It’s that time again, folks. Fantasia, my favorite film festival, chock full of nerdy goodness, line-ups around the block at the Hall building and meowing, is back, and this year’s line-up looks pretty amazing. For the uninitiated, the Fantasia Film Festival started as a primarily Asian genre film festival, but it has expanded greatly to include fantastic and genre films from all over the world. Featuring independant and big studio films, this festival features a great mix of horror, kung fu, animation, just plain weird and now even features a child friendly option screening at the McCord Museum. It is a festival for those of us that used to look forward to Cinema du Parc’s midnight programming, and a chance to get away from formulaic summer blockbusters and take your brain for a spin on something different and bizarre.
One of my favorite events of the festival is the unveiling party, which was last Thursday at the SAT. The party is a chance to get a sense of what will be showing at the festival as a whole…basically, because it’s four (count ’em, four!) hours of previews. While you get into the “just one more” trap, where you promise yourself you are going to leave after just one more preview, these are what stood out (that was shown in the first hour before I couldn’t take it anymore).
Standouts included Singham Returns, from India, a sequel featuring the very, very ripped Ajay Devgn in the titular role, a detective obsessed with cleaning up the streets when the police are accused of being corrupt. The festival has many Irish offerings this year, and my personal pick is Cherry Tree, just because I love a good witch tale. Deathgasm from New Zealand is already shaping up to be a hot ticket, as it features metal heads unleashing hell on earth in the ‘burbs, and looks hilarious and gory. For my love of period kung fu drama, I’ll also be hitting up The Golden Cane Warrior from Indonesia. Also, don’t forget the short films! There are tons to see here.
Every year, I make it a point to see at least one Spanish film, as they are often hella strange, and this year, Fantasia agrees with me. The festival is holding a Spotlight on Spanish genre film and you can get more information on the offerings here. Also, an important tool when it comes to planning your festival is the dreaded Sold Out Page. Keep abreast of what is gone by checking ahead here.
So buy your program, get online and watch all those trailers, get a pass, get your tickets and lastly, get ready to sleep very badly as this year’s Fantasia Festival kicks off. As if you need more incentives, theatres have AC. Get to it, Montreal.
The Fantasia Film Festival is running from July 14-Aug 4th, various locations, tickets are 10$ at box office, 11$ online and a 10-ticket booklet is discounted. Box office details can be found here.