Press release
For immediate release


Montreal, July 11, 2012 – Greetings, cinephiles! The time is now for Fantasia’s 16th edition and we’re throwing a 160-film Sweet 16 blowout that’s going to shake Montreal to its knees. We hope your retinas’ and stomachs have plenty of space, because we’re about to overload you with things most brilliant and bizarre. Within our cinemas’ walls, you will be electrified, challenged and inspired by some of the most individualistic and imaginative filmmaking you will encounter anywhere this year. Films from every culture, films of every budget, films from perspectives one rarely gets to experience, they await you here, and their promises will be kept. International Genre cinema has never been more fascinating or, for that matter, multi-faceted.

We keep our ticket prices low to encourage you to take the kinds of risks as an audience that we take as programmers. As always, our lineup encompasses an eclectic mix of works from celebrated established filmmakers and ingenious emerging talents, whose names will soon mean the world to many of you. A good number of the films will be screening for their first time on this continent, many will be showing for the first time anywhere in the world.

Get set to experience incredible new works from such masters as William Friedkin, Kim Jee-woon, Jaume Balagueró, Koji Wakamatsu, Quentin Dupieux, Noboru Iguchi, Álex De La Iglesia, Peter Chan, Buddy Giovinazzo, Takashi Miike, Harmony Korine, Hiroyuki Okiura, Christoffer Boe, Ching Siu-Tung, Pascal Laugier, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Ti West, Bill Plympton, Mads Brügger, Adam Wingard and Dante Lam – to name a few.


We will be giving a special Lifetime Excellence Award to the renowned film scholar David Bordwell, a figure whose writing (in regular collaboration with wife Kristin Thompson) has impacted the lives of many of us here.

A mini-tribute will be given to the inimitable iconoclast Jennifer Lynch, with the world premiere of CHAINED and the Quebec launch of DESPITE THE GODS.


Documentaries From the Edge is back for its 6th year, now expanded to twice its previous size! Hacktivism. Mechanical love dolls. The Amityville haunting. And that’s just the tip of the flickering iceberg.

Since the mid-2000s, Filipino cinema has been experiencing a vital rebirth, fuelled in part by the economic accessibility of digital technology that’s allowed for an exciting new generation of voices to dive into the playing field. In our constant effort to bring emerging national film cultures to Montreal audiences, we’re proud to present a selection of films from the Philippines that deliver a raw perspective on a country that will be knocking our collective socks off for many years to come.

We’re also mounting a joint spotlight on cinema from Denmark and Norway, neither country’s output being strangers to our screens, with some of the most adored titles of our history having been birthed within them.

2012 marks the centennial of Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest and most influential studio. Since its founding in 1912, Nikkatsu helped shape film language as we know it today and boldly explored the outer edges of every genre it dabbled in, giving rise to some of the most visionary figures in world cinema. To celebrate the studio’s 100th anniversary, Fantasia is joining forces with our friends at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema to jointly present a retrospective series of some of Nikkatsu’s key works. Count on seeing additional films from this spotlight when the FNC kicks off in the fall.

Classics from the likes of Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Zuławski will unspool as part of a special screening series we’re mounting in celebration of our world premiere book launch for Kier-la Janisse’s absolutely phenomenal House of Psychotic Women, published by Britain’s FAB Press.

The art of animation in its many forms and disciplines has always had a place in our hearts. This year, we’ve decided to give the form its own permanent section: AXIS. From social realism to mind-bending fantasy, all styles and sensibilities will be showcased, now on a greater scale than ever. We’re proud to be rechristening our animation jury prize as The Satoshi Kon Award for Achievement in Animation, named after the dear, departed visionary whose feature debut, PERFECT BLUE world premiered here in 1997.

We’ve also created a section to highlight the action film programming in our lineup – Action! It’s meant to be yelled as if you were on a film shoot, if you’re wondering about that exclamation mark.


DJ XL5 presents a series of rare 35mm French-dubbed (the way many of us in Quebec first encountered them) Italian exploitation film screenings, culminating in a gala Italo-centric Zappin’ Party Night.

Another thing we’re excited about is the world premiere launch of a special all-star touring art show – If They Came from Within: An Alternative History of Canadian Horror. The brainchild of Rue Morgue Magazine’s editor-in-chief Dave Alexander, the project invited a wealth of Canada’s top genre filmmakers to make up projects that could easily have happened in the ‘60s, ‘70’s, 80’s – and in some cases, the future – of our national cinema, then married the concepts and stories (which will appear in French and English in the filmmakers’ own words) with some of the country’s most acclaimed graphic artists. Wait until you see the results!


2012 is also the inaugural year of an exciting new endeavor for us: The Frontières International Co-Production Market, stewarded by Stephanie Trepanier. Through this, we hope to spearhead a wave of cutting-edge co-prods for some of our favourite filmmakers. Want to see Halifax’s Jason Eisener (HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN) team up with New Zealand’s Ant Timpson (THE DEVIL DARED ME TO) to produce a film for Quebec’s Roadkill Superstar (LE BAGMAN)? So do we. And through Frontières, we’re working to make it happen. Other greats with projects in our market this year include Stuart Gordon, Jorge Michel Grau and Bruce McDonald. We’re excited.

As a spinoff of Frontières, we’re offering you more panels on a broader range of filmmaking and cineaste topics than ever before, always completely free of charge. Explore

Add to this over 120 visiting filmmakers from every corner of the globe, looking forward to connecting with you in extensive post-screening Q&A sessions, plus the usual parties, blitz-outs and surprises. You’re barely going to be able to stand when it’s over. Neither will we!

On behalf of everyone here at Planet Fantasia, we thank you for your force-of-nature passion and continued support. Your madness mirrors ours, and it has changed the lives of more filmmakers who’ve come here than you could possibly imagine. You continue to make dreams come true, and we love you for it.

Now, let the lights dim and the party begin!

On behalf of the entire Fantasia team,


Co-Festival Director + Co-Director of International Programming


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