FANTASIA’S UPCOMING VIRTUAL EDITION (AUGUST 20 – SEPTEMBER 2) ANNOUNCES FIRST WAVE OF PROGRAMMING

NEIL MARSHALL’S THE RECKONING TO OPEN FESTIVAL

The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 24th edition as a virtual event accessible to movie lovers across Canada, with a wild assortment of scheduled screenings, panels, and workshops taking place online from August 20 through September 2, 2020. The decision to launch a digital edition of the famed genre festival was born from Fantasia’s desire to keep the health and safety of its attendees a top priority during the current global health crisis, while still offering daring, much-needed new genre entertainment to residents of Canada and supporting the breakout filmmakers of the year. Fantasia is excited to reveal a selected first wave of titles.

AN EVE OF RECKONING FALLS UPON FANTASIA’S OPENING NIGHT

Fantasia’s 24th edition will open with a special screening of Neil Marshall’s recently completed cinematic powerhouse THE RECKONING. A poignant and horrific period thriller set in 1665 against the backdrop of the Great Plague and the subsequent witch hunts in England, THE RECKONING stars Charlotte Kirk (OCEAN’S 8, NO PANIC WITH A HINT OF HYSTERIA), Sean Pertwee (DOG SOLDIERS, DOOMSDAY), Joe Anderson (THE GREY, THE CRAZIES), Steven Waddington (THE IMITATION GAME, LAST OF THE MOHICANS), and Emma Campbell-Jones (DOCTOR WHO). A vivid, compelling and confrontational film whose themes are frighteningly pertinent to today’s concerns. This will mark the second time that a work from the esteemed British filmmaker has opened Fantasia, THE DESCENT having been the festival’s official Opening Film in 2005.

A GENRE-BENDING VISUAL FEAST AWAITS YOU WITH UNDERGODS

An otherworldly journey through a Europe in decline, Chino Moya’s UNDERGODS is a collection of aesthetically astonishing, darkly humorous fantasy tales about a series of men whose worlds fall apart through a visit from an unexpected stranger. This singular visual feast is a co-production between the UK, Belgium, Estonia, Serbia, and Sweden with a cast that includes Geza Rohrig (SON OF SAUL), Johann Meyers (SNATCH), Hayley Carmichael (LES MISERABLES tv series), Eric Godon (IN BRUGES), Kate Dickie (THE WITCH), Adrian Rawlins (CHERNOBYL), Ned Dennehy (MANDY), and an especially crazed Jan Bijvoet (BORGMAN). World Premiere

MAKOTO TEZUKA ADAPTS THE LEGENDARY MANGA TEZUKA’S BARBARA!

One night, a famous novelist encounters a young, seemingly homeless woman in an overpass tunnel. He brings her home, which sets him on a path of increasingly bizarre encounters. TEZUKA’S BARBARA is the abrasively jazzy adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s adult manga of the same name. Directed by Makoto Tezuka (LEGEND OF THE STARDUST BROTHERS) and lensed by Christopher Doyle (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, HERO), this film – released as part of Tezuka’s 90th anniversary celebration – mixes pinku-style erotica with an examination of the creative impulse and a dash of the occult, thus unveiling the lesser-known dark side of the ASTRO BOY creator and anime maestro. North American Premiere

CELEBRATE 45 YEARS OF TROMA WITH LLOYD KAUFMAN’S LATEST CREATION!

Nearly 25 years after the release of TROMEO AND JULIET, Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team are going “back to the Bard” with an utterly insane interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, set against America’s opioid crisis. Kaufman celebrates Troma’s 45th – and his 50th – year of making movies by taking on Big Pharma, addiction, and an intolerance of social media with all the sex, mutants, musical numbers, and violence that Shakespeare always wanted but never had.  #SHAKESPEARESSHITSTORM marks the most ambitious project in Troma’s 45-year history, popping with Kaufman’s uniquely anarchistic style at a time when it couldn’t possibly be more needed! World Premiere

CANADIAN TITLES PRESENTED IN WORLD PREMIERE, STRONG PRESENCE OF WOMEN DIRECTORS AND SURPRISING NEWCOMERS

A mother and daughter are suspected of witchcraft by their devout rural community in Canadian filmmaker Thomas Robert Lee’s freakishly nightmarish THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW. One of the most unsettling and surprising occult horror films since HEREDITARY, this haunting tale is steeped in folklore and brimming with imagery that will besiege your subconscious. It stars Catherine Walker (A DARK SONG), Jared Abrahamson (HELLO DESTROYER), Hannah Emily Anderson (WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE), Don McKellar (LAST NIGHT), and Sean McGinley (BRAVEHEART), and is co-produced by MY BLOODY VALENTINE director George Mihalka. World Premiere

The sophomore feature by Canadian Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Composer Anthony Scott Burns (OUR HOUSE), COME TRUE is a distinctive and compelling work of dark science-fiction that haunts the space between wakefulness and sleep. Plagued by disturbing dreams and unable to go home, rebellious teenager Sarah (THE KILLING’s Julia Sarah Stone) is relieved to find shelter at a university sleep study.  Hoping this will finally help her to get rid of her nightmares, she unwittingly becomes the channel to a horrifying new discovery. Co-starring Landon Liboiron (TRUTH OR DARE). Produced by Mark Smith (IN THE TALL GRASS) and Nicholas Bechard (HOLIDAYS) and Canadian genre film luminaries Steve Hoban (GINGER SNAPS) and Vincenzo Natali (CUBE). World Premiere

In New Delhi filmmaker Sidharth Srinivasan’s first horror work – and first narrative feature in a decade, following SOUL OF SAND – a DJ encounters a beautiful woman at a club, goes back to her home, and finds himself thrust into a nightmare odyssey of ritual magic, patriarchal death customs, and family conflict most unusual. Transgressive, darkly humorous, and mystically atmospheric, KRIYA is a fever dream of fear starring Navjot Randhawa (MEHSAMPUR), Noble Luke, and Avantika Akerkar (THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL), is co-produced by Andy Starke (IN FABRIC) and Pete Tombs (FREE FIRE), and features an unforgettable score by Jim Williams (POSSESSOR). World Premiere

Bernardo is an undertaker. He runs his mortuary business in the same house where he resides. In the front, he has his clients. And in the back, his dysfunctional family lives amongst coffins, wreaths, and the mischievous but nonviolent ghosts that visit on a daily basis. But when a malevolent entity enters the scene, it wreaks havoc on the already fractured household in Argentinean writer/director Mauro Iván Ojeda’s chilling first feature. THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME (La Funeraria) stars Luís Machín (MONTECRISTO), Celeste Gerez (DESTINO ANUNCIADO), and Camila Vaccarini (PAISAJE). World Premiere

A film by John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies, UNEARTH is a fracking horror story that follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are strained when one of them chooses to lease their land to a gas company. Adrienne Barbeau (THE FOG), Marc Blucas (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), and Allison McAtee (WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS) star. World Premiere

  • Swedish filmmaker Johan Von Sydow’s eight-years-in-the-making TINY TIM: KING FOR A DAY, like its subject, is unlike anything else out there. Through Tiny´s intense diaries (read by “Weird Al” Yankovic performing Tim’s inner voice with genuinely dramatic results), archival footage, and interviews with family, friends, and contemporaries like Wavy Gravy, Tommy James, and the late Jonas Mekas and D.A. Pennabaker, the film paints an intimate portrait of one of the oddest careers in showbiz World Premiere
  • Shinichiro Ueda (ONE CUT OF THE DEAD) is back with his highly anticipated sophomore film SPECIAL ACTORS! A delirious meta-comedy, doubling down on the performative antics of his previous making-of/zom-com hybrid, Ueda now turns the entire world into a stage – to our utmost delight! Canadian Premiere
  • The sophomore feature from Natasha Kermani (IMITATION GIRL), LUCKY tells the tale of May (Brea Grant, who also scripted), a self-help author who suddenly finds herself stalked by a threatening but elusive masked man that mysteriously reappears every night. A visceral and smart exploration of gaslighting through the prism of horror storytelling, LUCKY was originally slated to launch at this year’s SXSW. International Premiere
  • Tormented by vivid nightmares and the belief they are real, Marlene suffers a nervous breakdown in a remote German village. Michael Venus’ SLEEP (Schlaf), co-starring Gro Swantje Kohlhof (NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN) and Sandra Hüller (TONI ERDMANN), is a supremely confident debut. A standout at this year’s Berlinale. North American Premiere
  • Originally slated to launch at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, 12 HOUR SHIFT isa gripping real-time, hospital-set thriller / black comedy taking place in the late ’90s at the onset of the opioid crisis. Fronted by a career-best performance from Angela Bettis (MAY), playing a ferociously uncommon kind of anti-hero, and infused with inspired directorial details, the film co-stars Chloe Farnworth, David Arquette, and Mick Foley. Writer / Director Brea Grant (who also scripted and stars in this year’s LUCKY) has delivered one of our favorite films of the year. International Premiere
  • An alien takes over the body of a middle-aged drug addict (Gary Green) and goes on a delirious joyride across Cape Town in Ryan Kruger’s FRIED BARRY, an acid trip of a road movie. Winner of a RapidLion Award for Best South African Film, it’s a tale that’s alternately depraved and oddly sweet. Canadian Premiere
  • Believe the hype. With YUMMY, Belgian filmmaker Lars Damoiseaux has made one of the craziest, funniest, most inventive, and surprising zombie gorefests to assault screens in recent years.

THE CAMERA LUCIDA SECTION DEDICATED TO BOUNDARY-PUSHING, AUTEUR-DRIVEN WORKS AT THE INTERSECTION OF GENRE AND ARTHOUSE CINEMA

The Camera Lucida section unveils its first titles:

  • With the passing of director Nobuhiko Obayashi in April of 2020, cinema lost a titan. His final film, LABYRINTH OF CINEMA (2019) is deeply humanist text: an endlessly delirious career coda and a voyage through Japan’s wartime and cinematic history. Canadian Premiere
  • Originally slated to launch at this year’s SXSW, Noah Hutton’s LAPSIS follows activist documentaries DEEP TIME and CRUDE INDEPENDENCE with this brilliant skewering of the absurdity of contemporary work environments, leaving no stone unturned: from the sharing economy to healthcare profiteering and the increasing game-ification of labor. This is speculative fiction at its most relevant. International Premiere
  • An entrancing debut for German director Sabrina Mertens, TIME OF MOULTING unfolds as a series of meticulous domestic tableaus, slowly morphing into a disturbing descent into a young girl’s inner turmoil. Crushing, and not for the faint of heart. North American Premiere

All titles will compete for the AQCC-Camera Lucida prize, awarded by a jury of critics from the Québec’s Critics Association (AQCC), member of the FIPRESCI.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND GROSS-OUT GAGS FILL FANTASIA’S ANIMATION SECTION

Fantasia’s Axis section unveils its first two selections – one to guide young ones as they grow up, the other for older folks who defiantly resist growing up.

  • Mexican feature A COSTUME FOR NICHOLAS, directed by Eduardo Rivero,is a wild and colourful fantasy adventure. Canadian Premiere
  • Estonian country-bumpkin shock-comedy THE OLD MAN MOVIE, directed by Oskar Lehemaa, Peeter Ritso and Mikk Mägi’s hugely successful YouTube series has become a high-water mark for stop-motion animation, and a glorious new low in lowbrow laughs! North American Premiere

Fantasia’s 24th edition will be held online from August 20 to September 2. A second wave of Fantasia 2020 titles will be announced in July and its full lineup will be revealed in early August, with ticket sales commencing shortly afterwards.

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

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