The Fantasia International Film Festival has announced an absolutely MASSIVE amount of new and exciting feature film’s to fill out the programming for the festival’s 25th year. In addition to screenings, Fantasia has panels, talks, tributes, and special events scheduled to celebrate cinema. The Fantasia festival begins on August 5th with the world premiere of the Quebec zombie film Brain Freeze. This will follow the August 4th special screening of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Fantasia 2021 will come to a close on August 25th with Takashi Miike’s The Great Tokai War- Guardians. The Great Yokai War-Guardians is a sequel to The Great Tokai War, which opened at Fantasia in 2006. This new story plunges the audience into the fairy-tale world of friendly Japanese demons that overflows with creativity.
Check out some of the other films featured in the third wave of Fantasia programming below! For a full list of programming visit Fantasia’s website.
THE NIGHT HOUSE
Dir. David Bruckner
Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together – but then nightmares come.
BABY DON’T CRY
Dir. Jesse Dvorak
Baby is a Chinese immigrant in suburban Seattle and is trying to make sense of her troubled home life and outsider existence through her indie DIY films and animalistic visions of the world. When she meets Fox (Vas Provatakis), a Skid Row punk with questionable decision-making skills, a whirlwind of intensity, ferocity, and sexuality engulfs the pair.
FRANK AND ZED
Dir. Jesse Blanchard
Odd-couple monster-duo Frank and Zed, a Frankenstein-type monster and his brain-eating companion, attempt to survive a medieval curse that has befallen a small village. And did we mention they’re all puppets?
GIVING BIRTH TO A BUTTERFLY
Dir. Theodore Schaefer
After having her identity stolen, Diana (Annie Parisse) goes on a surreal road trip with her son’s pregnant girlfriend, Marlene (Gus Birney), to find the perpetrators.
Dir. Alice Lenay
Alice’s webcam’s red light flashes. A hacker, a ghost, a god? She decides to expose the identity of the invader.
ALIEN ON STAGE
Dir. Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer
A high-spirited group of British bus drivers set their minds to launching a homemade stage play adaptation of Ridley Scott’s Alien.
POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ
Dir. Celeste Bell and Paul Sng
This film celebrates the life and legacy of Poly Styrene, famous frontwoman of X-Ray Spex and poster child for the UK’s Riot Grrrl and Afropunk movements.
COMING HOME IN THE DARK
New Zealand – Dir. James Ashcroft
This extraordinary neo-noir is a blisteringly tense road movie into hell that plays like a home-invasion thriller set largely in a moving car. Based on the 1995 short story by award-winning New Zealand author Owen Marshall, described by David Hill as “one of the most harrowing narratives in our literature.” Official Selection: Sundance 2021, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2021.
UK – Dir. Lee Haven Jones
Shot entirely in the Welsh language and crafted with intelligence and cruelty, THE FEAST plays like a modern fairy tale for greed-fueled end-times. It’s a striking feature debut from BAFTA-winning director Lee Haven Jones (35 DAYS, DOCTOR WHO) dripping with atmosphere, this grotesque shocker is a standout in cinema’s current folk horror revival. Official Selection: SXSW 2021.
South Korea – Dir. Jéro Yun
Life is a constant struggle for Jina, a North Korean refugee, but she finds her path in boxing. Director Jéro Yun judiciously uses close-up shots highlighting the glances and silences that say much more than words, thanks to near-surgical editing, displaying a transcendent presence by actress Lim Seong-mi. Official Selection: Berlinale 2021, Busan International Film Festival 2021.
HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE
Hong Kong, Dir. Chan Kin-Long
Triad intrigue involving turtles, smuggled drugs, and instant noodles in the underbelly of neon HK in this refreshing film noir action that recently won the White Mulberry Award for best debut feature at the Udine Far East Film Festival.
South Korea – Dir. Kim Jeong-kwan
After an incident that leaves her electric wheelchair disabled, Josée is rescued by Young-seok, who she then brings in to discover her unique imaginary world. A beautiful, moving, charming, and visually polished film by Kim Jeong-kwan faithfully adapted from the popular novel Josee, the Tiger and the Fish. Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival 2021.
ONE SECOND CHAMPION
Hong Kong – Dir. Chiu Sin-Hang
With the power to see one second into the future, loser Chow becomes a winner in the ring. It’s ROCKY with a high concept and loaded with more humor and high-pressure fun— Hong Kong style, from one of the directors of Fantasia 2017’s Vampire Cleanup Department. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2021.
Québec – dir. Alain Vézina
Mexican wrestler L’Ange Doré is back, and he’s confronting the dark designs of the Third Reich. Film teacher and documentarian Alain Vézina (Les Soeurs De Nagasaki, 2018) embraces the mockumentary genre wholeheartedly with his latest joyous delirium.
South Korea – Dir. Lee Yong-joo
A former secret service agent (GongYoo, Train to Busan) struggling with a brain tumor must return to duty for a mission of the utmost importance: protecting Seobok (Park Bo-gum, Coin Locker Girl), the first human clone who has unnatural powers. Few mainstream films integrate ethical reflection with breathtaking, high-octane entertainment to this incredible extent.
SWEETIE, YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT
Kazakhstan – Dir. Yernar Nurgaliyev
Seasoned Kazakh comedy director Yernar Nurgaliyev plunges into horror-comedy for the first time, serving us a fresh, dynamic mix of genres while spicing it with Kazakh flair in this award-winning film. Imagine Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets The Hangover.
UNDER THE OPEN SKY
Japan – Dir. Miwa Nishikawa
A former driver for the yakuza has just spent 13 years behind bars. Determined to reintegrate into society, he discovers a hostile and changing Japan that he struggles to recognize. Miwa Nishikawa’s (The Long Excuse) gripping Under the Open Sky features Koji Yakusho (Tokyo Sonata) in one of his most moving roles. Official Selection: TIFF 2020.
Denmark – Dir. Thomas Daneskov
Armed only with a bow and an ensemble of animal skins, Martin (Rasmus Bjerg, All for One) sets off into the forest in a misguided attempt to overcome his midlife crisis. A chance meeting with a fugitive named Musa (Zaki Youssef, Sons of Denmark) leads to a twisted trip through the fjords with police, drug runners, and Martin’s family not far behind. Those who have any doubt that the funniest movies being made today come from Denmark need not look any further. Official Selection: Tribeca 2021.
On top of our impressive virtual slate of films, all geo-locked to Canada,
WHAT JOSIAH SAW WILL CHILL YOU TO YOUR VERY CORE
In director Vincent Grashaw’s Southern Gothic nightmare WHAT JOSIAH SAW, an estranged family grapples with the sins of the past… yanking the skeletons right out of their closet, kicking and screaming all the way! The superlative cast includes Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl, Kelli Garner, Tony Hale, Scott Haze and Jake Weber. It’s this year’s THE DARK AND THE WICKED. WORLD PREMIERE.
CRIME AND POLITICS COLLIDE IN SOUTH KOREAN NAILBITER THE DEVIL’S DEAL
In his first picture since the Cannes selection THE GANGSTER, THE COP, THE DEVIL, Lee Won-tae returns with the masterfully directed THE DEVIL’S DEAL. What starts as a critical political satire escalates into a white-hot thriller in which corruption, insider trading, and organized crime run the show. Leading a fabulous cast, actor Cho Jin-woong (ME AND ME) delivers one of the best performances of his career, portraying with disarming naturalism the multiple facets of an ambitious and tortured politician, as endearing as he is loathsome, whose life literally depends on his election. With its immersive score, captivating plot, and clever twists, THE DEVIL’S DEAL is a must-see. WORLD PREMIERE.