This year, we cancel the apocalypse!

In its many years of existence, the Utopia Festival has made a name for itself as one of the finest film festivals in Israel. Each year, the festival serves as a homestead for lovers of fantastic, bold and trailblazing cinema, while gathering the finest science fiction, fantasy and horror films from across the globe. Side by side with the cinematic activity, the festival hosts conferences, gatherings and workshop which utilize genre work as the basis for discussion on topics revolving around technology, science and society. This year, under the threat of the apocalyptic, global tides as well as its own struggle for survival, we’ve chosen to hold the Utopia Festival under the sub-headings of “Cancelling the Apocalypse!” In the face of the despair which surrounds and the feeling that science fiction, fantasy and horror films which are being made today are subjugated in favor of nightmarish visions and prophecies of doom, we’ve chosen to turn our gazes forwards in hope and to attempt to imagine a different, better future.

Among the films included in the program, you’ll be able to find exquisite works which starred this year in the world’s most important film festivals. These include “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”, “Zombillenium” and “The Villainess” (Cannes), “Have a Nice Day” and “The Bar” (Berlin), “The Endless” (Tribeca) and many more. The creators of “The Endless”, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who were recently included on Variety Magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch” list, we’ll be attending the festival and will be speaking to the audience after the screening of their film. Another exciting event which will take place during the festival will be focused on genre films made by women and will take place in cooperation with the Women Filmmakers Forum. In the “classics” sector, we are pleased to host a tribute to two of the greatest horror filmmakers of all time – Tobe Hopper and George Romero – who passed away this year, by screening restored, digital copies of their seminal films, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Night of the Living Dead”.

The festival this year owes its existence to the film production company Bleiberg Entertainment and the producer Ohad Bleiberg; the Shlomo Tiran Foundation which joined as a major supporter; the Israeli Animation College; and diverse partners, investors, and many other supporters, old and new but first and foremost to you, the festival’s audience, who have supported and cheered us on during a complicated time. We look forward to seeing you at the festival. Together, we will cancel the apocalypse!

Uri Aviv and Marat Parkhomovsky

Directors of Utopia Festival 2017