For yet another year and another summer, Cinema Crazed is honored to be covering the Fantasia International Film Festival, the new edition now running from August 20th to September 2nd will screen films and various cinematic features virtually with all attendees and press being able to access the vast library of films online, thanks to COVID concerns and the continuing pandemic.
The festival is famous for featuring some of the most acclaimed and highly anticipated genre films from around the world, and this year is featuring a great and vast array of films. It’s no small feat considering the festival had to switch formats and entire platforms practically overnight. Nevertheless, here are five films premiering this year that I just can’t wait to check out.
A teen goes out at night to meet a boy and never makes it back home. As her whole small town is shaken up by her disappearance, everyone does what they can to come to terms with her disappearance and how it affects each of them.
As with every year, Fantasia Film Festival is also a place to showcase the talents of filmmakers that specialize in making short films of all genres. This year I tackled the “Small Gauge Trauma” block and thankfully didn’t find a single bad apple in the whole bunch. These shorts aren’t just creative, but they’re incredibly original and delivered in the realm of horror big time.
Jealousy, bad tempers, and violence explode between Richard, his girlfriend Sasha, and their best friend Jonah. Trying to make peace, they all head out on Richard’s family board. Soon, they find themselves stranded at sea without food or drinking water.
Alba, her boyfriend, and their friends head out to a country cabin of her childhood to party and hang out, as the weekend advances, Alba finds herself in a shrinking time loop where she must figure out why this is happening and how to stop it.
Director Annie Deniel’s “Steampunk Connection” will likely be admired in the same vein as “Trekkies,” in that it examines a strong fan movement that allows people to connect through a broad scope of science fiction. It’s also been integrated in to their everyday lives and for many of them, the art form of Steampunk has allowed them to grow as people, and realize their potential in mediums like mechanics, engineering, and fashion. If there is anything that may push audiences away is that director Deniel digs so deep in to the following that it’s almost too niche for a broader audience.
Munro Chambers is one of the most underrated actors working in film today. He’s been a man mostly working in the corners of film with unsuspecting genre fare and every time he’s managed to turn in stellar performances. In “Harpoon” he manages to deliver a very layered and impressive turn as Jonah, a perpetually cursed protagonist who is revealed to be something and someone completely different every time Rob Grant’s twisted dark comedy reaches a new turning point. “Harpoon” is a fantastic addition to Fantasia this year, putting to film a morbid and weird amalgam of comedy, relationship drama, survival thriller, and horror.
I wasn’t too interested in the premise of “Riot Girls” upon first glance, but it inevitably won me over with its execution and I came to appreciate (and kind of love) how fun and unique it was. The whole idea of high school cliques becoming the tribes of the post-apocalypse is rife for satire, and Jovanka Vuckovic has a great time with her concept. “Riot Girls” is both a teen drama comedy, and a fun bit of post apocalyptic fodder that you could easily digest right down to the last bite. I loved the whole punk rock, pulp comic book aesthetic, and the way it embraces its fantasy trappings like “The Warriors” did long ago.