On the spot

2013 Utopiales (15th edition of the the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival ) : 30th of October to 4th of November 2013, France

Les Utopiales 2013

The Utopiales festival will be held from Thursday, October 30th to Monday, 4th November 2013, at the Nantes Congress Centre, 5, Valmy Street, Ferdinand Favre Quai, Nantes, France.

Among the guests will be William Gibson, Orson Scott Card, Max Brooks, Chris Foss, Peter Curling, Sara Doke, the scholars Michel Serres, Alain Musset, Eric Picholle and Simon Bréan, the authors Gilles Francescano, Estelle Blanquet, Ayerdhal, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Yoann, Danielle Martinigol, Laurent Queyssi, Jeanne A Debats and Alain Damasio, under the coordination of Ugo Bellagamba and Roland Lehoucq.

„Since its creation, in 2000, Les Utopiales, The Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, has tried, as its objective, to offer works of quality to the greatest number of people, and to enable them to discover the world of futurology, of new technologies and of the fantastic.  As every year, it will develop a theme, while at the same time treating the yearly developments in the world of science fiction.


All these interrogations will be part of the programming of this new edition of our international and multimedia festival. During round tables open to the audience, scientists, authors and artists will exchange their views, which are sometimes divergent. Day after day, they create fabulous worlds by using fragments of the real one, to make, beyond the evasion they promise, true “experiences in thinking” which lead us to think more easily about the advent of a new world we unconsciously wished for.

The literary and the scientific fields, fundamental to the festival, will welcome numerous international guests, such as William Gibson (Canada), Orson Scott Card (The United States), Max Brooks (The United States), Michel Serres (France), etc. The art of the Comic Strip will stand out thanks to the presence of numerous cartoonists and scriptwriters, in particular Denis Bajram, Katherine et Florian Ferrier, etc. All of these personalities will come together for lectures, debates or the autograph sessions which punctuate the festival.

In the aisles of the festival, the exhibition devoted to Vincent Callebaut will display the various works of this architect. The Inserm and the CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) will present new technologies which could be part of our future everyday life.

The art section will make us discover a retrospective about Raymond Poïvet’s work.

Moreover, the festival area will be entirely decorated by vegetal creations from SEVE.

Festival - presentation

The cinema universe will also be rich, with the desire to show us still more talents from all over the world. And finally, the festival will of course give us the opportunity to rediscover role playing, video games, a program for young people, evening events, and also the Asian pole, with the renewal of Manga Tan day and its Cosplay.”

Literature : A major means of expression for science fiction, literature will propose numerous round table discussions, meetings and debates in the heart of the Cité, the Nantes Convention Center, in the space Shayol. They will be presided by our numerous national and international guests.

The Utopiales European Award : Again this year, the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, The Utopiales, are organizing The European Utopiales Prize, in order to reward European authors in the genre known as the “Literature of the Fantastic”. This Award rewards a novel, or a collection, published in French, during the literary season preceding the festival, whose author is a citizen of a country belonging to the European Community. The prize has a cash value of 2000 euros. The Prize will be awarded in public on Saturday, November 2th. For the sixth time, the Utopiales will award The European Utopiales Prize.
The works in this year’s competition are:

Rainbow Warriors” by Ayerdhal (France), Au Diable Vauvert Press

Andrus Kivirahk_L homme-qui-savait-la-langue-des-serpents

The Man Who Spoke Snakish” (Mees, kes teadis ussisõnu) by Andrus Kivirähk (Estonia) (translation by Jean-Pierre Minaudier), Attila Press

The Dervish House” by Ian McDonald (Great Britain) (translation by Jean-Pierre Pugi), Denoël Press

Exodus” (Exodes) by Jean-Marc Ligny (France), L’Atalante Press

The official jury will consist of Vincent Callebaut (architect and illustrator of the 2013 Utopiales poster), Jean-Pierre Dionnet (writer and columnist), Erwan Manson (Nantes’ reader)
Utopiales European Youth Award : Again this year, the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, The Utopiales, is organizing The European Utopiales Youth Prize.

The Julia Verlanger Award : The Julia Verlanger Foundation was created by Jean-Pierre Verlanger in 1990, under the auspices of the Foundation of France, to perpetuate the memory of his wife (1929-1985), the author of numerous science fiction novels, under the pen name of Gilles Thomas. Every year it rewards a fantastic or a science fiction novel.

Cinema : The Utopiales’ Cinema program will focus on the International Competition which consists of recent works and quality movies, the European Short Film Competition, the retrospective offering a selection of films, a children’s programming and special events .
The Best European Short Film
A selection of the best of European production, the winner of which will be a candidate for the Méliès d’Or Prize awarded annually to the best European short film by the European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals.

Les Librairies Complices de Nantes (The Nantes Associated Bookstores) will present the Books and Comics Fair with over 25 000 literary works representing all publishing houses, which makes the Festival during it’s duration the world’s SF largest bookstore. The Nantes Municipal Library will open its ephemeral library with a general public reading room and will borrowing books and comics. On the ground floor, the space between Shayol and Book Fair, is therefore a cozy and comfortable place that invites all readers. Since 2009, in partnership with Utopiales the Nantes Municipal Library runs a science fiction comics readers club of fans. An amateur jury will award the prize for Best Science Fiction Comics.

The Utopiales name was suggested in 1997 by Christian Grenier, a SF writer and the Utopiales Festival was created in 1998 by Bruno della Chiesa (an Italian-born French, linguist, diplomat, researcher, SF editor) in Futuroscope (Poitiers), a huge theme park dedicated to the future. Since 2000, the Utopiales venue is the Congress Palace in Nantes, always fall in late October or early November. The Utopiales Festival is an event of great magnitude and the most important SF international event dedicated to the European SF and it’a managed to gather together thousands of genre fans and professionals (38,000 participants in 2006, 40,000 in 2008, 41,000 in 2010, 46,000 in 2012).

Bruno della Chiesa coordinated the Utopiales between 1998 and 2000, and was succeeded between 2001-2005 by the historian Patrick Gyger (former manager of La Maison d’Ailleurs/House of the Elsewhere ; La Maison d’Ailleurs is the only public world museum of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys, in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland) and this year the Festival’s coordinators are Ugo Bellagamba and the astrophysicist Roland Lehoucq.

Utopiales is the main European SF&F manifestation of the general public, the fans and the professionals. The Utopiales Festival is celebrating and exploring all means of expression of science fiction, literature, film (international competition and European contest of short films), theater, comics (best album contest, exhibitions), art exhibitions, concerts, games videos, a role playing site, plus panels, discussions and debates on scientific topics.

Since its creation, in the year 2000, The Utopiales, The Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, has tried, as its objective, to offer works of quality to the greatest number of people possible, and to enable them to discover the world of futurology, of new technologies and of the fantastic.”



The World’s Biggest SF event: UTOPIALES (November 7th – 11th, 2012), Nantes, France by Cristian Tamas : https://europasf.eu/the-worlds-biggest-sf-event-utopiales-november-7th-11th-2012-nantes-france/

2012 Utopiales Awards Winners by Cristian Tamas : https://europasf.eu/2012-utopiales-awards-winners/

Quotations & pics © Utopiales

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