Daniel Abella is the director of The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival and The New York Science Fiction Film Festival. A graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Physics and Biochemistry, Abella's first exposure to science fiction came from watching The Fly (1958) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), two films that left with him a never-ending desire to study science. After several years with a biotech startup, Abella went on to pursue a variety of independent business ventures with an eye towards combining entertainment and education.
In 2005, he wrote and directed the feature film The Final Equation, a modern rendering of the Faust legend that depicts the story of a scientist who opens a portal to a parallel universe that threatens mankind. The film ran successfully in the film festival circuit but Abella longed for a space to bring like-minded films and filmmakers under the same roof. In 2012, he came across a quote from writer Ursula K. Le Guin comparing the works of authors Philip K. Dick and Jorge Luis Borges. Intrigued, Abella immediately read Dick's novel VALIS and became enthralled with the author's legendary science fiction novels and short stories. He realized that Dick's legacy was the ideal platform to honor with a film festival and unleash the powers of creativity and imagination onto the New York City film world. That same year saw the debut of The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, an event now entering its fifth annual gathering in May 2017, that brings forth the very best in quality and originality in honor of one of the 20th century's biggest influences whose compelling themes continue to shape contemporary society. The festival's success has also led to a European version since 2013 with events in Lille, France, Łódź, Poland and Cologne, Germany and the debut of The New York Science Fiction Film Festival in 2017.