·about the festival

SCI-FI-LONDON, a strictly non-geeky, serious look at science fiction and fantasy film! We take place in Feb 2003 at London's favourite cinema, The Curzon SOHO (Time Out readers’ poll 2000 and 2001), The Other Cinema, London's newest arthouse screen.

SCI-FI-LONDON is the UK’s only film festival dedicated to the science fiction and fantasy genres. It began life in 2002 making a massive impact with 12 UK/European premieres and the World premiere of Ken Russell’s The Fall of the Louse of Usher.

With an average attendance to every screening in excess of 80% and fantastic media coverage, SCI-FI-LONDON established itself as a serious film festival.

The aim was to attract an audience that was susceptible to science fiction, rather than hardened fans of a specific franchise. In our first year we purposely avoided typical and obvious choices; No Star Wars, X-files or Star Trek. Instead, we looked for unique and visually stunning new product for an eager UK audience, balanced against some rarely seen movie classics.

The classic movie programme in 2002 included Tarkovsky’s Stalker, George Lucas’ first feature, THX 1138, the ever-relevant, Soylent Green and John Carpenter’s scifi/horror crossover, The Thing.

UK premieres included the first European screening of Mark Pellington’s The Mothman Prophecies, Anime master Mamoru Oshii’s (Ghost in the Shell, Akira) Avalon and the controversial Japanese sci-fi, digi-porn feature, I.K.U.

We devised an international sci-fi short film programme, rounding-up the best sci-fi shorts from the UK and around the world. The full programme was screened in our sold-out ‘Shorts @ Six’ slots and each feature was preceded by one of these shorts.

SCI-FI-LONDON also included a sold out all-nighter programme at the Curzon SOHO. With free Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream, Red Bull and breakfast – the audience got to experience all 4 of the Alien series movies back-to-back and 4 John Carpenter classics, including his first feature Dark Star.

In line with our aim of attracting new audiences, we also held two events at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts): After being granted permission from his estate, The Douglas Adams Memorial Debate saw our distinguished panel of writers, commentators and filmmakers look at how science fiction transfers from book to screen and Newtype Animé, an encyclopaedic overview of the history of Japanimation and the increasingly popular Manga genre.

In 2002 the festival stats were as follows:    

Wednesday 30th January 2002 (Debates and Animé)
Friday 1 - 3 February 2002 (All other events)


ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)
Curzon SOHO Cinema
The Metro Cinema
Films shown:
30 Features
(inc. 1 world, 1 European & 8 UK premieres)
16 Shorts (under 50 minutes)

Debates: £8.00 (inc. £1.50 day membership to ICA)
Anime: £6.50 (inc. £1.50 day membership to ICA)
Feature Films £8.00/ £5.00 concs
Double Bill Sunday Matinee £4.00
Shorts at Six £5.00

Average attendence:

Accredited Press:

8 press passes (print and online media)
2 film crews

Film Directors in attendance

Ken Russell
Paul Kousoulides
Simon Hook
Martin Gooch
Matthew Hood
Jim Munoz
Shu Lea Cheang

Notable celebrities:
Ken Russell
Rachel Grant
Anthony Daniels
Emily Booth
Adam and Joe
Brian Bovell
Udo Kier
Nitin Ganatra
Sanjeev Baktar



Opening Night Films:
American Astronaut Twelve Monkeys
I.K.U Wild Zero

Closing Night Films:
Bad Taste
The Fall of the Louse of Usher (Introduced and Q&A by Ken Russell)

The Fall of the Louse of Usher
The Mothman Prophecies

Akira (2001)
American Astronaut
Jin Roh: The wolf brigade
Electric Dragon 80kV
Wild Zero

Short Films submitted:
67 Worldwide
22 UK


Best Film 2002
Best Short Film 2002


Countries represented:

New Zealand

Sponsors and supporters:
The Sci-fi Channel
Red Bull
Ben and Jerry's
Embassy of Japan
IMDBpro.com (internet movie database)
The Cinema Museum