Home On the spot Imagine Film Festival : April 14 – 24, 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Imagine Film Festival : April 14 – 24, 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The annual Imagine Film Festival started out in 1984 as The Weekend of Terror, a two-night “mini-festival” of horror, sci-fi and fantasy films. This small-scale event eventually became a festival of 12 days, reaching a wider audience with a great variety of genre films from all over the world, almost all of them Dutch premieres or single theatrical presentations. At Imagine, movie lovers can indulge in the best, weirdest and most adventurous that the fantasy, horror, science-fiction, animation and thriller genres currently have to offer.

The Imagine Film Festival (before 2009: the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival) is an annual film festival in Amsterdam. The festival aims to acquaint both film lovers and the general public with a selection of historical and recent films from genres such as knowledge fantasy, horror and science fiction. A large part of the program consists of genre films, exploitation films, cult films and obscure films, though the offer has become increasingly diverse over the years. The event is organized by the Foundation AFFF for no profit and receives subsidies from the Film Fund and the City of Amsterdam.

The festival’s theme in 2016 is ‘Building Dreams and Nightmares‘, exploring the role of architecture and design in the world of SF and fantasy films. Look out for masterclasses, an architecture symposium, an exhibition and a special film concert that sees Dutch band Monomyth soundtracking the 1920 movie “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” (18 April).

During the festival the following prizes: Silver Scream Award Lifetime / Career Achievement Award, Silver Méliès, Golden Méliès Nomination, The Black Tulip Award,  Imagine Time Capsule.

Open up your imagination in Amsterdam

Over the years, the Imagine Film Festival has evolved and matured into what it is today: an international film festival screening an all-encompassing selection of imaginative films. While the festival still screens the very best international horror releases, it has broadened its taste to include fantasy, cult, animé and science fiction.

At present the festival program encompasses a main course of new features, theme programmes, a section of fantastic short films and the nightly horror marathon The Night of Terror.

Apart from the Méliès Awards the festival hands out three other prizes: the self-explanatory Career Achievement Award, the Silver Scream Award for the film most popular with the audience, the Black Tulip Award for best feature and the Time Capsule Award for the best 30 second Imagine leader.

But Imagine Film Festival is much more than the sum of its 70+ features and short films.

Additions to the menu are an annual symposium and a masterclass for aspiring filmmakers, taught by experienced professionals. Moreover, the festival is also the place where fans of the fantastic can meet & greet the men and women behind their favourite film in an informal atmosphere. Imagine may have matured considerably over the past years, it has nonetheless retained its distinctive relaxed charm.

The main program consists of several new European, Western and Asian genre films. Many of these films have their European or Dutch premiere during the AFFF. Some films go in the rotation afterwards . There is also the festival of knowledge and discussion between professionals and other interested parties, through free access ‘Q & A’, a symposium and a masterclass. Since 2000 there is a special educational youth part of the festival: AFFF Kids. This gives children the opportunity to connect with film and film production, knowledge in a playful way and involve them in the discussion on current and historical themes, which are mentioned in the films shown. The Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival in 1984 founded by Jan Doense, director of short films and founder of The Night of Bad Taste. In more than two decades, the AFFF become the Weekend of Terror into a mature ‘player’ in the festival circuit. Through the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF), the AFFF since 1996 is connected, the Foundation works closely with many other European film festivals in this genre.

Beyond film

Imagine isn’t only about watching movies. In addition to more than 50 features and 40 short films, both domestic and international directors are invited to discuss their work in symposiums, you can take in a lecture, or, for hardcore horror fans, there’s the annual Night of Terror at Amsterdam’s Pathé Tuschinski.

In 1991, in the Alhambra Theatre on the Weteringschans the first Weekend Of Terror laid the foundation for the current Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival. During this weekend were lovers of horror movies relish the better splatter and horror.

But Weekend Of Terror was also a haven for movie lovers who diligently in another Italian zombie fest collapsed, but it was also agreed that the work of David Cronenberg deserved serious attention.

With Cronenberg retrospective in 1984, the festival was ahead of its time, while with selections from the work of Lucio Fulci (1987) and Herschell Gordon Lewis (1991) prevailing views about quality were challenged. Meanwhile the AFFF grown into a ‘player’ in the festival circuit, while paying attention to films from various genres.

Thus organized the AFFF in 2004 the Golden Méliès Gala, when prices for the best European fantastic long and short film were presented. Furthermore saw the AFFF his adult status recently confirmed by the awarding of the (four-year) grants by both the Ministry of Education and the City of Amsterdam. Since 2009, the festival has a new name: Imagine Film Festival. With the name change, the organization wants to emphasize that the festival has become more focused on films that can not be strictly defined as fantasy, horror or science fiction over the years.

Lifetime/Career Achievement Award

The Lifetime/Career Achievement Award has been awarded since 2000.

The winners are:

2014 – Alejandro Jodorowsky (Career Achievement Award)

2013 – Neil Jordan

2012 – Stan Lee

2011 – Rutger Hauer

2010 – Dick Maas

2008 – Tim Burton (Career Achievement Award)

2007 – Terry Gilliam (Career Achievement Award)

2006 – Roger Corman

2005 – Ray Harryhausen

2005 – Paul Naschy

2004 – not awarded

2003 – Lloyd Kaufman

2002 – Paul Verhoeven

2001 – Dario Argento

2000 – Wes Craven

Silver Scream Award

The Silver Scream Award, the audience of the festival in previous years was won by:

YearFilm TitleDirector
2015Ex MachinaAlex Garland
2014Jodorowsky’s DuneFrank Pavich
2013The BatteryJeremy Gardner
2012The RaidGareth Evans
2011The Perfect HostNick Tomnay
2010Mary and MaxAdam Elliot
2009Let the right one inTomas Alfredson
2008RECJaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza
2007Adam’s ApplesAnders Thomas Jensen
2006Ordinary manVincent Lannoo
2005Kung Fu HustleStephen Chow
2004Tempus FugitEnric Folch
2003Spirited AwayHayao Miyazaki
2002Donnie DarkoRichard Kelly
2001El corazón del guerreroDaniel Monzón
2000Galaxy QuestDean Parisot
1999eXistenZDavid Cronenberg
1998Dark CityAlex Proyas
1996From Dusk Till DawnRobert Rodriguez
1995Dellamorte DellamoreMichele Soavi
1994Return of the Living Dead 3Brian Yuzna
1993BraindeadPeter Jackson
1996AkiraKatsuhiro Otomo
1991The Silence of the LambsJonathan Demme

In 2013, the festival moved to the EYE Film Institute Netherlands in Amsterdam North.

EYE Filmmuseum,
IJpromenade 1,

Imagine Film Festival
Imagine Film Festival
Timorplein 52, 1094 CC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Festival Director: Chris Oosterom

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Next articleLuxCon (Luxembourg’s Fantasy Festival/National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention) : 16th-17th of April 2016


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