Now in its 13th iteration, FANTASIA continues to shape reality in its image as a film festival with manifold themes where colorful characters and dark designs intersect and stark emotions weave into edgy comedy.
The rapport that ties Japan to FANTASIA goes back to the beginnings of this festival of the fantastica. Since its inception in 1996, FANTASIA has selected some of the finest creators of Japanese cinema, eccentrics and traditionalists alike, and unveiled its findings on its summer screens.
As the first non-Asian film festival to feature the works of director Takashi Miike (namely Fudoh, one of the year's best 10 films according to Time Magazine) in 1997, the ever-brighter FANTASIA offers exclusive exposure, not only to Japanese cinematographers, but also to international producers and artists, in this unique large-scale festival.
I wish to congratulate FANTASIA for its efforts in promoting Japanese culture through film in Montreal, whether it be to film aficionados and anime lovers or to newcomers to the genre.
The 2009 edition of FANTASIA includes no less than thirty five Japanese feature films in its lineup.
This year, let the cinema of Japan draw you in!
I wish you a wonderful festival.
M. Hiroaki Isobe
Consul General of Japan at Montreal