Today, Fantastic Fest, in association with Alamo Drafthouse, has announced the first wave of programming for its 12th annual celebration of the wild, wonderful, and peculiar in genre-twisting cinema. This year’s festival features a delightful array of films and guests, including Tim Burton for a red carpet screening of “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” a special screening of “Phantasm: Remastered” with director Don Coscarelli and cast in attendance, and Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey,” with star and Texas native Sasha Lane hosting the event. There will also be a new Virtual Reality segment.
This year’s festival has chosen South Asia for its annual theme, embracing the glorious wonders of Indian cinema. A block of new and repertory Indian features have been carefully programmed to showcase the creative world of the second most populous country. Included is the director’s cut of Anurag Kashyareap’s “Psycho Raman,” “Magadheera,” a sweeping, 400-year epic of masala madness, and the ultra-stylish Bollywood gangster oddity, “Khalnayak.”
Head of Festival Programming Evrim Ersoy says that it’s “a dream come true to bring the glorious excess and pageantry of Indian cinema to Fantastic Fest. We are celebrating not only Bollywood but also Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema, highlighting the kaleidoscope of textures and content that is as wide and varied as the subcontinent itself…This is a proud and vibrant world of film that that will surprise, shock and astound at Fantastic Fest.”
Below is the complete list of first wave titles as well as the festival’s new poster art. The festival runs from September 22nd through the 29th in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit the festival website.
- “24X36: A Movies About Movie Posters” (Kevin Burke, Canada) [World Premiere]: Through interviews with art personalities from the past four decades, “24 x 36” examines the birth, death and resurrection of illustrated movie poster art.
- “A Dark Song” (Liam Gavin, Ireland) [World Premiere]: Sophia is a determined young woman who hires a weird occultist to perform a ritual which will risk not only their lives and souls, but also the very essence of their being.
- “Aloys” (Tobias Nölle, Switzerland/France) [U.S. Premiere]: Aloys Adorn is a lonely private investigator who, after the death of his father, finds himself sucked into a mysterious “telephone walking” game with a mysterious woman who might be his only hope.
- “American Honey” (Andrea Arnold, United States) [Texas Premiere]: Andrea Arnold’s first US feature follows 18-year-old Star as she leaves her home in Oklahoma and goes in search of adventure, adulthood and America.
- “Belief: The Posession of Janet Moses” (David Stubbs, New Zealand) [U.S. Premiere]: The true story of the Wainuiomata exorcism provides the basis for David Stubbs’ striking debut feature, a documentary exploring the tragic death of Janet Moses in a traditional Maori exorcism ceremony.
- “The Crew” (Julien Leclercq, France) [U.S. Premiere]: It’s bad men face versus worse men as thieves face off against dealers in this super slick French heist thriller from the director of “Chrysalis” and “The Assault.”
- “Dearest Sister” (Mattie Do, Laos/France/Estonia) [World Premiere]: After moving to the city, a poor woman realizes her recently blinded cousin can not only commune with the dead, but they can provide a path to much-needed wealth.
- “Down Under” (Abraham Forsythe, Australia) [North American Premiere]: In the aftermath of massive race riots, two carloads of dim-witted alpha males set off to defend their respective territory with outrageous results in this sharp edged Australian satire.
- “The Dwarves Must Be Crazy” (Bhin Banloerit, Thailand) [World Premiere]: A Thai village of little people is attacked by evil, butt-munching, fart-tracking Krause spirits – floating heads with attached intestines – in this slapstick horror-comedy.
- “Faultless” (Sébastien Marnier, France) [North American Premiere]: After burning out in Paris, Constance returns to her home town only to find herself in lethal competition with a younger girl for her old job.
- “Fraud” (Dean Fleischer-Camp, United States) [Texas Premiere]: A family’s home movies document a desperate crime, and the subsequent bid to escape the consequences in this impressionistic meta-fiction born from the manipulation of hundreds of hours of innocuous uploads to YouTube. An extraordinary feat of editing, a provocative parable of the pursuit of happiness and a disturbing demonstration of the mutability of the stories we share in the Internet age.
- “The Greasy Strangler” (Jim Hosking, United States) [Special Screening]: Ronnie fears his first love affair is turning his father into a bloodthirsty monster who’s covered in grease and has an 18-inch penis that looks like a dead chicken.
- “Jungle Trap” (James Bryan, United States) [World Premiere]: Exploitation demigod James Bryan’s massively entertaining, decapitation-fueled shot-on-video horror masterpiece about a jungle hotel haunted by kill-crazy ghosts in loin cloths, shot in 1990 and unreleased until THIS VERY MOMENT.
- “Khalnayak” (Subhash Ghai, India) [Repertory Screening–1993]: Ballu is an unrepentant gangster who has dedicated his life to the celebration of villainy. He is a bad, bad man and not ashamed one bit. However, with the help of his mother and a sympathetic cop, Ballu will rise above his circumstances to gain satisfying redemption.
- “Magadheera” (S.S. Rajamouli, India) [Repertory Screening–2009]: Harsha, a dirt bike racer, lives for thrills. One day he crosses paths with Indu, a girl with whom he feels strangely connected. Through this bond, Harsha discovers his hidden identity: a reincarnated warrior king.
- “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” (Tim Burton, United States) [Special Screening]: From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.
- “Original Copy” (Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georg Heinzen, Germany) [Texas Premiere]: In the heart of Mumbai, behind the screen of one of the last Hindi Film cinemas, lives Sheik Rahman, the city’s last painter of film posters. This is his story.
- “Phantasm: Remastered (1979)” (Don Coscarelli, United States) [Special Screening]: One of the most influential and important horror films of all time, Don Coscarelli’s “Phantasm” returns to Alamo Drafthouse’s screens in a gorgeous 4k remaster.
- “Phantasm: Ravager” (David Hartman, United States) [World Premiere]: The fifth and final film in the classic “Phantasm” film series, “Phantasm: Ravager” follows our intrepid everyman hero Reggie on his quest across dark dimensions as he struggles to confront and vanquish the sinister Tall Man.
- “Popoz” (Erwin van de Eshof & Martijn Smits, The Netherlands) [International Premiere]: Festival favorite Huub Smit (“New Kids Nitro”; “New Kids Turbo”; “Bros Before Hos”) stars as a Dutch cop raised on far too many American action films in this outrageous action comedy.
- “Psycho Raman” (Anurag Kashyap, India) [U.S. Premiere]: Raghavan is a cop: brutal, violent, and drug-addicted. Ramanna is a criminal: psychotic, unpredictable, and vicious. It’s only a matter of time before they meet and when they do, Mumbai’s slums will be colored deep crimson.
- “Salt and Fire” (Werner Herzog, Mexico) [North American Premiere]: Herzog’s most wildly unpredictable film, Salt and Fire is a meticulously slow burning, quasi-ecological thriller punctuated by moments of the lyrically poetic and the inexplicably, outrageously absurd.
- “S Is For Stanley” (Alex Infascelli, Italy) [North American Premiere]: Alex Infascelli’s documentary about Emilio D’Alessandro, Stanley Kubrick’s personal assistant for more than thirty years, which provides never-before-seen insight into the private auteur.
- “The Void” (Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie, Canada) [World Premiere]: Trapped in a hospital with a handful of people, a small town sheriff finds himself caught up in the demented plot of a death-obsessed madman.
- “We Are The Flesh” (Emiliano Rocha Minter, Mexico) [Texas Premiere]: Somewhere within a ruined city, a man makes an offer to a pair of siblings who wander into his abandoned building: food and shelter in exchange for building a strange room…
- “Zoology” (Ivan I. Tverdovsky, Russia/France/Germany) [U.S. Premiere]: Natasha is a lonely, middle-aged woman who still lives with her mother and feels insecure about her tedious life… until she grows a tail.