Fantasia begins this Thursday

THE 23RD EDITION OF FANTASIABEGINS THIS THURSDAY! 

From July 11 to August 1st

On Thursday, July 11th at 6:30pm in Concordia University’s Sir George William University Alumni Auditorium, the 23rd edition of Fantasia International Film Festival will kick off! This year, until August 1st, the Festival will present a distinguished lineup of more than 134 feature films and more than 100 short films. Festival-goers will want to take advantage of this rich slate of international programming, which includes films from over 25 countries. 

To commence the Festival, Fantasia is proud to present the North American premiere of SADAKO, from Japanese director Hideo Nakata. With its shiver-inducing sound design, cryptic imagery and mysterious narrative, SADAKO will usher viewers back into the frightening first three chapters of the RINGU saga. During the second half of the evening, at 9:30pm, Fantasia will hold the Quebec premiere of THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE, still in the Alumni Auditorium. The film, a troubling story about the dangers of toxic masculinity, is directed by Riley Stearns and stars Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots. 

The next day, on Friday, July 12th at 7:00pm in the Alumni Auditorium, the Festival will present the Quebec premiere of LITTLE MONSTERS from Australian director Abe Forsythe. Starring Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, this charming tale is the perfect balance of horror and comedy. With blood, guts, and musical rhymes galore, it’s an incredibly entertaining and surprisingly moving film. At 9:30pm, Lorcan Finnegan’s VIVARIUM will be screened in the same room. Once again starring the talented duo of Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, this Irish-Belgian-Danish co-production is a science-fiction film that is as destabilizing as it is compellingly allegorical. 

On Saturday, July 13th at 4:30pm in Concordia’s J.A. DeSeve Cinema, the Festival will hold the world premiere of Canadian film JADE’S ASYLUM, directed by Alexandre Carrière and featuring Morgan Kohan and Roc Lafortune. With a fractured timeline and an impressionist montage sequence, this film leads viewers deep into the unstable psyche of its main character. Later on, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Brian de Palma’s rock opera horror PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, Fantasia will present a screening of the film at the Imperial Cinema at 7:00pm. In attendance will be special guests Paul Williams, the film’s composer and actor, as well as Edward R. Pressman, the film’s producer, with the latter receiving an honorary Career Achievement award. At 7:15pm on the same night in the SGWU Alumni Auditorium, thrill-seekers can enjoy the Quebec premiere of Lee Won-tae’s THE GANGSTER, THE COP, THE DEVIL. This South Korean action film, which was selected for a midnight screening at the Cannes Film Festival, promises exciting pursuits, fierce combat scenes and razor-sharp dialogue. 

On Sunday, July 14th, the world premiere of the documentary L’INQUIÉTANTE ABSENCE, from Quebec directors Félix Brassard and Amir Belkaim, will occur at 2:00pm in the J.A. DeSeve Cinema. Featuring more than a dozen interviews, this documentary recounts the history of genre cinema in Quebec. At 4:45pm in the DeSeve Cinema, the Festival will present the Canadian premiere of ANOTHER CHILD (South Korea), a feminist coming of age film from Kim Yoon-seok, which is nominated in competition for the Cheval Noir awards. At 7:00pm, Shelagh McLeod’s debut feature ASTRONAUT will have its North American premiere in the SGWU Alumni Auditorium. Starring Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss, this touching story explores life, love and the power of family. 

In tandem with these screenings, Fantasia will offer a number of free activities during the first weekend of the Festival. On Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th of July, at 1:00pm and 3:00pm in the McCord Museum, the Festival will present “My First Fantasia: To The Beat of Imagination,” a series of captivating short films that will delight the entire family. On Sunday, July 14th at 5:00pm, Edward R. Pressman, whose work includes collaborations with Brian de Palma, Terrence Malick and Kathryn Bigelow, will give a master class on his storied career in the York Amphitheatre.  

During the Festival, tickets will be sold at the Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium box office (1455, Maisonneuve boul. West) and on the Ticketpro network. Individual tickets purchased at the box office will be sold at the cost of $11 (taxes and fees included). Booklets of 10 and 20 tickets are available at the cost of $100 and $180 respectively (taxes and fees included).  

This year, the Festival will take place across 8 different venues : the Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium, the D.B. Clarke Theatre, the J.A. DuSeve Cinema and Concordia’s York Amphitheatre. Select screenings will also occur at the Cinémathèque québécoise, the McCord Museum, the Imperial Cinema, and the Cinema du Musée.  

To consult the full program, visit the website fantasiafestival.com.

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