Fantasia 2016: Third Wave Unleashes an Embarrasment of Riches, Including Virtual Reality Projects, Special Guests & More
Wow. If you know Fantasia, then you know that this festival is among the heavy hitters in the world of genre films. Every year, this festival gets bigger and better --- which always seems impossible, yet it happens. This July is no different. Fantasia's 2016 boasts some insane programming, and here are the third and last wave details below. The festival schedule is live --- and if we're lucky, the site won't crash from the massive amount of traffic that it'll receive. Ready? Here we go!
The festival's two closing night films are DON'T BREATHE from Fede Alvarez and the return of Mel Gibson in BLOOD FATHER. Below you'll also find info on: juror announcements; a spoken word performance from best-selling author Grady Hendrix; Christopher Lloyd hosting the Canadian Premiere of I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER; the North American Premiere of Cannes sensation TRAIN TO BUSAN; and the International Premiere of ULTRAMAN X --- fifty years to the day after Ultraman first premiered on Japanese television.
In DON’T BREATHE, a trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong. Screening will be hosted by Alvarez himself. DON’T BREATHE is produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert along with Alvarez. Sony Pictures will release the film in North America on .
Hot off its premiere at Cannes, the powerhouse Mel Gibson thriller BLOOD FATHER, directed by Jean-François Richet (MESRINE, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13), will have its first North American screening at Fantasia as both part of the festival’s closing night events and the official closing film of the Action! section. BLOOD FATHER’s impressive cast also features Erin Moriarty, Elisabeth Röhm, William H. Macy, Diego Luna, Dale Dickey, Thomas Mann, and Michael Parks.
CELEBRATING JEAN-CLAUDE LORD IN THE NAME OF DENIS HÉROUX
As part of the festival’s 20th Anniversary festivities, Fantasia has announced the creation of The Denis Héroux Award, a prize that recognizes exceptional contribution to the development of genre cinema and independent cinema from Quebec, named after the trailblazing filmmaker - director of such works as VALÉRIE and A FEW ACRES OF SNOW, producer of landmarks that include QUEST FOR FIRE and ATLANTIC CITY - who passed away in December of last year. The inaugural recipient will be Jean-Claude Lord, maker of such diverse works as PARLEZ-NOUS D’AMOUR, VISITING HOURS, PANIQUE, THE VINDICATOR, and BINGO, the latter being one of the first thrillers from Quebec.
Whether you’re curious about this new technology or anxious to try some of the genre film experiences developed in Canada and around the world in recent months, FANTASIA, in collaboration with CFC Media Lab, Cream Productions and Woolf + Lapin, is proud to present THE SAMSUNG FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE. On , from , and from to , from , the Fantasia audience will have the chance to choose among a selection of 11 different viewing experiences for virtual reality technology, selected for us by the CFC MEDIA LAB. Admission is free.
SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS
Grady Hendrix, celebrated film critic and acclaimed author of bestsellers Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, brings his stunning, deeply personal one-man show about psychic teenagers to Fantasia with SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS. Telling the all-shocking, all-true tale of Victorian teenagers who spoke to the dead, this is the real life story of how biomechanical sex cults, the ghost of Ben Franklin, and Arctic explorers all teamed up to answer the ultimate question: is there life after death?
Fantasia will be hosting a rare appearance by Gérard Kikoïne, French director of “films d'amour” featuring iconic X stars Brigitte Lahaie and Marilyn Jess. Having just published his memoir, “Kikobook,” the industry pioneer will revisit his singular life path and discuss his collaborations with Oliver Reed, Anthony Perkins, and Abel Gance, among others. During this round-table talk, moderated by filmmaker Éric Falardeau (THANATOMORPHOSE) and Mad Movies Magazine’s Gilles Esposito, he will reveal many behind-the-scenes secrets. The event will take place following our screening of Nicolas and Bruno’s IN SEARCH OF THE ULTRA-SEX.
RUROUNI KENSHIN DIRECTOR HAS MURDER IN MIND FOR A FANTASIA WORLD PREMIERE
Fantasia is thrilled to host the World Premiere of the fascinating sci-fi thriller THE TOP SECRET: MURDER IN MIND, adapted from the popular manga Himitsu The Top Secret. A masterful script full of surprises, flawless characterizations and top-of-the-line production values make this visually stunning work a standout. After directing the immensely popular RUROUNI KENSHIN trilogy, Keishi Otomo proves once again that he is a singular talent and it will be a pleasure to welcome him back to Montreal for our 20th anniversary edition.
Adored actor Christopher Lloyd will be visiting Fantasia for the Canadian Premiere of Billy O’Brien’s I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, an acclaimed adaptation of Dan Wells’ successful novel. Who better to understand and stalk a serial killer than a teenage closet sociopath? From the gifted director of ISOLATION.
THE NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF YEON SANG-HO’S CANNES SENSATION TRAIN TO BUSAN
Following our First Wave announcement of the Canadian Premiere of Yeon Sang-ho’s animated horror masterpiece SEOUL STATION, Fantasia is excited to announce the first North American screening of the filmmaker’s riveting TRAIN TO BUSAN, fresh off obliterating audiences’ nervous systems at Cannes.
Believe us when we tell you that one of the must-see discoveries of Fantasia’s 20th edition is the unpredictable, violent and hilarious GORAN from Croatian filmmaker Nevio Marasovic (VIS-À-VIS). Following a down on his luck alcoholic cab driver during a nightmarish birthday party, this amalgamation of deranged situations turns a powerful social drama into a comedy of awkward situations along the lines of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM with a substantially darker soul.
Japanese comedy master Minoru Kawasaki, creator of such Fantasia classics as THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, EXECUTIVE KOALA and THE RUG COP, is back with another hilariously absurdist treat! A giant monster feasts on hikers and begins to destroy the city when scientists have a genius idea: turning a skinny dude into a colossal pro wrestler! Buildings will fly and models will be pulverized when the hilarious KAIJYU MONO screens in its International Premiere.
Left jobless after the town's big factory closes, Jacques (Romain Duris) finds a new job to cover his debts and make ends meet - contract killings. A smartly written black comedy that takes sharp shots at capitalism and conformity, UN PETIT BOULOT (ODD JOB) is scripted by and co-starring Michel Blanc, and directed by the late Pascal Chaumeil, who passed away shortly after production was completed.
FROM THE MAKERS OF BITE –
Maverick Canadian genre heroes Black Fawn Films, whose BITE, EJECTA, ANTISOCIAL, THE DROWNSMAN, and NEVERLOST have all world premiered at Fantasia, return to Montreal with BED OF THE DEAD, the directorial debut of cinematographer Jeff Maher (BITE, HELLOUTH). Four twenty-somethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death in this hallucinatory Grand Guignol Twilight Zone-esque shocker that gets freakier with each passing minute.
EVERYONE WILL FALL IN LOWLIFE LOVE
Third Window Films and Eiji Uchida (GREATFUL DEAD) partner up once again for LOWLIFE LOVE, an undeniably personal and uncompromising look behind the scenes of Japan's micro-budget film industry. Starring veteran actor Denden (COLD FISH, CURE, UZUMAKI) and Kiyohiko Shibukawa (LOVE & PEACE) in the lead role of a 39-year-old deadbeat lowlife running a scam film school for down-on-their-luck actors and filmmakers. Fantasia’s Canadian Premiere screening will be hosted by Director Eiji Uchida, actor Denden, and producer Adam Torel.
On July 17, 1966, the first episode of the hugely popular Ultraman series was broadcast on Japanese television. On , to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Japan’s most famous superhero, Fantasia will present the international premiere of Kiyotaka Taguchi’s ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE, the latest film from Tsuburaya Productions, featuring the original Ultraman.