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For the true movie fan, life inside the cinema requires a bit more spice than your average rom-com or superhero saga can deliver. Enter: Fantasia, Montreal’s long-running genre film festival with a reputation for livening up the summer screen with vampires, zombies, gangsters, aliens, and other creatures bent of revenge, death, and/or destruction.
Here’s why it might just be the greatest film fest on planet Earth.
This is no local indie film festival (although it should be noted that Quebec’s film scene is arguably the best in Canada). The Fantasia Film Festival is the largest celebration of genre movies in North America and as such it attracts attention from filmmakers all over the world. Over the past 23 years, Fantasia has screened movies coming from Hong Kong, Mexico, and pretty much everywhere in between. Quention Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds had its North American premiere at Fantasia, as did Shaun of The Dead and the Japanese horror film, Ringu.
This year’s lineup alone features big names like Lupita Nyong’o who’ll be on screen opposite Josh Gad in the zombie/comedy Little Monsters. It had its premiere earlier this year at Sundance. Fantasia-goers can catch Richard Dreyfuss in the North American premiere of Astronaut from Canadian first-time feature director, Shelagh McLeod. But it’s the world premiere of director Malik Bader‘s Killerman, starring Liam Hemsworth (insert swoon here) that will likely be the hottest ticket in Montreal this summer.
Looking for a film about neighbourhood witchcraft? Misfit teenage survivors of a ‘90s-era apocalypse? A woman trapped in a time loop centred on her recent, brutal breakup? Wes Anderson-esque J-Pop zombies? How about the virtual reality destruction of a non-existent Soviet Union? Fantasia has all of the above.