There are two summertime, genre-oriented festivals that should be on your radar, if they aren’t already. Unlike September’s Fantastic Fest, which is based in Austin, these two are in other parts of the world. First up, is Montreal’s Fantasia (happening now till July 23), which annually impresses with a diverse lineup and terrific town as the backdrop (click here for my Fantasia 2005 photos).
Mitch Davis and the whole Fantasia team are pretty liberal when it comes to their selection criteria, given that this year’s lineup includes not-genre-but-still-geeky films like The King of Kong, Zoo, or Rocket Science. The rest of the list, though, reads like a “what’s what” of 2006/2007 horror/sci-fi/fantasy/crime sensations. The highlights for me include: Jeremy Saulnier’s Murder Party, JT Petty’s S&Man, Johnnie To’s Exiled, Jim Mickle’s Mulberry Street, David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry’s The Signal, and Chris Stapp’s The Devil Dared Me To. And these are just ones we played/premiered at SXSW. There’s plenty more great genre films to choose from. Click here for the full list of features and schedules. Also, check out the Film Threat preview, of Fantasia 2007.
The other big festival to keep an eye out for, if you happen to be Down Under this summer, is the annual (July 13-29) Auckland International Film Festival’s “That’s Incredible Cinema” sidebar. Expertly curated by Ant Timpson, this year’s lineup is another great show, with such genre-loving titles as Exiled, The Lost, Severance, and Taxidermia. You’ll also find Michael Jacobs’ stranger-than-fiction SXSW documentary, Audience of One. That’s incredible.