Back for its 10th year the wonderful Fantasia Film Festival is growing in scope and attendance with each succeeding year. Last year over 75,000 people attended screenings for the festival of genre films. Even though it is their 10th anniversary the producers of the festival are quite progressive in that they are not having a showing of the best films from the last 10 years or anything like that. They have made it a priority to look forward and towards new innovations and technologies. Inspiration for them comes from the film makers and the fans of the festival; they are not interested in patting themselves on the back. Refreshing! The festival has become more and more recognized within even the mainstream that this year the festival received grants of $35,000 from the provincial government and $10,000 from the city of Montreal.
Now, don't be frightened off by the title of the festival or that it is a genre festival; it is not a film festival for 'geeks'. It is of interest to anyone who is a fan of visual arts. After they noticed a lack of genres being represented in film festivals or benefiting from wide releases, the people behind the festival got up off their butts and started one. The genres highlighted at this festival include children's films, horror, anime, fantasy, action, and many others. This year there is going to be a record number of films including 90 feature films, 125 shorts, from 25 countries, and there will be 30 international guests who will conduct question and answer periods after their films. Many of the films being shown are being shown for the first time in this area of the world and several are from major film festivals, such as Cannes, Venice and Sundance. The line-up definitely looks to be eclectic, shocking, discussion provoking, and most importantly entertaining.
A new twist that this year's festival includes is outdoor free screenings at 9:00 at le Park de la Paix (on St. Laurent between Rene Levesque and Ste. Catherine) on different evenings (July 14, 15, 21, and 22). The films will be in their original languages with English subtitles. Other new things that are happening are a focus on British horror films and an overview of emerging trends in Russian films.
The festival kicks off with an opening night party on July 6, 2006 at S.A.T. (Society for Arts and Technology @ 1195 St. Laurent). It will run from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. and the performances will start around 10:30 p.m. Entertainment will include DJs, live bands, visual artists, and performers from the Ecole du Cirque. Tickets are $10,00 in advance and $15,00 at the door.
-Official Fantasia Program (which is beautiful and essential!): $5.00 @ Boite Noir (42 McGill), Archambault Place des Arts (175 Ste. Catherine West), Capitaine Quebec (1837 Ste. Catherine West), Archambault Complexe Les Ailes (677 Ste. Catherine West), Superclub Videotron (305 Sherbrooke West) and other places throughout the island and off (check the website). As of July 4th at Concordia University – Hall Building.
-Tickets: Go on sale as of July 4, 2006 @ 2:00 p.m. @ Concordia University – Hall Building (for hours check website) and at www.admission.com
-Ticket price: Individual: $7.50
10 ticket booklet: $65.00