“What if you were given a glimpse into what America will be like 20, 30, or even 50 years from now? Would it change the way you live today?” Spurred by these questions the Independent Television Service launches the second season of Futurestates on PBS. Ten short films portray ten visions of the future by ten indie filmmakers. Stories gravitate towards issues concerning environmental and economic challenges, but also revolve around soci-cultural topics.
There appears to be a surge in attention across media towards speculative – what if …? – futures as a genre rather than straight-up scifi, an evolution which is fascinating to say the least. It remains up to the critical eye of the beholder to decide to which extent the Futurestates short-films paint stimulating futures – whether bleak or encouraging – or rather mostly project extrapolations of today’s sentiments and challenges. Moreover, considering shifting geopolitical, geosocial, geoeconomic, geo-everything balances, it would be enriching to see more examples of how people from other countries, other cultures envision their futures. Not only would they bring other types of narratives, they would also pose different questions, paint different solutions to the samen and different challenges.