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Fantastic Fest Announces First Wave of Lineup, Including Lee Chang-dong’s Cannes Favorite ‘Burning’

The J.J. Abrams-produced "Overlord" will make its world premiere at the Austin-based genre festival, as well as Gareth Evans' gothic horror "Apostle."

Mia Wasikowska in "Piercing."

Mia Wasikowska in “Piercing.”

Park-Circus Universal

Entering its 14th year as one of the country’s leading genre festivals, Fantastic Fest announced its first round of titles, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The Austin-based festival will host the world premieres of World War II horror-thriller “Overlord,” produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, as well as “The Raid” director Gareth Evans’ gothic horror “Apostle,” starring Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen. Another alum from “The Raid,” Iko Uwais, leads “The Night Comes for Us,” a thrilling bone-cruncher from “V/H/S/2” scribe Timo Tjahjanto.

After a highly successful premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning” will play the festival ahead of its theatrical release later this year. Fantastic Fest will also shine a light on two rarely-screened South Korean films; “Ban Geum-ryeon,” from one of Park Chan-Wook’s directing idols Kim Ki-Young, and Park Nou-Sik’s “Quit Your Life.”



Fantastic Fest

“To be able to highlight a period of Korean cinema that is largely unknown in North America is a brilliant opportunity to not only re-discover what shaped the modern Korean cinema we all know and love, but also a great way to tap into the sheer electric creative force running through the films as shaped by the strict authoritarian environment they were created in,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy in a statement.

Created by Alamo Drafthouse, Fantastic Fest is the largest genre festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. This year’s festival will take place in Austin, Texas from September 20-27. Check out the first wave of films from Fantastic Fest below, with all synopses provided by the festival:

United Kingdom, 2018
World Premiere, 129 min
Director – Gareth Evans
The year is 1905. Thomas Richardson travels to a remote island to rescue his sister after she’s kidnapped by a mysterious religious cult demanding a ransom for her safe return. It soon becomes clear that the cult will regret the day it baited this man, as he digs deeper and deeper into the secrets and lies upon which the commune is built.

South Korea, 1981
Regional Premiere, 90 min
Director – Kim Ki-young
From Park Chan-wook’s idol comes a twisted tale of lecherous lords and murderous mistresses. Presented outside of Korea for only the second time, Kim Ki-young’s masterpiece BAN GEUM-RYEON is a lush smorgasbord from Korea’s most demented cinematic mind.

USA, 1987
World Premiere of New Preservation, 82 min
Director – Tim Boggs
The finest vacation from hell ever captured on VHS, rescued from the original 1″ master tapes!

South Korea, 2018
Texas Premiere, 148 min
Director – Lee Chang-dong
Lee Chang-dong’s latest triumph weighs the delicate balance between creation and destruction as a writer runs into an old classmate who gets him caught up in a mystery bigger than both of them.

USA, 2018
US Premiere, 94 min
Director – Daniel Goldhaber
In Attendance – Writer/Producer Isa Mazzei
Alice is a camgirl with principles. She doesn’t do public shows, she doesn’t tell her fans she loves them, and she doesn’t fake her orgasms. But when a mysterious lookalike takes over her channel, the rules no longer apply.

France, 2017
US Premiere, 87 min
Director – Samuel Benchetrit
A dark fable about loneliness, perfectly illustrated by Jacques Blanchot’s loss of humanity and slow transformation into a dog. Director Samuel Benchetrit shares a subtle commentary on our current world, and its social, interpersonal, and political issues.

USA, 2018
Texas Premiere, 108 min
Director – Jim Hosking
Fantastic Fest alumni director Jim Hosking (THE GREASY STRANGLER; RENEGADES) is back with a second feature as absurd, crazy, and funny as his first. Follow Lulu Danger’s very own revolution in a Lynch-meets-Waters run-down version of America.

Denmark, 2018
Austin Premiere, 85 min
Director – Gustav Möller
A horrific crime; an emergency responder struggling to stay off the edge; a kidnapping victim calling in for help. This is all we’re going to tell you about first-time feature filmmaker Gustav Möller’s unmissable and gripping debut thriller.

Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, 2018
Texas Premiere, 93 min
Director – Isabella Eklöf
The sun-drenched dream of the eponymous summer vacation has its dark side revealed in Isabella Eklöf’s powerful debut feature HOLIDAY, an unforgettable exploration of the fraught, brutal experience of young womanhood.

Spain, 2018
World Premiere, 104 min
Director – Sonia Escolano
In Attendance – Director Sonia Escolano
“She,” the leader of a violent cult, rules her flock with an iron fist to ensure they never stray from the path. But a series of events and a mysterious outsider threaten the pattern of their reality in this electrifying exploration of faith and belief.

USA, 1993
World Premiere of New Restoration, 27 min
Director – Sarah Jacobson
Sarah Jacobson’s punk-spirited DIY films combine B-movie aesthetics and riot grrrl feminism in brand new 2K preservations.

France, 2018
North American Premiere, 73 min
Director – Quentin Dupieux
An absurd all-night interrogation set in a camp ’70s police station, Quentin Dupieux’s latest opus, KEEP AN EYE OUT, is a celebration of his own brand of quirky, offbeat humor, performed by France’s most refreshing comedic talents.


Fantastic Fest

USA, 2018
US Premiere, 93 min
Director – Amanda Kramer
In Attendance – Director Amanda Kramer and Actor/Co-Editor/Production Designer Noel David Taylor
In Amanda Kramer’s daring low-budget debut LADYWORLD, a birthday party quickly devolves into chaos when a mysterious earthquake traps eight teenage girls alone in a house, challenging their friendships, identities, and eventually their grip on reality.

Czech Republic, 2017
Regional Premiere, 88 min
Director – Aurel Klimt
In Attendance – Director Aurel Klimt
This is the story of Laïka the space dog who, unlike in real life, did not die aboard Sputnik 2 in 1957. In this bizarre and charming stop-motion musical, Laïka crashes on a peculiar planet where she meets new friends.

Germany, 2018
US Premiere, 70 min
Director – Tilman Singer
In Attendance – Director Tilman Singer
Luz enters a police station at night to report an assault. As the interrogation progresses, it becomes clear a demonic entity wants to possess her in this audacious, psychotropic horror film shot on 16mm.

Israel, 2018
International Premiere, 90 min
Director – Guilhad Emilio Schenker
Desperate, aging, Sophie only needs to seduce one more handsome victim – excuse me, date – to become a worry-free Lordess in MADAM YANKELOVA’S FINE LITERATURE CLUB, Israeli director Guilhad Emilio Schenker’s delightfully twisted debut feature.

USA, 1980
World Premiere of New 4K Restoration, 88 min
Director – William Lustig
In Attendance – Director William Lustig
The 4K restoration of grindhouse auteur Bill Lustig’s 1980 slasher landmark features splatter SFX artist Tom Savini’s gnarliest work, as well as one of horror’s finest, sweatiest performances from legendary character actor/co-writer Joe Spinell.

USA, 1997
World Premiere of New Restoration, 98 min
Director – Sarah Jacobson
Sarah Jacobson’s punk-spirited DIY films combine B-movie aesthetics and riot grrrl feminism in brand new 2K preservations.

Argentina, France, Chile, 2018
North American Premiere, 109 min
Director – Alejandro Fadel
Visual horror masterpiece MURDER ME, MONSTER lures you into the fascinating and opaque underworld of serial murder, supernatural obsession, metaphysical hallucinations, forbidden love – and one nightmarishly gross monster.

Indonesia, 2018
World Premiere, 121 min
Director – Timo Tjahjanto
A former triad enforcer must protect a young girl while trying to escape his former gang, setting off a violent battle on the streets of Jakarta.

Brazil, 2018
US Premiere, 110 min
Director – Dennison Ramalho
An attendant at a busy morgue who can also converse with the dead puts his loved ones in peril using his forbidden knowledge for vengeance in Dennison Ramalho’s (NINJAS; ABCS OF DEATH 2) twisted and gleefully icky feature debut.

Japan, 2018
Texas Premiere, 96 min
Director – Shinichiro Ueda
A filmmaker sets out to shoot a zombie film in an abandoned factory, but something is lurking on the outside. Is it a zombie apocalypse or just another shoot gone wrong?

USA, Serbia, 2018
North American Premiere, 100 min
Director – Padraig Reynolds
In Attendance – Director Padraig Reynolds
A young woman who had previously set her serial killer boyfriend on fire is now seeking normalcy by getting a job working the overnight shift at a 24-hour convenience store, where things are most definitely not going to be normal.

USA, 2018
World Premiere, TBD min
Director – Julius Avery
In Attendance – Director Julius Avery and cast including Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbaek, John Magaro, and Mathilde Ollivier
In the upcoming WWII horror-thriller OVERLORD, a group of American paratroopers drop into Nazi-occupied France on the eve of D-Day. As they struggle to carry out their seemingly impossible mission, they discover a secret Nazi lab carrying out terrifying and bizarre supernatural experiments.

USA, 2018
Texas Premiere, 81 min
Director – Nicolas Pesce
From the twisted mind of Nicolas Pesce (THE EYES OF MY MOTHER) comes a provocative two-hander chamberpiece – a tense battle of wits and desire between prostitute and trick, predator and prey.

South Korea, 1971
North American Premiere, 82 min
Director – Park Nou-sik
Presented in English for the first time, actor-director Park Nou-sik balances the scales of justice as he stalks around Korea with his noose of judgment in the relentless revenge drama QUIT YOUR LIFE.

France, 2018
North American Premiere, 103 min
Director – Sébastien Marnier
In this dread-soaked cerebral thriller, a handsome young substitute teacher gets in over his head when taking on a class of gifted students after their former teacher’s dramatic in-class suicide.

Argentina, 2017
US Premiere, 87 min
Director – Demián Rugna
In Attendance – Director Demián Rugna
Strange things are going on in a Buenos Aires neighborhood. Demián Rugna’s constantly surprising and truly spine-chilling horror film has one goal: to scare the shit out of everyone.

Sweden, 2018
World Premiere, 129 min
Director – Crazy Pictures
Something unthinkable is happening in Sweden. It starts with a few isolated incidents but suddenly, it’s all over the country. There are some who were prepared and others who weren’t. Ready or not, things will go out with a bang!

Japan, 2018
Regional Premiere, 83 min
Director – Ujicha
En route to visit a friend in another village, two kids go looking for a fabled shortcut through the mountain. Instead, they stumble upon an amusement park called Violence Voyager, and that’s when everything goes to shit.

Ukraine, Poland, Macedonia, 2018
North American Premiere, 88 min
Director – Marysia Nikitiuk
In Attendance – Director Marysia Nikitiuk
Scar and Larysa are desperately in love and suffocating under the tradition and archaic demands of their Ukrainian village. When the frustrations of each finally detonate, their world and the lives of those surrounding them are tragically shattered.

Chile, 2018
North American Premiere, 73 min
Directors – Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña
In Attendance – Director Cristóbal León
An animated tale, supposedly restored from the archives of a German colony by the Chilean government, THE WOLF HOUSE is the unsettling story of Maria, punished with a hundred nights alone in a cabin in the woods.

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