The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival has announced the full program for its third annual event, this year held virtually with a lineup of science fiction, horror, and fantasy films, music videos, and in-depth panel discussions. Screenings set to explore the altered states of consciousness and truth behind the vibrant and enduring psychedelic culture will run from January 14-17, 2021.

The mission of the festival is to raise awareness about the psychedelic experience through media and meditative practices with an emphasis on helping audiences explore their innermost creativity and self-expression. “Psychedelic methods free us from our rigid mindsets,” says Daniel Abella, founder and director of the festival. “These experiences are produced by visceral art forms that force the viewer to step out of their comfort zone and explore the unknown so they can become stronger and feel more alive.”

Through its lineup, the event will showcase films that cinematically explore psychedelic experiences through abstract imagery, saturated colors, hyperreal dialogue and surrealistic landscapes. In addition, music videos invoke these experiences through various melodies and mantras that disorient and expand the consciousness of the listener.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the festival has embraced a virtual presence as a means of reaching out to a global audience. “The psychedelic mindset understands that we are all connected,” says Abella. “We as humans have a need to interact with others and that will always be an important part of the festival.”

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021:

Block 1: Groovy Moments

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Burning Man – The Build (2017)

Director: Matthew Emmi
Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA
Synopsis: A film that celebrates the working culture of Burning Man and explores the build of the artworks featured on the Playa.

Flaming Chicken (2020)

Director: Gerald Varney
Run Time/Country: 20 min, USA
Synopsis: On a plane ride back to San Francisco a passenger remembers the psychedelic Sixties.

Terror Fervor (2019)

Director: Phoebe Parsons
Run Time/Country: 6 min, Canada
Synopsis: Informed by experimental films from the 1960s and 70s, this film takes the viewer on a psychedelic non-linear journey through the vices of seven characters. The wordless journey plunges the viewer into an experience that is hard to classify and hard to forget.

Here to Eternity with The Godz (2019)

Director: Jeffrey Wengrofsky
Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA
Synopsis: A psychoactive documentary about “The Godz,” one of the first psychedelic rock bands.

Heat Wave Hallucination (2019)

Director: Jil Guyon
Run Time/Country: 2 min, USA
Synopsis: A kaleidoscopic self-portrait that transports the viewer into a world of vibrant, psychedelic colors and hypnotic sound.

Can’t Give Up on You (2014)

Director: Fiona Cochrane
Run Time/Country: 3 min, Australia
Synopsis: A music video featuring The Black Sorrows. A return to psychedelia, ‘cause you just can’t give it up.’

The Botanist (2019)

Director: Giancarlo Tocchini and Kyle Doohan
Run Time/Country: 12 min, USA
Synopsis: A botanist in the 1970’s sets out in search of a rare mushroom in the wilderness of Montana.

Psychedelicatessen (2020)

Director: Gary Chambers and Joann Chambers
Run Time/Country: 20 min, USA
Synopsis: A trippy video featuring music to engage the listener in a deep shamanic trance state, activating the third eye and initiating an altered state of consciousness.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 2: Documentary Feature

Time: 9:00pm – 11:00pm

The People Who Suspend (2019)

Director: Lukas Larson
Run Time/Country: 97 min, USA
Synopsis: Director Lukas Larson set out to understand the people who practice body suspension, but what began as a study of other people, ended with the camera pointed at himself as he faced the end of life as he knew it. The People Who Suspend covers everything from the ancient history of this strange ritual to the diverse ways it is practiced in the modern era. This is the first feature documentary specifically focused on the practice of suspension and the people who suspend.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2021:

Block 1: The Surrealistic Edge

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

The Chamber of Genesis (2020)

Director: Konstantin Pavlenko
Run Time/Country: 15 min, Kazakhstan
Synopsis: An obvious surreal story takes you into the depths of Genesis. You are facing answers to eternal questions in the film, probably that after watching 15 minutes you will think about the sense of life more, or maybe not. The post-apocalyptic Calvary, a dead chicken, a baby carriage in ruins and many other images will feed your soul while watching the film.

Circular (2019)

Director: Collectif A BAo A Qou
Run Time/Country: 13 min, France
Synopsis: A hermit wants to create a man by the force of his dreams and impose it on reality. Circular is a journey into creation. Co-written by a filmmaker, a composer and a saxophone player, it is a piece in which music and visual art were conceived simultaneously and are deeply intertwined in an experimental score. Loosely based on Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Circular Ruins.”

Let the World Go on Sleeping (2021)

Director: Michael Slavich
Run Time/Country: 12 min, USA
Synopsis: Depicting a vision, the film grounds us in an unfamiliar dream. Greeted by a chain of mothers and fathers, a man must make peace with his world in order to save it.

Vision Off (2019)

Director: Quentin Lestienne
Run Time/Country: 12 min, France
Synopsis: A man living alone remembers moments with his ex-wife. He will go beyond his memories and will project himself in his visions.

The Alluring Sway (2020)

Director: Martin Del Camp
Run Time/Country: 7 min, USA
Synopsis: A track in 3 parts created for an experimental art short film with the same title.

Voices: Final Cut (2020)

Director: Odd Magnus Grimeland
Run Time/Country: 5 min, Norway
Synopsis: A man wakes from uneasy sleep, disturbed by the door dog of evil chance at his gate. A nightmarish and strangely familiar scene returns to haunt him yet again.

Dream Diaries (2019)

Director: Rich Warwick
Run Time/Country: 3 min, UK
Synopsis: Based on a dream that occurred on December 20.

Her Infinity (2019)

Director: Evan Patrick
Run Time/Country: 12 min, USA
Synopsis: Tiffany is sitting in Marcella’s chair while texting Kaia. She confirms the purchase of plane tickets to Tulum. Tiffany looks down and addresses Marcella, who is dead on the floor. Tiffany begins a monologue about dots of light in the darkness that slowly converge into a spotlight.

Rainbow in the Dark (2020)

Director: Ben Mosca
Run Time/Country: 5 min, USA
Synopsis: A cosmic PSA announcement.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 2: Magical Realism Feature

Time: 9:00pm – 11:00pm

Magnetic Pathways (2018)

Director: Edgar Pera
Run Time/Country: 97 min, Portugal
Synopsis: Portugal is ruled by an authoritarian plutocracy and one man descends into a night of drunken soul searching and humiliation after his beloved daughter is wedded to one of the power elite.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2021:

Block 1: Myth, Magick, Madness

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Demiurge (2020)

Director: Ben Panfil
Run Time/Country: 5 min, USA
Synopsis: When the overbearing creator places his child onto a new world, he quickly discovers it is difficult to let go of what he has made. In a clash between evolution and divine intervention, the creator must learn to let his child be part of the world. Animation.

The Legend of Bryngolau (2020)

Director: Amy Daniel
Run Time/Country: 16 min, UK
Synopsis: Rick is a wandering birdwatcher in search of a falcon, crossing the wilds of Wales and living off the land. As night falls over his camp, his search takes a strange turn.

Over Here? (2020)

Director: ZZ Tan
Run Time/Country: 11 min, China
Synopsis: In a city, people flow ceaselessly, like rivers. She says…but stops short. Masks. No, they are not untouchable. They are on your face, or in your face? Across the overpass, drifting around the corners of the world, she and he step into a rapidly changing dream. They wait at the airport, seeing the surge of time and space. Can the spoon catch the tears? It stays on the spine, reflecting light. The melodica is played again and again. Spume move gently along the shore. What is Flowing? What is Moving?

To Her (2019)

Director: Jacobo Ardolino
Run Time/Country: 13 min, Italy
Synopsis: Orpheus lives in the memory of a past love from which he cannot free himself. His empty eyes make him unable to see love again but the encounter with a painter will give him the courage to embark on a journey into his own hell to permanently erase the shadow of Eurydice.

Panic (2020)

Composer: Ava Lynch
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: In this music video, a catatonic man comes face to face with his demons.

Loss of Reality (2019)

Director: Martin Holper
Run Time/Country: 27 min, Germany
Synopsis: Momo is a young man who would rather take drugs and fool around with his girlfriend than work at his parent’s shop. His irresponsible behavior towards himself starts soon to affect his family and friends.

Norazia (2019)

Director: Cullen Hamblen
Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA
Synopsis: A young man is taken to a strange place for help with the loss of someone close to him.

A Trip to the Holotropic (2020)

Director: Justin St Cyr
Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA
Synopsis: After the director’s first experience with Holotropic breathwork, he was inspired to create a visual interpretation of this experience. Breath is our life force, and considering this, he wanted to reflect on this energy through self-expression.

Color Study: Brujas del Sol 2.0 (2019)

Director: Steve McGuire
Run Time/Country: 9 min, USA
Synopsis: A tale of bewitching in mythic forms.

Holy Water (2020)

Director: Noor-un-nisa Touchon
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: This music video is about a spiritual path to enlightenment, while facing inner demons along the way and allowing inner guidance to lead the journey.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 2: The Mind Revolution

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Re-Education of the Senses (2019)

Director: Erinn E. Hagerty and Adam Savje
Run Time/Country: 12 min, USA
Synopsis: There’s nothing to see here; now, look directly at the screen.” An experimental vision of Bauhausian hypnotherapy orchestrated by sentient technology.

How to Operate Your Mind: A Public Service Announcement by Timothy Leary (2019)

Director: Stephen Dinehart
Run Time/Country: 29 min, UK
Synopsis: A remixed 360 immersive rendition of Timothy Leary’s 1993 public service announcement “How to Operate Your Mind.” The aim of human life is to know thyself. Think for yourself. Question authority. Think with your friends. Create new realities.

Fixing a Hole (2019)

Director: Pierre Ajavon
Run Time/Country: 3 min, France
Synopsis: By trying to fix a hole to stop our mind from wandering on the other side. The film uses lunar films mixed with an experimental electronic music composition including NASA lunar sound recordings.

Digits of Pi (2019)

Director: Tom Bessoir
Run Time/Country: 3 min, USA
Synopsis: Pi meets Duchamp in a transcendental film. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “Anemic Cinema,” the director set out to create a film composed within a circular frame. This circular composition led directly to using the number pi for the underlying structure. Having the digits of Pi sung on the soundtrack is an homage to “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson.

Strange Attractors (2020)

Director: Jing Wang and Harvey Goldman
Run Time/Country: 5 min, USA
Synopsis: Amid the ineffable uncertain void of Shiva’s gamma annihilation and one grain avalanches, the frenetic and torpid whorl of gluons and muons, shudder and judder upon the soul of Democritus. Heisenberg’s bifurcations, the restless swarming of Yin and Yang are reckoned in the ephemeral pirouettes of Dirac’s space and time. The “visual music” collaborations of Jing Wang and Harvey Goldman attempt to produce a synesthesia like experience. The audience is encouraged to “see” the music and “hear” the visuals. The imagery and audio components are constructed without hierarchy, a true melding of sound and image.

Lucid (2019)

Director: Michael Ben Abu
Run Time/Country: 5 min, Israel
Synopsis: A journey between dreaming and painting. Vibrant drawings and paintings arising out of the artist’s subconscious surfacing in a rapid continuum; archetypal images emerging from the depths of dreams and emotions; and flashes and slivers of time are animated in a sweeping, spiral movement. The sensation of three-dimensionality is intensified by a “twilight zone”-like soundtrack, taking viewers on a dive into the magical sound of colors.

Uriel (2018)

Director: Jing Wang and Harvey Goldman
Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA
Synopsis: Uriel, prophet of poetry, prince of presence, archangel of the sun, propounds a new troublous truth and suffers the slings and arrows of the celestial Czars. The tumultuous times are upon us. Oh, Nicolaus Copernicus, transcendental historian of heliocentric geometry, forgive us, absolve us, evolve us, if you can. The “visual music” collaborations of Jing Wang and Harvey Goldman attempt to produce a synesthesia like experience. The audience is encouraged to “see” the music and “hear” the visuals. The imagery and audio components are constructed without hierarchy, a true melding of sound and image.

Chonyi (2019)

Director: Simon Cleveland
Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA
Synopsis: The fifth track from the first album in the Horsehead Nebula Trilogy. Composed to be an immersive psychedelic experience, each song has an accompanying visual element based on the manual projection techniques used in the live performances of the Voyager Collective.

Free Yourself (2020)

Composer: Second Coming
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: A song from the album “Fall of Babylon.”

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 3: Psychedelic Horror and Magical Realism

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Stew (2019)

Director: Tommy Hallal
Run Time/Country: 14 min, USA
Synopsis: Feeling nostalgic for a sense of family, a suburban housewife prepares a lavish family dinner for her husband and two sons. However, each family member continues to derail her plans, and as they do, a latent darkness within her bubbles up to the surface. As the night goes on, it seems the harder she tries to get the dinner back on track, the more her dream of a night turns into a waking nightmare.

Stuk (2019)

Director: Nadira Murray
Run Time/Country: 8 min, UK
Synopsis: Troubled teen Angela enters the toilet to refresh herself. She feels odd. She hears a sudden gunshot and screams – “the night club is under attack.” Angela fears for her life; or is her mind playing tricks?

Gorky Max (2019)

Director: Pavel Motygin
Run Time/Country: 6 min, Russia
Synopsis: A music video clip from the group RHBZ.

The Great Hilario – King of Clowns (2019)

Director: Malachi Smyth
Run Time/Country: 3 min, UK
Synopsis: The Great Hilario, forgotten legend of the Big Top, retires to his dressing room to remove his make-up. But who is the man beneath the painted smile? Where does the performer end and the individual start?

Fading Fires (2019)

Director: Ed Smith and Jonathan Williams
Run Time/Country: 5 min, UK
Synopsis: In this music video by Kopper, a young painter plagued by self-doubt and creative malaise, resorts to a desperate solution to their identity crisis.

The Reading Room (2020)

Director: Andrew Bond
Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA
Synopsis: A young woman is accosted by a mysterious force that is trying to get her to read.

The Funhouse Waltz (2017)

Director: Carvin Knowles
Run Time/Country: 19 min, New Zealand
Synopsis: In a forgotten, abandoned carnival funhouse, the sins of the past are doomed to repeat their dark secrets for all eternity. Stop motion/animation.

Unbeliever (2020)

Composer: Ava Lynch
Run Time/Country: 7 min, USA
Synopsis: In this music video from the album “Light and Dark,” a man rejects his religion but finds his heart.

Trepanation (2020)

Director: Nick Flaherty
Run Time/Country: 8 min, UK
Synopsis: What was once familiar is now unrecognizable. All previous desires are overshadowed by the need to disappear completely.

Trouble for Miles (2020)

Director: Jamin Scotti
Run Time/Country: 8 min, USA
Synopsis: A young girl recounts her traumatic death, while navigating a purgatory fashioned for the Digital Age.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 4: Supernatural Thriller Feature

Time: 9:00pm – 11:00pm

Nina of the Woods (2019)

Director: Charlie Griak
Run Time/Country: 91 min, USA
Synopsis: A meditative take on the thriller genre that follows the story of aspiring actress, Nina Noon, after she agrees to lend her “local authenticity” a supernatural reality TV show filming near the tiny town she left as a young child. She and the documentary crew follow an enigmatic guide deep into the labyrinthine wilderness, where they seem to encounter an ancient, hypnotic force that locks the team under a subtle spell.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2021:

Block 1: Psychedelic Animation

Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Uberfrog (2020)

Director: Thomas Kurtakko
Run Time/Country: 12 min, Finland
Synopsis: When a chase for a delicious dragonfly goes awry, a frog finds himself on a journey towards higher levels of amphibian consciousness, ultimately leading him down the rabbit hole to face his worst fears.

Half Full (2020)

Director: Olivia Trotter
Run Time/Country: 10 min, USA
Synopsis: A short film anthology on the theme of identity, with each segment featuring a different animator and their personal interpretation of the theme. Personal interpretations include experience, self-acceptance, trans identity, aging, and ego death.

Submerged (2019)

Director: Alex Nelson
Run Time/Country: 3 min, UK
Synopsis: Perspective of a man drowning.

The Daily Heavy (2019)

Director: Arturo Baston
Run Time/Country: 8 min, Spain
Synopsis: Earth is smacked by a bacterium from outer space which leads to dancing, fornication, fighting, and ultimately the coming apart of human systems.

La Vuelta de la Polilla (2019)

Director: Brian C O’Malley and Daniel A Peneng
Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA
Synopsis: A young shaman in search of the eternal light discovers a moth who holds the secret of transcendence. The shaman goes on a quest to join the moth and its flock, discovering ultimate reality.

Shadows Strategy (2019)

Director: Thomas Lisle
Run Time/Country: 10 min, UK
Synopsis: A story of two alien cosmonauts, from an alien race that can manipulate their form as and when they wish, their planet has a problem and they send the two hero’s to find an answer.

Captain Vivid (2018)

Director: Taku Kuroda
Run Time/Country: 44 min, Japan
Synopsis: Our hero awakened to the beauty of bad taste and built his “visionary environment” together with the people who have the same weird obsessions. And when the opponents of his aesthetics attack his world, the hero determines to fight against them to protect his bad taste utopia.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 2: Visionary Landscapes – As Above So Below

Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Embers of the Sun (2019)

Director: Zareh Tjeknavorian
Run Time/Country: 12 min, Armenia
Synopsis: This impressionistic short film evokes the otherworldly beauty of Armenia’s prehistoric monuments and their sacred landscapes. The monoliths and rock art of the highlands are vestiges of the mysterious Bronze Age peoples that hunted and worshipped in this remote volcanic realm some 4 thousand years ago.

Urban Landscape (2019)

Director: Nicholas Gebbe
Run Time/Country: 5 min, Germany
Synopsis: If you walk through the city you are often not aware of the outside. The images seen mix with thoughts, occasionally fail, are sketchy. Only certain parts of the path are perceived and when you remember, these snapshots form a collage of some sort. With the technique of photogrammetry in Urban Dreamscape these parts are captured and staged in such a way that they empathize with this phenomenon. Many individual photos are used to create 3d objects. These are edited, merged and distorted. A dream landscape arises.

Bravas (2019)

Director: Peter A. Sandmark and Trace Nelson
Run Time/Country: 3 min, Canada
Synopsis: A short experimental film starting with images from painting directly on 16 mm celluloid, then transformed in the editing, and augmented by digitally modified sounds we captured in our day to day lives.

The Valley (2019)

Director: Gavin Hopkins
Run Time/Country: 14 min, New Zealand
Synopsis: Devon’s moors are the backdrop for this hybrid film that constructs an imaginary community and frames sentiments of belonging at a time when parochialism and nationalism are globally prevailing. Inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” Hopkins grafts portraits of his forebears across these uncanny landscapes. A subtext of Doyle’s classic novel negotiates yearnings for a homecoming and a mythical ancestral land.

Awakening (2020)

Composer: Ava Lynch
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: An instrumental voyage of Transcendence.

Fathoms – The Weight of Smoke (2018)

Director: Chris Myhr
Run Time/Country: 6 min, Canada
Synopsis: The exploration of the complex interrelationships between the spheres of land, water, living things, and air. The work ruminates on the idea of water as a medium through which organization and entropy operate simultaneously. The Ocean acts as both a generative/constructive influence, as well as an agent of immense and unpredictable destructive power – it is from this medium that all things originate, and will eventually return.

Asleep (2020)

Director: Massimiliano Ceroni
Run Time/Country: 8 min, Netherlands
Synopsis: Asleep is what happens after Dusk. Asleep is an inner trip, an abstract vision inside the eyelids made by colored shapes moving in the darkness, when you’re close to falling asleep but not yet there, stoned in the middle of two different realities, out of the time.

Summoning (2019)

Director: Thomas Javier Castillo
Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA
Synopsis: An experimental video piece about landscape, body, and ritual. Seeking the mythic and mystical in the landscapes of the Midwest.

End of Confusion (2020)

Composer: Second Coming
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: From the album “Fall of Babylon,” this music video is about coming to grips with the Earth’s crisis and finding hope.

Sama (2019)

Director: Hüseyin Mert Erverdi
Run Time/Country: 11 min, Turkey
Synopsis: A whirling cosmic journey of ascension, starting from ‘Khaos,’ an ocean of unmanifested form, a void state preceding the universe’s birth to the sphere of planets of the solar system, to stars, Primum Mobile and beyond. Sama, is in a sense trying to contribute a response to an age-old question of: “is it possible to create a film that both induces and reproduces a transcendental experience?”

Things I Have Seen In My Dreams (2019)

Director: Joao Pedro Oliveira
Run Time/Country: 11 min, Brazil
Synopsis: We dream…sometimes we have nightmares, or dreams that make us sad, anguished, or simply indifferent. But occasionally, there are dreams that project in our mind images and sounds of great beauty. This piece is a recollection and variations on some of these images and sounds I remember from my dreams. It is dedicated to Mario Mary.

Future Italian Fescoes (2019)

Director: Salvatore Garau
Run Time/Country: 25 min, Italy
Synopsis: An artist takes possession of space again and paints coexisting with the mystery that lives in those walls and the distressing presences that still live inside that space. The painter remains involved by the suggestions that are breathed by the abandoned altarpieces, true protagonists of the film.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Block 3: Feature Documentary

Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Veterans Journey Home (2020)

Director: Frederick Marx
Run Time/Country: 100 min, USA
Synopsis: A cohort of 12 military veterans do an ancient, 12-day, wilderness Vision Fast ceremony in the desert in Washington that includes four days of solo fasting on the land using only water and minimal shelter. Directed by the producer and co-writer of the 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams.

Post-Film Q&A:

A virtual discussion will be held after the screening.

Awards Ceremony: 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Awards are presented to the category winners as the festival concludes.

The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival can be accessed on https://www.psychedelicfilmandmusicfestival.com from January 14-17th, 2021.

About the Author: Remy Cashman

From humble beginnings as a bisexual art kid who drank more coffee than a 40-year-old author, Remy now holds a BFA in Film Production from Chapman University and is a proud member of the HorrorBuzz team (and still a bisexual art kid who drinks too much coffee). They were first introduced to the world of horror and camp when their grandma showed them The Rocky Horror Picture Show at age 5, and never looked back. When they're not writing cartoons or working on movies, one can spot them in various clubs around Los Angeles performing very, very self-deprecating standup comedy. Howdy ho!
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