Fantasia 2016: A Tsunami Sized Second Wave of Titles Announced

Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)
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Fantasia 2016: A Tsunami Sized Second Wave of Titles Announced

With the mega-sized Montreal genre-fest hitting its two decade milestone this year, Fantasia is pulling out all the stops. The first announcement offered details on their now mature and thriving film development market (Frontieres), as well as several world premieres, mutliple Miike films, fresh cinema from several accomplished veterans of horror, science fiction and action filmmaking.

The second wave adds more. A lot more. Including new movies from Jackie Chan, Johhnie To, Marilyn Manson, JCVD, Kevin Smith, Sato Shinsuke, Mike Flanagan, and Yamata Yoji!

One thing Fantasia has positively excelled at is their regional spotlights. In the past, personal favourites were the Serbian Spotlight as well as the Manila (Philippines) Spotlight. This year, there is a spotlight on Polish genre cinema, perhaps inspired by the passing of Polish master Andrej Zulawski, for which a restored version of On The Silver Globe. The much younger Marcin Wrona also passed last year and his final film Demon will be in the spotlight along with several other filmmakers.

Also, the weird and challenging Camera Lucida is back, a programme that looks for the new and unusual genre filmmakers that are interested in telling stories in new and unusual ways. At Fantasia, off the beaten path is the best path taken. And if Hong-Jin Na's The Wailing never opened in your filmmaket or played a festival near by, Fantasia is a way to catch this along with cult favourite Nakamura Yoshiro's latest, Inerasable and Nathan William's thriller, If There's A Hell Below, among others.

And finally, if you got the chance to experience the glorious deadpan insanity of Bennett Jones' I Am A Knife With Legs last year, DIY Sidebar, Fantasia Underground returns with a slew of raw, hand-made, crazy.

 

Go on and peruse the full release of titles from the second-wave announcement, it is included in its entirety, below:
 

Opening Film: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF DANIEL GROU’S KING DAVE
 
Violence, heartache and betrayal lie ahead when Dave (MOMMY’s Alexandre Goyette) gets caught up in a calamitous situation, driven by an unstoppable momentum. A tale told in a breathless rush, captured in a single tracking shot by celebrated Quebecois filmmaker Daniel “Podz” Grou (7 DAYS, 10 1/2, MIRACULUM). Also starring Karelle Tremblay and Mylène St-Sauveur.
 
 
Additional Opening Night Attraction: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JOHN STOCKWELL’S KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE
 
Re-launching the KICKBOXER franchise, this blistering new film boasts Canadian actor Alain Moussi in the lead and Jean-Claude Van Damme as a muay thai teacher with unconventional methods. Georges St-Pierre and Dave Bautista also star. Directed by John Stockwell (TURISTAS, INTO THE BLUE).
 
 
MARILYN MANSON WILL MAKE YOU A MARTYR
 
Trailblazing musician and multimedia artist Marilyn Mason will be coming to Fantasia to present the World Premiere of Corey Asraf & John Swab’s gripping and poetic modern Noir LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR. Manson is a producer on the film and co-stars alongside Mark Boone Junior, Niko Nicotera, Sam Quartin, and Michael Potts.
 
 
KEVIN SMITH WILL YOGA YOU A HOSER
 
Indie iconoclast Kevin Smith will be coming to Fantasia for a special evening with his uniquely Quebec-centric comedy YOGA HOSERS, the second entry in the filmmaker’s inspired “True North” trilogy centered around outrageously kooky and inventively hallucinatory happenings in our Canuckian neck of the woods.
 
 
SHINSUKE SATO IS COMING TO FANTASIA WITH LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION
 
Shinsuke Sato is one of the most versatile directors in Japan, excelling as the Co-Writer-Director of a family oriented animation film like OBLIVIOUS ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (Special Mention at Fantasia 2010) as much as he does at the helm of thrilling gore fest like I AM A HERO. The festival will have the pleasure of welcoming Director Sato again with the Canadian Premiere of LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, part of our Action! section, where paramilitary thrills, comical flourishes and powerful philosophical challenges pervade this sequel to the 2013 Fantasia hit.
 
 
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF NICK GILLESPIE’S BEN WHEATLEY-PRODUCED TANK 432
 
A military mission goes deadly wrong when a group of soldiers find themselves stalked by invisible enemies. Co-produced by Ben Wheatley (A FIELD IN ENGLAND, HIGH RISE), Nick Gillespie's TANK 432 is a gripping and fascinating unnatural thriller where the lines between reality and nightmares dissolve to make room for an exploration into chaos. One of the highlights of the 2016 edition of Fantasia's Camera Lucida section (full lineup announced later in this release).
 
 
SLEEP NO MORE AS WE UNCOVER MIKE FLANAGAN’S BEFORE I WAKE
 
Fantasia was among the first festivals to introduce the world to the brilliance of Mike Flanagan (OCCULUS, HUSH) with our screening of the filmmaker’s instant-classic debut ABSENTIA. We’re thrilled to be bringing him back with a special screening of his eerie and poetic horror/fantasy BEFORE I WAKE, starring Jacob Tremblay (ROOM) as a troubled orphan whose dreams spill out into the real-world environment around him when he sleeps – as do his nightmares. Also starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Annabeth Gish.
 
 
JACKIE CHAN RETURNS TO THE FANTASIA SCREEN WITH SKIPTRACE
 
A beloved figure on the Fantasia screen since the festival’s 1996 inception, Jackie Chan will always hold a special place here. We’re pleased to be presenting the North American premiere of his latest film, Renny Harlin’s SKIPTRACE, in which a detective from Hong Kong teams up with an American gambler (Johnny Knoxville) to battle against a notorious Chinese criminal. Also starring Fan Bingbing, Eric Tsang and Michael Wong.
 
 
ADAM NIMOY WILL HOST THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK
 
Arriving at Warp Speed to welcome STAR TREK’s 50th anniversary, FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK celebrates the enduring series by focusing on the franchise’s most popular character and the man who played him. Directed and narrated by Adam Nimoy, this fascinating doc offers a personal, intimate look at the life and livelihood of his late father, beloved actor Leonard Nimoy, and his iconic alter-ego, Mr. Spock. Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival 2016
 
 
IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD
 
A terminally-ill postman with days to live meets the Devil in the guise of his double, who offers him an extra day of life for each thing, linking him to his loved ones, that is forever removed from the surface of the Earth. A poignant Faustian tale full of both sadness and light. Make no mistake, Akira Nagai's IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD, presented in Canadian Premiere, is among the finest jewels of Fantasia’s 2016 programming and one of the most touching films you will encounter anywhere this year.
 
 
THE NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF KIKE MAILLO’S TORO
 
Kike Maillo created quite a stir on the festival circuit in 2011 with the Goya-awarded sci-fi film EVA. For his second feature, he brings us a super-realist action film, highly stylized, cleverly written and flawlessly directed, starring Mario Casas (UNIT 7) and Luis Tosar (SLEEP TIGHT).
 
 
AN OUTSIDER ROMANCE TOLD UNROMANTICALLY: SOME FREAKS
 
A rare teen film about outsiders that actually understands them, playwright Ian McAllister-McDonald’s SOME FREAKS (World Premiere) depicts a sweet yet wounding romance between a one-eyed boy (Thomas Mann) and a large girl (Lily Mae Harrington) who come together from shared experiences as high school outcasts. Funny, honest and caustic, this film will charm your heart – and demolish it. Co-executive produced by Neil LaBute.
 
 
 
SPOTLIGHT ON POLISH GENRE CINEMA
 
In tribute to the passing of the great Andrzej Zulawski earlier this year, Fantasia will be presenting a special showcase of Polish genre cinema. Presented in collaboration with the Polish Film Institute, our series will screen four masterpieces of provocative, individualistic filmmaking, three contemporary, one nearly-lost classic in vividly restored new light.
 
 
DEMON
Poland — Dir: Marcin Wrona
 
This festival favorite offers an ingenious twist on Jewish folklore and myth. Tackling complex ideas — whether the feeling of confronting life’s big changes, or of the lurking national and political histories that bubble to the surface once families are united under the same roof — DEMON is dense with illuminating metaphors, and rich with moments of unsettlingly quiet horror. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016.  Quebec Premiere
 
 
 
I, OLGA HEPNAROVA
Czech Republic-Poland-Slovakia — Dirs: Petr Kazda, Tomas Weinreb
 
On July 10, 1973, 22-year-old Olga Hepnarová drove a truck into a group of 25 strangers, setting in motion a tragic conclusion to a lonely young life of alienation and rage. A bracingly powerful and tough-minded true story featuring a haunting lead performance by the incredible Michalina Olszanska (THE LURE). Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere.
 
 
 
THE LURE
Poland — Dir: Agnieszka Smoczynska
 
Heart-eating sister sirens from the sea join an erotic cabaret in the disco mermaid stripper horror/musical/comedy/drama/romance/coming-of-age adult fable you’ve been waiting your entire life for.  A singular masterpiece of the unconventional, THE LURE is an exhilaratingly cool act of filmmaking whose charms are impossible to resist. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Luxembourg City Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
 
 
 
ON THE SILVER GLOBE (newly restored)
Poland — Dir: Andrzej Zulawski
 
Andrzej Zulawski’s long suppressed, now magnificently restored ON THE SILVER GLOBE (1977/1988) features some of the most bizarre and startling imagery ever committed to celluloid: heretics impaled on spikes, a mass underground orgy and (years before MAD MAX) a finned Cadillac screaming through the desert… Shortly before the end of filming, the project was shut down by the Polish Communist authorities. Almost a decade later, Zulawski was invited back to Poland to complete his broken masterpiece. Recently restored from the original camera negative, ON THE SILVER GLOBE presents a terrifying science fiction vision worlds apart from STAR WARS.
 
 
 
CAMERA LUCIDA 2016
 
For its 7th edition, Camera Lucida once again showcases unique and groundbreaking perspectives on genre cinemas by taking its codes into new directions. Over a dozen titles from around the world have been selected to figure in our 2016 line-up, including festival favorites as well as exciting premieres from promising newcomers. Themes this year cover feminism, urban isolation, conspiracy theories and sexuality.
 
 
ALOYS
Switzerland / France — Dir: Tobias Nölle
 
In this urban fable, a lonely inspector sees his life turned upside down when a mysterious woman initiates him to « telephone walking », an unusual form of therapy. A rare example of audiovisual poetry, the bittersweet ALOYS could be compared to a melancholic variation on Jean-Pierre Jeunet's AMELIE. Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2016.
 
 
L'ÉLAN
France — Dir: Étienne Labroue
 
The arrival of a humanoid being (an elk, with a big plush head) quickly creates havoc in a small French village. Part mockumentary, conspiracy theory and fantasy fable, this promising debut feature bursts with a refreshing originality. Official Selection: L'étrange festival de Paris 2015. Canadian Premiere.
 
 
SHELLEY
Denmark-Sweden — Dir: Ali Abbasi
 
A housekeeper finds a new job in an isolated house in the middle of wilderness. Once there, the two owners ask her to carry their child. Reminiscent of ROSEMARY'S BABY, this modern gothic chiller turns an intimate Bergman-like drama into one of the most surprising horror films of the year. Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016. North-American Premiere.
 
 
IF THERE'S A HELL BELOW (Closing Film: Camera Lucida)
USA — Dir: Nathan Williams
 
Believing to be on the story of the century, a journalist suddenly finds himself caught in a frantic game of cat and mouse. Quiet yet profoundly suspense, the Closing Film of Camera Lucida 2016 creates a climate of paranoia so paralyzing that it's almost asphyxiating. Official Selection: Slamdance Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.
 
 
THE INERASABLE
Japan — Dir. Yoshihiro Nakamura
 
A popular mystery writer and a young architecture student investigate a haunted apartment complex, in this clever deconstruction of J-horror tropes from prolific director Yoshihiro Nakamura (FISH STORY, THE SNOW WHITE MURDER CASE). Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.
 
 
THE WAILING (Opening Film: Camera Lucida)
South Korea — Dir. Na Hong-jin
 
A wave of gruesome murders is tearing the rural village of Goksung apart and its only weapons against these manifestations of pure evil are an incompetent cop, a shy deacon and an exuberant shaman. With the ambient horror thriller THE WAILING, the Opening Film of our Camera Lucida section and one of the most talked about films of Cannes 2016, Writer/Director Na Hong-jin confirm his place among the masters of Korean cinema. Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival 2016, Munich International Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere
 
Previously announced Camera Lucida titles: AMERICANA, EMBERS, OPERATION AVALANCHE, UNDER THE SHADOW, WE ARE THE FLESH
 
 
FANTASIA UNDERGROUND 2016
 
Get set for unrestrained eccentricity and mountains of resourceful, raw talent as Fantasia Underground celebrates its third birthday, bringing a homeless street gang, a power-stripped middle-aged superhero, an alienated dog groomer in love and a whole lotta monsters to town for the party.  
 
 
 
PARASITES
USA — Dir: Chad Ferrin
 
Three college students find themselves lost and stranded on Skid Row when they get a flat tire and are captured by an angry homeless gang. Visceral, low-budget grittiness that pays homage to horror, westerns and ’80s action, playing like John Carpenter by way of Jim VanBebber.  World Premiere
 
 
 
SHE’S ALLERGIC TO CATS
USA — Dir: Michael Reich
 
In an era where we’re regularly seeing films calculated to be “weird” by design, here’s an intoxicatingly insane breath-of-fresh-air coming from a place so genuine and strange it cannot be faked. Is it a comedy? A horror film? A romance? A fever dream? Yes! An experimental observational comedy that doesn’t look or feel like anything else, this is one of the coolest discoveries of 2016.
 
 
SUPERPOWERLESS
USA — Dir: Duane Anderson
 
A former crime-fighter whose unnatural powers have waned, is plagued by midlife crisis. A witty, surprising and emotionally resonant film about aging, self-acceptance and legacy that brings a fresh perspective on the iconic superhero: you will believe that a man can fly, fall down and get back up again… Truly terrific.  World Premiere
 
 
THERAPY
France — Dir: Nathan Ambrosioni
 
Following the discovery of a home movie left by a pack of missing teenagers, two cops realized they must act quickly in order to save them from a murderous threat. Following the success of last year's HOSTILE, maverick young filmmaker Nathan Ambrosioni, now a weather-beaten 16 years of age, returns to Fantasia with a frightening and well-crafted new take on the found footage subgenre. World Premiere.
 
Previously announced Fantasia Underground title: ATMO HORROX
 
 
Additional Second Wave Highlights:
 
 
ANOTHER EVIL
USA — Dir: Carson D. Mell
 
A couple whose vacation home is haunted enlist a hardcore exorcist — and the real problems begin. This parapsychological gem, the feature debut from Carson D. Mell, a writer on EASTBOUND & DOWN and SILICON VALLEY, is both a weird, intimate comedy and a different kind of haunted-house chiller. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere
 
 
ANTIBIRTH
USA-Canada — Dir: Danny Perez
 
Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly and Mark Webber star in this twisted, surrealistic and grotesque tale of drug addiction and a very unusual kind of pregnancy that stunned audiences at Sundance earlier this year. Official Selection: Boston Underground Film Festival 2016
 
 
A BRIDE FOR RIP VAN WINKLE
Japan — Dir. Shunji Iwai
 
Nanami meets her husband on the Internet, and her life unravels into a complex network of artifice, strange jobs and deceitful relationships. An epic of alienation and love for the age of social media, from master Shunji Iwai (ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU, VAMPIRE)! Official selection: Seattle International Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere
 
 
A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH
Denmark — Dir: Hans Petter Moland
 
A message in a bottle comes across the desk of a sleepy cold-case investigation unit in Denmark. It begins with the word ‘Help.’ An exhilaratingly chilling Nordic Noir starring the great Nikolaj Lie Kaas, A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH broke a 15-year Opening Weekend box office record in Denmark. Official Selection: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
 
 
THE DEVIL’S CANDY
USA — Dir: Sean Byrne
 
A vivid new take on the Satanic haunted-house thriller by way of a home-invasion siege nightmare, complete with a ferociously effective doom-metal sound design that will have the cinema’s walls shaking with demonic force to match director Byrne’s exhilarating storytelling chops. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Fantastic Fest 2015. Quebec Premiere.
 
 
EYES OF MY MOTHER
USA — Dir: Nicolas Pesce
 
First-time writer/director Nicolas Pesce's B&W nightmare had everyone talking--and screaming--during its Sundance debut, and now makes its bloody mark on Fantasia. This rural horror show jangles the nerves from the get-go, when a lunatic arrives at the remote homestead of an odd family. But that's just the tip of this chilling iceberg that evokes Takashi Miike at his most disturbing and Terrence Malick at his most evocative. Canadian Premiere.
 
 
LAZY HAZY CRAZY
Hong Kong — Dir: Jody Luk Yee-Sum
 
An audacious and unsettling coming of age story of three girls reaching adulthood in Hong Kong from 1st time director Jody Luk Yee-Sum, a regular co-writer (LOVE IN THE BUFF & VULGARIA) for award winning director Pang Ho-Cheung (who also serves as producer). Official Selection: Tokyo Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Five Flavors Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, Canadian Premiere.
 
 
THE LOVE WITCH
USA — Dir: Anna Biller
 
A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, in VIVA director Anna Biller’s tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas. Dazzlingly decked out in the filmmaker’s aesthetic signature of personally hand crafted costumes and art direction (Biller also scripted, edited and scored the film). Official Selection: Maryland Film Festival 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
 
 
THE MASTER CLEANSE
USA — Dir: Bobby Miller
 
Heartbroken Paul (Johnny Galecki) joins an unusual spiritual retreat, where the approach to inner growth is perhaps a touch too literal. An intimately whimsical black comedy about personal baggage and the monsters it can become.  The long awaited feature debut from Bobby Miller, whose brilliant short TUB astonished audiences at Fantasia in 2010. Also starring Anna Friel, Kyle Gallner and Anjelica Huston. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere.
 
 
SLASH
USA — Dir: Clay Liford
 
Teenagers Neil (Michael Johnston) and Julia (Hannah Marks) bond over their shared devotion to amateur, erotic fan fiction for sci-fi/fantasy geeks in this smart, empathic, often funny and always convincing coming-of-age drama. Official Selection: BAMCinemaFest 2016, Munich Film Festival 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere. 8
 
 
TEENAGE COCKTAIL
USA — Dir: John Carchietta
 
Picture-perfect teens Annie (Nichole Bloom) and Jules (Fabianne Therese) 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. Also starring Pat Healy. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere.
 
 
THREE
Hong Kong — Dir: Johnnie To
 
A Crook, a cop and a surgeon with dark secrets converge in a hospital leading to deadly results. Director Johnnie To returns to the action genre after a three-year hiatus! Filmed entirely in a hospital in Southern China and without a full script, To is back in full force, creating tense cat and mouse games and a thrilling climatic shoot-out that he can do so effortlessly with fresh vigor! Official Selection: Taipei Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
 
 
THE THRONE
South Korea – Dir. Lee Joon-ik
 
The horrible death of Prince Sado, condemned by his father King Yeongjo to die of thirst in a rice chest, is among most tragic events in Korea's history. Lee Joon-ik masterfully turns this national drama in an intimate family tragedy where the great Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in lead stellar cast. A multiple award-winner, THE THRONE was South Korea's runner up for the latest Academy Awards. Official Selection: Hawaii International Film Festival 2015 and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere
 
 
WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY!
Japan — Dir. Yoji Yamada
 
Living legend Yoji Yamada (TORA-SAN, TWILIGHT SAMURAI) reunites with the cast of his 2013 remake of Yasujiro Ozu’s TOKYO STORY for this comedic tour-de-force; a rip-roaring slapstick take on elderly divorce, and the generational gap that molds traditional values through time. Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2016, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere
 
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Mark SavageJune 16, 2016 1:04 PM

Some excellent choices –– for me, SOME FREAKS, in particular.