Can’t make Comic-Con? 5 weird TV and film events from around the world

San Diego's annual Comic-Con begins this week, with thousands of fans dressed in bizarre outfits, indulging in wacky events. But it's not the only odd festival inspired by the screen...

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More than 130,000 uber-geeks show up for Comic-Con International’s week of superheroes, sci-fi and subcultures each year (starting 24 July this year). It’s a chance to celebrate the cult and unusual from TV and film, and dress up in anything from a Dalek, Hobbit or Thor outfit to a Pokemon or Alvin and the Chipmunks costume.

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Last year’s event saw Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in attendance, plus Sherlock, Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones stars. Although some details are still under wraps, Comic-Con International 2014 is expected to host more big names. If you can’t get to the event in San Diego this week and are craving some role-playing, My Little Pony demos or cult celebrations, we’ve found five top weird TV- and film-inspired events to book instead…

Doctor Who fans turned up in their droves to the Sci-Fi London parade this year. London was invaded by Cybermen, Daleks and Doctors in various human incarnations. Along with a costumed walk around the city, there are all-night film marathons, pub quizzes and a 48-hour film challenge, where teams have to make a five-minute movie in one weekend – judged by the likes of Danny Boyle, Brian Cox, John Landis and Guillermo del Toro in previous years. See here for more info.


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Set up to honour fabulously follicled faces, the Stache Film Festival awards the best films featuring ‘taches in all shapes and sizes. It’s no surprise that this bonkers event takes place in the facial hair capital of Portland, Maine – the same place that holds the annual Stache Pagent, where men with impressive face fluff compete in rounds including the best ‘Thigh Tickler’, ‘Magnum’ and ‘Castaway’. See here for more info.


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Blue haired beauties, cosplayers and around 80,000 other fans of Japanese fantasy culture congregate for this mega-event, taking part in Indonesia and Singapore this year. Special guests for 2014 include celebrity cosplayers such as Yuegene – a Thai who’s won praise for being able to uncannily portray male characters – plus South Korean cosplayer Aza Miyuko, who takes the genre to new levels, styling her background as well as herself to look completely computer-generated. See here for more info.


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4. Nomad Cinema in Brompton Cemetery, UK
Pop-up cinemas have gone mad in London. This one in particular is holding screenings in a local cemetery, where more than 205,000 people are buried. Film showings will be atmospheric, if not downright terrifying, amid the 35,000 monuments, headstones and tombs. Interestingly, this is where Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst is buried; look out for her grave during The Matrix or The Dark Night screening this September. See here for more.


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5. Jedi-Con, Germany
Run by the ‘Official Star Wars Fan Club’ in Germany, this Düsseldorf-based event is for those who have Star Wars posters all over their house, who own original Star Wars memorabilia, and those who, erm, know who Kenny Baker is (he’s the small chap who wore the R2-D2 costume, above). Hold on to your hats… Kenny Baker is going to be at the event this October. There will also be panels, fan talks, costume competitions and tonnes of merchandise to pick up, from action figures to original artwork. See here for more info.

Comic-Con, San Diego begins 24 July – see here for more details.


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