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  • Writer's pictureTeam Acacia

Juggernaut Film Festival Announces 2021 Dates and Lineup

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Chicago Festival Celebrates Sci-Fi and Fantasy Independent Film

November 5 - 7, 2021

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Otherworld Theatre today announced the dates and slate for the Juggernaut Film Festival, November 5 - 7, 2021. Now in its eighth year, the Juggernaut Film Festival brings a highly curated selection of sci-fi and fantasy independent feature films and shorts to Chicago audiences. The Festival’s lineup brings to Chicago five feature films and more than 65 short films from 18 countries around the world, including Australia, Italy, the U.K., Argentina, Poland, Japan, and Russia. This year’s Festival will take place both virtually and in-person at the Otherworld Theatre at 3914 N. Clark St. in Chicago.

The Juggernaut Film Festival marks a return to Otherworld Theatre’s storefront space following a suspension of in-person performances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning audiences will notice the significant upgrades to the space that Otherworld made during the hiatus, including new seating, an upgraded bar, enhanced lighting, an expanded backstage area with dressing room spaces, and new outdoor signage.

The Juggernaut Film Festival opens with OCCUPANTS, from director Russ Emanuel and starring STAR TREK: VOYAGER’s Robert Picardo as a documentary filmmaker who documents a parallel version of himself and his wife. Other feature films include KHARAKH ODY, a fantasy drama from Mikhail Merzlikin following a husband’s journey to save his wife and unborn child; THE CANDLE AND THE CURSE, a fantasy romance from director Anuja Ganpule-Sheorey; and family fantasy drama JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER, based on the bestselling novel by Michael Ende (THE NEVERENDING STORY) and directed by Dennis Gansel.

The Sci-Fi Shorts program includes Chicago filmmaker Catherine Cutaia’s THE TURING TEST; Dale Metzz + TL Westgate’s sci-fi horror comedy BODYHACKERS; FLASHBACK, from Japan’s Fumiya Yoshida; MAP TO THE STARS from director Pedro Jaen R.; and Emma Selinski’s VIRTUALLY HAPPY.

Juggernaut’s Fantasy Shorts program boasts 23 films including Diego Ugalde’s fantasy thriller YAAX CHE; fantasy superhero drama MIDNIGHT ROSE from Vanessa M.H. Powers; and KNIGHTMAN, following a medieval knight’s search for the holy grail in New York City, from Jun Sekiya.

“We started the Juggernaut Film Festival to give a platform to genre films, which are often overlooked by mainstream festivals,” said Juggernaut Film Festival programmer Tiffany Keane Schaefer. “There’s nothing quite like seeing the work of a new filmmaker and being able to share their artistry and storytelling with Chicagoans for the very first time.”

Tickets for the Juggernaut Film Festival are on sale now for both virtual and in-person presentations at All attendees at in-person screenings, including audience members, media, staff and volunteers, and filmmakers are required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the event date, and masks are required to be worn over the mouth and nose at all times, unless actively eating or drinking.

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