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FANTASIA’S 24TH EDITION TO TAKE FLIGHT AS A CUTTING-EDGE VIRTUAL FESTIVAL

Given the continuing uncertainty related to physical cinema spaces and large gatherings which will likely continue through the remainder of the calendar year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to mount our 2020 edition as a cutting-edge virtual festival in August.

To deliver this, we will be working with Festival Scope and SHIFT72 via their newly-launched online festival platform, most recently utilized for CPH:DOX and Visions du Réel’s celebrated virtual editions. This platform offers studio-grade DRM and will be MPAA compliant, operating according to Motion Picture Association of America security standards.

A number of screenings will be presented with real-time access, offering heightened security to the digital programming with attention to recreating the energy and sense of shared experience that make festivals so vital and beloved. This unique opportunity allows us to program top-tier genre films that may not have otherwise considered online launches or premieres.

“While we’re saddened not to be able to put on the larger-than-life physical event that we’d been planning for this year, we’re extremely excited to be working with Festival Scope and Shift72 on an unconventional virtual edition,” said Fantasia co-director Mitch Davis. “They’ve enthusiastically embraced every challenge we’ve thrown their way, particularly when it comes to making so many of our screenings be real-time, live events instead of the usual streaming approach. It’s going to make things so much more exciting and will go a long way towards keeping the intensity and engagement of the in-person experience vibrant in an online realm.”

Using the Festival Scope / Shift72 platform, Fantasia will bring much of the live event experience directly into peoples’ homes, offering filmmaker intros and audience-involved Q&A’s, live panels, and workshops. In addition, the festival’s flagship short film showcases, juried competitions, and audience awards will remain in place.

Says Festival Scope CEO and Co-Founder Alessandro Raja, "We’re thrilled to add Fantasia to our growing list of virtual festivals and we’re excited about their inventive new ideas for the platform. This year’s online edition will be engaging and exciting for attendees as the festival has planned premieres to replicate the physical event, adding a sense of exclusivity and familiarity.”

#Fantasia2020’s virtual lineup will include an array of World and International feature film premieres, including anticipated titles from the cancelled SXSW and Tribeca editions, whose original selections will be given credit.

All film screenings will be geo-blocked to Canadian audiences and only accessible from within the country, vastly expanding the number of viewers we can engage with outside of Quebec.

Fantasia’s virtual edition will take place August 20 through September 2, 2020 while the Frontières Co-Production Market, which typically runs in conjunction with the festival, will take place from July 23rd through 26th.

Due to these new, later dates, we’ll be extending our Late Deadline for film submissions to May 16. The first wave of Fantasia titles will be revealed in late May.
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Since its inception in 1996, Fantasia has been an event hell-bent on showcasing the most exciting, innovative and individualistic examples of contemporary international genre cinema from every corner of the globe.

It has become a hugely popular Montreal summer tradition for over 105 000 festival-goers to spend three weeks being amazed by sensational celluloid from Japan, Spain, South Korea, Italy, Hong Kong, Germany, Thailand, Denmark, France, Russia, India, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, Australia, Holland, Scotland,Iran, Belgium, Sweden, Great Britain, Uruguay, the US and of course, Quebec and Canada.

Over the years, Fantasia has proven itself to be one of the largest and the most cutting edge festivals of its kind. Among our accomplishments, Fantasia is regularly cited as the place where the J-horror craze began in this part of the world - our North American Premiere of RINGU led directly to Dreamworks acquiring the film and producing its blockbuster remake, and Fantasia was also the first festival in North America to screen a film by Takashi Miike. Some other programming coups? We were the first festival in the world to show work from a then-19-year-old Adam Wingard when we world premiered his feature debut HOME SICK, our World Premiere of PERFECT BLUE launched the career of Satoshi Kon, our World Premiere of THE MIDNIGHT SWIM launched Sarah Adina Smith and our Canadian premiere of PI marked the first time a film by Darren Aronofsky was shown in Canada. In 2017, our International premiere of Nico van den Brink’s short SWEET TOOTH led directly to the gifted Dutch filmmaker being signed to Paradigm, with James Wan teaming up with him to make a feature adaptation of the film at New Line. In 2018, our International Premiere of David-Jan Bronsgees' short MEET JIMMY led to the filmmaker signing up with Paramount and Platinum Dunes for a feature-length adaptation.

While we're predominantly known as a Fantastic Film Festival, we have always devoted a significant part of our programming to celebrating atypical films that defy conventional genre classifications. From docs, dramas and comedies, straight to unclassifiable experimental works.

Taking things a step further, in 2012, Fantasia launched the Frontières International Co-Production Market as well as a film market component. Our market lineup has since featured dazzling new projects from Joe Dante, Buddy Giovinazzo, Jacob Tierney, Bobcat Goldthwait, Richard Stanley, Dario Argento and Andrzej Zulawski, to name a few. Subsequent market projects that went into production include RKSS' TURBO KID (2015), Julia Ducournau's RAW (2016), Alexandre O. Philippe's 78/52 (2017), Robin Aubert's LES AFFAMÉS (2017), Brian O'Malley's THE LODGERS (2017), Jenn Wexler's THE RANGER (2018), Aaron Schimberg's CHAINED FOR LIFE (2018) and Dominique Rocher's THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD (2018).

We encourage filmmakers of all backgrounds, interests and obsessions to submit their work.

For more info, visit us online at www.fantasiafestival.com

Bon cinema!

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"One of the most exciting genre film festivals in the world. It is in Montreal that we might discover the next Eraserhead" — PREMIERE MAGAZINE

"One of Canada's hotter film events" — Brendan Kelly, VARIETY

“Fantasia is the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent.” — Quentin Tarantino

“Fantasia is a shrine” — Guillermo del Toro

“Fantasia remains to this day one of my very favorite film festivals in the world.” — James Gunn

“I promise to make more genre films just so I can get invited back.” — Edgar Wright

"Fantasia has some of the best audiences and programming out there. As a distributor, it's an essential stop for the latest in genre cinema." — John Von Thaden, Manager of Acquisitions, MAGNOLIA PICTURES

"Many films have been discovered at Fantasia or sparked interest in US remakes, many by my company" — Roy Lee, Producer of IT, THE DISASTER ARTIST, THE DEPARTED, THE RING.

"Mammoth...The world's largest genre film festival" — Bryce J. Renninger, INDIEWIRE

"Le Festival Fantasia de Montréal est la plus importante manifestation d’Amérique du Nord consacrée au cinéma de genre" — LES CAHIERS DU CINEMA

“In a lot of ways, my career started at Fantasia. This is a true film festival and I hope to be a part of it for years and years to come.”
— Mike Flanagan

“Fantasia took a chance on my film and changed my life in the process. The festival surrounds itself on all sides with people who truly love and appreciate unique films... that's what makes the fest so incredibly special."
— Sarah Adina Smith

"A must-see event... Like nothing else in the world" — LES INROCKUPTIBLES

"The largest festival of its kind on this continent. The sheer number of discoveries is astonishing." — FANGORIA MAGAZINE

"Top notch... people line up around the block for hours in wait to see a film" — FILM THREAT

"Fantasia is the hippest film festival in town" — THE MONTREAL GAZETTE

"one of the coolest festivals in the world" — MAD MOVIES

"If I missed Fantasia I'd drive an icepick into my brain" — RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE

“An absolute behemoth. One of the most important genre film festivals in the world. Fantasia maintains its singular spirit in programming films that take risks.”
– Justine Smith, SENSES OF CINEMA

"One of the country's greatest cinematic events" — Olivier Skinner, CBC NEWS

“This cinematic orgy, with runs through three weeks in the month of July, is really something else — without a doubt, the most important concentration of cinematic pop culture there is. Fantasia reveals an intense connection to film, a love of movies that is at once lighthearted and deeply serious.” — Jean-François Rauger, LE MONDE

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MISSION & OBJECTIVE:

A legendary 3-week blow-out of worldwide fantastic cinema taking place each July in the heart of Montreal, now deep in planning its 23rd edition.

We’re currently on the lookout for features and shorts to showcase at this summer’s event. What exactly are we looking for? While predominantly a fantasy/action/horror festival, Fantasia has always embraced films whose sheer individuality puts them in a genre of their own. If you’re not sure whether your film is right for us, consider that we’ve showcased everything from captivating dramas, eccentric comedies, provocative documentaries, mind-blowing experimental works, musicals, even atypical children’s films. In other words, set our minds’ eyes on fire and we’ll do everything possible to get your film seen. Feel free to browse our website for a better understanding of our programming tastes.

Any work produced in the past 12 months (after August 2019) is eligible for consideration in our official jury competitions and for our Public’s Prize.

Any work made available for public viewing before our during our dates will be ineligible.

Fantasia offers a multitude of curated award opportunities for the films it showcases.

- The Cheval Noir Jury Competition (with prizes for Best Film, Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Actress)

- The New Flesh Award for Best 1st Feature

- The International Short Film Competition

- The Satoshi Kon Award for Achievement in Animation

- The Camera Lucida section Competition

- The Action! Award

- Prix du Public / Audience Award

Any work produced in the past 12 months (after August 2019) is eligible for consideration in our official jury competitions and for our Public’s Prize.

Any work made available for online public viewing before our during our dates will be ineligible.

If selected, all commercial/private property including all trademark/copyrighted materials shown or recorded on the project is the responsibility of the filmmaker.

By submitting an entry, filmmaker states that he or she is responsible as an agent to promote the film and that the film is an original work.

Participants agree that clips and images from their film may be used and/or published in the Fantasia program guide, on the Fantasia web site and for any promotional purposes which Fantasia deems appropriate.

If selected, Fantasia will cover one-way of the shipping cost of the exhibition print/video copy of your film, either incoming or outgoing.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • In 2019, I was ecstatically surprised to find out our film, LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER, had been selected to have its international premiere at Fantasia. I had heard Fantasia was one of the best genre fests in the world, but could not have foreseen just how passionate and helpful everyone would be. First of all, Montreal itself is very cool city. The Paris of North America! Lots of good restaurants and bars to visit (I recommend McKibbins and a couple dozen rounds of Shut-The-Box). A very friendly, lively, accommodating city. Beautiful!

    As for the fest itself, this thing was hands down the best film festival I’ve ever attended. They gave us the star treatment, complete with post-screening pictures and interviews, and a separate in-studio interview for their YouTube channel. Not to mention our screening itself was nearly sold out by a very responsive, genre-loving fanbase. That week we attended several screenings of amazing genre films all with packed houses.

    We also met some wonderful people at Fantasia. A big thank you to Mitch Davis and Celia Pouzet, the king and queen of genre film! They not only got Lake Michigan Monster into Fantasia, but with their help, were able to land us a major distribution deal, as well as get us into a number of other festivals around the world. Hell, Mitch even introduced us to one of our filmmaking idols! Thanks to Mitch and Celia, our film has taken off in ways we never imagined. And then, of course, everyone else we met connected with the fest were all sweethearts. Very accommodating, love filmmakers, love to party.

    Again, this is the gold standard of film festivals. Incredibly organized. Very passionate people. Beautiful, lively city. If you have a genre film you must submit to Fantasia. It might just change your life.

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Captain Ryland !!! <3
    Looking forward to your new projects !

  • Ryan Oksenberg

    The be all end all of genre film festivals. Fantasia rocks. Mitch is an excellent host and showman when it comes to discovering and presenting cutting-edge genre work. His enthusiasm is intoxicating. The festival fosters relationships with other filmmakers and butts fill the seats. Everything down to the website is incredible. The pages created for each individual film (have two shorts on there 2018 w/ "Damage Control", 2019 with "Together") are beautiful, clean, there's a trailer and link. Honestly, this is rare. I attended in 2018, missed out in 2019. If you get in, go. If you have a genre film you made, this should be your #1. Thanks Fantasia for your support. The hard-working volunteers, hospitality - everything is on point. It's an absolute honor to screen there.

    December 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words Ryan ! It was an honor to screen your films and we surely hope you'll come back with more !! :)

  • Mia'kate Russell

    Love this festival so much !!!! It was an honour to play there x

    November 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks a lot Mia'kate! An honor for us to play MAGGIE MAY. :)

  • January Jones

    I wasn't able to attend Fantasia, however the communication from Mitch was excellent. I was thrilled to have my film included in such an incredible film festival.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Hey January ! Thank you so much for your kind comment ! We were super glad to be a able to screen LONE WOLF ! Thank you for your trust in our festival. And please do send us again any future works, hopefully you'll be able to attend. :)
    Thanks !

  • Toby Poser

    Can I give this festival 5 MILLION stars, please? The ultimate in networking, organization, hospitality... the friendliest staff, coolest venues, best communication, formidable writers and moderators .... absolutely zero artifice and pretension. Fantasia is a gift to film makers. And in a fantastic part of Montreal. We are forever grateful to Mitch and the WHOLE Fantasia gang for what they have opened up for us. Well never forget it!

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Toby ! Thanks a lot ! Yes please, we'll take 5 million stars ! And 10 million stars back at you for your wonderful film. :) THE DEEPER YOUR DIG was a gift to us. All the best for the rest of the festival run. And please keep in touch on any future works. :D