Utopia 2018 – Resistance Is Not Futile

Utopia 2018 // Mark your calendars- 3-8 December, Tel Aviv Cinematheque & Ancient Jaffa

Festival Pass are now on sale – we want you with us!


This year, the Utopia Film Festival is back in full swing!

We rely heavily on you – the festival’s dedicated, long time participants.

We’ve launched our festival Pass. You can now pre-order and choose between three price grades, including VIP pass for all films and events.

Over the next few days we will present our programme of exceptional, brave and groundbreaking films. We will offer the high standard of Israeli and world cinema you’ve come to expect from – and enjoy with – us at utopia. In addition, our “Ideas Bazaar” programme in Ancient Jaffa, set amongst the historically saturated buildings, the ruins and archaeological digs, in an atmosphere of art and inspiration, will offer meetups, talks, workshops and lectures about the future.

Like in previous years, we ask you to show your trust in the Festival’s activities, first and foremost by pre-ordering a fetival pass – but more importantly; TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Your personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold – please don’t keep us secret! 🙂

You can follow our Facebook Page for updates, information and important messages about the festival.

A Peek at the Programme…

On the Science Fiction front, much excitement. We are hosting Colin Trevorrow, who’s directed Jurassic World (and visited us in 2012 with his first film, Safety Not Guaranteed) and Peter Watts, an award-winning Science Fiction novelist (including the critically acclaimed Blindsight. All of his books are available for download on his site – hurry up and read them all before he gets here!) and video game writer (Crysis 2). We will host several events with both of them,  including a special evening under the title of “Designing Tomorrow”at the new Steinhardt Natural History Museum in Tel Aviv.

On the Fantastic Cinema front… fantasy! Legendary genre director Alex de la Iglesia will visit us with his long time writing partner, screenwriter Jorge Guerricaechevarría (those of you who’ve seen The Last Circus in our previous festival know what we’re talking about!) . More in spanish, Mexican “wunderkind” Isaac Ezban, a rising star in genre film, will also pay us a visit with his first three films.

Our opening film is Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. After opening with The Zero Theorem in 2014, we’ll be returning to what has, by now, become a tradition of opening our festivals with Terry Gilliam films, this time with one that stars Star Wars’ Adam Driver, as well as Jonathan Pryce and Stellan Skarsgård. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was screened as the closing film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, after being in production for over 20 years. We think it’s a touching and heartwarming film that is made up entirely of romance and love of cinema.

In Ancient Jaffa we’ll hold a two-day “Ideas Bazaar” on the subject of “The Future of Storytelling, Storytelling the Future,” which will feature a select group of creators, designers, researchers and curators, aliens and robots, including Aya Korem (musician, “2023”), Mushon Zer-Aviv (designer, founder of the “Speculative Tourism” project), Boaz Lavie (author and playwright, “The Divine”), Jonathan Geva (film director, Abulele), Roee Avramot (game designer), Omri Amirav-Drori (tech.bio) and many other friends – like you!

On this year’s theme: why “Resistance”?

This year, we chose “Resistance” as the subheading that will accompany us during the festival.

Both popular culture and the political sphere are thirsty for imagination. There are plenty of dystopias, disasters and post-apocalypses to go around, but complex and nuanced realities, as well as a vision for the future seem to be sorely missing. This is the politics that is important to us, that is essential to us, politics of the imagination.

“What would happen if?”, the question that’s at the heart of fictional creation, can often seem naïve, even childish – but it is deeply political. Underpinning the very asking of this question is the understanding that the reality in which we live is just one out of countless possibilities. It’s possible for things to be different and there’s a lot of “different”to test and explore during the festival. And of course, this leads us from the reality of the “here and now” with its myriad alternatives, to the future, although we should really say futures, plural. Our choices today create the reality, of one kind or another, of tomorrow.

We want inspiration. At the heart of Utopia lay science fiction, fantastic cinema and speculative design, through which we hope to present alternatives to possible realities – imagery and language of possible futures, and ways to realize them – eve if against all odds.

In an age of digital necromancy and artificial intelligences, prophets who predict our future with perfect precision (allegedly) , while they limit, delay and narrow our freedom and imagination, we choose to celebrate inspiration, agency and leadership – and the humanity of these. We will balance our respect for the past with our excitement for the future, our memory with our vision. We will tell the story of the digital revolution in ways which do not proclaim the machine uprising and the computer uprising, but in ways which examine reality with a critical eye and demand from us nuance, compassion and hope. We will celebrate knowledge and discovery, science and imagination, we will resist frustration and look towards the future!

Uri Aviv, November 2018, Tel Aviv