The Fantasia International Film Festival, held in Montreal from July 17-August 5 this year, will celebrate its 18th birthday by featuring over 160 features and around 300 shorts, many of which are being shown for the first time anywhere in the world.
The lineup will include the North American Premiere of Denmark's Cannes breakout "When Animals Dream" as well as previously announced titles in the Camera Lucinda section "Boyhood," "Jellyfish Eyes," "The Man in the Orange Jacket," The Midnight Swim," "Puzzle" and "Summer of Blood." For the entire Fantasia Film Festival lineup, check out their website. A selection of the lineup has been listed below, synopses provided by Fantasia. The rest of the Camera Lucinda section includes:
Argentina, Dir: Christoph Behl
This Argentine addition to the post-apocalyptic genre is a stunning, suggestive huis-clos of unprecedented emotional charge. A beautiful look at human impulses that are wholly inescapable, even at the end of the world. Official Selection: Sitges 2013, Stockholm International Film Festival 2014. Canadian Premiere.
South Korea, Dir: Lee Ju-hyoung
North Korean spies undercover as a "family" must contend with their unruly neighbors in this hard yet empathic drama packed with moral dilemmas and moments of ironic black humor, written and produced by Kim Ki-duk.. North American Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
A young Japanese woman finds herself lost and alone in Russia, leading her into a sinister universe of international espionage. In "Seventh Code" is Kiyoshi Kurosawa's unexpected detour into the thriller genre. Canadian Premiere.
"Thou Wast Mild and Lovely"
USA, Dir: Josephine Decker
Described by its gifted maker as "an intimate magical realist erotic thriller… a horror film, a farm drama, a comedy, a sexual romp, and a deep character study," "Thou Wast" is indeed all these things rolled into one hallucinatory and unique journey. Stars Joe Swanberg and Sophie Traub. Official Selection: Berlin Film Festival 2014, Sarasota Film Festival 2014. On the same bill, we will be presenting Decker's other feature film, "Butter on the Latch." Both will be Canadian Premieres.
"When Animals Dream"
Denmark, Dir: Jonas Alexander Amby
Marie, a young girl in an isolated fishing village, harbors a family secret — strange hairs, sharp teeth, remarkable strength when enraged. More than a simple chiller, the magnificent "When Animals Dream" is a work of rare power and a stunning drama about adolescence. Official Selection: Semaine de la critique, Cannes 2014. North American Premiere.
The Return of AXIS: Fantasia's Animation Showcase
Axis, Fantasia's international animation showcase returns with features hailing from Belgium, France, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA. Previously announced Axis titles include "Cheatin'," "Giovanni's Island," "Hunter X Hunter: The Last Mission" and a special screening of the new HD master for Mamoru Oshii's 1995 classic "Ghost in the Shell," before which the filmmaker will be presented a lifetime achievement award. The rest of the animation lineup includes:
Japan, Dir: Shinji Aramaki
Super-soldier Deunan and her hulking cyborg companion Briareos stalk the shattered husk of New York City. A tour-de-force of digital design, "Appleseed Alpha" is essential kick-ass cyberpunk animation. North American Premiere
"Bayonetta: Bloody Fate"
Japan, Dir: Fuminori Kizaki
Bayonetta, a lithe, powerful witch and mistress of the Bullet Arts, dispatches a host of bloodthirsty angels in a church. But what she cannot dispel are the mysteries of her own origin and purpose… Canadian Premiere.
South Korea, Dir: Yeon Sang-ho
The latest from Yeon Sang-ho, winner of Fantasia's first Satoshi Kon Award with "King of Pigs", targets corruption, Korean displacement policies that favour progress over the individual's welfare, and the dark side of religion. Official Selection: AFI Fest 2013 Quebec Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Ryotaro Makihara
An android assigned to console a grieving girl learns what being human means in this short, self-contained gem of emotionally resonant science fiction anime. North American Premiere.
USA, Dir: Gun Ho Jang
Fierce redhead Nariko is the divinely ordained wielder of a legendary weapon in an exquisitely realized fantasy realm. The most anticipated game-to-film adaptation of the year has arrived, and you'll find it at Fantasia first! Scripted by Todd Farmer and featuring the voices of Anna Torv, Alfred Molina and Thomas Jane. World Premiere.
"Hunter X Hunter: Phantom Rouge"
Japan, Dir: Yuzo Sato
The stage is set for secrets and conspiracies, fantastic wonders and furious action, as Yoshihiro Togashi's hugely popular manga series "Hunter X Hunter" makes its big-screen anime debut. Canadian Premiere.
"Jack et la Méchaniquiw du Coeur" ("Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart")
France-Belgium, Dirs: Stéphane Berla, Mathias Malzieu
A graciously Gallic surrealist fairy-tale musical with a dash of Gothic macabre and a streak of steampunk tech, the Luc Besson-produced "Jack et la Méchaniquiw du Coeur" is a CG-animated cabinet of curiosities that kids and grown-ups alike can rummage through with delight. Official selection, Berlin Film Festival 2014, Gérardmer International Fantasic Film Festival 2014.
"Koo! Kin Dza-Dza"
Russia, Dir: Georgiy Daneliya, Tatiana Ilyina
Veteran Russian filmmaker Georgiy Daneliya reboots his own late-Soviet-era cult classic as a super-cool cartoon with contemporary upgrades. Rustbucket steampunk gizmos and Kafkaesque conundrums abound!
"The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow"
South Korea, Dir: Chang Hyung-yun
A familiar trope of Asian animation — fantastical romance between misfits — is turned upside down and inside out in this charmingly surrealist robo-rom-com from South Korea. North American Premiere.
Documentaries from the Edge
Fantasia's documentary section returns with a six-feature lineup. Previously announced Documentaries from the Edge titles include: "The Creeping Garden," "Fight Church" and "Search for Weng Weng." The rest of the documentary lineup includes:
"Bold & Brash: Filmmaking Boisvert Style"
Canada, Dir: Simon Boisvert
A cult subject of interest in Quebecois psychotronic fan circles, the controversial auteur of "Vénus de Milo" turns the camera on himself to reflect on his own history in film. World Premiere.
"Kung Fu Elliot"
Canada, Dir: Matthew Bauckman, Jaret Belliveau
Making micro-budget martial arts films in small-town Nova Scotia, Elliot "White Lightning" Scott is determined to become Canada's first big-screen action hero. Winner: Best Documentary Feature, Slamdance 2014. Quebec Premiere
"To Be Takei"
USA, Dir: Jennifer M. Kroot, Bill Weber
A triumphant documentary chronicling his humble beginnings through the unmistakable cultural icon George Takei has become today, "To Be Takei" charmingly chronicles the life, love, and mission of a true American hero who makes us all say, "Oh my…". Official Selection: Sundance 2014. Hot Docs 2014. Quebec Premiere.