Saturday is almost over, but the night’s entertainment is continuing with our all-nighter programme. However, while our brave combatants are turning Red Bull and ice cream into the power to sit for hours at a time, here is an interim report.

The day started at 10:30am with a talk from festival veteran Neil Oseman, showing us footage from his new film The Dark Side of the Earth to kick off our Film Lab programme. From here the floodgates opened and we welcomed guests and festivalgoers to a further six panels and talks, covering books, film and science with participants from Mark Caro to China Mieville and Noel Sharkey to Bryan Talbot, including a session organised in association with the Directors Guild of Great Britain. Interleaved with the talks we continued showing our short film programme, including a showing of four longer shorts as part of our special Long Shorts/Short Longs session, and documentary Monsters from the Id.

As evening rolled around we switched from panels to films and showed a trio of UK premieres – The Mother of Invention, followed by a story laden Q&A from the cast and crew; The Clone Returns Home, executive produced by Wim Wenders and much praised at this year’s Sundance Festival; and another Sundance hitStingray Sam, the latest film from the irrepressible creative dynamo that is Cory McAbee, who followed up his earlier film Lab with an audience Q&A. Complementing these three we also showed the world premiere of the third in Christian Viel’s Recon series – Recon 2023: The Gauda Prime Conspiracy – with Christian in attendance for a Q&A session after the film.

In the bar we had visitors from Blackwells selling books all day, ready for signing by the amassed authors, and we hosted the launch of Tony Ballantyne’s new book Twisted Metal, available as part of our festival 3 for 2 offer.

Things quietened down a bit later on, a calm before the hordes descended ready for the all-nighters. The fridges are stocked and the goodie bags are packed, so all that remains is to move everyone into the screens and check tomorrow morning to see what remains.

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