One of the true signs that summer is officially here is the start of the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Quebec. North-America’s largest genre film festival, Fantasia is making its triumphant return to in-person screenings after having had to shift to online screenings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Running from July 14 to August 3, and showcasing 130 features and 200+ short films, there is no shortage of films to devour. The festival will also be honouring filmmaker John Woo with the Career Achievement Award.
While the festival opener, KC Carthew’s eco-action fantasy Polaris, and closer, Cannes hit Next Shoee by July Jung, are generating a lot of buzz; there are several other high-profile films playing the festival that are worth your attention. Some of these films include Halina Rejin’s Bodies Bodies Bodies, Neil LaButes’ House of Darkness, Lena Dunham’s Sharp Stick, Andrew Semans’ Resurrection, Michel Hazanavicius’s Final Cut, Rebekah McKendry’ Glorious, Dario Argento’s Dark Glasses, and Quentin Dupieux’s Incredible but True.
Considering the wealth of cinema at the festival, here are seven titles that festivalgoers should consider putting on their radar:
Special Delivery (PARK Dae-min)
Those who enjoy films like Drive and Baby Driver might want to check out this tale of a skilled female driver who must outsmart, and out drive, gangsters, corrupt cops, and more to save precious cargo.
Opal (Alain Bidard)
An Afro-Caribbean animated fairy tale? Yes, please. Alain Bidard’s film is set in a mystical kingdom whose prosperity and protection are linked to the happiness of its princess.
Compulsus (Tara Thorne)
Tara Thorne’s debut feature about a female vigilante who exacts brutal revenge on violent and sexist men will no doubt be a conversation starter.
Employee of the Month (Véronique Jadin)
This dark comedy, that apparently goes from absurd to heartbreaking at times, offers a unique exploration of how toxic office culture and gender inequality are often intertwined.
Out in the Ring (Ry Levey)
There are many stories about the world of wrestling that often go untold. This documentary explores the deep connection between professional wrestling and queer culture.
The Harbinger (Andy Mitton)
A pandemic set supernatural horror, The Harbinger sounds like it will offer a terrifying take on the collective trauma that we all experienced.
The Protector (Lenin M. Sivam)
Trying to rebuild her life after traumatic events, a teen becomes obsessed with a mystical legend tied to a mysterious book she anonymously receives as a gift.
The full list of titles, schedule, and ticket information can be found at the Fantasia website.