Six films we're excited to see at Fantasia Festival 2020
Updated: Aug 8
New additions to the line-up and a John Carpenter Masterclass
The 24th edition of Fantasia will take place with a special virtual edition running from 20th August to 2nd September. Since its inception in 1996, the Montreal based festival has showcased a range of contemporary international genre cinema from every corner of the globe. The final additions to the line-up were announced yesterday as were some special tributes and events. John Carpenter will be awarded with a lifetime achievement award and present a masterclass discussing his prolific career as a filmmaker and touring musician. Also, as a way to honour the late Brazilian genre filmmaker, José Mojica Marins, the festival will be showing a selection of his work. Titles include At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, The Strange World of Coffin Joe and The End of Man.
Exciting new film additions include We Are What We Are director Jorge Michel Grau’s latest flick, Perdida: a remake of Andrés Baiz's The Hidden Face, and the world premiere of Justin G. Dyck’s Anything for Jackson, described as a delightfully mean-spirited horror tale of elderly Satanists carried way over their heads in the name of love. We take a look at what’s on offer with six titles from the complete line-up that have piqued our interest.
The co-director of Persepolis, Vincent Paronnaud, promises to subvert the typical revenge film with what is described as “a hybrid piece of art.” From the synopsis this sounds like a mash-up of folk horror, breathless survival thriller and twisted fairy-tale, intent on provocatively prodding at gender stereotypes and heteronormativity.
Director, Natasha Kermani’s previous feature, Imitation Girl, was a poetic and potent exploration of female identity, so we’re eager to see her follow-up. For Lucky, she is working from a screenplay by Brea Grant (who also stars and is the creative force behind another premiere at the festival, 12 Hour Shift) about society’s apathy towards male aggression. A terrifying reality for women that directly impacts the way they navigate their lives is explored through a genre lens as a bestselling author is harassed by an anonymous stalker.
The Dark and the Wicked
From the writer/director of The Strangers, Bryan Bertino, comes a film described as “seriously frightening.” Starring Michael Abbott Jr. and Marin Ireland, with a supporting turn from Xander Berkeley (Candyman), the film was shot entirely on Bertino’s family farm. It’s touted as tackling themes such as bereavement, faith and isolation with nightmarish visuals.
After his second feature, One Cut of the Dead, thrilled us with its meta zombie antics and sly commentary on the world of indie filmmaking we’re interested to find out where director Shin'ichirô Ueda will take us next. Taking inspiration from real life, and as recently seen in Werner Herzog’s Family Romance, LLC, the actors who stand in for special and mundane occasions are at the centre of this highly anticipated follow-up.
New Delhi filmmaker Sidharth Srinivasan’s first horror work, and first narrative feature in a decade, following the acclaimed Soul of Sand, looks like a blood-soaked nightmare if the trailer is anything to go by. When a young woman brings home a male DJ to her home, he is met by a grieving family sitting vigil over their dying father. A patriarchal custom requires a man to read the death rites, so when the DJ is requested to perform them he becomes entangled in a night of terror and ancestral curses.
Menopause is one of the subjects severely underserved in cinema, so we’re excited to see Daria Woszek’s dark comedy in the line-up. When Mary is faced with her 50th birthday and embarks on hormone replacement treatment for the menopause things take a strange turn.
The full programme and ticketing information are available at https://fantasiafestival.com/en/program