Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008
Mitch Davis


It’s July in Montreal and that can only mean one thing FANTASIA is back to rocket your summer with an explosive overload of the unconventional, the provocative, the inspired and the insane. We’ve spent the last eight months working as psychotropic explorers, searching the furthest corners of the globe for mind-altering acts of cinema, and we can safely say that the next three weeks are going to make the city crumble. Over 100 films are waiting to be unleashed, many screening for their first time on this continent, and in some cases, in the world, including new works from the likes of Johnnie To, Darren Lynn Bousman, Kim Nguyen, Frank Henenlotter, Ryuhei Kitamura, Bill Plympton, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Jaume Balagueró, Yam Laranas, Lucky McKee, Ching Siu-Tung, Charles Burns, Oxide Pang, Won Sin-yeon, Jim Isaac, Tak Sakaguchi, Stuart Gordon, David Blyth, Takashi Miike, Daniel Myrick, Studio 4°C and Dario Argento, among many others. Read through these pages carefully because there are tons of discoveries to be made.

On to the spotlights, because 2008 has many:

PLAYBACK IN BLACK showcases a trio of unbelievably effective “reality horror” productions, from South Korea, the U.S. and Spain.

ANIMATED AUTEUR VISIONS spotlights eccentric and personal animated works. Seek these out and prepare to be amazed.

The American horror scene, which had in recent years become mostly synonymous with unadventurous filmmaking, is suddenly getting very, very interesting again. So much so that we’re spotlighting several audacious U.S. productions in a section we call BLOODY RADICAL: UNCONVENTIONAL AMERICAN HORROR.

DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE returns with a series of docs centered around the theme of obsession, ranging the gamut of subjects from stalkers of ‘80s pop star Tiffany and people with life-consuming video-game addictions to the New Zealand fetish community!

On the retro side of the spectrum, we’ve got a spotlight we call NO BORDERS NO LIMITS: 1960S NIKKATSU ACTION CINEMA, which unearths rare 35mm prints of a trio of edgy, brilliant and hugely influential Japanese crime films never before shown in this country. They will absolutely blow your mind.

Several years back, FANTASIA was one of the first places in the world where audiences had their nerves shredded by an eerie Thai horror film known in English as SHUTTER. Its young co-directors Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom have since become legends and this year, FANTASIA will be mounting a special salute to them with the international premiere of 4BIA and the Montreal debut of their award-winning ALONE.

And that barely scratches the surface of what we have in store for you. An international army of filmmakers will be in town, special surprises will be announced throughout the fest, and you can groove to DJs from CJLO Underground Radio spinning live in the Hall between screenings. Strap yourself in for a three-week reprieve from the ordinary. Montreal is about to explode.

On behalf of the entire FANTASIA team,

Mitch Davis
Co-Director of International Programming