Fantasia International Film Festival
19 Years of Fantastic Discoveries
20th Edition – JULY 14-AUGUST 3, 2016 — Since its inception in 1996, the Fantasia International Film Festival is now recognized as the largest and most influential event of its kind in North America, a leader on the genre film scene and one of the country’s most popular film festivals. With a varied programming and an emphasis on the imaginative cinema of Asia, Europe and the Americas, Fantasia’s offerings range from unique and powerful personal visions to international commercial crowd-pleasers rarely seen in North America.
"The most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent."— Quentin Tarantino
"One of the best genre film festivals in the world."— Ain’t It Cool News
"One of Canada's hottest film events"— Variety
"One of the most exciting genre film festivals in the world."— Premiere
"This is what I look forward to in the summer. Fantasia is it for me. It's the only festival I ever went to as a fan."— Jay Baruchel
An Industry Destination
In July of 2016, the Fantasia will celebrate its 20th edition. Located in the heart of beautiful Montreal, Fantasia is a cultural and professional destination point, and since its first edition, the festival’s ever-growing popularity has attracted the attention of the international film industry alongside a legion of attendees from across the world. Every facet of the filmmaking chain is increasingly represented with in-person delegates at the festival: directors, actors, producers, studio representatives, distributors and festival programmers, who get to experience the legendarily enthusiastic, taste-making audience of Fantasia.
Some of the numerous guests in past editions of Fantasia have included: Mark Hamill, Casper van Dien, Tony Todd, Danny Masterson, David Bordwell, David Arquette, Jaume Balagueró, Jay Baruchel, Michael J. Bassett, Michael Biehn, Don Bluth, Kim Bodnia, Darren Lynn Bousman, Nicolas Bro, Jörg Buttgereit, Paul Campion, John Carpenter, Hélène Cattet, Nacho Cerda, Lau Ching-Wan, Joe Coleman, Jeffrey Combs, Don Coscarelli, Maurice G. Dantec, Roy Dupuis, Jason Eisener, Larry Fessenden, Bruno Forzani, Amanda Fuller, Xavier Gens, Julian Gilbey, Buddy Giovinazzo, Stuart Gordon, Adam Green, Sasha Grey, James Gunn, Robin Hardy, Lee Hae-young, Ray Harryhausen, Frank Henenlotter, Noburo Iguchi, Yang Ik-June, Yoshimasa Ishibashi, Shunji Iwai, Kang Je-gyu, Lee Joon-ik, Terry Jones, Shusuke Kaneko, Udo Kier, Ryûhei Kitamura, Satoshi Kon, Ted Kotcheff, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Tyler Labine, John Landis, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Bruce Leung, Gordon Liu, José Mojica Marins, Neil Marshall, Malcolm McDowell, Lucky McKee, Glenn McQuaid, Jim Mickle, Daniel Monzón, Bill Mosely, Hideo Nakata, Paul Naschy, Vincenzo Natali, Yoshihiro Nishimura, F.J. Ossang, Bangjong Pisanthanakun, Bill Plympton, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jean Rollin, Eli Roth, Simon Rumley, Ken Russell, Tak Sakaguchi, Tom Savini, Marc Senter, Ryoo Seung-wan, Eihi Shiina, Chris Sivertson, Christopher Smith, Sion Sono, Richard Stanley, Carl Tibbetts, Johnnie To, Alan Tudyk, Agustín Villaronga, Tomas Villum Jensen, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard and Parkpoom Wongpoom among many others.
For this 20th Edition, Fantasia embarks for the 5th year on a major industry-driven venture, the Fantasia Industry Rendez-Vous, which will include the Frontières International Co-Production Market and the Fantasia Film Market. For this event alone, more than 400 members of the film industry will be making their way to Montreal. Overall, the 2016 edition of Fantasia will welcome close to 500 guests from all facets of the film industry.
Fantasia is at the vanguard of international genre cinema, thanks to its distinct programming, its prominent media coverage and the record-breaking attendance by passionate film fans. Over 100,000 festival-goers attended Fantasia in 2015, and the festival has attracted over a million spectators over its duration, establishing Fantasia as an event with long-term benefits for films both big and small. Our website received a 1,5 million page views by more than 200,000 unique visitors in July 2015 alone.
At Fantasia, even the smaller films are heartily welcome, and benefit from a considerable amount of media attention. Nearly 300 journalists from here and elsewhere visit Fantasia every year, including major media such as Variety, Ain’t it Cool News, Twitch, IndieWire, Hollywood Reporter, Premiere, Film Threat, The Globe and Mail, Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Dread Central, CHUD.com, Screen International, Quiet Earth, Film Comment, Bloody Disgusting, Cinematical, Anime News Network, Mad Movies, FEAR.net, Shock Til You Drop et Little White Lies, ainsi que de médias locaux tels que le Montreal Mirror, The Gazette, The Hour, Voir, La Presse, Le Devoir, Radio-Canada, CBC and Musique Plus.
Since its inception, Fantasia has been responsible for breaking many new talents. Among our accomplishments:
- Our world premiere screening of Satoshi Kon’s landmark feature debut Perfect Blue introduced the master animator to an adoring international public and led to the film getting North American distribution.
- Our Canadian premiere of PI marked the first time that a film by Darren Aronofsky was screened in Canada.
- Fantasia launched the career of Adam Wingard (You’re Next) with our world premiere screening of his feature debut Home Sick, directed when he was just 19 years of age.
- Fantasia is widely cited as being the place where the J-horror craze started in the West. With our 1997 screening of Fudoh, Fantasia was the first festival in the Western world to introduce audiences to the anarchistic inventions of Takashi Miike. Our 1999 Premiere of Hideo Nakata’s Ring (Ringu) led directly to the film being acquired by Dreamworks, both for their 2002 remake as well as for North American distribution of Nakata’s original instant-classic.
- World premieres have included Final Destination 5, Repo: The Genetic Opera, The Theatre Bizarre, Millennium Actress, Midnight Meat Train, Jeepers Creepers 2, The Wicker Tree, Retreat and I Spit on Your Grave.
- International premieres have included Love, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Devil’s Rejects, Uzumaki, 4BIA and Rubber.
- North American premieres have included Inglourious Basterds, [REC], Bullhead, Thirst, Clown, Ring, We Are What We Are, Visitor Q, Night Watch and John Carpenter’s Vampires.
- Canadian Premieres have included Let the Right One In, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Descent, House of the Devil, Human Centipede, Iron Giant, The Last Exorcism, The Blair Witch Project, Death Note, Shaun of the Dead, The Devil’s Double, Love Exposure and Ghost World.
Awards and Prestige
Fantasia’s six official competitions are another way the festival ensures visibility and prestige for the films in our program. All films (excluding retrospectives) are eligible for the following awards, as well as audience awards in all categories.
The Feature Competition consisting of feature films competing for: The “Cheval Noir” Award for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Screenplay Awards, as well as a Special Jury Mention.
The First Feature Competition consisting of first feature films competing for The “New Flesh” Award for Best First Feature Film, as well as a Special Jury Mention.
The Animation Competition, newly christened the Satoshi Kon Award, consisting of animated films competing for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Animated Short Awards, as well as a Special Jury Mention.
The International Short Film Competition consisting of short films competing for the Best International Short Award, as well as a Special Jury Mention.
The Quebec Shorts Competition consisting of short films competing for the Best Quebec Short Award.
In addition to our juried competitions, Fantasia has been honored to present Lifetime Achievement Awards to guests as distinguished as Andrzej Zulawski, Ray Harryhausen, Jean Rollin, Jose Mojira Marins, Ken Russell, the animation duo of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, John Landis and the producing team of John Dunning and Andre Link (founders of Cinepix).
Additional awards offered by industry organizations include The AQCC Award (Association Québécoises des Critiques de Cinéma), the Séquences Award and L’Écran fantastique Award.
Our 2015 edition at a glance
- More than 100,000 spectators
- 22 days of programming
- More than 400 films (130 feature films and 245 shorts) from 30 countries
- 108 feature-film premieres (80%)
- 9 master classes and conferences
- Four outdoor screenings
- Over 400 international filmmakers, producers, actors and industry representatives
- Almost 300 journalists from here and around the world
- 22 jury members in 6 official competitions
The Fantasia International Film Festivalis a non-profit organization registered in accordance with the National Corporate Registry of Canada.
Since its beginnings, the Fantasia International Film Festival has explored the diverse realms of genre cinema, creating bridges between the cutting edge and the mainstream, and providing a festive but professional environment where emerging artists are given exposure alongside their more established counterparts, both locally and internationally. We showcase the best in Canadian and world cinema, discovering and nurturing exciting new talents and offering a platform through which artists and audiences can connect.
Fantasia’s definition of genre cinema is broad and continually evolving; aligned with the European tradition of ‘genre’ as a challenging and elegant stream of cinema, the festival juxtaposes pop culture with alternative culture, and its distinct programming has enabled Montreal to radiate in the international film community. Fantasia strives to be a North American counterpart to Spain’s Sitges Fantastic Film Festival, which has been Europe’s leading fantastic film festival for the past 40 years - buzzing with major industry participation and international stars while maintaining an independent and progressive vision that benefits emerging artists. An immense cultural event for a diverse but equally robust audience, bristling with discoveries, opportunities and passion.
Fantasia has shown that even the most esoteric films can be accessible to a wider audience when properly contextualized, and can even prove to be significant commercial successes. Renowned worldwide for the boundless energy of its creative team, the festival keeps audiences coming to the theatrical environment, enabling independent artists and distributors to have their work shown in a professional and enthusiastic milieu.
While already widely considered to be one of the largest and most influential fantastic film festivals in the world, Fantasia looks forward to expanding on its achievements with more visiting filmmakers, industry attendees, global media impact, original critical writing through a monthly web magazine, and the introduction of a film market that will enable independent media artists to exchange ideas and to connect with patrons and audiences alike.
Board of Directors
- André Picard (President)
- Dean Chenoy
- Pierre Corbeil
- Stéphane Gilker
- Daniel Grou (PODZ)
- Éric Julien
- Marc Lamothe
- François Lefebvre
- François Macerola
- Nicole Robert
- George Vacher