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Fantasia Fest Announces First Wave of Programming; Jennifer Lynch’s “Chained” to Have World Premiere

Fantasia Fest Announces First Wave of Programming; Jennifer Lynch's "Chained" to Have World Premiere

The Fantasia International Film Festival has announced the first batch of programming for its 16th annual edition, which runs July 20-August 7 in Montreal, Canada.

The largest genre festival in North America, the Fantasia fest will include the world premiere of Jennifer Lynch’s “Chained,” which stars Vincent D’Onofrio as a taxi-driving serial killer who abducts a young boy and raises him as his son. The festival will also present Australian filmmaker Penny Vosniak’s documentary “Despite The Gods,” which documents Lynch’s conflicts and adventures in India directing her previous film, “Hisss.”

Lynch will be on hand for both screenings.

The festival also announced its popular “Documentaries From the Edge” section, which will expand this year. Brian Knappenberger’s “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists” and Eric Walter’s “My Amityville Horror” are among the titles in the program.

Full press release and complete list of titles after the jump.

Montreal, June 18, 2012. The 16th annual Fantasia International Film Festival is gearing up to take Montreal by storm with three weeks of inspiration and thrills starting July 19, 2012. Our full 2012 lineup of programming and special events will be revealed next month. We realize that’s a long time to wait, so with this in mind, here’s an early 1st Wave Announcement of several selected highlights and info to whet your appetite.

First off we have…


For our 2012 poster, Fantasia once again enlisted the services of gifted Quebecois illustrator Donald Carron.

Creating the 2012 art, Caron has brought back the “Fantasia Cheval Noir” that he painted last year – also the likeness of our highest jury award – brilliantly incorporating it into his own vision of that of the prophet Ezekiel’s from 592 BC,. According to the bible, Ezekiel claimed to have seen a “vehicle” coming in from the sky, landing in the Cheber River in Chaldea (now Iraq). Some believe that this Vehicle was not of this earth and that this happening was, in fact, one of the earliest documented UFO sightings.
Speaking of poster art…

If They Came From Within: An Alternative History of Canadian Horror Movies

Cinematheque Quebecoise, July 20– July 29
Opening gala July 20,  5PM

Imagine an alternative universe of Canadian horror movies that didn’t get made, couldn’t get made and maybe even shouldn’t get made… but we’d still love to see.

Rue Morgue magazine Editor-in-Chief Dave Alexander brings together some of Canada and Quebec’s most celebrated genre filmmakers with some of the country’s best designers and illustrators to create a gallery of poster art for Maple Syrup genre films that don’t exist.

Jason Eisener (HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN) dreams up a post-apocalyptic, gangster, man-fish odyssey. Vincenzo Natali (SPLICE) offers his own cross-border version of BLUE SUNSHINE. Maurice Devereaux (END OF THE LINE) draws on Quebec folklore for a story of a supernatural child-killer named the Bonesetter. Bruce McDonald (HARDCORE LOGO) and author Tony Burgess (PEOPLE STILL LIVE IN CASHTOWN CORNERS) imagine two sequels to PONTYPOOL (the first of which is actually a part of Fantasia’s new international co-production market!). Lee Demarbre (SMASH CUT) brings sex, cannibalism and espionage to Parliament Hill in his hoser-happy EMANNUELLE movie. Plus more from filmmakers Eric Tessier (5150 ELM’S WAY), Karim Hussain (LA BELLE BETE, cinematographer of Brandon Cronenberg’s ANTIVIRAL), Astron-6 (FATHER’S DAY), Rodrigo Gudiño (THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF MISTER HOLLOW), George Mihalka (MY BLOODY VALENTINE), Brett Kelly (MY DEAD GIRLFRIEND, Donna Davis (NIGHTMARE FACTORY) and several from Alexander himself.

Featuring original art created by: Rupert Bottenberg, Angus Byers, Donald Caron, Jason Edmiston, Justin Erickson, Vince Marconi, Mathew Marigold, Richard Patmore, Martin Plante, Ghoulish Gary Pullin, Paige Reynolds, Eric Robillard, Mathew Verreault, Adam Vierra, Mark Unterberger and James White.

Expect additional multimedia surprises, including original soundtrack recordings from Montreal musician Conrad Simon.

Montrealers will get a special chance to see this first, with many of the creators present, before the show embarks on a nationwide gallery tour.

From the day she exploded onto the scene with the largely misunderstood and still-controversial BOXING HELENA nineteen years ago, Jennifer Lynch has been a spellbinding iconoclast on the American indie landscape, her provocative approach to filmmaking seeing her alternately championed and demonized. She is a fascinating filmmaker who has made but several works across her near-twenty year career.  Each have been standouts, their connective tissues threaded in baroque aesthetics, unconventional performance styles, darkly eccentric streaks of humour and subversively compelling gazes into our capacities for cruelty, obsession and sexual deviancy.

This year, Fantasia will celebrate the wildly individualistic work of Jennifer Lynch with a pair of special screenings:

First up is the world premiere of Lynch’s brand new production, CHAINED, which stars Vincent D’onofrio as a taxi driving serial killer who abducts a young boy and raises him as his son – fully expecting the child to grow into being a mass murderer himself. In Lynch’s hands, what could have been a simple “how to make a monster” serial killer film turns into a black discourse on parenthood and instinct.  Also starring is Eamon Farren and Julia Ormond, the latter reteaming with Lynch after 2008’s brilliant SURVEILLANCE.

Fantasia will also be presenting the Quebec premiere of Australian filmmaker Penny Vosniak’s recent Hot Docs smash DESPITE THE GODS, which documents Lynch’s star-crossed adventures in India directing HISSS, an ambitious Bollywood film (and a rare Bollywood/US co-production) whose production spiraled out of control due to producer mismanagement and various twists of fate. It is one of the strongest films about the trials and madness of moviemaking that you will ever encounter.

Screenings of both films will be hosted by Jennifer Lynch.
Among our 150+ feature film lineup, Fantasia will be presenting the international premiere of Kern Saxton’s hotly anticipated crime thriller SUSHI GIRL, featuring Mark Hamill in a startlingly sinister lead.
Hamill’s portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the originating STAR WARS trilogy is one of the most iconic performances in Fantastic Film history and remains among the most beloved screen characters in the annals of pop culture.
SUSHI GIRL was produced by – and co-stars – the inimitable Tony Todd (CANDYMAN, the FINAL DESTINATION films). Also appearing in the film are Noah Hathaway (THE NEVERENDING STORY, James Duvall (DONNIE DARKO), Danny Trejo (MACHETE), Michael Biehn (THE TERMINATOR) and none other than Sonny Chiba (STREET FIGHTER).
Hosting the Fantasia launch will be Mark Hamill, Tony Todd, Michael Biehn and Kern Saxton – with additional guests to be announced!
This of course, is especially exciting news for our city as it cosmically coincides with the ongoing blockbuster STAR WARS: THE IDENTITIES exhibition at the Montreal Science Centre, a show that has been regularly packing out since its launch on April 19 and will be continuing until September 16.
The gala SUSHI GIRL screening will take place on the night of Saturday July 21. Hit it raw.

The popular “Documentaries From the Edge” section returns to Fantasia’s 2012 lineup, larger and more compelling than ever. Here’s a two-title tease of what you can expect:

WE ARE LEGION: THE STORY OF THE HACKTIVISTS (Quebec Premiere)  – Dir: Brian Knappenberger
A standout at SXSW, Hot Docs, Slamdance and The Calgary Underground Film Festival, this captivating film traces the history of hacktivism and explores the motives and missions of Anonymous, veritable superheroes of digital activism who’ve taken on everything from oppressive dictatorships to Pay Pal and the Church of Scientology and have recently been making significant headlines in Quebec. This screening will be presented in association with Cinema Politica (www.cinemapolitica.org).

MY AMITYVILLE HORROR (World Premiere) – Dir: Eric Walter
For the first time in 35 years, Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975, when he was only 8 years old. This documentary, the result of over ten years of independent research, reveals the horror Lutz experienced growing up in the center of a world famous haunting. As much as this is a film about the paranormal, complete with eerie photographic documentations, it’s every bit as much about the terrible effects that mass international media exposure can have on a family.

Fantasia’s complete 2012 documentary lineup will be announced in just a few weeks.

Our full 150+ lineup of feature films will be announced in just a few weeks. For now, here is a sampling of titles that we will be showcasing this summer.
11/25 THE DAY MISHIMA CHOSE HIS OWN FATE (Japan) Dir.: Koji Wakamatsu
 Yukio Mishima’s masterwork isn’t his literature, but the political commitment he pursued even unto death. By retracing the journey of the revolutionary writer, Japanese cinema’s enfant terrible Koji Wakamatsu delivers a violent, rabid critique of militancy. A timely, necessary film. Official Selection: Cannes 2012. North American Premiere
AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT (Spain) Dir: Alex de la Iglesia
Spain’s madman auteur reworks Billy Wilder’s ACE IN THE HOLE for today’s world as an absurdist comedy. Stars José Mota and Salma Hayek. Official Selection: Berlin 2012, Tribeca 2012. Canadian Premiere
BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK (Japan) Dir: Naoyoshi Shiotani
In a futuristic Tokyo where youth struggles for its freedom, Aya must face off against the man who has a stranglehold on the city and nightmarish creatures that are spreading terror. Twelve years after BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE, here is the big comeback to the big screen of this influential Japanese animation franchise. International Premiere
BEAST (Denmark) Dir: Christoffer Boe
Nicolas Bro, Marijana Jankovic and Nikolaj Lie Kaas star in this disturbing and poetic nightmare drama that treats Love as both a force of nature and a chemical imbalance. Official Selection SXSW 2012 Canadian Premiere
CRAVE  (USA) Dir: Charles de Lauzirika
The long anticipated feature directorial debut from regular Ridley Scott collaborator de Laurizika stylishly depicts an alienated crime scene photographer (Josh Lawson) teetering on the verge of vigilantism.  Also stars Ron Perlman and Edward Furlong.  World Premiere

CITADEL (Ireland-Scotland) Dir: Ciarán Foy
A man suffering from extreme agoraphobia confronts murderous packs of feral, hooded children in this powerful and frightening film that took home an award at this year’s SXSW. Canadian Premiere
DOOMSDAY BOOK (South Korea) Dir: Yim Pil-sung and Kim Ji-woon
Yim Pil-sung (HANSEL & GRETEL) and Kim Ji-woon (A TALE OF TWO SISTERS) join forces in this anthology film featuring three stories tackling in very different ways as many apocalyptic scenarios. Be prepared to deal with a zombie invasion, a delicate moral dilemma raised by a robot who’s the reincarnation of Buddha, and a most unusual object that’s about to destroy the planet! Canadian Premiere
GRACELAND (Philippines/USA)  Dir: Ron Morales
A working class chauffer is dropped into the darkest side of the Philippine underworld when his daughter is kidnapped by ruthless mobsters in this shocking crime drama that won major acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY (Germany-USA) Dir: Eron Sheean
Written and directed by Sheean, who penned last year’s THE DIVIDE, ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODYis an unsettling, stylistically bold look at the personal and ethical horrors of modern genetic engineering, oscillating quite ambiguously between pure science and terrifying science fiction. Stars Michael Eklund. World Premiere.
FUNERAL KINGS (USA) Dir: McManus Brothers
They’re rebellious, irreverent and vulgar. They’re… 14-year-old! Even though they’re altar servants, Andy and Charlie are hardly choirboys. When they meet David, a little mama’s boy, they’ll do anything to force their life philosophy on him. From then on, they’ll really get into trouble. With this debut film that was a sensation at South by Southwest, the McManus Brothers impose themselves a new comic duo to keep a close eye on. Official Selection: SXSW 2012. International Premiere
THE HUMAN RACE (USA) Dir: Paul Hough
From the director of THE BACKYARD comes this stunning action/sci-fi/horror film that challenges conventions and takes enormous risks (among them the casting of a charismatic one-legged lead, a deaf performer who execute his scenes via subtitled sign language, etc).  An astoundingly impressive achievement. World Premiere

ISN’T ANYONE ALIVE? (Japan) Dir: Gakuryu Ishii
Filmmaker Gakuryu Ishii, who notably directed ELECTRIC DRAGON 80.000 V under the name Sogo Ishii, returns with this completely off the wall adaptation of an absurdist play about students at a university campus who mysteriously die one after the other. The apocalypse has rarely been this strange and funny.Canadian Premiere
LA MEMORIA DEL MUERTO (Argentina) Dir: Javier Diment
This bedazzling giallo-inspired supernatural horror film boasts a strong visual design and a ferociously Grand Guignol sensibility. Prepare for Latin American demonic fury. World Premiere

A NIGHT OF NIGHTMARES (USA) Dir: Buddy Giovinazzo
One year after winning an award at Fantasia for his entry in THE THEATRE BIZARRE, COMBAT SHOCK director Giovinazzo is returning to Montreal with this hair-raising and unique occult chiller that stars Marc Senter and Elissa Dowling. World Premiere

POONGSAN (South Korea) Dir: Juhn Jai-hong
In this dark, intense thriller written by Kim Ki-duk (BAD GUY), a mysterious man who regularly crosses the border between the two Koreas to smuggle goods or people finds himself being hunted down by both sides, which will have their hands full with him.North American Premiere

RESOLUTION (USA) Dirs: Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead
A captivating waking nightmare of a film, RESOLUTIONtore out of nowhere when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and made almost every critic’s best-of-fest lists. Be prepared for something truly original, scary and special. Canadian Premiere
ROLLER TOWN (Canada) Dir: Andrew Bush
A riotously funny, high-energy send-up of that ever-so-brief but immortal trend of disco celebration films that boogie-blasted cinemas in the early ’80s, ROLLER TOWN is the warped brainchild of comedy collective Picnicface, brilliant sketch comedians hailed by many as the SCTV of our day. Official Selection: Slamdance 2012 Quebec Premiere
V/H/S (USA) Dirs: David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Wingard
The latest in an ongoing wave of both sledgehammer-strong anthology horror features and subjectively-shot found-footage chillers, V/H/Sranks among the best of the pack in both camps. Official Selection: Sundance 2012 Canadian Premiere
The most expensive Taiwanese action epic ever made, WARRIORS is the extraordinary untold story of the indigenous tribe, the Seediq and their fight for survival. Executive produced by John Woo. Presented roadshow style for the first time in Canada, uncut 4 hour version with intermission!
WRONG (USA) Dir: Quentin Dupieux
If you were among those who caught the international premiere of Dupieux’s previous oddity RUBBER at Fantasia in 2010, you’ve got an inkling of the spectacular brand of absurdist imagination you’re in store for here. Official Selection: Sundance 2012 Canadian Premiere

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