Monday, June 27, 2011

Fantasia Film Festival: First Announcements On Line-Up of Films


Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, which will be held from July 14 to August 7, will kick off with Kevin Smith's Red State.

Fantasia also made the first announcement about the films that will be part of this 15th edition's line-up.

People can see the anthology film Theatre Bizarre. This coproduction between Canada, France, Germany, the UK, the USA reunites Richard Stanley (Hardware), Karim Hussain (La belle bête), Douglas Buck (Cutting Moments), Buddy Giovinazzo (Life Is Hot in Cracktown), David Gregory (Plague Town) and Tom Savini, as directors.

The festival will also hold the world premier of The Wicker Tree, from Robin Hardy. Moreover, a book launch is also expected because The Wicker Tree is based on the novel Cowboys for Christ, by Hardy.

As for a Canadian premiere, Ryoo Seung-wan's The Unjust will be screened. Besides, Ryoo will be invited by the festival's organizers to teach choreography for action films.

In the first announcement, two other Canadian films were mentioned. The first one is Vampire, the first film in English from director Shunji Iwai, and Monster Brawl, by Jesse T. Cook.

Finally, here's the rest of the films that were in the announcement:

ATTACK THE BLOCK - UK - Dir: Joe Cornish
This insane laughfest depicting a British teen street gang defending their block against an alien invasion became an overnight sensation after its launch at SXSW in April. Co-produced by Edgar Wright, starring Nick Frost and featuring some of the funniest moments you'll encounter anywhere this year - on or off this planet. Quebec Premiere.

BRAWLER - USA - Dir: Chris Sivertson
Fantasia veteran Sivertson (THE LOST, I KNOW WHO KILLED ME), will be returning to Montreal for the World Premiere of his latest knockout, BRAWLER, set in the world of extreme fighting, starring and co-produced by Marc Senter (RED WHITE & BLUE, THE LOST). World Premiere hosted by Director Chris Sivertson and Actors/Co-producers Nathan Grubbs and Marc Senter.

DEADBALL - Japan - Dir: Yudai Yamaguchi
From the cult director of such bizarre greats as MEATBALL MACHINE and BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL comes... something best experience without spoilers! World Premiere hosted by Director Yudai Yamaguchi, Producer Yoshinori Chiba and Actor Tak Sakaguchi.

THE DEVIL'S ROCK - New Zealand - Dir: Paul Campion
The feature directorial debut from gifted New Zealand visual effects artist Campion (the LORD OF THE RINGS and NARNIA films, CLASH OF THE TITANS remake) is an intense occult thriller taking place in WW2 on the eve of D-Day, with a single soldier uncovering a Nazi plot to conjure supernatural forces with which to win the war. A satanic Nazi chamber piece featuring three characters and bottomless tension. North American Premiere hosted by Director, Screewriter and Executive Producer Paul Campion and Actors Matt Sunderland and Karlos Drinkwater.

DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART - Hong Kong - Dir: Johnnie To
The working relationship of longtime collaborators To & Ka-Fai is best known internationally for their gonzo action thrillers (RUNNING ON KARMA) and more taut, character-based work (MAD DETECTIVE), but this time out, they tackle the romantic comedy, with surprising results. Opening film of the 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival. North American Premiere.

EXIT - Australia - Dir: Marek Polgar
Taking place in a labyrinthine city where many individuals are looking for a mystical door that could lead them to a better world, this promising genre film from a visionary director explores the theme of urban alienation while remaining a poignant piece of cinema that will audiences breathless. Splendid and cerebral, EXIT opens the door for a distinctive new voice in fantastic cinema. World Premiere, hosted by Director Marek Polgar and Screenwriter Martyn Pedler.

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE - UK - Dir: Julian Gilbey
This film hits levels of intensity that are absolutely exhilarating. Think CLIFFHANGER with characters you actually care about, fuelled with the adrenaline and panic of THE DESCENT. Bafta-nominated director Gilbey (RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER) trained himself in rock climbing in preparation to shoot this film the right way, and does it ever show. The imagery, stunts and staging he manages here will suck the breath clean out of your lungs. Winner of Jury Awards for Best Feature and Best Director when it launched at ActionFest earlier this year, it stars Melissa George. Canadian Premiere, hosted by Director, Screenwriter and Editor Julian Gilbey.

LOVE - USA - Dir: William Eubank
Opening this year's edition of Fantasia's Camera Lucida section, LOVE is a marvel. Rebuking the current conventions of science-fiction cinema coming from Hollywood with a cerebral approach to the genre closer to Kubrick's 2001, it questions Man's place in the universe through a fascinating tale that alternate between two distinct epochs, a violent past and an uncertain future. Produced by Angels & Airwaves (the alt-rock effort led by Blink-182's Tom DeLonge) LOVE conjures pictorial perfection, promising to be an unforgettable experience. International Premiere, hosted by Director, Writer, Cinematographer and Production Designer William Eubank, Actor Gunner Wright and Executive Producer Mark Eaton.

MARIANNE - Sweden - Dir: Filip Tegstedt
In recent years, Sweden has begun emerging as a country to watch when it comes to hypnotic, adult genre filmmaking, and MARIANNE continues this pathway. A guilt-ridden father, grieving over the death of a wife he had been cheating on, finds himself haunted by more than his conscience in this eerie, character-driven supernatural horror film. World Premiere hosted by Director, Screenwriter and Producer Filip Tegstedt.

NINJA KIDS!!! - Japan - Dir: Takashi Miike
Japan's maniacal master of movie magic Takashi Miike has banged out about three films a year over the last two decades, from ultraviolent yakuza pictures through off-kilter genre pastiches to, well, possibly his most brutal, bash-'em-up work yet. That's right, maestro of mayhem Miike's gone and made a kiddie flick again! It merits its three exclamation points and rates five razor-sharp ninja stars out of five! Canadian Premiere, hosted by Distributor Shochiku.

RABIES - Israel - Dir: Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales
Israel's first horror feature is all about subverting expectations as a blood-soaked black comedy/horror/thriller that understands the genre conventions and uses them as sleight-of-hand to deliver one surprise after another like a twist-ripped celluloid corkscrew ground into your skull. A major hit at the Tribeca Film Festival, RABIES is heaps of misanthropic fun, with spikes of social commentary and a surprisingly affecting sense of tragedy stabbed into the mix for maximum potency. Canadian Premiere. Hosted by Co-Directors and Screenwriters Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales.

RETREAT - UK - Dir: Carl Tibbets
Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton star as a couple who journey to an island retreat in order to heal recently-opened wounds. They are completely isolated from the world. Alone. That is, until a blood-spattered man (Jamie Bell) washes ashore with terrible news of an airborne plague sweeping across Europe. A brilliantly-staged slow-burn thriller that builds to absolutely ferocious horror, RETREAT is one of this year's strongest discoveries. World Premiere hosted by Director Carl Tibbetts.

SAINT - Netherlands - Dir: Dick Maas
Santa Claus is coming to town, and that's bad news for everyone in this stylish Dutch oddity from the maker of THE LIFT. SAINT is a very Dutch horror film, packed with many Christmas stockings full of local flavor and bizarre terror sequences. Meanwhile, the moments with SAINT's teen protagonists have the feel of an '80s Wes Craven film, making for a very fun death dance in horror's global melting pot! Canadian Premiere.

UNDERWATER LOVE - Japan - Dir: Shinji Imaoka
An inspired hybrid of musical comedy, classical fairy tale and pinku eiga (Japanese softcore sex film), UNDERWATER LOVE may well be the most oddball entry in Fantasia's schedule this year (and that's saying something!). Features gorgeous cinematography by Wong Kar-Wai's regular Director of Photography Christopher Doyle. Sweet, kooky, sexy and completely feel good, this UFO of a film is truly something to be cherished. Canadian Premiere.

URBAN EXPLORER - Germany - Dir: Andy Fetscher
Beneath the city of Berlin is an extraordinary network of abandoned bunkers and tunnels, shadowy remnants of the Nazi era. This film - one of the most unsettling that you will find in our 2011 lineup - opens with four young urban explorers from different countries meeting up at a Berlin nightclub, beneath which is rumored to be a pathway of catacombs that lead to a legendary Third Reich bunker. They descend into the tunnels and.... We won't reveal another beat! North American Premiere.

THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS - USA - Dir: Sean Branney
You are about to encounter what very well may be the single most successful H.P. Lovecraft adaptation ever to lick fear across a screen. Shot with an aesthetic, production design and performance style angled to emulate the feel of a '30s/'40s Universal horror film - without falling into camp - WHISPERER arrives like shadows out of time, a discovered relic from another dimension. A genuinely scary film and a hellishly great time. Canadian Premiere.

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