We may find it in the rings of gas giants, in the atmospheres of brown dwarfs or even in the hearts of dead stars. And what kind of life can we expect? Carbon-based, like on our planet or rather silicon-based? Or even mechanical life? The possibilities that nature has in creating life are perhaps quite limitless. But the most pressing question is undoubtedly whether intelligent life even lurks in the depths of the universe. And if this turns out to be the case, how advanced might these possible intelligent civilizations be? Could we even make contact with them? Or are we really alone?

LIFE BEYOND I: Alien life, deep time, and our place in cosmic history / 30 min LIFE BEYOND II: The Museum of Alien Life / 38 min LIFE BEYOND III: In Search of Giants. The Hunt for Intelligent Alien Life / 42 min

The X-Files: Fight the Future

Few who lived through the ’90s don’t know Agents Mulder and Scully. It weren’t just the suspenseful stories with the stamp of the paranormal but also the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson that made The X-Files the TV hit of its time. So it made perfect sense to add a feature film to it in 1998 – and that’s what we’re screening at this year’s Future Gate festival. In it, the central pair go after the origins of a mysterious virus that turns the bodies of infected people into jelly. It’s being spread around the world by bees via genetically modified film, and if Rob Bowman’s film has passed you by until now, prepare to never see stinging insects the same way again after watching it.

Heavy Metal

Disney has Fantasia and the rest of us, we have Heavy Metal. The 1980s sci-fi short-story film was produced by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and directed by Yellow Submarine animator Gerald Potterton. The film features several stories that appeared in the pages of the once-famous, eponymous magazine, and despite an ambivalent reception at the time of its release, Heavy Metal now enjoys cult status. This is due to the bombastic soundtrack, the combination of different animation styles (a different animation studio worked on each story) and, of course, the flood of blood, explicit violence and many, many exposed breasts – as befits the 1980s.

Predator

Thirty-five years ago, John McTiernan’s uncompromising sci-fi thriller showed us exactly how thick an atmosphere can be created when you throw a bunch of mercenaries, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a killer alien with lethal instincts into an impenetrable jungle. There’s not much talking in Predator nor are there any plot twists but it’s still impossible to take your eyes off the film: the minimalist cinematic language, with its restless camerawork and paranoid music, is entirely sufficient for an experience that, even more than three decades after its premiere, is thoroughly immersive, terrifying and also unprecedentedly physical. Maximum tension with minimum resources.

The Thing

A bunch of paranoid scientists versus an alien creature that can assume the form of any living organism, all set against the backdrop of the endless white plains of Antarctica. What could possibly go wrong? John Carpenter’s The Thing is rightly regarded as one of the most iconic horror films of all time. And for a lot of good reasons: Kurt Russell is suitably nihilistic, Ennio Morricone’s minimalist melodies in an unconventional synth position burrow under your skin, and the extremely physical visual effects make you feel like The Thing is going to jump out of the screen at you at any moment. After this film, you’ll never look at dogs the same way again.

Junk Head

If Jan Švankmajer were Japanese and considered making something like Sexmission, it might have resulted in a film similar to Junk Head. This animated piece by debutant Takahide Hori is a feature-length expansion of the sci-fi short of the same name, which takes us into a post-apocalyptic future. In it, mankind has finally achieved its longed-for immortality through genetic experimentation. But it has paid the price in fertility, and now faces extinction. The solution may lie in a small underground civilization of clones who broke free from humans long ago and seem to be able to bring forth little baby clones. The human government therefore sends a scout to their weird world to find out how things really are and, consequently, save the human race.

Neptune Frost

You may not have seen something like this before. Neptune Frost is an Afrofuturistic sci-fi musical set in a small Rwandan village built from parts of old computers. Set against the backdrop of the love story of intersexual Neptune (Elvis Ngabo and Cheryl Isheja) and mining girl Matalusa (Kaya Free), Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s film tackles anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism and current queer issues. A truly unique film with a magical setting and atmosphere, it was produced by Ezra Miller who you may know as Flash from the namesake film or also as Credence from Fantastic Beasts.

Sputnik

A bit like Alien done the Russian way against the backdrop of the last phase of the Cold War. In Yegor Abramenko’s dark sci-fi horror, a young doctor (played by Oksana Akinshina), in an attempt to revive her dying career, is assigned to a top-secret government project: she’s to investigate and observe cosmonaut Konstantin (Pyotr Fyodorov) who has brought back a troublesome parasite from a space mission. What’s more, the parasite crawls out of the man’s body every night, leaving behind some seriously slimy, bloody havoc. And while the doctor mainly wants to save human life, her employers have their own plans for the aggressive alien creature.

Mad God

If you like classic film animation and analog special effects and you feel like immersing yourself in a dark fantasy world where there’s no talking and not much explanation, Mad God is an absolute must. The feature film by trickster legend Phil Tippett (who worked on Star Wars, Jurassic Park and the original RoboCop, to name a few) has been in the works for the last thirty years and was completed during the Covid lockdown. It tells the story of an assassin who emerges in a world on the brink of apocalypse and embarks on a journey through a hellscape filled with bizarre characters. An exceptional viewing experience for true connoisseurs.

Tiong Bahru Social Club

Thirty-year-old Ah Bee (Thomas Pang) has landed his dream job: becoming the new Happiness Agent at the Tiong Bahru Social Club in Singapore. The club is a community of aging people and their caregivers who have one job: to ensure that their clients spend the rest of their lives in maximum happiness. They are helped in this task by artificial intelligence that can assess what will make a person happier. Tan Bee Thiam’s directorial debut is reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s films with its symmetrical, colourful visual stylisation. Beneath the welcoming visuals, however, lies a satire with sci-fi elements that reflects on society’s attitude towards lonely pensioners and the trust with which we entrust modern technology with our personal information.