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2006 Fantasia Film Festival Preview

It’s this time of the year again … Fantasia is back with a record 120 films
and some 30 international guests this year. What better way to enjoy the hot and
sunny summer than by watching genre films all day long in a darkish university

Stonger than ever, Fantasia is back this year with even more
private sponsors and public funding. As another journalist noted at the press
conference, the sponsors’ logos almost occupy a quarter of the festival’s poster!
It proves the festival’s health … and attendance keeps increasing too. Last year
for the 3 weeks of screenings, more than 60,000 tickets were sold and it’s expected that even more tickets will be sold this year.

While Fantasia doesn’t have any major Hollywoodian releases this year (JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 premiered at the festival during a previous edition for instance), films shown
this year have been showcased at many international festivals such as Cannes,
Berlin, Venise, Sundance, Rotterdam, Tribeca and many more major festivals.

The opening film of the festival is Neil Marshall’s THE DESCENT and
the closing film will be a local french canadian production, BON COP, BAD COP
by Erik Canuel.

A detailed listing of the films in each of the sections will be posted in the
following days on IonCinema. Here is a few of the highlights from their catalogue ;

* * *

“Bon Cop, Bad Cop”

Tread with caution towards the narcotic beams of projected
light. This year’s lineup is a kaleidoscope of criss-crossing genres, cultures
and sensibilities that will electrify and inspire all who venture forward.
Discoveries pepper the calendar like explosive landmines of eccentricity and the
unconventional, the provocative and the deranged are everywhere, tearing out at
24 frames per second.

Over the coming 18 days, audiences will discover radical visionaries from over
15 countries, and will experience new works from the likes of Nicolas Winding
Refn, Sion Sono, Kim Jee-Woon , Stuart Gordon, Takeshi Shimizu, Jan Svankmajer,
Werner Herzog, Erik Canuel, the Pang Brothers, Takashi Miike, Lucky McKee, Gary
Sherman, Wisit Sasanatieng, Mike Mendez, Katsuhito Ishii and many, many others.

Fantasia will have two mini spotlights, on contemporary stop-motion auteur
cinema and on emerging genre trends in Russian film, and a mammoth one,
showcasing the mindblowing British new wave. A multitude of filmmakers from
across the world will be on hand for post-screening discussions, and that’s just
the tip of the flickering iceberg. Over 90 features, more than 125 short films,
and numerous special events will shape Fantasia 2006 into a ferocious festival
event to be reckoned with – one that will reward the bravery and open-mindedness
of their audience in spades.

From the 6th to the 24th of July, at the Concordia Hall Theatre
and J.A. de Sève Cinema, the public will bear witnness to an electrifying
showcase of the eccentric and the unclassifiable that will alter their senses
for many months to come.

When creating the Fantasia film festival in 1996, all-involved were driven by a
mission to showcase imaginative genre filmmaking on a scale unseen in North
America. Beyond the conventional platforming of anticipated and popular
productions, their key focus was on providing a celebratory context to discover
and bring visibility to the emerging artists, craftsmen and styles that were not
traditionally seen in this part of the world. 10 years later, we are extremely
proud to have achieved this objective to a degree we themselves could never have
imagined possible. Fantasia has become an internationally-renowned,
trend-setting event where films are discovered and launched upon the world.
audience is fueled by an open-mindedness and passion for unusual storytelling
that inspires us as greatly as the diverse works that we showcase.

Fantasia under the stars
As part of the tenth anniversary of the Fantasia festival, a number of films
will be screened under the night sky in le Parc de la Paix (Boul. Saint-Laurent
between Sainte-Catherine and René-Lévesque), and better yet, they’ll be shown
for free. The screenings will take place on July 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2006, at 9
p.m. The programming for
this event can be found at

DVD Launch
To mark their 10th edition, Fantasia has collaborated with the esteemed US video
label Synapse Films to create a special collection of some of the strongest
short films we have screened over the festival’s history. Co-produced by
Fantasia’s Mitch Davis and Synapse Films, Don May JR, Small Gauge Trauma
features 13 award-winning shorts from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain,
Japan, Portugal, Spain, and Quebec, including one from Robert Morgan, whose
visionary work is being showcased at this year’s event. The dvd will be launched
at Fantasia on July 14, at the 9th annual edition of their Small Gauge Trauma
short film block, and streets across North America on July 25th, one day after
the close of Fantasia 2006.

Fantasia will also be hosting a special book launch event for FAB Press’
groundbreaking publication DONALD CAMMELL: A LIFE ON THE WILD SIDE. The launch
will feature a screening of a rare 35mm archival print of Cammell’s WHITE OF THE
EYE and will be hosted by co-authors Sam & Rebecca Umland, who will give a
post-screening talk about the gifted yet star-crossed arthouse filmmaker, best
known as the co-director of Nicolas Roeg’s PERFORMANCE.

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