Juggernaut Film Festival returns to Chicago this June. The two-day event is known as a celebration of sci-fi and fantasy story telling, highlighting some of the best short films in the genre. But this year, there’s been some big changes.

For the first time ever, the Juggernaut Film Festival will debut several feature-length movies alongside the short films for which the festival is known.

Second, the Festival will have celebrity host Gates McFadden. Best known as Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation television and film series, McFadden will be on-hand during the event and at the after-party. She’ll also be making an appearance with hit of stage and podcast Improvised Star Trek who will be doing a special performance during the show.

The event is at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theater this year and are still available here

Notable Films This Year

The Stronghold

Directed by Yury Kovaliov
Fantasy Feature Film | Ukraine | 1 hr 51 minutes

​During a solar eclipse, an ordinary boy Vitko finds himself a thousand years back, in Kyivan Rus, in the midst of a decisive battle between good and evil. With help of a magic stone which gives him power, and the strong knights whom he knew only from books by his side, he is facing black magic and an army lead by the giant rock monster. Now only the boy’s bravery will decide if the light overthrows darkness and if the future turns out the way we know it today.

​Ages 10+, English Subtitles

Echoes In the Ice

Directed by BJ Verot
Science Fiction Short Film, Horror | Canada | 10 minutes

Four men explore an abandoned research facility. Within the station unsettling signs of disorder are revealed, and in the lowest level of the facility, a chilling discovery is made.

Real Artists

Directed by Cameo Wood
Science Fiction Short Film | USA | 12 minutes

Against all odds, Sophia Baker just scored her dream interview at the world-famous Semaphore Animation Studios — who’d have thought a fan edit of one of their hit films could land her a shot at a job? But when she meets arch, mysterious executive Anne Palladon, she soon learns all is not as she expects behind the curtain. Every instinct Sophia has ever had about art in filmmaking is about to be challenged.

The Tolls

Directed by Liz Anderson*​
Science Fiction Short Film, Alternate History | USA | 20 minutes

The final days of WWII. While mourning the loss of his wife at sea, U.S. army corporal Wes Morris confronts a mysterious stranger who has infiltrated his base. The intruder possesses a top secret S.S. technology, which transports them to an alternate, Nazi occupied San Francisco. Here, Wes will put the lives of millions at risk in order to reunite with his lost love.

The Ningyo

Direct by Miguel Ortega
Fantasy Short Film | USA | 30 minutes

Professor Marlowe finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, a mythical Japanese creature, could be found. The legend claims whomever consumes its flesh will attain remarkable longevity. He presents the project to his peers, who mock and dismiss him as a fraud. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.​

For a full a full show listing, check out www.juggernautfilmfestival.com.