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MOVIES: 2018 Fantasia International Film Festival Preview

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The Fantasia International Film Festival celebrates its 22nd Anniversary in Montreal this month, with nearly three full weeks of screenings and a lineup that boasts more than 130 feature films. Taking place from July 12 through August 1, the festival offers an eclectic selection of the best genre films from across the globe, and will play host to several World and North American premieres.

We'll be providing remote coverage of the festival this year, with reviews of select features throughout the next few weeks, but to give our readers just a small hint of what Fantasia 2018 has to offer, check out some of our most anticipated titles in several key categories below.

Cheval Noir

Fantasia's flagship juried competition, a global selection of varied genre works from new and established, groundbreaking and unconventional auteurs.

Directed by Daniel Goldhaber

Alice (Madeline Brewer) strictly maintains boundaries in the daily hours that she becomes her webcamming alter ego Lola. She keeps her performance work tightly sandboxed from her personal life, as it must be. One day, Alice finds herself unable to log into her account. Someone is already on, using her profile. She hits the site as a guest and discovers that somehow, against all reason, she’s been replaced on her page with an exact duplicate of herself, inexplicably camming from her very home. A duplicate that knows personal things only she could know. And is extremely less guarded about any issues of privacy.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot
Directed by Robert Krzykowski

Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott) is not a violent man. But he is more than capable of violence if sufficiently provoked. What many don’t realize about the thoughtful, elderly bloke regularly seen at the neighbourhood tavern is that he’s a legendary WW2 veteran who many years ago assassinated Adolf Hitler, an incredible secret that he’s frustratingly unable to share. One day, just as he’s coming to terms with rounding out his life, Calvin gets a visit from the FBI and the RCMP. They know what he’s done, and what he can be capable of. They have a mission for him. After discovering that it harbours a disease capable of eradicating humanity… they need him to take out Bigfoot.

Number 37
Directed by Nosipho Dumisa

Once a small-time gangster, now a broken paraplegic confined to his wheelchair after having been horrifically beaten by dope dealers he tried to hustle, Randal Hendricks (Irshaad Ally) has gotten to know the ins and outs of his block especially well. Equipped with binoculars, he spends much of his time gazing out windows at the happenings around his Cape Town apartment complex. One day, Randal accidentally witnesses the brutal drug-related murder of a sleazy neighbourhood cop. Randall rolls the dice and tries to blackmail the killers, hoping to clear debts and protect himself and his increasingly under-threat girlfriend. His plans have never worked out well.


Martial arts, motor madness and hard-boiled heroics his the screen hard, thrilling big crowds every time.

Directed by Lee Hae-Young

Detective Jo Won-ho has been on the hunt for Asia's biggest drug cartel, and particularly its boss Lee, for years. Unfortunately, Won-ho loses his informants, and truly believse it will be the end of his investigation until he finds himself with a valuable asset in his hands: Rak, a drug dealer grieving his mother's death in a catastrophe at one of Mr. Lee's meth labe. Using Rak as bait, Won-ho and his team aim the highest level of the cartel, man by man. When Rak meets with an important member of the Chinese-Korean cartel, things start to move fast but not necessarily as planned, for anyone.

Lôi Báo
Directed by Victor Vu

Tam is a young artist full of talent, working hard to create Vietnam’s first comic-book series about superheroes when he is diagnosed with lung cancer in its final stages. After an experimental treatment leaves him with unexplained powers, Tam will have to become a true superhero if he wants to save those he loves.

Camera Lucida

Experimental and audacious, the Camera Lucida section exists at the margins of genre cinema, showcasing its most original, personal and innovative voices.

Blue My Mind
Directed by Lisa Brühlmann

Mia (Luna Wedler) is 15 years old, newly arrived in a town that looks like all the others. Breaking away from the sterile environment provided by her parents, she is drawn to the pack of popular kids, the ones who smoke, shoplift, mess around. Mia has everything, yet she suffocates. Then comes an odd thirst, an irresistible instinct that has her reaching out for air where there is none. In her head are the turbulent sounds of crashing water against the pebble beach. In her tortured flesh, the alienation of nature, the terrifying and unstoppable transformation of her body conflicting with the need for stillness, to press pause on the perfect breath.

Madeline's Madeline
Directed by Josephine Decker

Madeline (Helena Howard) is not a cat, nor is she a sea turtle. She’s not quite yet a woman either. So who is she? Madeline is the daughter of an overbearing mother (Miranda July). Madeline is a teenager with a newfound curiosity for sex. Madeline is an actor, exploring, through her experimental theatre troupe, the correlation between art and life. Through her eyes, an experience unfolds, a blurry mix of whispers, childish laughter and endemic madness.

Under the Silver Lake
Directed by David Robert Mitchell

Silver Lake, Los Angeles. The city of angels. The dream factory where it’s all too easy to lose contact grasp of Earth and see nothing but stars... Take for example Sam (Andrew Garfield), a prototypical slacker in his mid-thirties, without ambition… though he does have an unpredictable temperament, a penchant for voyeurism, and an unhealthy obsession with pop culture. When a mysterious neighbor (Riley Keough) appears in the sights of his binoculars, then disappears overnight without a trace, the first-class geek cannot help but investigate – possessed, somehow, by the eternal spirit of the countless detectives who stalked the hot asphalt of LA before him.

Selection 2018

Discover the year's best genre films from all across the globe. 

Directed by Jonathan Watson

Arizona. It's a pretty cool place, you know? It's got a lot of land, like mountains and deserts and stuff, and it looks real nice, though it gets pretty god damn hot, you hear me? Sonny (Danny McBride) lives in Arizona, and he's a totally cool guy. He's got a really great house, a Hummer, a sweet gun collection and a samurai sword, and one thing we can tell you about him is that he is definitely NOT a murderer.

Directed by Joseph Kahn

An upper-class white man studying for his Master's degree, Alan Merkin would describe himself as a fervent progressive, well-versed in all matters of American political correctness. Fascinated by rap battles, his thesis paper even tackles the usage of the n-word within that community. It's therefore only natural a no brainer, really that he would infiltrate this competitive world. Accompanied by his vegan girlfriend and halfheartedly guided by veteran battle rapper Ben Grymm, his research quickly turns into an obsessive immersion, giving this shy college boy the opportunity to shed all inhibitions and fully embrace the First Amendment, the undeniable right to freedom of speech. But at what price, exactly? And at whose expense?

Directed by Kim Yong-wan

Former arm-wrestling champion Mark (Don Lee) returns to Korea to resume his sports career, but finds himself faced with a variety of opponents and challenges along the way, including a surprise reunion with the family he left behind.

Heavy Trip
Directed by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren

A miraculous crack at a major metal festival in Norway jumpstarts the dreams of small-town band Impaled Rektum, who set out on a metallic mission that will make them confront not only doubts, detours and difficulties, but also Vikings in longships (plus an elf), grave-robbing, Swedish rocket launchers and wolverine-wrestling.

Mega Time Squad
Directed by Tim Van Dammen

When a once-in-a-lifetime chance at a big score reveals itself, low-level drug dealer Johnny finds he doesn't have the skill to pull off a caper, until he stumbles upon an ancient relic that allows him to travel across time. With the power to bend time in Johnny’s hands, a hodgepodge of hilarity ensues as he sets his sights once again on the wealth just beyond his grasp.

Tigers Are not Afraid
Directed by Issa López

Eleven-year-old Estrella’s mother has gone missing, the latest uninvestigated victim of neighborhood cartels. Heartbroken and suddenly stuck on her own, Estrella ventures out into the streets, joining up with a gang of abandoned children. She soon finds herself thrust into the center of a vicious life-and-death battle with remorseless cartel members stalking the kids, as her world ignites with supernatural energies that bend her reality in ways both empowering and endangering.

The 22nd Edition of The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal July 12 – August 1 2018, once again returning to the mammoth Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base, with additional screens at the Cinémathèque québécoise and the McCord Museum.

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