Fantasia: a Lifetime achievement award to filmmaker John Carpenter

FANTASIA’S UPCOMING VIRTUAL EDITION

AUGUST 20 – SEPTEMBER 2

CLOSING WITH KIWI ACTION COMEDY

THE LEGEND OF BARON TO’A

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. Fantasia is excited to reveal a new assortment of feature films, scheduled panels, talks, tributes, and special events.

JOHN CARPENTER LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AND MASTERCLASS

Fantasia attendees lovingly recall that the Kentucky-raised writer/director/musician was one of the first major international guests to attend Fantasia for the fest’s third edition in 1998, when it launched the International Premiere of VAMPIRES. In conjunction with awarding him a Fantasia Lifetime Achievement Award, the festival will also present a masterclass from Carpenter, where he’ll discuss everything from his own festival origin story to his awe-inspiring career, touching on HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE THING, STARMAN, THEY LIVE, and many more. In addition, the fest will explore his recent resurgence as a touring musician and play you his latest spine-tingling single!

FANTASIA UNVEILS ADDITIONAL THIRD WAVE TITLES

Socially awkward Jeanne (PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE’s Noémie Merlant) is in love… with an amusement park ride. This beautifully strange romance is a coming-of-age “coming out” story unlike any you’ve ever seen. JUMBO questions gender and sexual identity in a truly novel way, and does it with humor, heart, and breathtaking visual flair. A compelling and wondrous instant classic of eccentric cinema.

Once upon a frenzied time, man meets woman. Man kisses woman. Woman escapes man. Man chases woman. This oft-recycled revenge plot takes an unexpected turn in HUNTED – a bold story where codes are bent and reborn. The psychotic Big Bad Wolf, embodiment of patriarchy, and his dummy sidekick engage in a wild hunt within mother nature’s protective maze of trees; meanwhile, our tale’s Red Riding Hood’s awaits with killer moves – and won’t surrender so easily. Vincent Paronnaud (acclaimed comic book creator and co-director of the Academy Award-nominated PERSEPOLIS) brings us a thrilling, humanist tale that’s as animalistic as it is mystifying. World Premiere.

When Tiger (Jacky Heung, of PUSH and FEARLESS) and Cuckoo (Keru Wang, YOUTH) meet, it’s a match made in heaven. Both involved with moneylenders, one is an over-enthusiastic rising star in the MMA world; the other a resourceful, aspiring singer on-the-run who will stop at nothing for a spot on ‘Perfect Diva’! Following THREE (Fantasia 2016), master filmmaker Johnnie To is back with CHASING DREAM: an unexpected blend of mixed-martial-arts drama and high-stakes musical comedy, taking the viewers back to the madcap energy of his mid-2000s collaborations with Wai Ka-Fai and the themes of his sports-and-destiny masterpiece THROW DOWN. Canadian Premiere.

Fantasia’s 24th edition will slam into crescendo with the North American Premiere of NZ filmmaker Kiel McNaughton’s THE LEGEND OF BARON TO’A. Uli Latukefu (of Taika Waititi’s upcoming NEXT GOAL WINS) gives a charismatic turn in the leading role, supported by a talented Polynesian cast including THE MATRIX RELOADED’s Nathaniel Lees and ATTACK OF THE CLONES’ Jay Laga’aia. The film delivers comedy and pathos in a seamless blend of English and Tongan. While the hard-hitting fight choreography draws inspiration from pro wrestling and martial arts movies, it’s firmly grounded in its suburban setting, resulting in setpieces that celebrate the Pacific Island experience just as much as the script does. North American Premiere.

Branded as the most hated man in wrestling after winning a highly controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000, actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career in YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE. An unexpectedly emotional and heartfelt documentary directed by David Darg and Price James, this is a truly outrageous portrait of a dangerously determined former A-lister. Canadian Premiere.

A Sundance 2020 Special Jury Award Winner and standout of this year’s Berlinale, Arthur Jones’ FEELS GOOD, MAN is a playful and poignant documentary about illustrator Matt Furie’s infamous-but-once-innocent Pepe the Frog character. In Jones’ hands, the story of a frog takes us on a journey through the birth of meme culture, from the MySpace and 4chan era, to Trump’s explosive election year, where Pepe has found his present fate as a reluctant rallying symbol of the alt-right.

Few horror franchises have inspired as devoted a cult following as the 1981 classic THE EVIL DEAD, and HAIL TO THE DEADITES offers a deep-dive into the fan culture that has spawned around it. Through interviews with the cast, crew, collectors, fans, freaks, and geeks, this special doc illuminates the darkest reaches of the EVIL DEAD franchise’s undying and still-growing popularity. A pop culture icon that has given birth to a TV series, comic books, figurines, and surpassed even its creator’s wildest dreams, EVIL DEAD now inspires this stellar new doc from Steve Villeneuve, director of UNDER THE SCARS and founder of the Requiem Fear Fest. World Premiere.

CLAPBOARD JUNGLE is an emotional and introspective journey following five years in the life of Canadian independent filmmaker Justin McConnell (LIFECHANGER), which poses one central question: How does an indie filmmaker survive in the current industry? Featuring interviews with Guillermo del Toro, Richard Stanley, Barbara Crampton, Paul Schrader, Tom Savini, George A. Romero, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Michael Biehn, Frank Henenlotter, and many more. An official selection at festivals such as FrightFest, Night Visions, and Sitges.

Relatively unknown outside Brazil, Ivan Cardoso (NOSFERATU IN BRAZIL, THE SECRET OF THE MUMMY) is one of the country’s most significant genre filmmakers. Throughout his decades-spanning career, Cardoso has blended radical aesthetics with lowbrow ambitions and pioneered a style of filmmaking called Terrir (a play on the word terror, and the Portuguese word for “to laugh”). Intercut with animation, interviews, and clips, Mario Abbade’s IVAN, THE TERRIRBLE is a crash course on Brazil’s best-kept genre secret and a fun homage for his biggest fans. While the country’s cinematic past and present are under threat with President Bolsonaro in power, this film emerges during a moment of national reflection on the importance of art and liberty under political oppression. World Premiere.

Conceived by their parents in the back seat of a Chevy at the local drive-in, bottle-fed with images of exploitation cinema, monsters, and fears, they are now fighting against social norms and a “life of feudalistic servitude”. TEXAS TRIP – A CARNIVAL OF GHOSTS, directorial duo Maxime Lachaud and Steve Balestreri’s beguiling debut feature documentary, is a portrait of Attic Ted, Virginia Black, Mother Fakhir, and more – artists making strange sounds, experimenting to the extreme with abstract ideas through the materiality of their own flesh. World Premiere.

A TRIBUTE TO JOSÉ MOJICA MARINS

On February 19th of this year, South American cinema lost its boldest visionary with the passing of José Mojica Marins, one of the most original and inspired voices in the history of genre film. A master of confrontational filmmaking who conquered numerous obstacles, Marins’ creations are radical lightning bolts of transgression made in defiance of Brazil’s then-dictatorship, whose collective glow will continue to influence and astonish generations to come. Fantasia had the honor of bringing Marins to the fest twice and of bestowing him with a Lifetime Achievement award. He will be greatly missed.

In recognition of Marins’ passing, Fantasia will be presenting three of his works –

AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL (1964), THE STRANGE WORLD OF COFFIN JOE (1968), and THE END OF MAN (1971).

REDISCOVER FANTASIA CLASSICS AT HOME

Unavailable in North America, or previously hard to find, Fantasia’s digital 2020 edition brings back a selection of beloved favorites from its past editions, under its new label, Fantasia Classics. This year’s titles featured under this moniker include Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll (2009), Yosuke Fujita’s Fukuchan of Fukufuku Flats (2014), Johnnie To’s A Hero Never Dies (1998), Hideki Takeuchi’s Fly Me to the Saitama (2019), Yuichi Fukuda’s HK: Forbidden Superhero (2014) and HK2: The Abnormal Crisis (2016), Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s Milocrorze: A Love Story(2011), and Koichiro Miki’s The Travelling Cat Chronicles (2018). Also included will be a special 15-year-anniversary screening of Wilson Yip’s SPL: Kill Zone (2005).

FANTASIA RETRO UNVEILS A TRIO OF RESTORATION PREMIERES

Fans of hard-hitting genre cinema will know Buddy Giovinazzo from his blistering backyard debut COMBAT SHOCK, released in the late 80s. His hotly anticipated but still-underground follow-up, NO WAY HOME, boasted a trio of amazing emerging talent of the era: Tim Roth, James Russo, and Deborah Kara Unger. For the first time since its criminally brief run in cinemas, it will soon be possible to see NO WAY HOME as intended, in all its ruthless glory, thanks to Severin Films and their new 4K restoration from original negatives. Restoration World Premiere.

A mad marine biologist sneaks off to an underwater lab, transforms himself into a mutant half-man-half-jellyfish, and attacks college kids with his Sting of Death! Why? Because he’s in love! Maverick filmmaker Bill Grefé’s kitsch classic STING OF DEATH (1966) – a poverty row take on THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON shot deep in the Florida everglades – emerges from the watery depths of cinema history in a stunning new 2K restoration from the original 35mm negative, courtesy of the aquatic horror connoisseurs at Arrow Video. Restoration World Premiere.

In between his cult hit debut ACCIÓN MUTANTE and proudly transgressive PERIDITA DURANGO, writer/director Álex de la Iglesia delivered DAY OF THE BEAST, which remains one of the best horror comedies of our time and turned Santiago Segura into a domestic megastar. Winner of 6 Goya Awards including Best Director – and a Fantasia audience award back in the day – now restored in 4K from the original negative by Severin Films. Restoration World Premiere.

PANELS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

While Fantasia 2020’s films are geo-blocked to Canadian audiences, all of the festival’s panels and special events are free and accessible worldwide, allowing these unique experiences to be enjoyed by fans on every corner of the Earth! 

The complete line-up of panels and special events is available at the

fantasiafestival.com 

All film screenings will be accessible to Canadian audiences, vastly expanding the number of viewers Fantasia can engage with outside of Quebec.

Fantasia’s 24th edition will be held online from August 20 to September 2. The complete program can be found online; tickets for the Festival will go on sale on August 10 on the Festival’s website.

For more information, visit them at www.fantasiafestival.com

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