Fantasia is back! It’s bigger and hotter than ever! This summer the Fantasia International Film Festival located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with over 130 feature films.
The one-of-a-kind annual movie event will feature several special happenings throughout the month of mid-July and early August. Fantasia will honor genre filmmaker Guillermo del Toro with its prestigious Cheval Noir Award, which del Toro will gladly accept in person in his first-ever Montreal appearance. In addition, Fantasia will also honor Takashi Miike, Japan’s most groundbreaking filmmakers of his generation, a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lastly, Fantasia officially announced its first wave of programming, which includes a special screening of David F. Sandberg’s hotly anticipated Lights Out, Craig Anderson’s Red Christmas (International Premiere), Yeon Sang-ho’s Seoul Station (Canadian Premiere), Daniel de la Vega’s grisly supernatural shocker White Coffin (World Premiere), The Unseen (World Premiere), and tons more. For the list of first wave highlights, continue reading below.film
Fantasia 2016 takes place from July 14-August 2, with its Frontiéres international co-production market and Industry Rendez-Vous weekend being held July 21-24.
USA – Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman
The murder of her family leads a real-estate reporter into a nightmarish mystery in this ghoulishly original film that haunts the netherworld between blood-soaked supernatural horror and hardboiled neo-Noir. Darren Lynn Bousman, the man behind REPO: THE GENETIC OPERA, SAW II-IV, and THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, has returned. Official Selection: Los Angeles International Film Festival 2016. International Premiere
THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK
USA – Dir: Joel Potrykus
Sean has dropped out of life, set up shop in a small trailer in the woods, and decided to pursue the forbidden art of alchemy. An irreverent, abrasive, and horror-infused take on modern-day alienation that plays like a punk- EC Comics tale, from the acclaimed of COYOTE, APE, and BUZZARD. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Nashville Film Festival 2016, BAMCinemaFest 2016.
USA – Dir: Zachary Shedd
A film editor must battle his own demons when an on-set eruption of violence leads to a deeper, darker conspiracy. A beautifully brooding neo-Noir, more calculated and compelling with every twist and turn. Official selection: Seattle International Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.
France – Dir: Benjamin Rocher
A police squad’s rough and unconventional methods are challenged just as a rash of robberies put Paris on edge. Jean Reno stars in this explosive, captivating, and highly entertaining action film. North American Premiere.
Quebec – Dir: Pat Tremblay
All is well in the land of the mad, in the latest surrealist opus from Pat Tremblay (HELLACIOUS ACRES), twisted titan of the Quebec underground. One thing is certain — rational thought has left the building and hasn’t left a number where it can be reached. Official Selection: Revelation Perth International Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere.
THE BACCHUS LADY
South Korea – Dir: E J-yong
Senior citizen So-Young takes in a mixed-race kid while tending to her many clients. A thoroughly compassionate and revealing look at the lives of aging prostitutes in South Korea – with a murderous twist! Official Selection: Berlinale 2016 (Panorama). Canadian Premiere.
BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE
USA – Dir: Tim Reis
What’s the deal with all those frogs in the gas station’s makeshift basement laboratory? This old-fashioned creature feature is a goopy new lab sample of the growing Atlanta, GA horror scene featuring hand-crafted make-up effects designed and created by James Sizemore. WINNER: Audience Award, Best Feature, Chattanooga Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.
Turkey – Dir: Mehmet Kurtuluş, Ayşe Ünal
Forget FRITZ THE CAT, this is GARFIELD-goes-BAD LIEUTENANT! Guaranteed fun for cat lovers, fans of international animation, and hopeless degenerates. Which one are you? Official Selection: Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere
China – Dir: Yue Song
The new master of the Iron Kick clan sets out in search of a lost friend, earns a job protecting a rich man’s daughter, and clashes with a criminal gang in one of the most exciting and auspicious martial arts films in years! Canadian Premiere
CHIHAYAFURU PART 1 & PART 2
Japan – Dir: Nori Koizumi
Chihaya is driven like few shojo heroines are: she wants to become the world champion of karuta, the traditional, competitive card-playing game mixing ancient poetry, extreme hand speed, and almost violent card tossing. Adapted from the acclaimed manga, this perfect blend of coming of age tale and exhilarating sports drama will make you laugh, cheer and probably shed a tear. North American Premiere.
THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Germany – Dir: Stephan Rick
A psychedelic mushroom trip turns a successful lawyer into a wanted man in this tense and violent starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Jürgen Prochnow. Official Selection: Zurich Film Festival 2015, Hamburg Film Festival 2015. North American Premiere.
USA/Poland – Dir: Claire Carré
Since the apocalypse, humanity has been deprived of its memory. Two strangers wake up together. Are they somehow connected? A thoughtful science fiction tale from a promising new voice in independent cinema. Official Selection: Oldenburg Film Festival 2015, Slamdance 2016. Winner: Narrative Feature Jury Award, New Orleans Film Festival 2015. Canadian Premiere.
THE GREASY STRANGLER
USA – Dir: Jim Hosking
The feature debut of absurdist advertising genius / acclaimed short filmmaker Jim Hosking is the grossest father-son comedy you’ll ever see and the weirdest serial killer film on the planet, propelled by an in-your-face drive to baffle, nauseate, and antagonize with its bizarre brand of humor. Produced by a superteam that includes Elijah Wood, Josh C. Waller, Ben Wheatley, Tim League, and Ant Timpson. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, SXSW 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Thailand – Dir: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Workaholic Yoon has a more serious medical condition than stress-induced rashes. He’s starting to show the symptoms of serious heartache. Paging pretty Dr. Imm! A pitch-perfect rom-com from a rising Thai star director. WINNER: Thailand National Film Association Awards (Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing). Official Selection: Osaka International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE
New Zealand – Dir: Taika Waititi
A troublesome teen and a cranky old man get tangled up in a wild manhunt through the New Zealand bush in this intelligent, hilarious, and original adventure that is the biggest homegrown kiwi hit of all time. From the co-director of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Tribeca Film Festival 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE
USA – Dir: Ti West
A drifter comes to mining town Denton, home to criminals, bullies, and hustlers and all hell begins to break loose in this witty, tense, and grisly Western from maverick horror maestro Ti West starring Ethan Hawke, Karen Gillan, and John Travolta. Official Selection: SXSW 2016 International Premiere.
Canada – Dir: Felipe Rodriguez
Stripped bare and confined in an Arizona basement, a group of undocumented Mexicans are beaten and brutalized in an attempt to extort money from their families. A brutal powerhouse laced with a claustrophobic tension. Official Selection: Manchester Film Festival 2016, Newport Beach Film Festival 2016. Winner of the Chairmen’s Award at the 2015 San Diego Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
USA – Dirs: Michael Borowiec, Sam Marine
The latest gem to emerge from the loose U.S. wave of personal indie genre visions of recent years that includes such singular works as THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, BELLFLOWER, and RESOLUTION, MAN UNDERGROUND is a very special and uncomfortable film. A sometimes funny, sometimes frightening work of intense paranoid drama with chilling elements of sci-fi and an incredible lead performance from FLAKED’s George Basil. Official Selection: Cinequest 2016. International Premiere.
India – Dir: Shakti Soundar Rajan
Karthik’s orderly life is upended when his beloved sister disappears — and a strange virus transforms everyone around him into bloodthirsty ghouls! There’s no time to sing and dance in the first Tamil chiller!
Canada – Dir: Matt Johnson
In 1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history. An astonishing new creation from the brilliant team behind THE DIRTIES. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Hot Docs 2016. Quebec Premiere.
USA – Dir: John Carchietta
Picture-perfect teens Annie and Jules are in love, and have made a plan. A cautionary tale of sorts about mad teenage love, growing up on the Internet, and the kind of poor decisions that characterize life lived to its fullest… or shortest. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Independent Film Festival of Boston 2016. International Premiere.
THEY CALL ME JEEG
Italy – Dir: Gabriele Mainetti
Can a small-time crook who unexpectedly gains incredible, unnatural powers turn his life around and become a crusader for good? A smart, slick, stylish, and very Italian take on the superhero action adventure, loaded with colorful characters and clever ideas. Winner of the Silver Scream Award at the Imagine International Film Festival, Amsterdam. Canadian Premiere.
USA – Dir: Richard Bates Jr.
Owen and Isabel are hatefully in love, and soon to be parents. Can a road trip to visit mysterious distant family save their relationship, or are they opening a rotting Pandora’s box of secrets, lies, and murder? An acerbic, hilarious horror-comedy from the director of EXCISION and SUBURBAN GOTHIC, starring Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, and Annalynne McCord. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Chicago Critics Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
UNDER THE SHADOW
Iran/U.K./Jordan – Dir: Babak Anvari
Amidst the horrors of the Iran-Iraq war, a terrifying djinn may be stalking a mother and daughter’s missile-struck apartment. A bold new leap in Persian-language cinema, UNDER THE SHADOW repurposes the conventions of genre storytelling into frightening new form, delivering an emotionally pulverizing experience in fear that also functions as gripping sociopolitical commentary. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Seattle International Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
WE ARE THE FLESH
Mexico – Dir: Emiliano Rocha Minter
A brother and sister fall into the clutches of an uncanny entity whose dark rituals demand that they break every imaginable taboo. Courageous viewers, prepare for a journey deep into the heart of darkness that counts Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón and Carlos Reygadas among its enthusiastic supporters. Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016. North American Premiere.
WE GO ON
USA – Dirs: Andy Mitton, Jesse Holland
Miles is prepared to pay $30,000 for proof of any sort that life may go on after we die. For better or for worse, he’s going to get an answer. Engrossingly intelligent and character-driven, full of stunning curves and surprises, and utterly frightening, WE GO ON is one of the most gripping paranormal explorations that cinema has seen in years. An absolute triumph of resourceful independent filmmaking. Winner: Audience Award, Best Feature, Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival 2016. Official Selection: Cleveland International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere
WOMEN WHO KILL
USA – Dir: Ingrid Jungermann
Commitment phobic Morgan (director Ingrid Jungermann) and her ex-girlfriend Jean (Ann Carr), locally famous true crime podcasters, suspect Morgan’s new love interest (A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT’s Sheila Vand) is a murderer. A smart, introspective black comedy that won a richly deserved award for Best Screenplay in a US Narrative Feature at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. International Premiere