Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival: A B-Movie Fest From the Minds That Brought You Planet X
A few years back, two work buddies who shared a common interest in science fiction set out to create a movie. That little movie was titled Planet X: The Frozen Moon, also referred to as Planeta Desconocido, which went on to have tremendous international success. Part of that success was due to the fact that while Troy Bernier and Eric Swain were filming Planet X, another film crew was present filming them film their movie.
The end result was a documentary titled Journey to Planet X, and it turned Bernier and Swain into overnight sensations in the sci-fi realm.
The documentary and main film were part of over 23 film festivals in just two years. Partially inspired by their journeys traveling to various festivals, Bernier and Swain wanted to bring one of their own to Miami. The pair experienced firsthand how festivals were run, both from the perspective of an attendee and a contestant, and using their newfound knowledge organized the first Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival (MiSciFi for short).
"We've always wanted to be a part of a science fiction festival when we started making these films some years back, but there really wasn't much of anything like that in South Florida," says Bernier.
As they were exposed to various types of international film festivals, explains Bernier, "we saw how people were being treated, and we saw how these things were organized and done, and we saw what worked and what didn't work because we were part of it."
Though Bernier says that they don't plan on screening either Journey to Planet X or Planet X during the MiSciFi, he doesn't entirely rule out the possibility; "I can imagine that some folks will make such a request because Journey to Planet X has not played very thoroughly in the South Florida area; it was only played at a couple of festivals."
"It's not about us showing our work, it's about the celebration of fantastic films," says Bernier. Swain chimes in to explain that they already have plenty of film submissions to fill the time, and they want the focus of the festival to be on fresh talent and not their own.
The MiSciFi has received submissions from all over the world, including various parts of Europe, India, Australia, and of course some locally made gems. There's even a separate category for Florida made films, because as Bernier explains, "we want to recognize the fact that if you're a Florida made film and you make any of these types of films, you should submit because we're very interested, and we think the Florida community is very interested in seeing these films too."