Fantasia’s documentary section returns with six fascinating works that will provoke thoughts and post-screening discussions-a-plenty.
Beware the Slenderman
USA / Dir: Irene Taylor Brodsky
On May 31, 2014, two girls in Wisconsin committed an irredeemable act at the behest of an eerie Internet entity. A doc in which fiction not only surpasses reality but contaminates it in a horrifying way. Using testimonials and archival footage, it also questions the complex relationship that exists today between youth and social media. If the Slender Man doesn’t exist, he certainly haunts our spirit. Screening will be hosted by director Irene Taylor Brodsky. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Hot Docs 2016. Quebec Premiere.
USA / Dir: Josh Bishop
A portrait of the challenges and triumphs of artist, entrepreneur, off-the-cuff philosopher and supremely devoted D&D aficionado Stefan Pokorny, mastermind of Dwarven Forge gaming miniatures. Bishop’s doc is a robust and immensely inspiring tribute to talent, purpose, and dreams made real — an enchanted, and enchanting, tale for the ages. Pokorny and Bishop will be hosting our screening. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
The Show of Shows
Iceland-UK / Dir: Benedikt Erlingsson
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, it’s perfectly okay to stare. Prepare to embark on a spectacular non-narrative journey through a century of lost circus and vaudeville arts, set to a bedazzling score by members of Sigur Rós and an Icelandic choir. A dreamy, beautiful, eerie poem of a film. Official Selection: Sheffield Documentary Film Festival 2015, Göteborg International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
USA / Dir: Keith Maitland
On Aug 1, 1966, Austin’s University of Texas campus abruptly became a place of horror when Charles Whitman opened fire from a clock tower. A hyper-cinematic oral history of sorts, set to an inspired combination of artfully animated recreations, newsreel footage, photographs and rotoscoped depictions of the speakers themselves, using these devices to brilliant effect, telling the story in near real-time. Winner: Best Documentary Feature, SXSW 2016. Fantasia’s screening on August 1st will be followed by a panel discussion organized by Meaghan Hennegan, survivor of the 2006 Dawson College Shooting, featuring speakers from Polytechnique, Dawson College and CTV News, with more participants to be announced shortly.
Previously announced Documentaries from the Edge titles: CREATURE DESIGNERS: THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX and FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK.
Following the earlier announcements of the World Premiere of KICKBOXER VENGEANCE and North American Premieres of SKIPTRACE, BLOOD FATHER, ANTIGANG, and TORO, among others, Fantasia’s Action! section has three more hard-hitting punches to land.
India / Dir: Sabbir Khan
Ronny has mastered the art of fighting, a skill he’ll need when he races to the rescue of a kidnapped flame in Thailand. Tiger Shroff’s intense performance shows promise of major martial-arts stardom ahead. BAAGHI is a non-stop action feast that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its whole duration. Quebec Premiere.
Kill Zone 2
Hong Kong-China / Dir.:Soi Cheang
Thai prison guard Chai must keep Kit, an undercover Hong Kong cop, alive at any cost. An action extravaganza with some truly astounding scenes — including a prison riot that will have you on the edge of your seat! Official Selection : Toronto International Film Festival 2015.
The Phantom Detective
South Korea / Dir: Jo Sung-hee
Private investigator Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-hoon), searching for his mother’s killer, enlists the unsuspecting help of the man’s two granddaughters. A devilish, modern mélange of film noir and action. Official Selection: Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
Additional previously announced Action! titles: THE BODYGUARD, LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, and THEY CALL ME JEEG.
As its twentieth anniversary arrives, Fantasia can’t forget how essential Japanese anime has been in our programming over the past two decades, and this year we’re screening both a new, state-of-the-art anime feature (HARMONY) and an early cornerstone of Japanese animation history (MOMOTARO, SACRED SAILORS).
The 2016 Axis section also showcases BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE from Martinique and NOVA SEED from Canada, two superior examples of something we can expect more of in the years to come: full feature films crafted by a single animator on a negligible budget. The quality, creativity, and charm these labours of love exude should give big studios pause… and remind fans of the medium what they love about it in the first place.
Japan / Dirs.: Takashi Nakamura, Michael Arias
Tuan has fled to the ends of the Earth, the edge of human civilization drastically reduced by cataclysm – and since supremely elevated by nanotech miracles. A new key work in Japanese animation from the innovative Studio 4°C, part of the Project Itoh anime trilogy. Quebec Premiere.
Momotaro, Sacred Sailors
Japan / Dir.: Mitsuyo Seo
Commissioned by the Ministry of the Navy and inspired by Disney’s FANTASIA, animation pioneer Seo’s 1945 propaganda film for children was the very first Japanese anime feature. A lost masterpiece, freshly restored from the original 35mm negatives. Official Selection, Cannes Classics 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Martinique / Dir.: Alain Bidard
Syanna must confront the fiercest fighters of Mortemonde, to kill the masters inside them – and the slave inside herself. Martinique’s first animated feature, a digital anime adventure on par with Japan’s best, but proudly Caribbean at heart (and it’s all the work of a single filmmaker).
Canada / Dir.: Nick DiLiberto
It’s bio-warrior beast-man versus wasteland warlock in this totally hand-drawn, homemade cartoon mini-masterpiece, shamelessly wallowing in vintage Saturday-morning science-fantasy fun. The ne plus ultra of do-it-yourself animation, loaded with irony-free charm. Quebec Premiere.
Previously announced Axis titles: BAD CAT, PSYCHONAUTS, and SEOUL STATION.