In space, no one can hear you dream.
In space, no one can hear you dream. Flotando

Perhaps the most optimistic thing that anyone can believe right now is that the future exists, and so it is with a great measure of relief that we will be attending MoPOP’s fifteenth annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival this weekend … virtually, of course.

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The going rate for being teleported into the future: A sensible $22, which will grant you access to a wide array of short fantastical films selected by “luminaries,” which in this context means experts but I want to imagine actually means some luminous extraterrestrial beings.

Now, I’ve attended more (way more) than my fair share of short film festivals and sometimes they … how to put this nicely … perhaps would benefit from a greater emphasis on the “short” part. But a quick scan of the selections for this thing reveals quite a few promising entries.

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Check out the schedule for yourself: The first title to draw my eye was Moon Drops, a 16-minuter in which “a factory worker assembles an enigmatic machine that produces liquid drops from the moonlight.” I’m also eager to see Summon a Fiend, in which a lonely little girl who likes books accidentally summons a demon — the unofficial sequel to Matilda we didn’t know we needed. I feel my skin crawling at the description of Flotando, in which a Russian astronaut hears a strange knocking on the outside of a space station. And Black Champagne just looks gorgeous.

Because the festival is virtual, you’ll be able to experience the screenings the way that many film critics get to do their jobs: From the comfort of your couch, unbothered by hapless volunteers thrusting golf pencils into your hands. Though it will be recorded for a later encore presentation, it’s probably best watched live, with a kickoff on August 29 that includes a Q&A with filmmakers and panels with jurors.

And if you find yourself in the mood for more speculative media following the panel, allow me to offer a few recommendations: The Sandman audio adaptation on Audible is fantastic and will give you goosebumps for hours. Each issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies serves up a seemingly inexhaustible helping of new fiction. And there’s never been a better time to get suuuuuper fucked up and watch the David Lynch Dune, starting with the incredibly violent and disgusting scene in which a man has homicidal sex with another man’s heart. No metaphor for the future will ever top that.

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The all-digital festival features one-of-a-kind performances and panels streamed straight to you.