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fanTasia 2003
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fan • ta • sia

Function: noun
Date: 1724

  1. a free usually instrumental composition not in strict form
  2. a.) a work (as a poem or play) in which the author's fancy roves unrestricted
    b.) something possessing grotesque, bizarre, or unreal qualities


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, with an emphasis on unveiling films very rarely seen in North America. It has become a hugely popular Montreal summer tradition for roughly 70 000 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, Belgium, Sweden, Great Britain, the US and of course, Quebec and Canada. As fellow film fanatics, we pride ourselves on getting the works that we love in front of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. We also do everything possible to bring these films to the attention of potential distributors and the international media.

With our 1997 screening of FUDOH, FanTasia was the first non-Asian festival to introduce audiences to the anarchistic inventions of Takashi Miike.

Our 1999 International Premiere of Hideo Nakata's RING (RINGU) led directly to the film being acquired by Dreamworks, both for their 2002 remake as well as North American distribution of Nakata's original instant-classic.

Other International Premieres have included Miike's VISITOR Q, Jaume Balaguero's LOS SIN NOMBRE / THE NAMELESS, Higuchinsky's UZUMAKI, Stefan Ruzowitzky's ANATOMIE, Rin Taro's METROPOLIS, Juanma Bajo Ulloa's AIRBAG, Kang Jegyu's SWIRI / SHIRI, John Carpenter's VAMPIRES, Pupi Avati's ARCANE ENCHANTOR, Takashi Ishii's FREEZE ME, Brad Anderson's SESSION 9 and Satoshi Kon's PERFECT BLUE and MILLENIUM ACTRESS (both of which acquired North American distribution deals as a result of their FanTasia launches, through Manga Films and Dreamworks respectively).

Canadian premieres have included such groundbreakers as Darren Aronofsky's PI, Terry Zwigoff's GHOST WORLD, Park Chan-Wook's JOINT SECURITY AREA, Myrick-Sanchez's BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, Santiago Segura's TORRENTE, Victor Salva's JEEPERS CREEPERS, Larry Fessenden's WENDIGO and Brad Bird's IRON GIANT.

Past guests have included Kiyoshi Kurosawa, John Carpenter, Shunji Iwai, Kang Jegyu, Vincenzo Natali, Lau Ching-Wan, Larry Fessenden, Hideo Nakata, Bill Plympton, Richard Stanley, Satoshi Kon, Malcolm McDowell, Shusuke Kaneko, Michael Almereyda, Johnny To, Jaume Balaguero, Takashi Ishii, Veit Helmer, Nacho Cerda, Don Coscarelli, Tomoho Haraguchi, Jorg Buttgereit, Sergio Stivaletti, Agustin Villaronga, Chul Shin, Daniel Monzon, Douglas Buck, Tomoya Sato, Brian Yuzna, TF Mous and Jose Mojica Marins among many others. Click here to see the full list.

While predominantly a Fantasy / Action / Horror festival, FanTasia has always opened its arms to eclectic films whose sheer individuality puts them in a genre of their own. We admire films that take risks and as programmers we feel the responsibility to match those risks by getting uniquely challenging features in front of the widest possible audiences. Such picks have included documentaries like the early short film version of Arthur Bradford's award-winning HOW'S YOUR NEWS, powerful dramas like Wilson Yip's JULIET IN LOVE, Wong Kar-Wai's ASHES OF TIME and Jang Sun Woo's LIES, comedies like Frank Grow's LOVE GOD and Bong Joon-Ho's BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE and such experimental masterpieces as Kim Ki-Duk's THE ISLE, Gabriele Salvatores' DENTI, Johnny To's WU YEN, James Marsh's WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP, Geoffrey Wright's METAL SKIN, Michael Walker's CHASING SLEEP and the restored director's cut of Donald Cammell's WILD SIDE (one of only a handful of times that this version was screened in North America).

We refuse to charge submission fees and encourage filmmakers of all backgrounds, interests and obsessions to submit their work.

Bon cinema!

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