Ready for a not-so-bleak peek into our future? The first-ever New York Science Fiction Film Festival is coming Jan. 20-22 with film that organizer Daniel Abella promises are more than just wallowing in our own doom (after all, the real world has plenty of that). Check out his highlights from the festival, including movies that’ll have you sympathizing with robots and reconsidering whether we can make a “perfect” human.
“Reality+” — In the future, we can all look like supermodels thanks to a chip implant. Abella says the film is very funny, but asks a vital question: “Why are we relying so much on technology? Because we’re trying to do the impossible, we’re trying to use technology to prevent us from dealing with certain things that are part of the human condition and instead we try to replace it with cool gadgets that make us feel super powerful.” Sat. Jan. 21, The Roxy Hotel Cinema, 2 Avenue of the Americas, 9-11 p.m.
“2BR02B: To Be or Naught to Be” — A father waits for his children to be born in a future when population is strictly controlled. William B. Davis (“The X-Files”) has a small part, so you know some difficult choices will arise. “It’s a very sobering, very matter-of-fact view of the future,” says Abella. Sat., Jan. 21, The Roxy Hotel Cinema, 2 Avenue of the Americas, 7-9 p.m.
“Dryad” — In one of the fest’s entries melding sci-fi and fantasy, a knight and a mysterious young woman are fleeing an army during the Middle Ages until something very unusual happens. “It has almost an archetypal, Yungian, alchemical narrative,” he says. Fri., Jan. 20, Instituto Cervantes, 211 E. 49th St., 7-9 p.m.
"I, Philip" — "It’s 14 minutes but I was really taken aback,” Abella says of this short shot from the perspective of an android who’s had the consciousness of Philip K. Dick downloaded into it, but struggles to pass as human. Sat., Jan. 21, The Roxy Hotel Cinema, 7-11 p.m.
“Teleios” — This NYC premiere feature-length film has been compared to “Gattaca.” Five “perfect” humans are sent on a rescue mission, but spending so long in deep space has unexpected effects on them. Sun., Jan. 22, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave., 3-5 p.m.
“How to Build a Time Machine” — Described as a “scientific documentary,” this feature follows a man who lost his father to a heart attack when he was a child growing up into a physicist trying to crack the mystery of time travel to save him. Abella calls it “a real intersection of science and science-fiction.” Sat., Jan. 21, Producers Club, 358 W. 44th St., 5:45-7:15 p.m.