Fantastic Fest Pares Back & Moves To Virtual For 2020 With “Celebration Of Fantastic Fest”

Image Courtesy of Fantastic Fest/ Alamo Drafthouse/Fons PR

Every film fan has one event they look forward to every year. Maybe it’s the Oscars. Maybe it’s a marathon at a local theater. There’s even a chance that someone’s ideal yearly event that gets them excited is setting their sites on spending the final day of the year watching the worst rated film of the year. It’s ok, no one is judging you. For others, it’s an annual gathering round the end of September, where filmmakers, fans and press alike join together. A crazy film fest called Fantastic Fest. And while 2020 will see the fest still continuing, it’ll be in an altogether different form.

With everyone having to adapt to the shifting cinematic landscape of 2020, film festivals lept feet first. Chattanooga, Fantasia, Toronto and others have made the jump to virtual, all with exciting results. Each has had its own quirks, to stand out from the lot. With a little ingenuity and elbow grease, film festivals weren’t wiped off the face of the planet. If anything, they’ve adapted extremely well to the various hurtles before them.

Now it’s Fantastic Fest’s turn. The event is pared back from an abundance of riches to a smaller, yet still quite great, offerings. Several world premieres. Classic events revamped. What those other festivals started, Fantastic Fest appears to be expanding upon.

Here’s the full press release of what excitement awaits everyone in this “Celebration of Fantastic Fest”

 

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Fantastic Fest has gone virtual for a celebration of everything we love about the annual event: live online versions of classics like Fantastic Feud and 100 Best Kills, badass repertory rediscoveries, and world premieres of the finest genre cinema 2020 has to offer. To make the party accessible to loyal fans and newbies alike, all new features and live events will be available FREE to view on the Alamo On Demand platform for anyone in the United States.

 

“Despite the many hardships 2020 has thrown our way, the Fantastic Fest team knew we needed to stick to our mission of celebrating and championing genre films from bold, diverse voices – new filmmakers and treasured alumni alike.” says Fantastic Fest programmer Logan Taylor. “While we have a much smaller selection than in previous years, we’re delighted to showcase 15 films that express our brand loudly and proudly.”

 

The festival will be bookended by unique spins on the werewolf film: opening with the charming and irreverent TEDDY by France’s Boukherma brothers and closing with Amelia Moses’s haunting thriller BLOODTHIRSTY (on the night of the full moon, no less)! If you’re still hungry for more werewolves after that one-two punch, join us for the Texas Premiere of Jim Cummings’ newest, THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW, on October 8th at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane!

 

While this year’s slate may be more modest in scope, every film captures the spirit of Fantastic Fest in its own unique way. Featuring 5 world premieres (with an additional 2 world premiere restorations) and 4 shorts blocks featuring 36 short films, the lineup amplifies talented female, queer, and racially diverse creatives from all over the globe. We might all be stuck on the couch, but we are still excited to bring a sampling of world-class films you’ve come to expect from Fantastic Fest directly to your home.

 

Quite fittingly and presciently, a theme of isolation and its transformational effects plays heavily throughout the lineup. So, in the spirit of Fantastic Fest and this theme, let’s make the most of the strange world we’re living in, come together through a virtual celebration, and enjoy some damn fine cinema!

 

All new features will be available FREE on our Alamo On Demand Platform for fans in the United States. Repertory titles will be available at special rates throughout the week-long celebration. We will also be presenting two exclusive in-theater-only screenings, Brandon Cronenberg’s highly anticipated POSSESSOR on September 23rd and Jim Cummings’ THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW on October 8th. The festival is also excited to welcome back Fantastic Fest alum Mickey Reece with a new documentary short MICKEY REECE’S BELLE ÎSLE screening in the the SHORTS WITH LEGS short film sidebar – stay tuned for an upcoming Alamo On Demand announcement following the premiere of the short about a collection of his films to be made available for the first time.

 

The Celebration of Fantastic Fest will be offering a number of interactive virtual film screenings with Scener, a watch party platform that enables millions of participants to simultaneously enjoy films together over immersive live video chat. This integration is built into the Alamo On Demand platform that will go live at Fantastic Fest and remain in partnership with AOD, providing public or private co-watching parties that are synchronized in real-time and paired with video, audio and text chat. Fantastic Fest interactive screenings will be taking viewers from preshow to a hosted intro, through the film, and all the way to the Q&A for a fully synced and effortless experience participants.

 

FEATURE FILMS

 

Secret Screening

World Premiere of the 4K Restoration

A special re-discovery of an explosive, death-defying, bullet-riddled, grenade-launching, flame-broiled, anti-human megattack. Free to view during the live secret screening and available for Virtual Cinema rental on Alamo On Demand afterwards.

 

Image Courtesy of Fantastic Fest/Fons PR

Bloodthirsty

Canada, 2020

World Premiere, 82 min

Director: Amelia Moses

When indie singer Grey struggles to write her sophomore album, she teams up with a mysterious producer at his secluded cabin. Though their bond strengthens her music, it also starts to irreparably alter Grey’s body and mind.

 

The Boy Behind the Door

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 88 min

Directors: David Charbonier & Justin Powell

After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin’s screams for help and realizes he can’t leave his friend behind.

 

Cyst

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 69 min

Director: Tyler Russell

George Hardy (TROLL 2) stars as an overly-ambitious and just-a-little-crazy doctor who accidentally unleashes a giant, man-eating cyst that terrorizes the office in this horrifically funny deluge of gooey special effects.

 

Daughters of Darkness

Belgium/France/West Germany, 1971

World Premiere of the 4K Restoration from Blue Underground, 87 min

Director: Harry Kümel

The classic lesbian vampire tale reignites the screen as the lives of a young newlywed couple take a dramatically sexy turn after their paths cross with Elizabeth Báthory in a deserted Belgian hotel.

Special Event: An interview with director Harry Kümel, moderated by Kat Ellinger.

 

Girl

USA, 2020

US Premiere, 92 min

Director: Chad Faust

When Girl (Bella Thorne) sets out to a no-name small town to track down her deadbeat father, she finds herself wrapped up in a situation far more dangerous and twisted than she expected.

 

How To Deter A Robber

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 81 min

Director: Maria Bissell

Two teens playing amateur detectives get more than they bargained for when they investigate the wrong cabin in this darkly comedic romp.

 

Laughter

Canada, 2020

International Premiere, 124 min

Director: Martin Laroche

Léane Labrèche-Dor gives an unforgettable performance as a woman who struggles with survivor guilt following a civil war in Quebec.

 

The Old Man Movie

Estonia, 2019

US Premiere, 87 min

Directors: Mikk Mägi & Oskar Lehemaa

Three children must aid their deranged grandfather in recovering his prized cow to prevent a rural cataclysm in this surreal and hysterically scatalogical stop-motion comedy.

 

Possessor

UK, Canada 2020

Texas Premiere, 103 min

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

In Brandon Cronenberg’s latest gore soaked sci-fi thriller, identity theft takes on a new meaning as corporate assassins can virtually take over other people to carry out their kills.

Special Event: Join us before our official celebration for a special in-theater premiere September 23rd

 

The Queen of Black Magic

Indonesia, 2019

North American Premiere, 99 min

Director: Kimo Stamboel

Childhood friends Hanif, Jefri, and Anton take their families on a trip to the orphanage where they grew up to pay their final respects to the man who raised them. But they’ll soon discover that the secrets from their past refuse to stay buried.

 

 

Image Courtesy of Sixx Tape Productions/Fons PR

The Stylist

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 105 min

Director: Jill Gevargizian

Few things in life hold more promise than a new hairstyle. But the women who visit stylist Claire’s chair get more than they bargained for, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “extreme makeover” in Jill Gevargizian’s first feature film, based on her acclaimed 2016 short.

 

Teddy

France, 2020

International Premiere, 88 min

Directors: Ludovic Boukherma & Zoran Boukherma

In a rural French town, twenty-something Teddy is scratched by an unknown beast and slowly undergoes frightening changes.

 

AGFA presents Triple Fisher: The Lethal Lolitas of Long Island

USA, 2012

Austin Premiere of HD Restoration

Director: Dan Kapelovitz

Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, and Noelle Parker are Amy Fisher in this meta-melodramatic mashup of three TV movies that would make Brian De Palma proud.

 

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

USA, 2020

Texas Premiere, 84 min

Director: Jim Cummings

A small mountain town full of quirky characters is thrown into chaos when dead bodies start piling up after every full moon in Jim Cummings’ supremely fun foray into horror.

Special Event: Join us after our official celebration for a special in-theater premiere, October 8th at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane.

 

SHORT FILMS

FANTASTIC SHORTS

A celebration of some of the year’s most fantastic short film offerings, spanning a myriad of genres and sensibilities.

 

Blocks Dir. Bridget Moloney, USA

Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran Dir. Farbod Ardebili, Iran/USA, World Premiere

I Love Your Guts Dir. David Janove, USA, Texas Premiere

Jack and Jo Don’t Want Die Dir. Kantú Lentz, USA, Texas Premiere

Please Hold Dir. KD Davila, USA, World Premiere

Solution For Sadness Dir. Marc Martínez Jordán & Tuixén Benet Cosculluela, Spain, World Premiere

(You’ll Make It In) Florida Dir. Phil Chemyak, USA, Texas Premiere

 

SHORT FUSE

A parade of short-form horror in all its permutations, from “Boo!” to “Eww!”

 

Abracitos Dir. Tony Morales, Spain, US Premiere

Blitzkrieg Dir. Alexander Lemus Gadea, Spain, World Premiere

Fish Whiskers Dir. Roney, Canada, World Premiere

Great Choice Dir. Robin Comisar, USA

Heat Dir. Thessa Meijer, The Netherlands, Texas Premiere

Milk Teeth Dir. Felipe Vargas, USA, Texas Premiere

Mime Dir. Ruwan Heggelman, The Netherlands, Austin Premiere

Mourn Dir. Joanna Tsanis, Canada, World Premiere

Otttie Dir. Paola Ossa, USA, Texas Premiere

Stuck Dir. David Mikalson, USA, World Premiere

The Three Men You Meet at Night Dir. Beck Kitsis, USA, Texas Premiere

 

SHORTS WITH LEGS

The experimental and the esoteric; shorts that upset conventions and defy expectations.

 

Düsseldorf Dir. Mike Lars White, USA, Texas Premiere

Emergency Action Plan Dir. Dylan Redford, USA, Texas Premiere

Hipolita Dir. Everardo Felipe, Mexico, World Premiere

How to Re-Caulk Your Tub Dir. Sean Pierce, USA, Austin Premiere

Lusty Crest Dir. Kati Skelton, USA

Mickey Reece’s Belle Île Dir. Mickey Reece, USA, World Premiere

They Salivate Dir. Arianne Boukerche, France, Austin Premiere

Unfinished Business Dir. Mary Dauterman, USA, Texas Premiere

 

DRAWN AND QUARTERED

After a 6-year hiatus, Fantastic Fest’s animation showcase returns!

 

Ghost Dogs Dir. Joe Cappa, USA, US Premiere

Homo ErecTattoos Dir. Tae-woo KIM, South Korea, US Premiere

Jimi Dir. Joren Cull, Canada, World Premiere

A Night in Camp Heebie Jeebie Dir. Dylan Chase, USA, Texas Premiere

Pilar Dir. Yngwie Boley, J.J. Epping & Diana van Houten, The Netherlands/Belgium, US Premiere

Routine: The Prohibition Dir. Sam Orti, Spain, US Premiere

The Shawl Dir. Sara Kiener, USA

Star Crossed Dir. Jon Frier, USA, Texas Premiere

Thin Blue Variety Show Dir. Gretta Wilson, USA, Texas Premiere

Tomorrow I Will Be Dirt: Scenes From the Afterlife of Lothar Schramm Dir. Robert Morgan, UK, North American Premiere

 

PARTIES AND EVENTS

“Fantastic Fest’s special events, parties and amiable mayhem are among the things that set it apart from any other festival,” says Zack Carlson, Creative Producer. “Any celebration of FF absolutely needs to include those traditions, and though the cold fist of 2020 may prohibit us from having a food fight or demolition derby, we’re still here to bring the good-natured chaos.”

 

Master Pancake: Invasion of the Bee Girls

USA, 1973

Director: Denis Sanders

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Master Pancake, John Erler, Owen Egerton and friends are revising one of the very first films they ever roasted back in the year 2000.

 

100 Best Kills: Decapattack!

FF’s life-defying clip show returns from the grave with a dazzling onslaughter of the 100 finest decapitations in the nation!

 

Fantastic Fest Triviadome

The Drafthouse’s beloved movie trivia night returns just for Fantastic Fest! Start coming up with your clever team name now and study up! Featuring a round in honor of Fantastic Fest tradition Nerd Rap, written and performed by superstars of years past.

 

Fantastic Feud

Filmmakers, journalists and various other movie megamasters collide in this no-holds-barred deathride of useless cinematic information and on-screen in(s)anity, all masterminded by Triviadome’s teeny-tiny host Maxim Pozderac.

 

King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game Challenge

Beat the Hollywood screenwriters and win glory and an exclusive Mondo Prize Pack! Enter to play against a trio of Fantastic Fest Favorite writers in Mondo’s brand new game KING OF MOVIES.

 

For 51 years, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide served as the film geek’s Holy Bible, an annually updated softcover brick of a reference book, packed with thoughtful, witty, and occasionally weird capsule reviews of thousands of films. Those synopses are at the heart of King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game, a tabletop casual party game of creative invention and hilarious deception.

 

In King of Movies, it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen every film ever made or if you’ve never seen a movie in your life. The fun is in the fibbing. One player reads a movie title and the other players invent a short synopsis in Leonard Maltin’s unique style, with the goal being to trick the other players into thinking theirs is the real Maltin review. If you choose the real Maltin or you fool another player, you score.

 

IMMERSIVE SHOWCASE

 

Harkening back to the Satanic Panic Escape Room, VR debuts and Mondo Games First Looks of years past, this year features hand-picked selections of the best virtual escape rooms from around the world, curated by Cara Mandel (Story Experience Producer, Meow Wolf and Co-founder/CEO, Interwoven Immersive, Inc.) and Rachel Walker (Head of Programming & Creative, Drafthouse LA).

 

“As someone who was on track to completing 120 physical escape rooms, I was initially skeptical of how this beloved artform could be adapted to virtual play.” Says Mandel, “but I can now confidently say that these remote escape rooms are emerging as an exciting new artform unto itself. It has opened up this world to players internationally and is proving that innovative creators will thrive in any format. I’m so excited to be able to shine a spotlight on just a handful of the many wonderful online experiences available right now.”

 

Adds Walker, “The five selected experiences represent how escapes have adapted to the virtual space, in many cases providing an experience that simply could not be replicated in a physical room alone. It’s a thrill to be able to highlight them and support an industry going so outside of the box with narrative storytelling.”

 

All rooms will be keeping Fantastic Fest only scoreboards, with top times announced each day.

How to book: At 10:00 AM PST on Sept 11th, anyone who purchased a 2020 Fantastic Fest Badge prior to cancellation of our badged event will be sent an email with instructions on how to book the rooms at a discounted rate and have 72 hours to book. After 72 hours, instructions will be posted on FantasticFest.com and on Fantastic Fest socials. After another 48 hours, the Fantastic Fest holds on those slots will be opened up to the general public. Tickets will be booked directly through the rooms’ individual ticketing sites, so 100% of the ticket price will be going straight to the creators.

 

EVIL DEAD 2 REMOTE ESCAPE ROOM

Created by Hourglass Escapes (Washington)

Synopsis: You get a strange email from your paranormal investigation group “Gnostic Research of the Occult, Omens, Vampires, and Yetis” aka G.R.O.O.V.Y. Seems your leader decided to break into the old Knowby cabin and can’t escape…You and your team must guide him via his ghost gear technology through this misadventure so he can escape and find a way return the evil dead to their realm and escape before the cabin is sucked into the time-space vortex forever.

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT EDITH

Created by Mad Genius Escape Rooms (Oregon)

Synopsis: ​You may recognize Edith Humphreys, your sweet neighbor with 24 cats. You may have even helped her out, snooped around her apartment. But there’s something about Edith that doesn’t quite add up… she looks way younger than she is, she says she was born in 1902 but that she’s 97 years young… and she lives at a business called Mad Genius Escapes?! What is going on here…The Truth About Edith is an hour-long, cooperative, timed adventure sprinkled with interactive theater and a good dose of humor! This game is an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story.

 

EXORCIST ONLINE

Created by: Emergency Exits (Manchester, UK)

Synopsis: Exorcist Online will take you deep into the history of Crowley manor which was last owned by the infamous Aleister Crowley. You will join your tour guide via remote feed and control them on this haunted adventure. The real excitement is the history of Crowley’s mysteries and puzzles. This house has been famous throughout history as there have been many disappearances over the years. It is said that Aleister Crowley is still trying to trick and trap his victims from beyond the Grave. Enjoy the tour but DO NOT out-stay your welcome.

 

PROJECT AVATAR

Created by Legendary Quest (Ukraine)

Synopsis: Avatar is a traveler of worlds, whose vocation is to maintain a balance of good and evil on earth. Having traveled into a parallel realm, Avatar needs help from the support team (you!) to complete the mission and survive! This fascinating interactive live- action race against the clock is stylized as a video game, complete with cut scenes and a HUD, reminiscent of titles like Duke Nukem, Half Life and Tomb Raider. Players use voice commands to navigate the hero across a 2000 square foot warehouse, and complete tasks that appear along the way. Non-linear gameplay allows for over 100 different variations of adventure.

 

PURSUIT OF THE ARTIST ASSASSIN

Created by: Omescape (California)

Synopsis: In Pursuit of the Assassin Artist, you will be teaming up with a secret agent to discover the secrets of the world-famous modern artist. A live-action room created just for the virtual space, Pursuit employs a unique function of your character being able to die and come back to life with all the knowledge acquired previously. This allows for unpredictable gameplay, keeping both your team and the live actors on their toes. Filled with innovative puzzles and easter eggs that win you achievements, this brand new room is a shining example of how to create a truly immersive experience for a virtual audience.

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Hopefully you were taking notes, as even in this smaller size even, there’s a LOT of content. The most interesting piece here is the inclusion of events. They’re integral to the Fantastic Fest “experience”. Losing your mind, as it melts with a packed crowd witnessing the latest 100 BEST KILLS! The absolute insanity and lunacy of the Fantastic Feud. It’ll be hard to replicate online, but leave it to this team to find a happy approximation.

The best part of all this is that it’s free to people in the US. So make sure you have an Alamo-On-Demand account and head on over to fantasticfest.com for all the developments. There’s likely to be a bunch more info coming up in the next couple weeks. Keep your eyes peeled.

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