Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

Prepare for Blast-Off

June 26th, 2008 17:00:00

Montreal, Thursday, June 26th 2008 – 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

_______________________


EUROPEAN & NORTH-SOUTH AMERICAN HIGHLIGHTS:


Spotlight: BLOODY RADICAL: UNCONVENTIONAL AMERICAN HORROR

There was a time when American horror films were monsters of ingenuity, audaciousness and bravery. They seldom played safe and were often infused with politically-charged sensibilities that challenged audiences as much as shocked them senseless. In recent years, the majority of US horror films – at least the bulk of those that made it into cinemas – have been, for the most part, largely un ambitious and generic works that took the easy way out and played for the lowest common denominator. Over the past 18 months, with films like THE MIST and MULBERRY STREET, times have been changing back into a bona fide rebirth of everything that made American horror so influential and admired. This year, we`ve collected a series of 8 wholly distinctive and proudly risk-taking American genre film works into a special spotlight that will absolutely blow your mind. From the bloody rock opera of REPO and the subversive religious terrors of FROM WITHIN to the Afghanistan-set – circa October 2001 - supernatural chills of THE OBJECTIVE, this spotlight will rekindle your faith in the (deep) red, white and blue as we bear witness to the ongoing opening of a bold new chapter in American screams.


ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (USA) Dir: Jonathan Levine - Montreal Premiere
A critically-acclaimed and surprisingly provocative reworking of traditional slasher film themes, MANDY plays somewhat like a homicidal sister act to VIRGIN SUICIDES with razor-sharp (and often very funny) dialogue, heaps of tension, lacerating moments of violence and a garish visual aesthetic blasting out from its frames. That it’s also a smart, dark discourse on Objectification only sweetens the mix!

BAD BIOLOGY* (USA) - Dir: Frank Henelotter - Canadian Premiere hosted by Director Frank Henenlotter & Producer R.A. Thorburn
This already-notorious comeback film from midnight movie legend Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE, BRAIN DAMAGE) is a fluid-drenched fantasy about a hip fetish photographer with a mutated sex drive and a superspeed metabolism that causes her no shortage of bloody problems. This is easily Henenlotter’s most twisted work to date, and that’s really saying something! Co-scripted with rapper and long-time Henenlotter fan R.A. Thorburn (R.A. the Rugged Man). You`re about to learn why Henenlotter is one of John Waters` favourite filmmakers.

FROM WITHIN (USA) Dir: Phedon Papamichael – a mysterious suicide plague sweeps across a small religious American town in this disturbing shocker from celebrated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (WALK THE LINE, 3:10 TO YUMA). Religious extremism is every bit as frightening as supernatural bloodshed and FROM WITHIN delivers both in provocative spades. Papamichael makes a subversive film all the more radical by mounting it as a severe teen horror vehicle populated with a hip cast that includes Thomas Decker, Elizabeth Rice and Rumer Willis!

MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN* (USA) Dir: Ryuhei Kitamura – World Premiere, hosted by Director Ryuhei Kitamura
VERSUS/ARAGAMI director Ryuhei Kitamura makes his U.S. breakout with a vengeance with this intense and visually-stunning adaptation of Clive Barker`s beloved short story from his BOOKS OF BLOOD collection. Features an absolutely heart-stopping performance by none other than Vinnie Jones as a shadowy figure bringing hell to New York`s late night transit system. Barker himself is absolutely thrilled with the film - a rarity for the famously perfectionist author. One of the most anticipated horror films of the year, this one`s an absolute must-see.

THE OBJECTIVE (USA) Dir : Daniel Myrick – Canadian Premiere
Sent on a top secret mission in the afghan desert, a CIA agent is shocked to discover something sinister and poweful is hiding under the sand. Nine years after the unforgettable BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, Daniel Myrick is back in fine form with THE OBJECTIVE, arguably one of this year’s most important fantastic dramas. While meticulously building a shadowy and frightening fog of fear, Myrick surprises with his sharp and informed criticism of the war in Afghanistan.

PIG HUNT* (USA) Dir : James Isaac - World Premiere hosted by James Isaac.
The director of JASON X and the art director of CHILDREN OF MEN join forces to make a no-limits action/horror freakout of a genre smash-up produced entirely outside the Hollywood system. It’s a killer monster pig film. It’s a psycho-hog biker film. It’s a city-dwellers-ambushed-in-redneck-hell film. It’s a hippie stoner sex film. Baby, it’s PIG HUNT, and it`s almost certainly the wildest American horror film of the year! Watch out for an unhinged performance by Primus` Les Claypool, who actually broke a finger during a take and kept right on going.

REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA* (USA) Dir : Darren Lynn Bousman – World Premiere hosted by Darren Lynn Bousman.
We’re delirious with anticipation to be unveiling the World Premiere of this fiercely original creation from Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW II-SAW IV), starring Anthony Stewart Head, Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley, Paris Hilton, Sarah Brightman, Paul Sorvino and Skinny Puppy’s Nivek Ogre! Based on the stage play of the same name, REPO! is an industrial rock musical told entirely through song and set in a neo-Gothic future world of flesh, blood and leather. It works because its makers actually know a thing or two about opera and concentrate on characters over shock value and incessant weirdness (not that there isn’t plenty of both). Unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

SPOTLIGHT: PLAYBACK IN BLACK
With recent productions like CLOVERFIELD, DIARY OF THE DEAD, AUGUST UNDERGROUND`S PENANCE and the still-unreleased (!) POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES, the subjectively-shot verité genre film aesthetic that took root in MAN BITES DOG (and was formulated a good deal earlier with PEEPING TOM) and blossomed 9 years ago with BLAIR WITCH PROJECT has firmly evolved into a full-on subgenre that`s smack in the middle of a wave. One could be forgiven for mistaking this current cycle as one relegated to American (mostly) low-budget indie cinema. The fact is, this is a global trend, and a uniquely inspired one at that, which is what this spotlight celebrates. Here you will find an unholy trio of verité nightmares, hailing from Spain, the US and South Korea, that will shatter any concepts you may have about this style of storytelling. None are remotely alike in concept, intent or tone. All will haunt your memories for a long, long time. Proceed with caution – and an open mind. Things will be getting dangerous.

[REC] (Spain) Dir : Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza – North American Premiere
From the moment of its launch at last year’s Venice film festival, this real-time verite zombie siege film has become known as the scariest film made in the past decade and we’re happy to announce that this is one shocker that absolutely lives up to its hype. A US remake by Sony Pictures will be in cinemas this October and we’re happy to offer our audience a rare chance to experience the original on the big screen – only its 2nd time being shown in North America, and the first time in Canada. It will scare you to the limits of your endurance. Winner of two Goyas (Spanish Oscars) and countless awards on the international festival circuit.

THE BUTCHER (South Korea) Dir : Kim Jin-won – Canadian Premiere
THE BUTCHER was shot completely outside the studio system, something that is almost unheard of in South Korean cinema. Told entirely through two POV video cameras, giving the perspective of both victims and killers, it throws viewers into the middle of chaos and death: a handful of people have been abducted and lie bloodied and bound. Nearby, a team of snuff-film producers are discussing their plans... Less HOSTEL than it is a twisted form of verité mockumentary, THE BUTCHER uses a distinctively non-cinematic aesthetic to directly implicate not only the viewer in the crimes and serial mayhem taking place onscreen, but the mainstream Korean film industry as well.

HOME MOVIE* (USA) Dir : Christopher Denham – World Premiere hosted by Andrew van den Houten.
Parents documenting their infants’ behaviour are confronted by the fact that the children have a frightening cruel streak that appears to be getting more severe by the day. The most mature and provocative entry yet in the current wave of “reality horror” filmmaking, HOME MOVIE takes us into the troubled household of the idealized American family-next-door, laying bare their darkest power struggles and most disturbing transgressions. Ferociously smart and frightening, it recalls the ‘70s cycle of horror films that deconstructed the family unit in horrifically revealing ways. A chilling masterpiece from a major new talent, this film will absolutely paralyze you.

SPOTLIGHT: ANIMATED AUTEUR VISIONS
The presence of WALTZ WITH BASHIR in competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival underlines the vital importance of personal animated works created for adult audiences. The worldwide success of such mature films as PERSEPOLIS and INNOCENCE offers further inarguable proof that film lovers are widely ready to embrace new animated auteur visions as well as the larger, audience-pleasing productions from the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks, and that there is nothing this challenging breed of filmmaking can fail to offer in its arsenal of emotions and intellect. With Animated Auteur Visions, Fantasia celebrates "the language of the lines" by collecting 4 distinctive masterworks created by some of the greatest visual artists of this generation. Angel wings will brush against your back, you will experience the after-effects of an atomic apocalypse and you will suddenly be very, very afraid of the dark.

FROM INSIDE (USA) Dir : John Bergin – World premiere
The world is a scorched and brutal place, nothing but wreckage after the inevitable arrival of the nuclear apocalypse. Travelling on a train pushing onward through the devastation, a pregnant woman carries in herself humanity’s last hope. From comic book artist John Bergin comes a nightmarish vision of the future. This somptuous animated film will haunt you till the end of the world.

IDIOTS AND ANGELS* (USA) Dir : Bill Plympton – Canadian Premiere hosted by Bill Plympton.
After his large-scale, colour-drenched, celebrity-voiced indie epic HAIR HIGH, Bill Plympton has taken shelter in the opposite extreme, creating a raw, stripped-down feature that returns to the basics of his award-winning cult shorts. Poetic, nasty and sweetened with an oddly optimistic flavour of misanthropy, IDIOTS AND ANGELS details the surprising exploits of a mean-spirited gun dealer who wakes up to discover angel wings sprouting from his back. This is Plympton at his purest, with no dialogue, minimal characters and endless waves of inspiration.

PEUR(S) DU NOIR (France) Dir : Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire – Canadian premiere
This animated omnibus horror film is cut from a mind-altering cloth­namely, from the visionary minds of six cutting-edge underground/alternative graphic artists and cartoonists: France’s Blutch, Marie Caillou and Pierre di Sciullo, Italy’s Lorenzo Mattotti and the USA’s Charles Burns and Richard McGuire. Each artist worked with complete creative freedom to conjure their own unique interpretations of the theme “fear of the dark,” and no two perspectives, let alone styles, are even remotely alike. A must for fans of animation, contemporary comics or unusual visions of the macabre.

SPOTLIGHT: DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE : OBSESSIVE BEHAVIOURS
From its earliest years, Fantasia has proudly showcased provocative documentary works. Last year was the first time we expanded this into a full, dedicated section entitled "Documentaries from the Edge", and our audiences greeted even the most challenging of our selections with enormous support. This year, Documentaries from the Edge returns with a series of films linked by the theme of obsession: Its productive glories (SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY) its dark side (SECOND SKIN, I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW), its anchoring in beliefs (the CRYPTOZOOLOGIE block) and its emergence through fetish and fantasy play (the LEATHER AND FLESH block).

CRYPTOZOOLOGIE
Cryptozoology is a science defined as “The search for animals that fall outside of taxonomic records due to a lack of empirical evidence, but for which anecdotal evidence exists in the form of myths, legends, or undocumented sightings.” While it’s regarded with suspicion by the mainstream scientific community, this discipline nonetheless boasts followers the world over. Presented back to back, Jay Delaney’s NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE and Nicolas Renaud’s LA BĘTE DU LAC offer complementary glances into this fascinating phenomenon. Rather than pursue yet another pointless monster hunt, the two filmmakers direct their cameras instead at the ordinary folks who, regardless of their rational character, are convinced they’ve seen the impossible.

NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE (USA) Dir : Jay Delaney – Canadian Premiere
Lifelong friends Dallas Gilbert and Wayne Burton of Portsmouth, Ohio invest their every spare moment in exploration of their local forests. The woodlands, they believe, are home to not one but many Bigfoot creatures. They’ve seen them on occasion and have over 150 photos to back up their claims. Their quest for fame and glory drives them to seek out a Sasquatch specialist to aid in their investigations. NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE is a funny and touching portrait of two very memorable men who’ll stop at nothing to achieve their dream.

LA BĘTE DU LAC* (Canada) Dir : Nicolas Renaud – Hosted by Éric Bilodeau.
Ancient First Nations legends claim that Lake Pohenegamook in Quebec is home to a mysterious, gigantic fish. Numerous inhabitants of the region of Témiscouata claim to this day to have seen this creature with their own eyes. Through interviews with various witnesses and also a hardened skeptic, and by returning to the source of the myth, Nicolas Renaud explores the universal human fascination with monsters. At once a paranormal investigation and a reflection on the collective imagination, this documentary captivates with the poetry of local storytellers and mesmerizing underwater imagery.

I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW* (USA) Dir : Sean Donnelly – Montreal Premiere hosted by Sean Donelly.
A film about Tiffany stalkers! For two weeks in 1987, teen goddess Tiffany blasted her pop rocket through the charts with a hit cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now.” 21 years later, she still has her share of obsessive stalkers. Hilarious and ultimately heartbreaking, this extraordinary doc drops you headfirst into the worlds of two of them: 50-year-old Jeff Turner and thirty-something hermaphrodite Kelly McCormick. Always impossible to turn away from and reminiscent of grungier Errol Morris, I THINK... slyly evolves from being frequently laugh-out-loud hysterical into a compassionate, haunting depiction of delusion and loneliness.

LEATHER AND FLESH : THE DOCUMENTARIES OF DAVID BLYTH
TRANSFIGURED NIGHTS* (New Zealand) Dir: David Blyth – North American Premiere hosted by David Blyth.
By way of Webcams, Blyth assembles the eloquent confessions of the taboo-breaking men and women. Those persons come from a number of countries, but while their reasons are even more varied, they are there for one shared reason: a passion for sexually-charged masquerade. Shown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, this experimental doc will make you question your boundaries and draw you to the far frontier of alternative sexuality.

BOUND FOR PLEASURE* (New Zealand) Dir : David Blyth – Canadian Premiere hosted by David Blyth.
BOUND FOR PLEASURE investigates the business side of fetish culture through interviews with women for whom whips and chains are a profession more than a perversion. They share their thoughts on why certain men desperately need to submit to their commands, and in fact invite the viewer to sit in on sessions.

SECOND SKIN* (USA) Dir : Juan Carlos Pineiro-Escoriaza – Montreal Premiere hosted by Victor Pineiro and Juan Carlos Pineiro-Escoriaza.
Every day, more than 50 million players assemble on virtual platforms like World of Warcraft, hungry for the stirring experiences that real life just can’t provide. For most, perhaps, these parallel worlds are nothing more than a game. For some, though, it’s a way of life. SECOND SKIN lets you into their lives. Tragic, touching, funny and profoundly human, this is easily one of the best docs of the year.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

LA ANTENA (Argentina) Dir : Estaban Sapir – Canadian Premiere
The residents of a nameless, retro-futuristic realm have lost their speech thanks to the insidious machinations of Mr. TV. Shot in a breathtaking black and white, this splendid hommage to George Méličs and Fritz Lang satirizes with wit obscurantism imposed by dictatorships.

BEFORE THE FALL (Spain) Dir : F. Javier Gutiérrez – North American Premiere
“What would you do if the world was going to end in 72 hours?” We`re proud to present the North American premiere of this tense apocalypse thriller, fresh off its launch at the Berlin Film Festival. BEFORE THE FALL is equal parts modern Western, society falls apart drama and serial killer revenge thriller, all the while operating within a disarmingly minimalist approach that refuses to let the film fall into simple spectacle. Produced in part by Antonio Banderas' Green Moon Productions.

LA CRČME (France) Dir : Reynald Bertrand – Montreal premiere
Father of a family on welfare, François receives for Christmas a very special pot of cosmetic cream. When he smears a dab on his face, he suddenly appears to be a superstar celebrity in the eyes of all around him. His life is about to change drastically. In the spirit of Woody Allen’s early films, this hilarious comedy offers a withering critique of our attachment to fame and the famous.
DANCE OF THE DEAD (USA) Dir : Gregg Bishop – Canadian Premiere
For your prom night, make sure to have a date, a limo and enough weapons to kill uninvited zombies. A real crowd-pleaser at Slamdance, this bloody comedy throws living dead into John Hughes’ universe. Hilarious and furiously gory, this is the best horror parody since SHAUN OF THE DEAD !

THE ECHO* (USA) Dir : Yam Laranas – World Premiere hosted by Yam Laranas.
Several years ago, Fantasia was the first festival in the country to show Filipino filmmaker Yam Laranas` spectral chiller SIGAW. Now, in 2008, we are delighted to be the first fest in the world to show its US remake, directed by Laranas himself, and produced by none other than Roy Lee (THE DEPARTED, THE RING, THE GRUDGE). Laranas’ film puts a unique spin on the Asian ghost story by rooting the horror not in technology, not even so much in his ghosts, but in the everyday violence that you simply cannot help but encounter when living in a big American city.

THE END* (Canada) Dir : Jeremy Thomas – Montreal Premiere hosted by Jeremy Thomas.
Ever since a premonition permitted him to save the life of a young girl, a unhinged teacher can’t shake the sense that his entire destiny has been plotted out in advance. When a policewoman requests his help in order to capture a serial killer, he accepts her request, oblivious to the fact that his worst fears may soon be confirmed. This audacious first film is unquestionably the most original Canadian film of the year. A stunning appearance on the landscape of DIY cinema, it leads us into a realm of the delirious where the standard rules of film narrative are shattered.

FLICK* (UK) Dir : David Howard – North American Premiere hosted by David Howard et Rik Hall.
A rockabilly zombie horror-comedy from the UK co-starring Faye Dunaway? You better believe it! You’ve never seen anything quite like FLICK, the luridly coloured throwback to ’50s B-movies with its tragicomic spin on the zombie mythos and the stones to cast a legendary, Oscar-winning actress as a one-armed cop ruthlessly hunting down her undead quarry. In 1950`s Wales, a lonely young man is killed after trying to woo a mobster`s girlfriend. In modern-day England, he comes back to claim his now-senior love and wreak bloody vengeance on those who wronged him decades ago.

ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (Denmark) Dir : Nikolaj Arcel – Montreal Premiere
Even if it is aimed primarily at a pre-teen audience, this tale about three kids fighting a sorcerer packs in enough darkness and sheer creepiness to please any lover of genre film. Though it owes a debt to HARRY POTTER, the film outdoes the Hollywood series with its black humour and self-parody.

JACK BROOKS MONSTER SLAYER * (Canada) Dir : Jon Knautz – Montreal Premiere hosted by Trevor Matthews, Patrick White, Matt Brulotte and David Scott.
Jack Brooks, a plumber, has an anger problem. Luckily for him, he’s about to find an appropriate target as he gets stuck in the middle of a full-on creature attack and is forced to defend himself and his night school classmates from a bloody end! JACK BROOKS has everything you could ask of a creature feature. A memorable antihero, genuinely funny support players, squishy effects and a career-highlight-reel performance from Robert Englund. A true crowd-pleaser, JACK has left audiences cheering throughout a successful run around the globe.

LADY BLOOD (France) Dir : Jean-Marc Vincent – World Premiere
The peaceful life of Yanka Alain Robak’s BABY BLOODis disturbed when a mutilated body is found in her neighborhood. She’s now convinced that the monster she spawned so long ago is back. It seems to be reaching out for her with the intention of beginning the horror anew—the only possibility is that it seeks to reproduce. In this sequel to Alain Robak’s BABY BLOOD, actress Emmanuelle Escourrou once again dive into a bloody nightamre. Featuring the legendary Philippe Nahon (HAUTE TENSION).

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Sučde) Réal : Tomas Alfredson – Canadian Premiere
An instant-classic, this utterly brilliant Scandinavian film about the relationship between a 12-year-old boy and a young vampire girl is without doubt the strongest vampire work since NEAR DARK. Subversive and shocking, dreamlike and touching, hypnotic and horrific, it follows the classical rules of vampire mythology, updating each of them in startling new ways, while hitting hard as both an outsider coming-of-age film and a mysterious love story that explores the darker side of adolescent alienation. An uncompromising masterpiece and a major award-winner at this year`s Tribeca Film Festival.

THE MOTHER OF TEARS* (Italy) Dir : Dario Argento – Montreal Premiere hosted by Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni.
It’s been a long time coming—27 years, to be exact—but Dario Argento has finally completed his thematic trilogy of SUSPIRIA (1977), INFERNO (1980) and now MOTHER OF TEARS, an ambitious melding of the visual style that permeated these previous titles and his more recent explorations of the darker side of human sexuality. It’s a satisfying return to form by one of the genre’s greatest practitioners of cathartic, candy-coloured nightmares. Starring Asia Argento, Udo Kier and Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni.

RULE OF THREE* (USA) Dir : Eric Shapiro - World Premiere hosted by Eric Shapiro and Rhoda Jordan.
This captivating feature debut from multiple award-winning author Eric Shapiro (DAYS OF ALLISON) takes place almost entirely in a single motel room over a trio of timelines. A father is consumed in panic over his daughter`s disappearance, obsessively returning to the motel room that was the last place she was seen. She never checked out. Timelines jump backwards and ahead, unveiling a riveting chain of events that will have you biting your nails into mangled stumps. Shapiro delivers a rare and engrossing work whose qualities can perhaps best be likened to PT Anderson, James Foley or Steven Soderbergh. Phenomenal.

THE SUBSTITUTE (Denmark) Dir : Ole Bornedal – North American Premiere
The rumours are true : the new teacher in school is an alien from outer space ! Much acclaimed NIGHTWATCH and I AM DINA director Ole Bornedal’s THE SUBSTITUTE is both a stellar teen coming-of-age story and a ripping sci-fi adventure graced with a truly memorable villain, played by Paprika Steen, one of the most respected European actresses of her generation.

TIMECRIMES (Spain) Dir : Nacho Vigalondo – Canadian Premiere
Pursued by a stranger, a peeping tom hides in a time machine and travels back… an hour earlier. This wonderfully written science-fiction thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. Director Vigalondo has proven himself as one of the most unique voices in the feature-film world.

TRAILER PARK OF TERROR* (USA) Dir : Steven Goldmann – Canadian Premiere hosted by Stephen Goldmann.
Being stuck living in a trailer park is bad enough, but for Norma, things are much worse. She's undead in one. Being the queen of the trailer park isn't all it cracked up to be when your only company consists of zombified trailer trash. Lucky for Norma and her crew of corpses, a school bus full of Bible-camp rejects and their pastor just rolled into town! A cross between EC Comics, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, 2000 MANIACS and Jerry Springer`s kookiest guests, this ultraviolent horror-comedy from former Montrealer Steven Goldmann blew audiences away at this year`s Slamdance.

TRUFFE* (Canada) Dir : Kim Nguyen – World Premiere and Opening Film, hosted by Kim Nguyen, Céline Bonnier, Pierre Lebeau, Jean-Nicolas Verreault et Michčle Richard.
It’s Fantasia’s mandate to support genre film made here in Quebec, and so we’re very proud to open our 2008 edition with TRUFFE, an unhinged vision of tomorrow that could only come care of Kim Nguyen. The tale of an independant truffle-hunter and his fight againts an evil corporation takes remarkable risks is blending his critique of over-consumption with fantastic notions recalling the early films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. The cast includes local stars Roy Dupuis, Céline Bonnier, Pierre Lebeau and, in surprising play against type, Michčle Richard.

LE TUEUR (France) Dir : Cédric Anger – North American Premiere
On Christmas Eve, a business man discovers a killer for hire is after him. Instead of calling the police, he gives the hitman a strange proposition. This impressive first film is rich in suspense, inciting a state of red alert in its audience, captive to its constant twists and ricochets. The perfect blend of genre flick and auteur cinema, this masterfully directed film noir finds Cédric Anger reaching for the ranks of Jean-Pierre Melville.

TUNNEL RATS (Canada/Germany) Dir : Uwe Boll – North American Premiere
The incorrigible Uwe Boll quits video game adaptations for a short moment and leads us straight into the middle of the Viet-Nam War. With this captivating story of soldiers sent on a suicide mission, Boll gives us one of the most poignant vision of war since Bruno Dumont’s FLANDRE.

WHO IS KK DOWNEY?* (Canada) Dir : Darren Curtis & Pat Kiely – Canadian Premiere hosted by The Kidnapper Films Team.
Hardly unfamiliar to fans of cool comedy and indie filmmaking in Montreal, the Kidnapper Films crew­the firecracker talents behind the shorts THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE and SHARKBOY, and the popular Kidnapper Show live events­unveil their debut feature film, and it’s a doozy. Riffing on the infamous literary hoax of J.T. Leroy, KK savagely skewers pretentious, directionless hipsters and the cults of personality they create. It has already nabbed awards and roars of audience approval at the Cinequest and Boston Underground film fests, and that`s no surprise. This film is sharp as a whip and absolutely hilarious.

Blurbs written by Todd Brown, Mitch Davis & Simon Laperriere