2014 is the year that The Fantasia International Film Festival turns 18. We can’t believe it either. Fantasia’s 18th birthday means over 160 features and something in the neighbourhood of 300 shorts, document.write(“”); many being shown for the first time on this continent, a good number screening here for the first time anywhere in the world.
Japan, Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa. A young Japanese woman finds herself lost and alone in Russia, leading her into a sinister universe of international espionage. SEVENTH CODE is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s unexpected detour into the thriller genre. Canadian Premiere.
The Return of AXIS: Fantasia’s Animation Showcase
Axis, Fantasia’s international animation showcase, returns with features hailing from Belgium, France, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA. Aside from the previous announced Axis titles (like HUNTER X HUNTER: THE LAST MISSION or the special screening of the new HD master for Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 classic GHOST IN THE SHELL), the 2014 lineup features the following asian movies:
Japan, Dir: Shinji Aramaki. Super-soldier Deunan and her hulking cyborg companion Briareos stalk the shattered husk of New York City. A tour-de-force of digital design, APPLESSED ALPHA is essential kick-ass cyberpunk animation. North American Premiere
BAYONETTA: BLOODY FATE
Japan, Dir: Fuminori Kizaki. Bayonetta, a lithe, powerful witch and mistress of the Bullet Arts, dispatches a host of bloodthirsty angels in a church. But what she cannot dispel are the mysteries of her own origin and purpose… Canadian Premiere.
South Korea, Dir: Yeon Sang-ho. The latest from Yeon Sang-ho, winner of Fantasia’s first Satoshi Kon Award with KING OF PIGS, targets corruption, Korean displacement policies that favour progress over the individual’s welfare, and the dark side of religion. Official Selection: AFI Fest 2013 Quebec Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Ryotaro Makihara. An android assigned to console a grieving girl learns what being human means in this short, self-contained gem of emotionally resonant science fiction anime. North American Premiere.
HUNTER X HUNTER : PHANTOM ROUGE
Japan, Dir: Yuzo Sato. The stage is set for secrets and conspiracies, fantastic wonders and furious action, as Yoshihiro Togashi’s hugely popular manga series HUNTER X HUNTER makes its big-screen anime debut. Canadian Premiere.
THE SATTELITE GIRL AND MILK COW
South Korea, Dir: Chang Hyung-yun. A familiar trope of Asian animation — fantastical romance between misfits — is turned upside down and inside out in this charmingly surrealist robo-rom-com from South Korea. North American Premiere.
And now more Asian movies announcement:
Japan, Dir: Kentaro Otani, Keiichi Sato. Shiori sold her soul to avenge her parents’ murder. She and her diabolical butler Sebastian are on a mission… The hit manga’s action-packed big-screen adaptation will thrill diehard fans and newbies alike. Quebec Premiere.
South Korea, Dir: Cho Ui-seok, Kim Byung-seo. One of South Korea’s absolute blockbuster hits of 2013, a fast-paced, relentless roller-coaster ride into the high-stakes world of criminal surveillance that will leave you absolutely breathless. Quebec Premiere.
DAYS OF WRATH
South Korea, Dir: Shin Dong-yeop. Fifteen years after the torments of his teenage days, Joon-seok seeks vengeance on his erstwhile tormentor, Chang-sik. A Korean revenge film that stands out starkly from its predecessors, bringing in a new perspective for which the genre thirsted. International Premiere.
THE DEMON WITHIN
Hong Kong, Dir: Dante Lam. Beware of the Festival of Hungry Ghosts! The Demon King Gang is creating havoc once again! Lock and load for some high-octane action and horror in a film-noir setting, from Dante Lam (BEAST STALKER, STOOL PIGEON). Quebec Premiere.
THE FATAL ENCOUNTER
South Korea, Dir: Lee Jae-kyoo. This powerful, tragic political thriller retells an oft-told tale of true history, of an attack on the so-called “King of Misfortune” in 1777 Korea. A superior slice of silks-and-swordplay, sultry, sumptuous, sophisticated — and savage. Quebec Premiere.
South Korea, Dir: Jeong Yeon-shik. Wheelchair-bound Eun-a seeks vengeance on the serial killer who slew her family, and assembles a group of desperate misfits to execute her plan. A gripping, fast-moving team spin on the familiar Korean revenge-thriller formula. Canadian Premiere.
Indonesia, Dir: Helfi Kardit. After THE RAID: REDEMPTION (2011) and THE RAID 2 (2014), Indonesia serves up GUARDIAN, an old-school action flick is which a mother pressures her daughter to master the martial arts following the murder of her father. International Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Kurando Mitsutake. Japanese actress Asami is a junkie hooker transformed into a ruthless assassin in this ultraviolent action flick. If you’re into gunfights, hand-to-hand combat and floods of blood, set your sights on GUN WOMAN. Canadian Premiere.
HWAYI: A MONSTER BOY
South Korea, Dir: Jang Joon-hwan. Kidnapped by five criminals in his infancy, Hwayi has spent the last decade shacked up in the woods, learning how to be a cold-blooded killing machine. An exploration of evil from the creator of the cult classic SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! North American Premiere.
Philippines, Dir : Alfonso Torre III. Following a haunting dream, a felon-turned-fisherman finds a shipment of methamphetamine — and soon finds himself trapped in a nightmare. One of the most powerful, lasting genre films to come out of the Phillipines in recent year. Quebec Premiere.
THE MOLE SONG – UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI
Japan, Dir: Takashi Miike. Disgraced cop Reiji Kikukawa is sent undercover to infiltrate the most powerful yakuza clan in Japan. With its marvellously absurd humour and contagious energy, THE MOLE SONG marks Miike’s magnificent return to comedy! Quebec Premiere.
South Korea/China, Dir: Kim Yong-hwa. Teenage Weiwei brings her gorilla with a powerhouse swing to the Asian baseball scene, to save her family’s debt-ridden circus. Korea’s first 3D blockbuster, an ambitious pan-Asian production, hits a home run! Canadian Premiere.
NUIGULUMAR Z (Gothic Lolita Battle Bear)
Japan, Dir: Noboru Iguchi. Get ready for sugar and spice and everything nice — set on maximum slice and dice! Cosplay and kawaii collide with Japanese sci-fi superheroics and zombie gore in GOTHIC LOLITA BATTLE BEAR! Canadian Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The Escher-like subconscious mindscape of a loved one becomes a spirit-laden underworld to explore in this bizarre, surreal, supremely beautiful sci-fi melodrama from Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Quebec Premiere.
RUROUNI KENSHIN – KYOTO INFERNO
Japan, Dir: Keishi Otomo. Long awaited sequel of the live action movie RUROUNI KENSHIN (2012) has finally arrived! Based on the best-selling manga series of the same title, this two-part film revolves around Kenshin’s desperate struggle to protect the nation and the people he loves from the conspiracy of Shishio, a former government assassin and Kenshin’s notorious successor, to overthrow the government. International Premiere. [See more details on ANN]
THE SNOW WHITE MURDER CASE
Japan, Dir: Yoshihiro Nakamura. Playing out like an endlessly fragmented retelling of RASHOMON for the digital age, the latest from Yoshihiro Nakamura (FISH STORY, GOLDEN SLUMBER) is a strikingly modern whodunit. Quebec Premiere.
THE SPY: UNDERCOVER OPERATION
South Korea, Dir: Lee Seung-jun. Elite operative Agent Kim must keep a second Korean War from breaking out — and his marriage from breaking apart! Equal parts zany rom-com and intense thriller, THE SPY is a mirthful mash-up of gritty gunplay and goofball gags. Canadian Premiere.
South Korea, Dir: Won Shin-yeon. A North Korean super-soldier turned defector is drawn into a morally murky maelstrom of secrets, lies and sudden, furious yet precise violence. A tough, tight political action thriller with a soul. Canadian Premiere.
THERMAE ROMAE II
Japan, Dir: Hideaki Takeuchi. Time-travelling Roman bathhouse architect Lucius returns! Funnier, more grandiose and irreverent, this second journey from Ancient Rome to modern Japan, care of director Hideaki Takeuchi, is frankly spectacular. International Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Ken Ochiai. Old Kamiyama the swordfight-death specialist is a legend around Kyoto’s Uzumasa Studios, but his star, however small it ever was, has dimmed. A journey into the inner workings of Japanese pop entertainment, in its golden era and today. Canadian Premiere.
Japan, Dir: Maelie Makuno, Naoya Tashiro, Yoshihiro Nishimura. Ever dreamed of zombie-only cable TV, broadcasting all things putrefied, decomposing and brain-hungry, 24 hours a day, all year round? A severed-tongue-firmly-planted-in-rotten-cheek, all-you-can-eat zombie-party anthology from Yoshihiro Nishimura and co. Canadian Premiere.
FANTASIA GUEST LIST BRINGS THE BEST OF GENRE FILM TO MONTREAL
This year Fantasia continues its tradition of inviting the best and brightest genre filmmakers from around the world to the city of Montreal. The festival is proud to host more than 76 directors, producers and actors coming to Fantasia to premiere their films at the festival’s 18th edition. Fantasia will welcome filmmakers from all over the globe, from countries ranging from Brunei, Japan, and South Korea, to France and the Netherlands. In total, this year Fantasia will host more than 400 film industry professionals from around the world.
Special festival guest from Asia will includes: Asami (Cult actress for Gun Woman), Noboru Iguchi (dir. for Nuigulumar Z), Jang Joon-hwan (Korean filmmaker for Hwayi: A Monster Boy), Hiroyoshi Koiwai (Executive Producer for Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno), Kurando Mitsutake (Director/Writer for Gun Woman), Mamoru Oshii (Director for Ghost in the Shell, will receive a Fantasia Lifetime Achievement Award for his unparalleled career in animation), and Keishi Otomo (Director/Co-Writer for Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno).
THE 3RD EDITION OF THE FANTASIA INDUSTRY RENDEZ-VOUS
For a third consecutive year, the Fantasia International Film Festival has organized an event to host members of the international film industry at the festival: The Fantasia Industry Rendez-Vous. From July 24 to 27, producers, directors, sales agents, distributors and talent agents from here and afar will converge in Montreal to develop film projects, as well as sell and buy films from Fantasia’s programming. The 2014 edition of the Rendez-Vous will attract 280 participants. The principal activity of the Industry Rendez-Vous is the Frontières International Co-Production Market, the first market to focus specifically on genre film co-production in-between North America and Europe.
Once again, a series of conferences have been organized within the Industry Rendez-Vous. The subjects that will be explored are: Shooting in Quebec, Early Production Involvement of Post-Production Partners, Creating a Proof-of-Concept Video for Financing and Presales, and Lessons Learned in Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing. The conferences are open to the general public. Frontières also offers a consultancy service with professionals in independent production, film sales, festival programming and merchandising, available free of charge to market participants.
The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal July 17 – August 5, 2014. For this year’s edition and onwards, Fantasia will be returning to the freshly renovated Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base, which now features an even larger screen, new seating and upgraded projection and sound.
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