CONTACT (1997) + Guest Speaker Professor Ian Crawford - Sci-Fi Sundays

Deptford Cinema, Lewisham, SE8 4PQ
Sun 28th April 2019 3:30PM

Welcome to Sci-Fi Sundays at Deptford Cinema. Join us for an afternoon movie on the last Sunday of the month. With quarterly themes, our 2018/2019 programme delves into wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, Earthly welcomes, post-Earths, new flesh and everything in between when it comes to our favourite Science Fiction cinema.

Alongside each screening we’ve organised a little something extra; quizzes, short-films, panel discussions and much more.

Our first theme is TIME, a staple of science fiction that had us struggling to narrow down a huge list of great time travel films.


Released in 1997, Contact tells the story of Astronomer Dr Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) who works at the SETI program in Puerto Rico as part of a dedicated group of researchers monitoring space for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life. 

One day, Arroway’s soothing sounds of space static listening is interrupted when she receives an encrypted signal from the star system Vega, some 26 light-years away. The signal, it turns out, contains the blueprints for an enormous machine, which will presumably transport a single occupant to Vega to meet alien intelligence. 

Nations fund the construction of the machine and Arroway is eventually selected to be the candidate to travel in it. Science, politics and religion are all put to the test, especially for Arroway who, at 9 years old,  lost her faith in God when her father passed away. Since then, her whole life has been leading to this moment and she has no problem in risking her own life in search of 'contact'. However, others believe she may be risking the life of everyone else by stepping in the machine.

Adapted by Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name, Robert Zemeckis (the Back to the Future trilogy) directs with both a sense of patience and clever use of CGI-aided trickery which will leave you questioning “Just how did they do that?”. Jodie Foster is perfect in the role of Arroway; smart, yet pining for the unexplained, and she’s surrounded by good company: Matthew McConaughey, James Wood, William Fletcher and Angela Bassett. 

In what would become the most critically acclaimed science fiction film about ‘contact’ since Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, some 20 years prior, Contact is not to be missed!



Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London

Ian Crawford is a scientist working in the field of astrobiology and
exo-planets, a member of the UK Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Network and a former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy. He has given a number of public talks on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, including a recent highlight at the Royal Institution, and regularly speaks to the media as an expert on the fields of astrobiology, lunar exploration and space science.  

Event Details

Doors Open at 3:00PM
Starts at 3:30PM


Deptford Cinema, Lewisham, SE8 4PQ

Google map static shot of Deptford Cinema, Lewisham, SE8 4PQ

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