FANTASIA’S UPCOMING VIRTUAL EDITION ANNOUNCES FIRST WILD WAVE OF PROGRAMMING, WITH NEIL MARSHALL’S THE RECKONING TO OPEN FESTIVAL

Very exciting news as the best horror festival is returning this year via a virtual festival like so many others have chosen to do amid the strange year of the coronavirus. We had such a fun time covering Fantasia last year and were stoked to be covering it this year as well.

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s LABYRINTH OF CINEMA, Brea Grant’s 12 HOUR SHIFT, Makoto Tezuka’s TEZUKA’S BARBARA, Anthony Scott Burns’ COME TRUE, and Chino Moya’s UNDERGODS are among the first titles announced for the festival’s 24th edition

The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 24th edition as a virtual event accessible to movie lovers across Canada, with a wild assortment of scheduled screenings, panels, and workshops taking place online from August 20 through September 2, 2020. The decision to launch a digital edition of the famed genre festival was born from Fantasia’s desire to keep the health and safety of its attendees a top priority during the current global health crisis, while still offering daring, much-needed new genre entertainment to residents of Canada and supporting the breakout filmmakers of the year.

Now keep in mind this is the first wave of films being announced for the festival. The full line up will be announced in August. Here are some of the films we can go ahead and get excited for.

Fantasia’s 24th edition will open with a special screening of Neil Marshall’s recently completed cinematic powerhouse THE RECKONING. A poignant and horrific period thriller set in 1665 against the backdrop of the Great Plague and the subsequent witch hunts in England, THE RECKONING stars Charlotte Kirk (OCEAN’S 8, NO PANIC WITH A HINT OF HYSTERIA), Sean Pertwee (DOG SOLDIERS, DOOMSDAY), Joe Anderson (THE GREY, THE CRAZIES), Steven Waddington (THE IMITATION GAME, LAST OF THE MOHICANS), and Emma Campbell-Jones (DOCTOR WHO). A vivid, compelling and confrontational film whose themes are frighteningly pertinent to today’s concerns, it will knock the wind out of you. This will mark the second time that a work from the esteemed British filmmaker has opened Fantasia, THE DESCENT having been the festival’s official Opening Film in 2005. The sole other filmmaker Fantasia has done this with to date is Takashi Miike.

An otherworldly journey through a Europe in decline, Chino Moya’s UNDERGODS is a collection of aesthetically astonishing, darkly humorous fantasy tales about a series of men whose worlds fall apart through a visit from an unexpected stranger. This singular visual feast is a co-production between the UK, Belgium, Estonia, Serbia, and Sweden with a cast that includes Geza Rohrig (SON OF SAUL), Johann Meyers (SNATCH), Hayley Carmichael (LES MISERABLES), Eric Godon (IN BRUGES), Kate Dickie (THE WITCH), Adrian Rawlins (CHERNOBYL), Ned Dennehy (MANDY), and an especially crazed Jan Bijvoet (BORGMAN). World Premiere

Mauro Iván Ojeda’s chilling first feature. THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME (La Funeraria) stars Luís Machín (MONTECRISTO), Celeste Gerez (DESTINO ANUNCIADO), and Camila Vaccarini (PAISAJE). World Premiere

KRIYA is a fever dream of fear starring Navjot Randhawa (MEHSAMPUR), Noble Luke, and Avantika Akerkar (THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL), is co-produced by Andy Starke (IN FABRIC) and Pete Tombs (FREE FIRE), and features an unforgettable score by Jim Williams (POSSESSOR). World Premiere

COME TRUE is a distinctive and compelling work of dark science-fiction that haunts the space between wakefulness and sleep. Plagued by disturbing dreams and unable to go home, rebellious teenager Sarah (THE KILLING’s Julia Sarah Stone) is relieved to find shelter at a university sleep study. Hoping this will finally help her to get rid of her nightmares, she unwittingly becomes the channel to a horrifying new discovery. Co-starring Landon Liboiron (TRUTH OR DARE). Produced by Mark Smith (IN THE TALL GRASS) and Nicholas Bechard (HOLIDAYS) and Canadian genre film luminaries Steve Hoban (GINGER SNAPS) and Vincenzo Natali (CUBE). World Premiere

From the Troma team we celebrate 45 years of Lloyd Kaufman making bat shit crazy films with another one SHAKESPEARESSHITSTORM.

UNEARTH is a fracking horror story that follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are strained when one of them chooses to lease their land to a gas company. In the midst of growing tension, the land is drilled, and something – long dormant and terrifying, deep beneath the earth’s surface – is released. Adrienne Barbeau (THE FOG), Marc Blucas (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), and Allison McAtee (WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS) star. World Premiere

The rest of the line up includes Special Actors, Lucky, Tiny Tim: King For A Day, Sleep, 12 Hour Shift, Fried Barry, Yummy.

We have a lot to uncover with just the epic first wave. What do you think of Fantasia going virtual this year and thoughts on the films playing?

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