Our team welcomes you to the 2018 edition.
Welcome to the 22nd edition
I am pleased to welcome you to the 22nd edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival.
First of all, I would like to share with you the enthusiasm of the entire festival team, and especially the programmers, who are eager to share their favourite discoveries, of which there are many. Indeed, they have been able to discover, among the films submitted to us and seen at screenings in various film markets worldwide, an unprecedented standard of quality work.
We live in a time of great technological progress, which not only allows for increased production, but also access to a wide variety of creators around the world. They produce films that even recently could not have existed without significant financial support. We were therefore more delighted than ever to discover an impressive number of new directors, and a growing number of women directors.
The year 2018 marks the second year of our partnership with the Cannes Film Market, with which we are producing three events that promote the production of genre films internationally, and in particular between North America and Europe. Last February, we again organized the Financing and Project Development Forum in Amsterdam. In May, we organized events at the Cannes Film Market, including presentations of film clips in production and networking events for the international genre film industry. The activities organized by Frontières have been a great success. The third installment of our Frontières co-production market will host, as part of the Fantasia festival, more than 400 international industry representatives, who will meet in Montreal from July 19 to 22.
I want to thank our new sponsors, as well as those who have been loyal to us for many years. Thanks to our institutional partners, whose significant contributions allow Fantasia to remain among the most important genre film festivals in the world. Thanks to the legendary festival-goers of Fantasia. Thanks to you, many filmmakers around the world dream of presenting their film in front of the best cinephile audience!
Finally, I would like to thank the great community of employees, partners and collaborators, who work with dedication and enthusiasm to produce the festival. If there is one reason that can explain the success of the event over the past 21 years, it is without a doubt the passion with which this community as a whole is working, to offer, simply put, the best possible experience for our amazing audience.
Gather ye cinephiles! Spectacular visions await you!
Fantasia’s 22nd carnival is nearly upon us, and with current grim geopolitical events being what they are, its megaton payload of filmic ingenuity couldn’t possibly be more needed. For the next three weeks, prepare to be astonished by singular visions of the fantastic and the unconventional from across the globe. Because we don’t do anything halfway here, this means over 130 features and a veritable avalanche of shorts in a lineup that ranges from Filipino Noir and Argentinean horror to Japanese outsider comedy, provocative docs and cutting-edge reinventions of the Western from Indonesia and South Africa.
There’s far too much goodness coming to be able to encapsulate but a fraction of it here, so as always, we encourage you to read through this programme carefully. Pay special attention to the works that don’t immediately pique your interest because Fantasia remains a place where risk-taking is rewarded and discoveries are hiding everywhere.
On our very opening night, Fantasia will be paying tribute to a genre visionary who’s touched us all, the maker of such individualistic classics as THE HOWLING, PIRANHA, INNERSPACE, EXPLORERS, THE ‘BURBS and the GREMLINS films. Of course, I’m talking about the beloved Joe Dante, who will be getting our 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Speaking of such things, the inimitable Cynthia Rothrock will be here to receive Fantasia’s inaugural Action! Achievement Award and the great Yves Simoneau will be getting our Denis Héroux prize.
Fantasia audiences were the first in the world to see UNFRIENDED when it launched here under its earlier title, CYBERNATURAL. Its innovatively immersive storytelling approach dubbed “Screenlife” was pioneered by Timur Bekmambetov. This year, Fantasia will be showcasing a trio of Screenlife features, each landing with an uncommon impact that’s wholly unique from the others, all telling very different kinds of stories. There’s the riveting Sundance hit SEARCHING starring a terrific John Cho desperately going through the pieces of his missing daughter’s online life, the extraordinary journalist-catfishing-an-ISIS-recruiter thriller PROFILE (an award-winner at both the Berlinale and SXSW) and the disturbing hackers-gone-wild nightmare UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB. Going beyond the screenings, Bekmambetov will conduct a master class event specifically centered around the inception and production methodologies of this brilliant storytelling approach.
Speaking of special events, other things to keep on your radar are a special Michael Ironside Live in Conversation event, put on by our friends at the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, that will see the great actor discuss his career, filmmaker Mick Garris will be doing a live Post Mortum podcast dedicated to all things NIGHTMARE CINEMA, renowned genre critic Michael Gingold will be host a multimedia book launch event for his forthcoming Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares of the 1980’s, and we’ll be presenting a special 107th anniversary screening of Italy’s first genre film L’INFERNO (1911), live-scored by Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini!
What else? So. Much.
Japan’s genre blockbuster king Shinsuke Sato is returning with no fewer than three features – BLEACH (International Premiere), INUYASHIKI (Canadian Premiere) and a special screening of I AM A HERO (Canadian Premiere). Satoshi Miki, longtime member of the Fantasia Family, will be back with his delirious musical comedy LOUDER! CAN’T HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SINGIN’ WIMP, World Premiering in our Cheval Noir competition. The nightmarish short film work of Brazilian filmmaker Dennison Ramalho has been a standout here since 2004, and we’re excited to be unveiling the World Premiere of his long-awaited feature debut THE NIGHTSHIFTER, also competing in Cheval Noir.
It’s also a pleasure to be able to point out that this year’s lineup features five features that were born out of Frontières, Fantasia’s co-production market, each coming here after launching at a major International festival: Aaron Schimberg’s CHAINED FOR LIFE, Justin P. Lange’s THE DARK, Michael Peterson’s KNUCKLEBALL, Dominique Rocher’s THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD and Jenn Wexler’s THE RANGER.
Of course, this all barely scratches the surface of the electrifying cinematic UFO that is our 2018 lineup. The next three weeks will be life-changing, both for you and for the scores of filmmakers travelling to Montreal to show their work, many being screened for the first time on the continent, a good number showing for their first time in the world.
We’ve got an arsenal of staggering directorial debuts from emerging talents who are about to become your new obsessions. This in addition to bold new works from Josephine Decker, Takashi Miike, David Robert Mitchell, RKSS, Frank Henenlotter, Erik Matti, Crystal Moselle, Rusty Cundieff, Darin Scott, Tsui Hark, Xavier Gens, Mads Brügger, Sion Sono, Panos Cosmatos, Veronika Franz, Park, Hoon-jung, Nicolas Pesce, Sonny Mallhi, Joseph Kahn, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Jang Joon-hwan, Peter Strickland, Daniel Roby, Gakuryu Ishii, David Slade, Michael Peterson, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Andy Mitton, Yudai Yamaguchi, Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, Joko Anwar, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Erick Zonca, Hwang Dong-hyuk, Can Evrenol, Colin Minihan and Lee Hae-Young, to name a few.
Thanks as always for your curiosity, your trust and your passion. We’ve spent over half a year curating this lineup, and we can’t wait to see it all come to life in front of you.
On behalf of the entire Fantasia team,