Festivals, News

Fantasia International Film Festival offers impressive array of Asian cinema

Festival will take place in-person and on digital platform from 5th till 25th August

Montreal-based Fantasia International Film Festival is upon us again and boasting an impressive catalogue of fantasy, sci-fi and horror cinema from all over world. Starting on August 5th, the 20-day festival offers entertainment for all tastes and sensibilities, including a notable amount of intriguing films from all corners of the Asian continent. While the festivities will kick off with Québec’s very own zombie romp Brain Freeze (2021), the closing film comes from the other side of the Pacific in the form of Takashi Miike’s The Great Yokai War: Guardians (2021). It’s predecessor The Great Yokai War opened the festival in 2006 and if it is anything to go by, the festival audiences will once again be in for a fun filled ride full of monsters, spirits and whole lot of fantastical enjoyment.

Other Japanese titles featured in this year’s catalogue include not one but two entries from the director Tsutomu Hanabusa; a live action adaptation of Ken Wakui’s immensely popular manga Tokyo Revengers and a goofball time loop comedy Grand Blue Dreaming (Guranburu, 2020). Also featured are highly anticipated anime fantasy epic The Deer King (Shika No Ou, 2021) by Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji, Yoichi Narita’s directorial debut, a serene coming of age sci-fi fantasy, Follow the Light, Miwa Nishikawa’s Under the Open Sky (Subarashiki sekai, 2020), Shunichiro Miki’s The Warped Forest (2011), Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine and Shunichiro Miki’s Funky Forest: The First Contact,(2005), as well as a brand new 4K restoration of the 2000 film adaption of Junji Ito’s legendary manga Uzumaki (directed by Higuchinsky).

The festival will also be honouring the director and video artist Shunji Iwai with a Career Achievement Award, as well as hosting a masterclass led by the filmmaker himself. Iwai’s latest feature The 12 Day Tale of a Monster that Died in 8 (2020) will be featured as part of the festival’s Camera Lucida slate.

South-Korea is likewise represented with more than one feature with Lee Won-tae latest dive into the Korean underworld The Devil’s Deal (Daewoebi: Gwonryeok-ui Tansaeng , 2021), Kwon Oh-seung’s debut thriller Midnight, Jéro Yun’s boxing drama Fighter (2020) , Kim Jeong-kwan fantasy drama Josee, Lee Yong-joo’s action thriller Seobok (2021), and Kim Boram’s Noses on the Run. Audiences can similarly enjoy a multitude of Taiwanese, Chinese and Hong Kong cinema with Rob Jabbaz’s pandemic horror The Saddness (2021), a tribute to Hong Kong in the form of the anthology Septet: The Story of Hong Kong( 2020), Chiu Sin-Hang’s fantasy drama One Second Champion (2020), Zhang Nan’s Aquatic Bird and Qiu Sheng’s Double Helix.

The festival runs from August 5th to August 25th offering panels, talks, tributes and special events beside it’s fantastic film selection. There will also be a limited number of in-person screenings in Montreal. Majority of the catalogue will be available online, but unfortunately for any non-Canadians, most of the virtual content will be geo-locked to Canada. However, the special events and panel discussions will all be available for worldwide audiences completely free of charge, giving film fans everywhere the chance to participate in the festival experience.

For more information and the full catalogue visit: https://fantasiafestival.com/en/

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About the author

Niina DohertyNiina Doherty Niina Doherty
Originally from Finland but currently based in the UK, Niina is a lifelong film fanatic and a great lover of all things horror. Absolutely adores 80’s Hong Kong horror, as well as traditional Japanese ghost stories and thinks everyone should see Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (1959). Alongside writing, Niina mostly spends her time painting, drawing and introducing her little boy to various cinematic masterpieces. Besides easternKicks Niina also writes for Horrornews.net and Diaboliquemagazine.com.
Read all posts by Niina Doherty

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