Although we’ve just kicked off coverage of one film festival and will soon be covering another, this seems like as good a time as any to let you know that there is a third pretty awesome festival that happens every July: the Fantasia International Film Festival. If you aren’t in New York but are in Canada (specifically, Montreal, which is one of the two parts of Canada that your average non-Canadian has heard of), then you should really check this one out. A lot of the films I’ve seen and will be seeing as part of the NY fests are up there, plus a whole lot more, including three(!) different premieres of new Sion Sono films as well as a premiere of the live action Attack on Titan movie. Also, plenty of movies not from Asia, if that’s your thing.
All told, 135 films from 36 countries will be playing between July 14 and August 4, and it’s sure to be one heckuva good time. If all goes well, we’ll be doing some remote coverage of the festival, because two really just isn’t enough.
Head below for the final list, and for more information on these films (and all of the other ones), check Fantasia’s official website.
36 Countries, 135 Features, and Nearly 300 Short Films
– Including 22 World Premieres, 13 International Premieres, and 21 North American Premieres! –
Highlights include ATTACK ON TITAN, COOTIES, Kevin Bacon Presenting COP CAR, a Trio of Premieres from Japan’s Legendary Sion Sono, and a Special Live Presentation of Larry Fessenden’s TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE Horror Radio Show!
Montreal, July 07, 2015 – The Fantasia International Film Festival is about to throttle the city of Montreal for its 19th edition from July 14 – August 4, 2015. Over the festival’s three-week run, 135 features will be unveiled, along with nearly 300 short films, an eclectic kaleidoscope of fantastic visions from 36 countries, many showing for the first time in this part of the world – and a good number screening for the first time anywhere!
The festival has already announced roughly 75% of its film lineup across two previous waves of press releases, and today, is pleased to reveal the rest of what’s in store – including more films, live events, our full celebrity guest list, and the full details on the 2015 Frontières Industry Rendez-Vous!
…So let’s get started!
OFFICIAL CLOSING FILM: ATTACK ON TITAN!
Hajime Isayama’s steampunk splatter-fantasy war opera has become one of Japanese entertainment’s biggest and most outlandish hits of recent years, at home and abroad. Now the hotly anticipated live-action film bursts furiously from the Fantasia screen, directed by top anime and tokusatsu talent Shinji Higuchi, whose history includes Gamera and Godzilla films, the EVANGELION features, the 2006 remake disaster-piece SUBMERSION OF JAPAN, and much more. Canadian Premiere.
CANADA GETS A HOTLY ANTICIPATED DOSE OF COOTIES
We hope you got your shots, because Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s Sundance / Stanley Fest sensation, COOTIES, is about to infect Canada. This rambunctiously over-the-top comedy/horror film about a pack of schoolteachers fighting for their lives against swarms of savagely murderous virus-infected children stars Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, and Jack McBrayer. It’s going to have audiences shrieking. Canadian Premiere.
A TRIO OF PREMIERES FROM THE GREAT SION SONO
Maverick director Sion Sono (LOVE EXPOSURE, SUICIDE CLUB), one of the most unique voices in modern cinema, makes a thunderous return to Fantasia with an unprecedented three films! First up is the International Premiere of manga adaptation SHINJUKU SWAN, featuring Gou Ayano (LUPIN THE THIRD), Takayuki Yamada (MILOCRORZE), and Erika Sawajiri (HELTER SKELTER)! Then, bear witness to Sono’s sweet side at the North American Premiere of the family friendly LOVE & PEACE, an improbable mix of Japanese pop music, tokusatsu cinema, and talking toys – all laced with his unique sense of humour and critical, yet sensible view of modern Japan. Last but not least, the director hasn’t lost his flair for subversion and pitch-black humour, and the North American Premiere of TAG wholeheartedly proves it! When action, gore, and uneasy hilarity meet existential reflection and lucid social commentary, you know Sion Sono is in the house – and the legendary director promises to leave his mark on Fantasia 2015!
ALBANIAN STREET CRIME IN DETROIT – CASH ONLY
Fantasia is white-knuckle thrilled to be presenting the World Premiere of the ferocious crime drama CASH ONLY, an intense new thriller by Malik Bader (director of the Tribeca breakout STREET THIEF), scripted by and starring Nickola Shreli. The story of an ex con landlord who robs and manipulates the inhabitants of a Detroit slum building he manages before crossing the worst kind of mobster, this gritty and engrossing film shines rare cinematic light on the Albanian-American inner-city experience. World Premiere.
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF KEN OCHIAI’S NINJA THE MONSTER
A reserved ninja, an impulsive samurai, a beautiful princess and a monster… A crafty blend of contextualized historical facts, adventure film and fantastic cinema from Ken Ochiai, director of UZUMASA LIMELIGHT, winner of last year’s Cheval Noir award at Fantasia. World Premiere.
Behold, the astonishing final selections of our 2015 Camera Lucida section!
WELCOME TO YOUR NEW NIGHTMARE. CAMERA LUCIDA OPENS WITH THE TRANSGRESSIVE WORLD PREMIERE OF LUDO.
Camera Lucida will have its most daring opening to date with the world premiere of Indian’s enfants terribles Q and Nikon’s new film. The director of the festival hit GANDU is back with a nightmarish fairy tale for adults. What starts like a SPRING BREAKERS journey into Bombay’s night life suddenly morph into a frightening tale that echoes the ART OF THE DEVIL series in terms of corporal horror. A groundbreaking film that destroys any notion of narrative and promises to leave deep marks.World Premiere.
THE FUTURE IS LEGEND. ORION BRINGS US AN EPIC QUEST LIKE WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
Set far away after the end of civilization, Ansiel Norton’s brilliant ORION is truly something you have never seen before. Starring David Arquette, Lily Cole, and Goran Kostic, this post-apocalyptic epic quest features imagery that takes us into a brand new mythology. With fantastic costumes and sets as well as a unique use of the English language, ORION is a cult film waiting to be discovered. One of the most challenging pieces of work in this year’s Camera Lucida. This is what legends are made of. World Premiere.
A TRIP TO SPACE TURNS INTO A METAPHISICAL JOURNEY IN PHILIPPE FERNANDEZ’S COSMODRAMA
A group of scientists awaken in a spaceship traveling through a lost corner of the universe. Based on accurate scientific theories, visual artist Philippe Fernandez’s space opera is a cerebral homage to the golden age of sci-fi television. Selected at the Rotterdam Film Festival and Cannes’s ACID line-up, COSMODRAMA, the closing film of the 2015 Camera Lucida section, will take the viewer beyond the final frontier. Existentialism has never been so much fun! North American Premiere.
Hiding in a forest, the one thing a man cannot escape is himself. The individualistic feature debut from acclaimed Canadian short filmmaker Trevor Juras (THE LAMP), THE INTERIOR, is a dreamlike experience in which reality descends into nightmare, replete with moments of genuine terror. World Premiere.
The most important film to come out of Pakistan in decades is also the film that will never get a theatrical release in that country. Director Hammad Khan (SLACKISTAN) conducts an uncomfortable, in-your-face examination of his country through the tragicomic metaphorical tale of a man with a bandaged face going on a murder spree that nobody seems to notice. Official Selection: Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival 2014. Quebec Premiere.
Previously announced Camera Lucida titles: THE BLUE HOUR, CRUMBS, DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, H., LOVE & PEACE, OBSERVANCE, SOCIALPHOBIA.
THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD PREMIERE OF MOMENTUM
A captivating action thriller splashed across the magnificent backdrop of Cape Town, South Africa. Canada’s Stephen S. Campanelli, longtime camera operator for Clint Eastwood, combines the right ingredients for an unstoppable action thrill-ride. Olga Kurylenko (QUANTUM OF SOLACE) delivers an electrifying performance filled with spectacular stunts and bare-fisted fury. World Premiere.
ASSASSINATION – INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF ONE OF SOUTH KOREA’S MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2015!
In 1933 Shanghai, a command to covertly assassinate the commander of the Japanese army is given to a top-notch female sniper – but a traitor informs Japanese authorities, who promptly send out a hitman to get rid of her! Get ready for the International Premiere of ASSASSINATION, directed by Choi Dong-hoon (THE THIEVES), a tense, explosive period thriller that lavishly recreates its bygone era and boasts a cast of Korea’s biggest stars – including MY SASSY GIRL’s Gianna Jun, THE CHASER’s Ha Jung-woo, and THE HOUSEMAID’S Lee Jung-jae! International Premiere.
BLACK & WHITE : THE DAWN OF JUSTICE
Taiwan Dir: Tsai Yueh-Hsun
BLACK & WHITE : THE DAWN OF JUSTICE is a film full of energy and passion, with only one mission: to entertain you. Take a deep breath and get ready for two hours of total excitement. Selected at Hawaii International Film Festival and Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
LUPIN THE THIRD
Japan Dir: Ryuhei Kitamura
Gentleman thief Lupin, one of the most beloved characters in manga and anime, embarks on a wild and wicked escapade in this over-the-top, star-studded live-action spectacle that guarantees globetrotting good times on a grand scale! Official Selection: Sitges Fantastic Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.
India 2014 Dir: Rohit Shetty
Agent Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) is back on duty, and vows to attack the corruption that is ruining his country. SINGHAM RETURNS is 142 minutes of pure joy that will have you dancing, clapping, and laughing out loud!
Previously announced Action! titles: BIG MATCH, BORNING, THE GOLDEN CANE WARRIOR, KUNG FU KILLER, WILD CITY.
DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE
Truth can no longer be restrained. We now unveil the final selections for our 2015 Documentaries from the Edge section.
THOR IS COMING TO TOWN!
If there’s any larger-than-life rock ’n’ roll god that deserved his own documentary, it’s Thor, and Ryan Wise’s Slamdance Film Festival hit brings the legend back to Earth in a way that’s sad, heartwarming, agonizingly funny and ultimately inspirational to the extreme. Some of the film plays like a metal ROCKY by way of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. When the lights come up, everyone in the house is going to want to hug Jon Mikl Thor – which is a good thing, as the man himself will be here for a post-screening talk and musical performance! Quebec Premiere.
(T)ERROR IS LIMITLESS
Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe’s extraordinary (T)ERROR is an intimate and unprecedented documentary portrait of a covert FBI informant which unfolds like a spy thriller, but amounts to a bold new perspective on the never-ending War on Terror. Winner of a Special mention at the Sundance Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.
RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE
In 1982, three 11-year-olds in Mississippi set out to remake their favorite film: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. It took seven turbulent years that tested the limits of their friendship and nearly burned down their mother’s house. Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen’s acclaimed doc is the inspirational story behind the making of what is known as “the greatest fan film ever made.” Official Selection: SXSW 2015, Hot Docs 2015. Quebec Premiere.
THE REAL MIYAGI
Canada/USA/Japan Dir: Kevin Derek
THE REAL MIYAGI follows the life and career of the famous karate master Fumio Demura, from his modest debut as a street entertainer to his achievements as an international star. Demura helped many superstars with their karate technique in front of the camera, including Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Bruce Lee. Quebec Premiere.
Previously announced Documentaries from the Edge 2015 titles: MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE, REMIX REMAKE RIPOFF: ABOUT COPY CULTURE AND TURKISH POP CINEMA, THE VISIT
Fantasia is pleased to announce the final selections in our Axis section, dedicated to cutting edge animated works.
THE CASE OF HANA & ALICE
Japan 2015 dir.: Shunji Iwai
Hana and Alice follow the threads of a shady investigation that will cement their friendship forever. Auteur filmmaker Shunji Iwai (ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU) surprises with the playful tone of a first foray into the world of animated film, a prequel to his 2004 live-action hit HANA & ALICE. Official Competition at Annecy International Animation Film Festival. North American Premiere.
TEANA: 10000 YEARS AFTER 3D
China Dir.: Yi Li
Ten millennia after cataclysmic ruin, the world is a place of impossible wonders and monstrosities. A distinctly Chinese work of digitally animated fantasy, crafted with a truly global perspective — and numerous surrealist quirks that are all its own. North American Premiere.
THE ARTI: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Taiwan Dir.: Huang Wen Chang
A satisfying work of classic wuxia (superheroic swordfighter fare) peppered with playful humour and steampunk sci-fi flair, THE ARTI is arguably the most impressive piece of puppet cinema ever produced. It’s the latest from Taiwan’s Huang family, masters of traditional puppetry since generations, and their first feature film since the Fantasia hit LEGEND OF THE SACRED STONE in 2000. North American Premiere.
KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET
USA Dir.: Roger Allers, Paul Brizzi, Gaëtan Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar, and Michal Socha
A labour of love for producer Salma Hayek, this rich anthology sees numerous top talents in animation today — Tomm Moore, Joann Sfar, Bill Plympton and more — craft splendorous and expressive segments accompanying passages from the collection of philosophical poems by venerated Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran. Official Selection: Cannes 2014, TIFF 2014 Quebec Premiere.
MINUSCULE : LA VALLÉE DES FOURMIS PERDUES 3D
France Dir.: Hélène Giraud, Thierry Szabo
A simple picnic raid by a band of black ants is the beginning of a great big adventure for our very small heroes. The teeny-tiny world of the popular TV show comes to the big screen for a spectacular, entirely wordless feast of family fun and entomological excitement, brought to life with the latest in digital image technology. Winner for Best Animated Film at the 2015 César Awards. Quebec Premiere.
Also, be sure to check the entry on our Restorations page for THE NUTCRACKER 3D, a stop-motion masterpiece of retro kawaii cool, marvelously revamped.
Previously announced Axis titles: CRIMSON WHALE, MISS HOKUSAI, MORTADELO AND FILEMON: MISSION IMPLAUSIBLE, ON THE WHITE PLANET, POSSESSED.
FANTASTICAL RETRO & RESTORATIONS
BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY
Japan 1973 Dir: Kinji Fukasaku
With BATTLES’ shockwave still reverberating today in the revisionist yakuza eiga work of masters such as Takashi Miike or Takeshi Kitano, Fantasia couldn’t be prouder to bring Fukasaku’s game-changing masterpiece to Montreal. BATTLES screens in a crisp 2K version, freshly restored from 35mm negatives. The war is over, long live the war; the days of giri (“duty”) and ninjo (“honour-humanity”) are long gone. There is only battles without honor or humanity.
Hong Kong 1982 Dir: Taylor Wong
The wacky and ludicrous BUDDHA’S PALM explodes across the Fantasia screen in ShawScope 35mm! This is the kung fu classic that jump-started the new wave fantasy kung fu craze before director Tsui Hark (DETECTIVE DEE) popularized it. Imagine Star Wars meets kung fu – then experience the last surviving 35mm copy from the vaults of American Genre Film Archive, and the first Canadian screening in 30 years!
THE NUTCRACKER 3D
Japan 1979/2015 Dir.: Sebastian Masuda
Sanrio’s 1979 stop-motion holiday children’s movie, remixed, revamped, and rebooted — in eye-popping 3D! — by Sebastian Masuda, Harajuku’s “Godfather of kawaii.” A deliciously psychedelic pop-art phantasmagoria of super-sweet, candy-coloured cool, featuring a theme song by global J-pop icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. North American Premiere.
MANOS: HANDS OF FATE (screens as part of Fantasia’s special Soirée Excentrique)
USA 1966 Dir: Harold P. Warren
Before Neil Breen, there was Harold P. Warren. Inspired by the wave of worry over Satanism in the ’60s, his sumptuously inept MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE is a spiritual drama rife with astounding negligence, parental as well as technical. While the Cinémathèque française works itself to the bone on its restoration of Abel Gance’s NAPOLÉON, Synapse Films has shown a comparable degree of discernment and diligence in affording the same treatment to one of the most notorious Z-flicks of all time.
THE REFLECTING SKIN
UK/Canada 1990 Dir: Philip Ridley
We’re all familiar with the prairies as a pastoral landscape of bountiful crops and quaint farmhouses, but if you’re eight-year-old Seth Dove, it’s also a nightmarish world of murdered children, parental madness and day-walking vampires. Fantasia is proud to present the premiere public screening of a new 2K restoration of Philip Ridley’s dark, poetic masterpiece, painstakingly supervised by the filmmaker himself to create the definitive visual representation, above and beyond what was possible at the time of THE REFLECTING SKIN’s original theatrical release. Special 25th Anniversary screening.
USA / South Africa 1981 Dir: Noel Marshall
It’s been billed as the most dangerous movie ever made — and when you watch ROAR, you may consider that an understatement. A family affair that nearly proved a fatality affair, ROAR was the first and, not surprisingly, last film directed by Noel Marshall (an executive producer on THE EXORCIST), who also co-stars alongside his wife Tippi Hedren, his sons John and Jerry Marshall and Hedren’s daughter Melanie Griffith. Noel plays Hank, who lives on a nature preserve surrounded by dozens of big cats and other wild animals. Too bad he’s away from the house when his family comes to visit, unprepared for the feline “greeting” that awaits. Lions and tigers and cheetahs, all real, all really pawing and clawing and biting the cast. No fewer than 70 cast & crew injuries were incurred during shooting!
Quebec 1982 Dir: George Mihalka
Not long after making the ‘80s horror classic MY BLOODY VALENTINE, George Mihalka teamed up with producer Robert Lantos (EASTERN PROMISES, LEOLO, THE SWEET HEREAFTER) to make this notorious erotic comedy based on a 1981 scandal known as “pornobec”. It’s become a major cult item in Quebec, its production and history the subject of countless urban legends. To set the record straight, our screening – of a new DCP created from the last surviving 35mm print housed in the Library & Archives Canada vaults – will be hosted by Lantos and Mihalka, the latter of whom refers to the film as the SPINAL TAP of the Quebec porn industry.
Additional title announcements:
100 YEN LOVE
Japan Dir: Masaharu Take
Award winner 100 YEN LOVE is a beautiful, heart-wrenching slacker comedy that slowly turns into an unexpected boxing drama, starring the incredible Sakura Ando (LOVE EXPOSURE) in a career defining performance! Selected at Tokyo, Bucheon, Nippon Connection, and Udine festivals. Canadian Premiere.
CATCH ME DADDY
UK Dirs: Daniel Wolfe, Matthew Wolfe
An impeccable Yorkshire-set neo-Western, exploring honour killings within the Pakistani community. Shot by frequent Ken Loach and Andrea Arnold cinematographer Robbie Ryan. Quebec Premiere.
A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY
Canada Dirs: Grant Harvey, Brett Sullivan, Steven Hoban
A quartet of intertwined holiday terror tales from the team behind the GINGER SNAPS franchise, with a cast that includes William Shatner, Julian Richings and one hell of a Krampus. There’s a gift for every horror fan under this tree. Ho-ho-horror! World Premiere.
Japan Dir: Hiroshi Shinagawa
Gun-toting gangsters, kickass kogals, gut-munching gore fiends and assorted goofy misfits collide! A crazed, crime-infested horror-comedy hellride written and directed by renowned Japanese comedian Hiroshi Shinagawa, DEADMAN INFERNO is a marvelously murderous mess you won’t want to miss. Selected at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. North American Premiere.
Canada Dirs: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy
Put on your black gloves and grab your straight razor — Winnipeg-based collective Astron-6’s brilliantly gory spoof of the giallo subgenre, those perverse 1970s Italian whodunits, is a classic Euro-horror satire, no matter how you splice it. Official Selection: TIFF 2014, San Francisco International Film Festival 2015. Montreal Premiere.
USA Dir: Patrick Kennelly
Two roommates’ dysfunctional relationship drives them to the very core of female psychosis, and drags you along for a very disturbing ride. Premiering at SXSW, EXCESS FLESH was immediately noticed as one of “the most messed-up movies” at the festival this year. It is a visceral exploration of the female identity. Canadian Premiere.
South Korea Dir: Yoo Ha
Backroom deals and buried bodies. In the early ’70s, that’s the true Gangnam style—and it’s captured in full swing in this epic tale reminiscent of GOODFELLAS from director Yoo Ha (A DIRTY CARNIVAL, A FROZEN FLOWER). Rough, tough and righteous stuff. Selected at Udine Far East Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
Austria Dir: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
A pair of twin children grow convinced their mother, medicated and facially bandaged following surgery, is a terrible impostor. Dramatically riveting and nightmarish to the core, a profoundly disturbing work of macabre beauty. Official Selection: Venice Film Festival 2014, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.
South Korea Dir: Shim Sung-bo
Painful moral choices overtake Captain Kang and his crew on the boat Junjin, just as a thick fog is beginning to fall. Intelligent, poignant and brutal, HAEMOO, first feature film from MEMORIES OF MURDER writer Shim Sung-bo produced by Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST, SNOWPIERCER), uses all-too-real dilemmas to create captivating suspense. Selected at Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Fantastic Fest. Quebec Premiere.
A HARD DAY
South Korea Dir: Kim Seong-hun
Selected at Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight 2014, A HARD DAY contains everything that contemporary Korean cinema is reputed for, including intense chase scenes, strikingly realistic tussles, biting dark humour, corrupt anti-heroes and glorious production values. In terms of promising debut feature films, you can’t get better than this! Selected at Cannes, Toronto, Sitges, Busan, BFI London, BIFFF. Quebec Premiere.
LADY PSYCHO KILLER
USA/Canada Dir: Nathan Oliver
All males, beware! There’s a LADY PSYCHO KILLER on the prowl, and she’s out for the blood of anyone with XY chromosomes. A fun, witty film, featuring appearances by Michael Madsen, Malcolm McDowell and Quebec fetish icon Bianca Beauchamp, anchored by a breakout performance from Kate Daly. World Premiere.
UK Dir: Chris Blaine, Ben Blaine
A girl, a guy, and a bloody ghost make for an uncomfortable romantic triangle. An unconventional, deadpan comedy and a sorrowful examination of grief and the ways we mourn romantic loss, woven with a dreamlike atmosphere. An incredible film. Official Selection: SXSW 2015 Canadian Premiere.
THE NINJA WAR OF TORAKAGE
Japan Dir: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Director and diabolical FX craftsman Yoshihiro Nishimura (TOKYO GORE POLICE, ABC’S OF DEATH) dives headfirst into the cinematic mythos of the legendary ninjas with grand style, great geysers of blood and humour sharper than a shuriken. Official Selection, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. North American Premiere.
Japan Dir: Mamoru Oshii
Mamoru Oshii, creator of the classic GHOST IN THE SHELL and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Fantasia 2014, returns to live-action cinema to tell the surprisingly intimate story of Ai, a bullied misfit at an all-girl college for the arts who hides violent secrets. Official Selection, Bucheon and Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
South Korea Dir: Hong Won-chan
Something’s not right at the company where the suspect in a senseless murder worked, especially when a security camera caught him entering the building, but not leaving it. Cannes 2015 Official Selection OFFICE draws a white-knuckle nightmare out of the daily grind of cubicle-land, in a manner both convincing and cathartic. North American Premiere.
ON THE HORIZON
Quebec Dir: Pascal Payant
Can a love that never should have been ever die? A triumph of talent and technical savvy over outdated economics of cinema and a lush, rich, evocative tone poem for the eyes, ears, and broken heart. World Premiere.
POISON BERRY IN MY BRAIN
Japan Dir: Yuichi Sato
Enter the mind of Yoko Maki (LOVE STRIKES) in this high-concept and (quite literal) cerebral romantic comedy, based on Setona Mizushiro’s josei manga! If you liked Pixar’s INSIDE OUT, you won’t want to miss POISON BERRY IN MY BRAIN, one of the most refreshing rom-coms of 2015! Official Selection at Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. North American Premiere.
PORT OF CALL
Hong Kong Dir: Philip Yung
In Hong Kong, a person goes missing every hour. This is the story of one of them. A gritty, grisly police procedural that unfolds into a careful yet caustic meditation on human nature, with camerawork by Christopher Doyle (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, CHUNGKING EXPRESS, HERO). Selected at Hong Kong Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival and BiFan. Canadian Premiere.
Japan Dir: Taisuke Kawamura
A joyous, feel-good otaku romantic comedy, adapted from Akiko Higashimura’s popular josei manga, pitting kawaii, jellyfish-inspired fashion against corporate gentrification! Official Selection at Hong Kong International Film Festival and San Diego Asian Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
Hong Kong Dir: Fire Lee
A run-of-the-mill robbery metastasizes into a night of disaster filled with mayhem. Lock and load for a comedic barrel fully loaded with dark laughs and enough bullets, blood, political incorrectness and general outrageousness to shatter your funnybone. Opening several months before the Hong Kong release!.Selected at New York Asian Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
THE ROYAL TAILOR
South Korea Dir: Lee Won-suk
A potent period drama embroidered with wit and wise insights, THE ROYAL TAILOR has its high-spirited mirth and heartbreaking tragedy sewn together masterfully. A great script, a great cast—and a truly wondrous array of magnificent garments! Selected at Udine Far East Film Festival and New York Asian Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
Quebec Dir: Sébastien Godron
A poetic, powerful film that deconstructs a reality of Montreal life that is rarely addressed on the big screen. With its entrancing soundtrack, solid performances and intrinsic spirit, SCRATCH will leave more than a mild scrape on Quebec cinema. World Premiere.
SNOW GIRL AND THE DARK CRYSTAL
China Dir: Peter Pau, Zhao Tianyu
Heaven, Earth and Hell are about to collide, kung fu style! Meet China’s Zhong Kui, the demon hunter, in his first cinematic outing. From Oscar winning director Peter Pau(CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) This epic fantasy features FX from Weta Workshop (PLANET OF THE APES, LORD OF THE RINGS). Canadian Premiere.
Japan Dir: Takahisa Zeze
This foray into sci-fi by the iconoclastic Takahisa Zeze (MOON CHILD) recalls X-MEN, with its super-powered mutants fighting for acceptance, and BLADE RUNNER, in its concept of limited existence. A true original re-interpretation of the superhero genre. Official Selection, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, Japan Cuts. Canadian Premiere.
USA Dir: Sean Baker
It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and transgender hooker Sin-Dee is on a madcap mission to get to the bottom of a scandalous rumour. An uproarious, naturalistic comedy (shot entirely on an iPhone!) with energy and style to spare, TANGERINE ranks among the most significant independent American breakouts in recent years. Official Selection: Sundance 2015. Montreal Premiere.
TAZZA: THE HIDDEN CARD
South Korea Dir: Kang Hyoung-chul
Ham Dae-gil was born to hustle, a natural talent that will take him to the highest highs—and right down to rock bottom. A winning hand of gambling thrills and gangland chills, sexy shivers and cool comedy kicks! Selected at Udine Far East Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.
UN HOMME IDEAL (A Perfect Man)
France Dir: Yann Gozlan
Returning after a five-year absence behind the camera, Yann Gozlan (CAPTIFS) delivers a gripping suspense thriller anchored in the hype-saturated literary world. Front and centre is the rising star of French cinema, Pierre Niney (YVES SAINT-LAURENT). Official Selection: Munich International Film Festival 2015. Canadian Premiere.