North America's greatest multi-genre film fest returns for an Eleventh edition. This year, the event's organizers have succeeded in getting Government sponsorship, which means not only a bigger budget, but achieving a long sought after official recognition as well. With more money, Fantasia has secured itself a third screening theatre with a 400 seat capacity, located on the same Campus Concordia premises which have been home to Fantasia Fest since 2002.
The Fantasia Fest has long gone beyond it's initial Anime and Asian cinema framework with which it started out way back in 1996. Today it covers cinema genres from all corners of the planet. From North America to Finland, and from Thailand to Chile. This year Fantasia has two special selections that display this versatility superbly. One highlight will be 'Hell in the City'; centred on the recently emerged fantasy trend of urban apocalyptic cinema. Among the movies featured is 'The World Sinks Except Japan'; a madcap parody/satire take on the apocalytic genre which as gone through a bit of a revival in recent years. (most notably with THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and Japan's own SINKING OF JAPAN, which WORD SINK EXCEPT JAPAN directly spoofs). This film was made by Minoru Kasawaki of CALMARI WESTLER's fame which had been a uproarious hit at Fantasia a couple of years ago.
The fest second special selection is « Fantastika from the Tsars to the Stars» which showcases five soviet era sci-fi/fantasy Russian films made between the Thirties and Eighties. Included in the group is STALKER from the visionnary spiritual filmmaker Andrei Tarkovski. Fantasia also presents a set of edgy documentaries whose subjets range from the Chinese pop-rock music scene (BEIJING BUBBLES: PUNK AND ROCK ) to exploring Haiti's crime ridden slums (GHOST OF CITY SOLEIL)
As always Fantasia will have tons of special guests including the colorful Trauma founder Lloyd Kaufman, as well as goofy character actor David Arquette, who is coming to present his directorial debut; the slasher comedy TRIPPER.
Despite having extended it's range considerably, Fantasia's roots are still firmly grounded into Asian cinema soil with nearly half of the Fest's roster coming from Asia. Hong-Kong, Japan, Korea and Thai cinema are all back in force. The fest shall present the lastest from cult director Takashi Miike, Sion Sono, Oxide Pang, Kim Di-Duk and Johnny To. Among the titles is the Shaw Brother epic kitch swordplay 14 AMAZONS, To's recent hit EXILED, AFTER THIS OUR EXILE from long unseen H-K New wave director Patrick Tam, and two of China's latest big budget wuxia productions; THE BANQUET and THE BATTLE OF WITS starring Andy Lau. Aloso featured are two oddball actionners: Jimmy Wang Yu's ONE ARMED BOXER, and the made in Taiwan LADY AVENGER. Furthermore, the Martial Art movie wave has now gone far from the asian shore and landed in some unexpected places, as shown in two Chilien made kung-fu flicks ; KILTRO and MIRACLE MAN, and a Finland produced wuxiapian wire-fu style extravanza THE JADE WARRIOR
Down bellow in the web link for Fantasia web site which include a catalogue, schedual and guest list: http://www.fantasiafest.com/2007/en/
I do intend to view as many movies as I can, as I have done since the fest's very beginning more than a decade ago now. I shall send every link available on the event and perhaps even at times send some photos, so keep tuning in.