Utopia Festival 2017 – Canceling the Apocalypse
Over its years, the Utopia Festival had achieved the status of one of the best film festivals in Israel, and as an important juncture between culture and society, science and technology.
Founded by Uri Aviv, the film festival became home to lovers of fantastic, bold, out-of-this-world cinema, and had curates the best science fiction, fantasy and horror films, alongside many features that blend genres, defy them and most of all celebrate ingenuity and creativity, from all over the world. Among the many films presented in its many years and phases are “The Congress”, “Big Bad Wolves”, “Moon”, “District 9”, “Freakout”, “Scott Pilgrim”, “Cannon Fodder”, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, “Robot and Frank”, “Anomalisa”, “The Lobster” and many others.
Participants over the years included Collin Trevorrow (film-maker, “Jurassic Park”, “Star Wars Episode 9”), Christopher Priest (author, “The Prestige”), Marc Caro (filmmaker, “The city of Lost Children”), , Christian Lorenz Scheurer (concept artist and production designer, “The Matrix”, “The Fifth Element”, “Justice League”, “Thor: Ragnarok” and many other films and video games) and many other creatives.
Alongside the film festival, under the title of “Designing Tomorrow”, Utopia had included conferences, meet-ups and workshops that convened story-tellers and scientists, designers and tech entrepreneurs to present and exchange their ideas on the future of cinema and the story-telling art and craft, and utilize science fiction as a discussion platform on science and society, technology and ethics and as a research lab for radical new ideas.
Two years ago, following a change of policy in the Ministry of Culture in Israel, we were informed that the festival is no longer eligible for public finance. We were told the festival is too small, its budget not meeting the required minimum, and that bigger festival are being prioritized. That loss of support was a death blow for the festival, and the 2016 event that was under planning, was canceled.
In 2017 we decided to cancel the apocalypse!
Over many months we’ve received a heart-warming and exciting number of calls and approaches that made us deeply appreciate our audience and how much the festival is loved and will be missed. We decided to gather our strengths one more time and organize the best festival we’ve ever produced, for 2017. Our first and foremost goal: present to the Ministry of Culture a cinematic and cultural event that is a must to preserve and have them renew their support. We will make sure to fulfill all the required criteria, while executing the best festival in years, and do so for and with the support of our enthusiastic audience – you guys!
We need your help!
We’re crowd-funding a preliminary sum, it will enable us to prove there’s a substantial audience that wish for the festival to go on, it will also enable us to organize a fantastic event.
We’re positive that with a successful campaign we’ll be able to harness the support of further partners – commercial sponsors and public organizations, and that this mosaic will enable the festival this year, and for years to come.
If, like us, you feel the festival is home to the sort of thought and creativity you would like to see and support; if you also think that the Israeli cultural landscape will be poorer with Utopia; if you want to celebrate innovation, critical thinking, diversity and most of all unbounded imagination, of if you just want to attend the coolest Israeli film festival of the year – please support us!