Fantasia Film Festival Preview

Fantasia has become Montreal's second biggest film festival after the World Film Festival and the most important genre film festival in North America. This is nothing to sneeze at as Montreal has a ton of film festivals and to host a more respected one than American cities such as Los Angeles and New York is impressive. Sponsored by Seville Pictures, Ubisoft Montreal and Sympatico/MSN the organizers have plenty of big backers to help screen an amazing amount of films (feature and short) during the 19 days of the festival.

The film festival is divided into three larger sections: Feature Films, Spoken Word, Multimedia and Performance Art and Short Films. Within the Feature Film section you can see films that fall under such categories as Amateur Video Visions, Documentaries From the Edge, Playback in Black, and Bloody Radical: Unconventional American Horror. The Spoken Word, Multimedia and Performance Art section is comprised of Infection (a theatrical performance) and Inspector Bronco Live! Finally, the Short Film section is divided into topics such as Celluloid Experiments 2008, Best of Ottawa Animation Festival 2007, Cryptozoologie, and Small Gauge Trauma 2008.

Many of the films are making either their Montreal, Canadian, North American, or World premieres at Fantasia. We will be the first in Montreal to see the Canadian film "Hunting Ground" and "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer", the first in Canada to see "Wicked Lake" and "Trailer Park of Terror", and the first in the World to see "Truffe" (opening film of the festival) and "Repo! The Genetic Opera". Opportunities abound for film nuts!

Because it is so well-respected a film festival many directors, actors and producers attend. This means we get to meet them and hear insight about the films that have made/starred in. For instance, this year actress and Quebec scream queen Céline Bonnier, Kiwi director David Blyth, American producer John Carchiandta, Canadian Special FX artist David Scott, and Japanese stunts coordinator Tak Sakaguchi will present their films.

My advice is to buy your tickets ahead of time and get there early as lineups (due to popularity of the festival) are the norm.

8 Things You Need to Know:
-Tickets are available for purchase as of July 2nd at 2:00 p.m.
-Tickets can be purchased at the Concordia Hall Building (Mezzanine) or through Admission ( or 790-1245)
-Ticket prices are: 10 for $70.00 (you must know the films you are going to at the time of purchase), Individual tickets are $8.00
-The Official 2008 Program (a must!) is available for purchase at the low price of $5
-The Official 2008 Program also comes with a DVD that has 80 trailers of films being shown at the festival
-You can also find the complete festival schedule online
-This is the 13th edition of the Fantasia Film Festival

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