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Fantasia 2019 Unveils First Wave of Programming! Liam Hemsworth, Richard Dreyfuss, Studio Ghibli, Critters, and more!

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The Fantasia Film Festival is by far, the biggest genre film festival in the world, usually lasting three and a half weeks and showcasing hundreds of fantastic films from across the globe. This year’s first wave of films has been announced and the lineup looks like a doozy, with fresh entries from returning favorites and a whole slate of new talent waiting to dazzle us with new perspectives and angles.

Part of the joy of Fantasia, of any film festival really, is being surprised, by having a movie that was barely on your radar turn out to be one of your favorite films of the year. Sometimes, a lack of anticipation can make for far more rewarding and surprising experiences and every year, Fantasia proves time and time again, that they put together one of the best lineups of movies to see. Below you’ll find the official press release of all the movies they’ve announced so far. Remember folks, this is just the first wave and we have a lot more films to look forward to.

FANTASIA’S 23rd EDITION REVEALS A THUNDERING FIRST WAVE OF TITLES!

Montreal, Quebec – 29 May 2019 – The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 23rd Anniversary in Montreal this summer, taking place from July 11 – August 1, with its Frontières International Co-Production Market being held July 18 – 21. The festival’s full lineup of over 130 feature films will be announced in early July. In the meantime, Fantasia is excited to reveal a select first wave of titles, along with two very special events. 

LIAM HEMSWORTH GOES FULL THROTTLE IN MALIK BADER’S RIVETINGKILLERMAN

After stunning audiences with his acclaimed 2015 sleeper hit CASH ONLY (a World Premiere breakout at Fantasia), Malik Bader returns to Montreal with the World Premiere of KILLERMAN. A full-throttle knockout crime thriller about dirty cops and dirtier mobsters starring Liam Hemsworth (THE HUNGER GAMES series), Emory Cohen (LORDS OF CHAOS), Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black), Nickola Shreli (CASH ONLY), and the great Zlatco Buric (Refn’s PUSHER trilogy), produced by Myles Nestel (WHEELMAN), KILLERMAN is an absorbing, gripping, and exciting look at the underworld, standing as further proof that Bader is one of modern crime cinema’s most ferocious rising talents.

RICHARD DREYFUSS TAKES FLIGHT IN SHELAGH MCLEOD’S POIGNANTASTRONAUT

Lonely widower Angus (a phenomenal Richard Dreyfuss) battles his family, ill health, and time to win a competition for a golden ticket to space. The debut feature of actor Shelagh McLeod (PEAK PRACTICE), ASTRONAUT (North American Premiere) is a rarity in movies these days: a fairy tale with both feet in reality. Featuring a supporting cast that includes Colm Feore (THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY), Graham Greene (WIND RIVER), Krista Bridges (NARC), and Art Hindle (THE BROOD), ASTRONAUT is a work of genuine hope and inspiration for dreamers of all ages. Fantasia is proud to be presenting the film’s first screening on the continent, following its launch at the 2019 Edinburgh Film Festival.

GO OFF THE MORAL DEEP END WITH LEE SU-JIN’S IDOL

After winning an Audience Award at Fantasia 2014 and earning praise on the festival circuit with his debut feature HAN GONG-JU, writer-director Lee Su-jin returns with a complex and fascinating psychological thriller recalling the very best Korean revenge movies. He teams up with the sublime Chun Woo-hee (THE WAILING), masterfully portraying a Chinese immigrant sought by a popular politician and a humble worker after a tragic accident, of which she is the only witness. An official selection at this year’s Berlinale, IDOL (North American Premiere) is a bold, bloody and engaging work that captivates with both narrative and visual prowess.

A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR EDWARD R. PRESSMAN

Fantasia will be presenting a lifetime achievement award to maverick producer Edward R. Pressman, who has consistently championed some of the boldest voices of the last 40+ years of American cinema, often in their crucial, formative periods. Having produced films for Terrence Malick (BADLANDS), Brian De Palma (SISTERS, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE), Sam Raimi (CRIMEWAVE), Oliver Stone (THE HAND, WALL STREET, TALK RADIO), Mary Harron (AMERICAN PSYCHO, THE MOTH DIARIES), Abel Ferrara (BAD LIEUTENANT, THE BACKOUT, NEW ROSE HOTEL), John Milius (CONAN THE BARBARIAN), Kathryn Bigelow (BLUE STEEL), David Gordon Green (UNDERTOW), Sylvester Stallone (PARADISE ALLEY), Larry Fessenden (WENDIGO), Ernest Dickerson (NEVER DIE ALONE), Alex Proyas (THE CROW), David Mamet (HOMICIDE), Douglas Buck (SISTERS), John Frankenheimer (YEAR OF THE GUN), Danny DeVito (HOFFA), and Jason Reitman (THANK YOU FOR SMOKING), Pressman has consistently embraced and nurtured game-changing talents. On the International front, Pressman has produced films for Zhang Yimou (HAPPY TIMES), Wolfgang Peterson (DAS BOOT), Alex Cox (WALKER), Barbet Schroeder (REVERSAL OF FORTUNE), James Marsh (THE KING), and more.

Mr. Pressman will be given a Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, July 13, at a 45th Anniversary screening of the recently restored De Palma classic PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE.

To make our anniversary screening even more spectacular, Swan himself, the legendary Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter-actor Paul Williams – who was Oscar-nominated for PHANTOM – will be joining Mr. Pressman onstage at the event.

In addition, Fantasia will also be present a special 25th anniversary screening of Alex Proyas’ ground-breaking supernatural revenge thriller THE CROW, in 35mm.

On a related note…

A PARADISE OF FANDOM EXPLORED: PHANTOM OF WINNIPEG

Just about everyone adores Brian De Palma’s 1974 glam rock comedy horror musical classic PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. That wasn’t always so. Upon release, the film landed with a thud and quickly disappeared from screens everywhere – except for in the small and frigid Canadian city of Winnipeg, where local kids (shockingly between the ages of 9-13) turned the film into an enduring phenomenon with local box office grosses larger than JAWS! PHANTOM OF WINNIPEG (World Premiere) tells the story of the unique outsider fan community that sprung up around the film. It’s an exploration of the very DNA of fan culture itself told via the true-life stories of those fateful Winnipeg kids who just got it and the cast and creative team behind the original film who saw it all go down first-hand. Filmmakers Malcolm Ingram and Sean Stanley have spent years making this affectionate and wonderful doc, and Fantasia’s proud-as-Phoenix to be showcasing its long-coming World Premiere.

FANTASIA’S THE PLACE TO BE WHEN CRITTERS ATTACK! 

The first feature-length CRITTERS film in 27 years will be landing in Montreal for its inaugural appearance on Earth, unleashing waves of adorably grotesque monsters and mayhem. Directed by Fantasia favorite Bobby Miller (THE CLEANSE), written by Scott Lobdell (HAPPY DEATH DAY) and featuring a cast that includes Tashiana Washington (SKATE KITCHEN), Ava Preston (RUSTY RIVERS), Jack Fulton, and Jaeden Noel (ODD SQUAD), along with the adored Dee Wallace (E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL) making a welcome return to the franchise, the world premiere of CRITTERS ATTACK! shoots to thrill with old school prosthetic creatures and a whole lot of rambunctious chaos.

STRAIGHT FROM CANNES COMES THE GANGSTER, THE COP, THE DEVIL

A mob boss who is the victim of a random attempted murder and a detective determined to collar him by any means necessary must team up to stop a far-too-prolific serial killer. Acclaimed at Cannes 2019 and screening as part of Fantasia’s Action! section lineup, THE GANGSTER, THE COP, THE DEVIL is an electrifying action thriller that roars full-throttle until its very last frame! With chases of all kinds, brutal fights, incisive dialogue tinged with black humour, and pitch-perfect performances by a seasoned cast, led by the charismatic Don Lee (TRAIN TO BUSAN), writer-director Lee Won-tae (MAN OF WILL) has created nothing less than the ultimate Summer blockbuster.

FOLKLORIC MYSTICISM AND SOUTH AFRICAN SCREAMS: 8

As South African cinema continues its inspired wave of genre creations following the brilliant NUMBER 37 (jury award winner for Best Director at last summer’s festival) and FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES, the time has come for a work of full-fledged folkloric horror. Steeped in themes of death and transfiguration – and evocative in ways of Richard Stanley’s Namibian occult classic DUST DEVIL – Harold Holscher’s 8 (World Premiere) drips with dreamy atmosphere and a vivid sense of iconography that will cast a spell on you from its chilling opening frames. The mysticism at the film’s core is made frighteningly tangible through the strength of its compelling screenplay and performances, giving heightened uncanny flight through inspired aesthetics.

DOOR LOCK ENSURES THAT YOU’LL NEVER SLEEP TIGHT AGAIN

Actress Kong Hyo-Jin (CRUSH AND BLUSH) returns to the Fantasia screen in this nail-biting thriller deeply rooted in the female experience, deftly portraying a woman accustomed to hostility and dismissal who must rise up to defend herself. Directed by Lee Kwon, this South Korean remake of Jaume Balageuro’s SLEEP TIGHT (a 2012 jury award winner at Fantasia) recently won the Thriller Prize at the 2019 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and will be coming to Montreal for its North American bow.

A NEW KIND OF WITCHCRAFT GIVES SHAPE TO THE WRETCHED

Inspired growing up amid the production of the original THE EVIL DEAD, filmmaking brothers Brett and Drew Pierce (DEADHEADS) have taken things to the proverbial next level with the grisly occult thrill ride THE WRETCHED (World Premiere), the story of a teenager who realizes that he’s living next door to an ageless, undying horror that threatens all he holds dear. The film is a dead serious new spin on witchcraft cinema, with a fresh set of rules, likeable and developed teen characters, a ton of surprising scares, and a cauldron of imaginatively gruesome special makeup effects. THE WRETCHED stars John-Paul Howard (Hell or High Water), Piper Curda (I DIDN’T DO IT), Azie Tesfai (Supergirl), Kevin Bigley (Netflix’s Upload), Jamison Jones (HBO’s True Detective), and Zarah Mahler (NIGHTMARE CINEMA).

A GENERATION SPIRALS DOWN TO HELL WITH A SMILE ON ITS FACE INCHIWAWA

When the dismembered body of Chiwawa is found in Tokyo Bay, her friends try to solve the living riddle she became by remembering the relentless and self-destructive quest for love and attention that led her to such a tragic demise. With sincere performances by its young cast and international stars Chiaki Kuriyama (KILL BILL VOL. 1) and Tadanobu Asano (Marvel’s THOR), the supercharged music-video style of writer-director Ken Ninomiya’s CHIWAWA (North American Premiere) is an unforgettable feast for the senses that, like its title character, will surely fascinate and seduce. Adapted from Kyoko Okazaki’s cult manga.

A PUNKY, POPPY TRIBUTE TO GIRLHOOD: JOVANKA VUCKOVIC’S RIOT GIRLS

Scratch (Bates Motel’s Paloma Kwiatkowski) and her girlfriend Nat (JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE’s Madison Iseman) fend for themselves with a band of friends and family in an alternative, mid-’90s, post-apocalyptic world in which the adult population has been decimated by a deadly plague. The hotly-anticipated debut feature from genre iconoclast Jovanka Vuckovic (XX, THE CAPTURED BIRD, Rue Morgue Magazine), co-starring Munro Chambers (Degrassi, TURBO KID) and scripted by Catherine Collins (Netflix’s Lost in Space), RIOT GIRLS (North American Premiere) is a triumphant love letter to teenage misfits everywhere.

A GROUNDBREAKING START FOR WRITER-DIRECTOR KIM BORA WITH HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD

Acclaimed by critics and audiences at the prestigious Berlin, Tribeca, and Busan film festivals, award-winning HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD (Canadian Premiere) offers a potent coming-of-age story in which each tiny detail enriches the narrative and its characters. With this phenomenal first work, Kim Bora immerse the audience in the stormy daily life of a teenager – excellently portrayed by Park Ji-hu (THE WITNESS) – who learns how stay standing in a post-dictatorial Korea still rooted in traditional patriarchal values. Thanks to a skillfully reconstructed socio-historic context, majestic photography, and direction bordering on perfect, HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD is truly one of the best films of the year.

BROKEN HEARTS, BREAKING TIME IN THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WKND

Having previously set afire to Fantasia’s screens with the shorts HIBERNATION (2012) and CENIZO (2016), which together went on to win no less than 55 awards on the festival circuit, Spanish writer/director Jon Mikel Caballero returns to Montreal with his feature debut: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WKND (North American Premiere) – a moving and unique genre work in which a woman falls into a timeloop that forces her to repeatedly relive the day of a sudden break-up, with each repetition running shorter than the last. She’s experiencing a countdown… and time is running out. Winner for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 2019 Fant Bilbao Film Festival and praised by none other than J.A. Bayona (THE ORPHANAGE, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM).

COMBAT GRIEF WITH POP MUSIC IN WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES! 

Thirteen-year-olds Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura meet by chance at a crematorium. All four have lost their parents in absurd circumstances and suffer from the same startling problem: the inability to feel any emotion. Faced with uncertain futures, the group soon mutates into a surrogate family: a viral J-pop band which might just challenge their deadening malaise! The debut feature by Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Makoto Nagahisa amazes with its utterly delirious, maximalist pop sensibility – located somewhere between the live-action cinema of Hideaki Anno, Wes Anderson, and stylings of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, as filtered through 8-bit videogame culture. Following knockout screenings at this year’s Sundance and Berlinale, WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES(which co-stars Rinko Kikuchi and Sosuke Ikematsu) will celebrate its Canadian Premiere at Fantasia.

AN ODYSSEY OF JUNKIES, GANGSTERS, AND VAMPIRISM: BRUCE MCDONALD’S DREAMLAND

On the night of the strangest wedding in cinema history, a grotesque gang boss (the inimitable Henry Rollins) hires a stonecold killer (the equally inimitable Stephen McHattie) to bring him the finger of a fading, drug-addicted jazz legend (also played by McHattie). Did we mention the vampire? BRUCE MCDONALD’S DREAMLAND reunites the Canadian indie filmmaker hero with much of his PONTYPOOL team, bringing Juliette Lewis and Tómas Lemarquis along for the ride. Fantasia is proud to be presenting this jazzy, darkly comic, and utterly offbeat film’s North American Premiere after a riotous launch at the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival.

A MAGICAL ORCHESTRAL CONCERT FROM STUDIO GHIBLI FILMS

Montreal’s OVMF (Orchestre à Vents de Musiques de Films) will present a concert celebrating music by renowned Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, from some of the most beloved films of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. The orchestra will play scores from Ghibli classics PRINCESS MONONOKE, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, CASTLE IN THE SKY, KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, and SPIRITED AWAY. Directed and arranged by Jocelyn Leblanc, the orchestra will be accompanied by a choir for select works. The OVMF has been performing film-music concerts for the past 18 years, with memorable events featuring music from STAR WARS, HARRY POTTER, STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO, James Bond, Marvel, and more. This concert, celebrating the sounds the most revered works in animation history, is sure to be a highlight of this year’s festival.

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CAMERA LUCIDA UNVEILS ODE TO NOTHING, JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAYMAGGIE, AND KNIVES AND SKIN!

What do we expect from genre cinema? The CAMERA LUCIDA section, dedicated to boundary-pushing, auteur-driven works of genre, and genre-adjacent cinema, returns to defy all and every expectation. It is proud to unveil the first four titles of its 2019 line-up.

In JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY (North American Premiere) – Miguel Llanso’s highly anticipated follow-up to CRUMBS (Camera Lucida 2015) – CIA agents Palmer and Gagano are tasked with the perilous mission of destroying “The Soviet Union”! As they enter the system using a VR simulation, their mission quickly turns into a delirious trap far more complex than expected, as the fabric of reality starts unraveling around them. A cornucopia of stylistic influences, virtuosic cinematic techniques, and set design (ranging from stop-motion animation to stylized live-action), Llanso’s latest blends inter-dimensional intrigue, spy-fi, kung-fu, and Philip K. Dick-esque mind-melting weirdness to achieve truly unclassifiable results.

In ODE TO NOTHING (North American Premiere), Sonya – an old maid stuck in a town that long ceased to recognize her existence – sees a dead body arrive at the footsteps of her family-owned funeral shop. Bringing forth strange luck and fortune, she instantly gets drawn to the corpse’s mystique… NEKROMANTIK by way of A GHOST STORY, Dwein Baltazar’s powerful meditation on loneliness, small-town alienation, and the soothing ineluctability and omnipresence of death is one of the strangest, boldest and most captivating films to emerge from the Philippines this year – and a Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay winner at QCinema.

When a scandal erupts around two people having sex in the X-ray room of her hospital, nurse Yoon-young’s (2018’s Busan Actress of the Year winner Lee Joo-young) world is turned upside down. Meanwhile, strange sinkholes start appearing all over the city, her relationship with her slacker boyfriend falls apart, and what’s with the chatty pet catfish one patient left behind? Yi Okseop’s infinitely charming and unpredictable MAGGIE(Canadian Premiere) unfolds as a series of quirky interconnected vignettes pushing the possibilities of screenwriting forward, and interrogating the mysteries of the universe, the nature of trust, and the (inevitable?) wearing-down of relationships.

KNIVES AND SKIN (Quebec Premiere), Jennifer Reeder’s hypnotic festival sensation (an official selection at this year’s Berlinale and Tribeca, among others), follows the investigation of a young girl’s disappearance in a stylized version of a rural Midwest town that hovers just above and beyond reality: a TWIN PEAKS riff by way Reeder’s inimitably dreamy style, aiming to deconstruct the oppressive sheen of the All-American teen movie, and experience. In this psychedelic quasi-noir, the backdrop of shared trauma colors quintessential teenage rituals (choir rehearsals, end-of-year dances, adolescent courtships, and other football games), opening as many unknowable portals and opportunities for the loss of innocence.

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FANTASIA’S ACTION! SECTION REVEALS FIRST TITLES – NO MERCYTHE FABLE,AND THE PREY!

In NO MERCY (North American Premiere), former martial arts champion Inae to take things into her own hands when her little sister goes missing. By way of rough, tough interrogation, she discovers that the group of schoolgirls who bullied her sister have forced her into an awful situation involving petty criminals, pawnbrokers, pimps, and more. South Korean cinema has certainly cornered the market in visceral revenge thrillers loaded with action – and filmmaker’s Lim Kyoung-tack’s (KILLER TOONS) latest is firmly set in this tradition, led by a world-class action-movie heroine in the vein of 2017’s THE VILLAINESS.

THE FABLE (Quebec Premiere) is equal parts slam-bang action thriller, lurid Yakuza melodrama, and off-kilter dark comedy filled with JOHN WICK-esque gun fu. And like its antihero, the whole thing is a bit confounding, but totally cool with it. Based on Katsuhisa Minami’s award-winning manga series, Kan Eguchi’s live-action adaptation gives centre stage to Junichi Okada (LIBRARY WARS, IT COMES), whose knack for deadpan comedy, packed with wit and pathos, comes in handy when otherwise preoccupied charting a death-dealing sociopath’s uncertain stumble toward normalcy.

In THE PREY (Canadian Premiere), prisoners become human prey for rich hunters looking for thrills in the Cambodian jungle. Thrown in with a mix of crooks and killers out to survive in any way possible, Chinese cop Xin (newcomer Gu Shangwei) must outrun his hunters before he becomes a human trophy. Tough, trained, he’s ready to fight, and he just needs to find his way out of this before they find him. Inspired by Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game, Jimmy Henderson and the team behind the 2017 Fantasia hit JAILBREAK continue their winning streak of rock-solid, high-quality action on a modest budget.

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FIRST TITLES OF THE 2019 AXIS LINEUP UNVEILED!

Fantasia’s Axis section, dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge works of animation, returns with an inspired lineup of standout creations. We’re proud to announce a selection of First Wave titles:

LATVIAN DEBUT FEATURE AWAY IS ONE MAN’S WORK OF ANIMATED WONDER

The closing credits of the thoughtful, fascinating Latvian fantasy-adventure AWAY (North American Premiere) are only the words “A Film by Gints Zilbalodis.” For his first feature, the 25-year-old handled literally every aspect: screenplay, design, CG animation, even the effective musical score. The result is sparse, archetypal tale-for-all-ages, imbued with a mesmerizing-yet-unsettling energy and frequent moments of wonder.

CHINESE STOP-MOTION FEATURE SHE BLOWS THE CLOSET DOORS OF THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS WIDE OPEN

Zhou Shengwei’s startling stop-motion fairy-tale SHE (Canadian Premiere) is a scissor-sharp indictment of the patriarchal-industrial complex, constructed entirely out of clothing and common objects. Composed of almost 60,000 photographs and over a half-decade in the making, SHE is an inspired, one-of-a-kind creation, its bravado art direction, eruptive colour scheme, and unsettling, onomatopoeic sound design certain to stain the memory of anyone daring enough to dive in.

RESTORATION OF 1981 HUNGARIAN PSYCHEDELIC ANIMATED CLASSIC MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE!

A liberated pastiche of epic poem and ancient tales, informed by folk-art motifs, pop psychedelia, and an abundance of profound symbolism, SON OF THE WHITE MARE (1981) is the most admired work of award-winning, pioneering Hungarian animator Marcell Jankovics. Now that the dedicated crew at Arbelos Films have restored its glory directly from camera negatives, Fantasia is thrilled to re-introduce this marvel from a living legend of the craft. WORLD PREMIERE OF RESTORATION

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ADDITIONAL FIRST WAVE TITLES:

21st CENTURY GIRL. Japan – Dir. Various
This joyful omnibus film from emerging female filmmakers brings together 15 shorts on the theme of gender and intimacy, and includes new work by Yoko Yamanaka (AMIKO), Aya Igashi (A CRIMSON STAR), and Ū-ki Yamato (DROWNING LOVE). Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2018. North American Premiere.

COME TO DADDY. Canada/New Zealand/Ireland/USA – Dir. Ant Timpson
Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, and Martin Donovan star in this inventively genre-bending thrill ride that begins as a quirky comedy about estranged family attempting a reconnection and soon shifts onto freakier and far, far bloodier sideroads than you’ll ever see coming. The feature directorial debut of producer/curator/superhero Ant Timpson (TURBO KID, DEATHGASM). Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival 2019, Overlook Film Festival 2019, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2019. Canadian Premiere.

DACHRA. Tunisia – Dir. Abdelhamid Bouchnak
A group of journalism students discover a hidden tribal society that has cultivated a way of life brimming with ancient practices and beliefs, rituals and blood. Tunisia’s first genre film is a nerve-shredding bear trap of horror cinema. Official Selection: Venice Film Festival (Critics’ Week) 2018, Fantastic Fest 2018, Göteborg Film Festival 2019, Imagine Film Festival 2019. Canadian Premiere.

DARLIN’. USA – Dir. Pollyanna McIntosh
A wild child slowly adjusts to “civilized” society, where the human monsters lurk under cover of church vestments. The sequel to OFFSPRING and THE WOMAN, actor Pollyanna McIntosh herself takes on the writing/directing reins, and adds an extra vivid flavour to this series’ cannibal-horror stew. Official Selection: SXSW 2019, What The Fest?! 2019. Canadian Premiere. 

DEPRAVED. USA – Dir. Larry Fessenden
Celebrated New York auteur Larry Fessenden’s first film NO TELLING was subtitled THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX, and now he tackles a more direct modern adaptation of Mary Shelley’s timeless tale. As always, Fessenden finds a distinctly personal way to shape classic themes, this time by telling the story from the point of view of the “monster.” Official selection: What The Fest?! 2019, Overlook Film Festival 2019. Sydney Film Festival 2019. Canadian Premiere.

EXTRA ORDINARY. Ireland/Belgium – Dir. Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman
Maeve Higgins and Will Forte star in this exhilaratingly funny and inventive instant classic about a driving instructor with paranormal sensitivities matching wits against a fizzled rock star looking to renew a Satanic pact. The festival is very proud that EXTRA ORDINARY came out of its own Frontières market. Official Selection: SXSW 2019, Melbourne International Film Festival 2019, Overlook 2019. Winner of the Silver Raven at the 2019 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

FLY ME TO THE SAITAMA. Japan – Dir. Hideki Takeuchi
A young man from Tokyo and a Saitama-born American exchange student develop a fierce rivalry based on caricatural suburban feuds, which turns into uncontrollable attraction. Hideki Takeuchi (THERMAE ROMAE) returns to zany, anachronistic fantasy with this Monty Python-esque adaptation of a classic manga from 1982. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2019. Quebec Premiere.

G AFFAIRS. Hong Kong – Dir. Lee Cheuk-Pan
Heads will roll in this twisty, sordid thriller: a highly stylized portrait of contemporary Hong Kong where criminality, real estate crises, corruption, and conspiracy intertwine via words starting with “G” – the key to it all. Co-starring Chapman To. Official Selection: Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019. Canadian Premiere.

THE ISLAND OF CATS. Japan – Dir. Mitsuaki Iwago
The only constant in life is change, even for elderly Daikichi and his friends — human and otherwise — on a small, idyllic island far from Tokyo. A pure moment of calm and beauty, this light-hearted, sweet-natured slice-of-life dramedy is loaded with loveable characters — human and otherwise. Quebec Premiere

LITTLE MONSTERS. Australia/UK/USA – Dir. Abe Forsythe
A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kid’s show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies in this hilarious crowd-pleaser starring Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gad, and Stephen Peacocke and from the director of DOWN UNDER. Official Selection: Sundance 2019, SXSW 2019, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2019. Quebec Premiere. 

THE MOON IN THE HIDDEN WOODS. South Korea  Dir. Takahiro Umehara
A princess and a musician confront marvels and monsters as fate shakes the world… and the heavens above! This is an exquisite animated blend of steampunk, Korean folk styles, and otherworldy fantasy peppered with innovative ideas and dazzling visual delights. Quebec Premiere.

SATANIC PANIC. USA – Dir: Chelsea Stardust
Get ready for a blood-splattered throwback to the days when cultists devoted to the horned one were all over theater screens, updated with a knowing sense of humor by Fangoria and screenwriter/best-selling author Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Horrorstör), from a story he wrote with Ted Geoghegan (WE ARE STILL HERE). Starring Hayley Griffith, Rebecca Romijn, Jordan Ladd, Jerry O’Connell, and AJ Bowen. Official Selection: Overlook Film Festival 2019, Cinepocalypse 2019. International Premiere.

SONS OF DENMARK. Denmark  Dir. Ulaa Salim
A radicalized teenage Muslim in Copenhagen trains to assassinate a hate-mongering, far-right leader. Loaded, provocative, and disturbing, this first feature written and directed by Ulaa Salim depicts a vicious circle of violence from which no one escapes unscathed. Official Selection: Rotterdam International Film Festival 2019, Seattle International Film Festival 2019. Canadian Premiere.

SUPER DELUXE. India – Dir. Thiagarajan Kumararaja
During a single day in Chennai, four destinies become forever entwined in this crazy, ambitious, and deliberately overloaded slice of stylized contemporary Indian cinema, painting a cosmic fresco of absurd connections, coincidences, and delicious digressions! Special Screening.

TONE-DEAF. USA – Dir. Richard Bates Jr.
The magic of Airbnb connects fed-up-with-everything millennial Olive (Amanda Crew) with angry-with-everything MAGA widower Henry (Robert Patrick). Sparks fly, along with a whole lot of witticisms — and blood — in this venomous black comedy from the director of EXCISION and TRASH FIRE, a different kind of “home invasion” film that functions as an eccentric snapshot of modern America’s cultural/political divides. Official Selection: SXSW 2019, Boston Underground Film festival 2019. International Premiere.

WHITE SNAKE. China  Dir. Amp Wong and Zhao Ji
The thousand-year-old folktale of the shape-shifting serpent sisters hatches anew in a gorgeous fantasy adventure that takes Chinese popular animation to unprecedented heights. Dazzling, thrilling, funny, romantic, even a bit spicy, WHITE SNAKE is guaranteed to charm! Canadian Premiere.

The full 2019 lineup will be announced in early July, with ticket sales commencing shortly afterwards. Stay tuned! 

The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal July 11 – August 1 2019, once again returning to the mammoth Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base, with additional screens at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée and the McCord Museum. 

For more information, visit us on the web at www.fantasiafestival.com

Humans by birth. Gamers by choice.Goomba Stomp is a Canadian web publication that has been independently owned and operated since its inception in 2016.

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‘The Mandalorian’ Trailer: A Shot-by-Shot Analysis

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With Disney’s D23 Expo well underway in Anaheim, California, we got a slew of information about upcoming Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars projects. One of the most anticipated of these announcements was the trailer for Jon Favreau’s upcoming television series The Mandalorian. The show will take place following the events of the original trilogy of Star Wars films, set a few years after Return of the Jedi, when the Empire has been defeated, and will follow the titular gunfighter. The Mandalorian trailer suggests a darker tone for the Star Wars franchise; story-wise, we haven’t had much information, so let’s break down the trailer and see what we can decipher.

Stormtrooper Graveyard

One of the most striking images from the entire Mandalorian trailer is the opening shot of decimated Stormtrooper helmets in the sand. The setting of the series is emphasised here, with the collapse of the Empire highlighted by what looks like a shrine to their demise.

We also get this image of the helmets on pikes, suggesting a dark and violent tone. It is understandable that the inhabitants of the Star Wars universe would be vengeful towards the Empire, but this imagery illustrates just how deeply rooted this anger is throughout the galaxy. It is also a rather violent image, suggesting that the show will have a more adult nature similar to that of the Rogue One film.

Razor Crest

We then get a look at the Mandalorian’s ship as it cruises across a lush planet flourishing with greenery. The ship itself is known as the Razor Crest, a fact that was given back in April at the The Mandalorian panel at the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago.

Prepare for Landing

The next shot we see is of some kind of ship port where the Mandalorian has docked the Razor Crest. He obviously travels far and wide within the galaxy for his contracts, and it could be interesting to see where his work takes him throughout the series. This particular port looks like it has seen better days. It’s likely that it took a beating during the civil war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The effects that the war had on the rest of the galaxy could also be a fascinating element to explore.

Greef Carga

Next we see the Mandalorian exchanging what looks like credits of some kind with a character confirmed to be called Greef Carga, played by Carl Weathers. Carga is said to be the leader of a guild of bounty hunters who hires the titular character to track down an asset of great value.

Desert Plains

The Mandalorian trailer then sees the Razor Crest flying across a planet with a cracked, desert style terrain. This is another great example of the various worlds that we might see across the span of the series.  The scene is also visually stunning, and the production values are incredibly impressive for a television series. You can see that Disney is investing a lot in the show.

Suit Up

The Mandalorian readies his armour and weaponry in the next shot, obviously preparing for a fight. The mystery of the man behind the Mandolorian mask is clearly going to be a strong element of the series, much like with fellow Mandolorian bounty hunter Boba Fett, who became a fan favourite despite his minimal screen time. We know that the title character will be played by Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos), but little else is known about him.

Cara Dune

Gina Carano’s Cara Dune is seen in the following shot. Dune is a former Rebel solider, having been a Rebel Shock Trooper beforehand.  Carano described her as a “loner” who has trouble fitting back into regular society following the end of the Galactic Civil War. This is also an interesting story element that could bring some relatable human moments to a galaxy far, far away. Soldiers often have trouble adjusting back into ordinary civilian life following a long stint on the battlefield, and seeing this via Carano’s character could really humanise the Rebel soldiers who weren’t necessarily big players in the war, but just regular troopers. They are often overlooked in big adventure stories such as Star Wars in favour of the unobtainable heroes, so to explore the stories of the other Rebels could be interesting.

Uganaught

We then see an Uganaught  riding on what looks a bit like a worm with legs (that is my best scientific description). Uganaughts are humanoid creatures that have a slight resemblance to pigs. They come from the planet Gentes, and have made appearances across the wealth of Star Wars media. It’s nice to see the inclusion of a variety of alien species from the Star Wars universe here.

Twi’lek Ladies Get it Done

Similar to the Uganaught species, the Twi’lek are an alien species who have made appearances across the various Star Wars books, television shows, and video games. This particular Twi’lek woman looks like she has some sass to her, and I’m a sucker for strong sci-fi ladies. Girl power and all that.

The Lone Ranger

This is personally my favourite shot of the whole Mandalorian trailer. We see the Mandalorian walking by himself as the sun sets on a desert landscape. This shot encapsulates the lone nature of the bounty hunter. His dark silhouette slowly approaching is somewhat menacing as well, and makes for a fantastic shot that not only looks terrific, but also suggests the dark tones of the show and the moral ambiguity of the character.

Mother and Child

The next shot shows a woman and child cowering. This shot could be taken from any moment in the show, and could be a flashback or an important event in the series. Either way, it is likely that they are related to the Mandalorian in some way. Whether they were family to him or they are characters that he protects, I am certain they will play some role in the events that occur.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The next shot seems to be edited together in a way to make it seem like the line up of Deathtroopers are aiming at the woman and child in the previous shot. Though this is most likely purposely edited, it shows that the Empire still has loyal followers attempting to uphold the regime.

From the Hip

We see the Mandalorian’s itchy trigger finger next as he stands off against an unknown adversary. The trailer is certainly establishing a Western theme and this moment truly captures the feel of traditional gun-slinging Westerns.

Moff Gideon

Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon is the next character introduced in the Mandalorian trailer. Esposito confirmed that his character is still serving the Empire despite their fall in Return of the Jedi. He seems to have an ensemble of  Deathtroopers behind him, so he clearly isn’t alone in his dedication to the Empire. We know that the First Order will step up and take the place of the Empire in the future, so perhaps Gideon will play a part in establishing the new regime. It could also be that Gideon is an independent party, acting alone with his team of troopers.

Bounty Hunter for Hire

The close up of the classic Mandalorian helmet brings back memories of fellow Mandalorians — Boba Fett from the original trilogy, as well as his father, Jango Fett, from the prequels. The people of the planet Mandalore were ravaged by war on their world, so I’d be interested to see if we get to see the Mandalorian home planet, get more of an insight into the Mandalorian people, and learn how they were affected by their planets violent history.

Swoop

We then see a man aboard a swoop bike back in the desert at night confronting some sort of space craft.  This looks like it could be the Mandalorian, but he is missing his signature helmet. Hopefully, we will get a look at the man under the mask at some point in the series.

Warzone

A battle rages in the night in the next shot. You can see trenches set up and ships blasting at those on the ground. The ship makes the classic ‘pew pew’ noise when it fires, which is always the best part of anything Star Wars-related.

Run

Someone carrying a child runs through a street where a battle is raging; could it be possible that the valuable asset that Greef Carga has tasked the Mandalorian with transporting is indeed this child? It would make sense if the person carrying the child is the Mandalorian himself without his helmet again, but it could also be possible that this is just a child and parent affected by the war, trying to escape the battle. Either way, you can clearly see how the fighting is affecting someone so young.

Knock Knock, Open up the Door

Another cool scene from the Mandalorian trailer is this moment with the Mandalorian and a droid. The droid was confirmed to be named IG-11 after fans were originally thinking that he was an IG-88 assassin droid seen in the previous Star Wars movies. IG-11 will be voiced by Taika Waititi, so he is sure to have some attitude, and hopefully will deliver some one liners. If IG-11 has a similar personality to some of Waititi’s others roles, such as Korg from Thor: Ragnorak, then it could be a nice contrast to have him team up with the stalwart and stoic Mandalorian.

Space Battle

For a series set in space in a franchise known as Star Wars, we only get one glimpse of an actual fight in space.

IG -11

After seeing the Mandolorian gunning down some people in a battle, IG- 11 gets a moment to shine as he takes out several people with his laser pistol. Hopefully, the droid will pay a significant role in the series, perhaps forming a similar relationship with the Mandolorian that Cassian Andor and K2-S0 had in Rogue One.

Mexican Standoff

One of the finishing shots of the Mandalorian trailer shows the Mandalorian standing off against a group of Stormtroopers. He seems to be outnumbered and outgunned. At least until…

Hold the Door

He pulls a finishing move on this guy by tripping him as he tries to run, grabbing him with some kind of grappling hook, and pulling him back in through the door. He then shoots a panel next to door, forcing it to close on the attempted runaway. The shot cuts away before we get the bloody shot of someone getting chopped in two (this is still a Disney production after all), but the tone is clear. This guy is skilled, he is precise, and he is certainly not to be messed with.

Carbonite

A brief shot of an alien frozen in carbonite is seen next, showing that this isn’t a punishment just reserved for the likes of Han Solo. We also hear some voice lines from acclaimed actor, director, writer and all around artist Werner Herzog who states “Bounty Hunting is a complicated thing.”

Herzog Himself

Then we cut to the man himself. It is unclear as to who Herzog will be playing, but to have such an acclaimed person on board is pretty promising. He finishes his speech, “Don’t you agree?” I really hope that the series explores the moral ambiguities of what a bounty hunter is, and this small yet poignant speech from Herzog’s character suggests that this could come into question.

The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau is clearly a huge fan of the Star Wars series, and I have no doubt that he will bring us an interesting story that explores the dark underworld of the bounty hunting business in the Star Wars universe, whilst also maintaining the conflict between the Rebels, the ordinary citizens, and the last remnants of the Empire. With an impressive cast and crew working on it, The Mandalorian has the potential to be a brilliant addition to the Star Wars lore.

The Mandalorian will be available to stream from November 12th on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

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Watch Ninja On An Episode Of Family Feud

Don’t miss the moment Steve Harvey meets Ninja for the first time.

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is heading up a team on Celebrity Family Feud this weekend, but it’s not the first time the famed Fortnite streamer has appeared on the show.

Long before he reached household name status in the gaming community, Ninja appeared on the televised game show Family Feud in 2015, when he and his family went on a three-day winning streak before losing to the Beams family of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

With Blevins now appearing on an upcoming episode of Celebrity Family Feud, we thought it would be fun to revisit those earlier episodes which have now all been uploaded online.

Regardless if you like Ninja and/or the show, you’ll get a kick out of watching his introduction when he tells host Steve Harvey that he’s a professional video game player who travels across the country and competes, playing video games. The reaction on Harvey’s face is priceless since nobody at the time could have ever guessed how popular Ninja, not to mention streaming video games, would eventually become.

Watch the videos below. Enjoy!

[via Dexerto]

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Check Out the Explosive First Gameplay of ‘Kerbal Space Program 2’

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Kerbal Space Program 2

Gamescom 2019 brought with it a host of surprising game announcements and updates on existing games. One of the most unexpected announcements was the reveal of Kerbal Space Program 2, the sequel to the viral, totally accurate space simulator that first released on PC back in 2011.

Now, shortly after its initial reveal, Gamespot has gone live with the first gameplay of this much-anticipated sequel. Fittingly enough, the footage showcases all the spectacularly explosive spaceships, interstellar exploration, and intrepid Kerbal explorers that the series has become known for.

It should be noted that the footage is pre-alpha, so although the gameplay does show some issues with frame rate and graphics, those should be polished up before the game’s full launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2020.

Here’s the full description of the game, courtesy of its official website:

With the original Kerbal Space Program having become one of the most beloved games of all time and now bigger than ever, Kerbal Space Program 2 has been fully redesigned from the ground up to meet the demands of modern and next-generation space exploration, all while maintaining the monumental foundations of the first game. Build a space program, construct powerful spacecraft, design resource-gathering colonies, and much more to uncover the secrets of the galaxy. A plethora of exciting new features will captivate veteran and returning players, as well as usher in a whole new wave of Kerbonauts to the ingenious and comedic world that has entertained millions of players.

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Netflix Releases Teaser for ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

The Netflix Television Event will launch globally on Friday, October 11

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It was on September 29, 2013, that Breaking Bad came to an end with the final episode of that series, “Felina” in which Walter White evades a nationwide manhunt in order to return to New Mexico and deliver the remaining profits from his illegal methamphetamine empire to his family. Knowing cancer will soon kill him, Walt revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the conflict and his death. When the credits rolled, audiences believed it would be the last time they would see many of these characters and while we did get a spinoff show in Better Call Saul, one character who hasn’t returned in any other show as of yet is Jesse Pinkman. That’s about to change…

Netflix announced on Saturday that it will release a new Breaking Bad movie that will center on Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who was last seen in the TV series speeding off in a stolen Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.

The film, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will be released on Netflix on Oct. 11. The film is also expected to be broadcast at a later date on AMC, the cable network where the TV series was originally shown from 2008 to 2013.

Official Synopsis:

The Netflix Television Event El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul).  In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.  This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.  The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series

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Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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Freelance Film Writers

Goomba Stomp is the joint effort of a team of like-minded writers from across the globe. We provide smart readers with sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering an escape from the usual hype and gossip. We are currently looking for Film, TV, Anime and Comic writers.

Contact us: Editor@GoombaStomp.com

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