The Icon Festival for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-playing is an annual festival which takes place this year for the 15th time. Icon is a red-letter day for fans of the science fiction and fantasy (both literature and cinema), and its 3-day diverse program attracts people of all ages.
This year's festival will consist of more than 100 events, including lectures, panel discussions, contests, professional workshops, comical and musical shows, as well as comics and anime events, providing a huge celebration for the science fiction and fantasy fans as well as much broader audiences.
Icon is produced by non-profit organizations that work all year long to promote fandom and creators of science fiction, fantasy and role-playing, and strive to make these genres more accessible to their audience. We also take pride in providing the stage to independent filmmakers and young authors.
The Icon Festival is a seminal cultural event, made possible due to the passion and hard work of dozens of volunteers, from the festival director to the last but not least staff member. Their only reward is the festival itself as all incomes are used to pay for the facilities and cover expenses.
This year's festival will focus on the concept of "Regeneration", both in real life organisms and cybernetic ones, exploring new frontiers the genre is getting into. Dozens of participants from the academic as well as the fandom community will take part in this year's celebration.
Festival goers will enjoy a huge fair of science fiction and fantasy merchandise (books, props, action figures, DVD's etc.) The festival will also hold an award ceremony for best Hebrew published or translated sci-fi / fantasy books of the year (The Geffen Awards), a short stories contest (The Einat Awards), trivia games and other interactive activities.
Come see us in action on our YouTube channel: youtube.com/iconfestival
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Target audiences and main goals
Science fiction and fantasy are genres that are not considered yet mainstream in Israel. Icon Festival is a unique opportunity to bring science fiction and fantasy to the big screen, to the stage and also to the attention of the general public. That is done through massive campaigns and by receiving substantial coverage by many of the Israeli broadcasters, newspapers and web magazines.
Our audiences range mostly between the ages of 16-30 and although mostly tagged as 'geeks', we have something for everyone thanks to a well diverse and creative programming.
About the organizers
The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy
Founded in 1996, its main goal is to promote Science Fiction and Fantasy in Israel, and it has been continuously active ever since. So far its activities have included conventions, lectures on fantasy, science fiction and general science topics, premiere screenings of SF&F films, SF&F story-writing contests and much more. The society publishes an annual printed literary yearbook and an online magazine. The society is a non-for-profit organization, and all its activities are undertaken by volunteers.
The Israeli Role-Playing Society
Founded in 1999, its main goal is to promote role-playing games as mainstream hobby in Israel. It has organized hundreds of activities with the help of devoted volunteers, has published magazines and has taken part in the production of the "Icon", the Israeli Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-Playing Festival, as well as the production of the annual Role Playing convention, "Bigor". With hundreds of active members, the Role-Playing Society runs a website, a newsletter and many groups around the country.
The Festival is produced in association with:
The Israeli Tolkien Society
The Israeli Tolkien Society represents a large community of Hebrew-speaking fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and his work, who engage in common activities. Among their diverse activities are the development of websites, conferences, social gatherings and events, hikes, advanced research about Tolkien's works and the development of online forums.
The goal of this community is to study Tolkien's works as well as spread the love and appreciation of these works among the Israeli public. Another important goal is to provide information and research in Hebrew that will enrich those readers who wish to learn more, and to promote the study of Tolkien and his works in Israeli universities.
AMAI – Anime and Manga Israel
Founded in 2007, the organization is the main home for anime and manga fans in Israel, organizing conventions throughout the year and producing live shows, cosplay contests and fan films.
This year on Icon
- Writing workshops for young authors.
- Israeli Sci-Fi program, presenting the works of local sci-fi, fantasy and comics artists, along with Q&A's and a special section at the dealers room.
- Full length films. The list of participants will be determined at a later date and will be posted online.
- Live musical shows
- Interactive screenings of "The Princess Bride" and "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"
- Over 100 hours worth of lectures from the best experts in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, astronomy and physics. Our lecturers come both from the academic world and from the fandom communities.
- This year's guest list will include local authors and filmmakers.
- The festival gives away various awards this year, including best short story and best Sci-Fi and Fantasy book of the year.