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Montreal 2005.5: Fantasia

Montreal 2005.5: Fantasia

Since Sunday is the day Just For Laughs begins to quiet down, I spent some time over at the Fantasia Festival. Programmer Mitch Davis and his team have assembled an amazing program of genre features from around the globe. There’s everything from new American indie horror like Ti West’s The Roost or Dave Payne’s Reeker to studio films like The Devil’s Rejects and Night Watch. Then, of course, there are the more obscure titles from across the oceans. I was particularly impressed with the somber and tragic fairy tale from Korea, Spider Forest, and the funny Turkish sci-fi tribute, entitled GORA. Plus, the festival is well-attended and committed to pleasing audiences. It’s amazingly fan-friendly and intimate.

Here’s the last day of mPOP on this trip to Montreal:

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(Fantasia has its own DVD store onsite, so folks can purchase the latest releases from the likes of Takashi Miike, among others.)

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(Fantasia programmer Mitch Davis, third from right, poses with visiting filmmakers and festival marketing man Marc Lamothe, far left, at a dinner between screenings.)

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(Crowds gather in the lobby of the Concordia Hall Theatre at Concordia University, anxious for the next Fantasia offering.)

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(Bruce Hills, right, is the COO of Just For Laughs and a great guy. He’s with his Director of Programming, Jodi Lieberman. Bruce was a wonderful host to a send-off dinner including Jeffrey Ross, Judy Gold, Jon Rondeau, the rest of the Just for Laughs team, and Bruce’s great wife Liz.)

And with that, it’s 4:52 a.m. and time to get to the airport. Bon soire.

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