CAMERA LUCIDA UNVEILS SECOND WAVE TITLES – LIFE: UNTITLED, MY PUNCH-DRUNK BOXER, SANZARU The CAMERA LUCIDA section – dedicated to boundary-pushing, auteur-driven works at the intersection of genre and arthouse cinema – unveils three new titles. The lives of female escorts intersect as they wait for calls from their customers. Kana Yamada’s LIFE: UNTITLED – adapted from her own stage play – is a remarkable debut, starring Sairi Ito (ASAKO I & II, THE NAKED DIRECTOR). At once raw, tragic and lightly comedic, it unfolds as a closed-room drama about the hardships and resilience of a group of young Japanese women whose lives remain to be written. Following in the legacy of the Japanese brothel film – be it Mizoguchi’s STREET OF SHAME or Suzuki’s GATE OF FLESH – Yamada updates the genre for a new generation and from a fresh perspective. Canadian Premiere. n MY PUNCH-DRUNK BOXER, a former professional boxer (Um Tae-goo, I SAW THE DEVIL) receives a devastating diagnosis. However, when Min-ji (breakout star Lee Hye-ri, MONSTRUM) enters the gym, he picks up what made him famous in the first place: a unique style known as ‘Pansori Boxing’ – utilizing the flow and rhythms of traditional Korean drumming! A delightful hybrid of boxing drama and quirky rom-com, Jung Hyuk-ki’s film will surprise with its innovative take on “pansori”! North American Premiere. Evelyn, a young Filipina nurse (Aina Dumlao) lives on a remote estate while taking care of the aging matriarch of a Texas family. As the latter slips deeper into dementia and the relationship of care turns abusive, Evelyn begins to sense something ominous lurking behind the house’s walls. Is she imagining or projecting something? A chilling tale of the American Gothic – as much about death and unspeakable familial secrets as it is about displaced workers and inequality – Xia Magnus’ striking debut SANZARU is a tense, resonant and elegantly-directed piece of horror filmmaking. International Premiere. GO DEEP WITH FANTASIA UNDERGROUND Newly-helmed by film critic Justine Smith, FANTASIA UNDERGROUND sheds light on the furthest corners of cinephilia, showcasing films created by eccentric and transgressive artists working outside of the mainstream. Since her iconic bloody short film UNDRESS ME, screened as part of Fantasia’s Born of Woman showcase, Amelia Moses has been a Montreal talent to watch. With her visceral feature debut, BLEED WITH ME, we’re taken on an intimate cabin trip where boundaries and relationships collapse and double over. A slow-burn thriller with arresting visuals, Moses emerges as a horror filmmaker to be reckoned with! World Premiere. Sex takes centre stage in director Ben Hozie’s transgressive, kinky, and comedic crime romance, PVT CHAT. Jack (Peter Vack from 2017 Fantasia favourite ASSHOLES) spends his days gambling online and talking with a San-Francisco camgirl, Scarlet (a magnetic Julia Fox in one of her first major roles post-UNCUT GEMS). After seeing Scarlet on a rainy street in New York’s Chinatown, Jack becomes obsessed with meeting her. In a world of hyper-connectivity with few real connections, PVT CHAT captures the loneliness of contemporary life with vulnerability and eroticism. International Premiere. An allegorical road movie teeming with character and introspection, Jason Neulander’s FUGITIVE DREAMS plunges into the very depth of the American soul. On this darkly funny adventure, two homeless people go on a strange and bewildering journey across middle America, meeting bizarre characters as they search for compassion, love and healing. Shot in stark black and white, the film features breakthrough performances from its leads April Matthis and Robbie Tann, as well as a colourful supporting cast, including Scott Shepherd ( True Detective), O-Lan Jones (EDWARD SCISSORHANDS), and David Patrick Kelly (THE WARRIORS, THE CROW). World Premiere In a world on the precipice of change, THE FIVE RULES OF SUCCESS, Orson Oblowitz’s third feature, is an urgent response to a broken justice system and a corrupted social landscape. With the odds stacked against him, an enterprising ex-con (a magnetic Santiago Segura from MTV’s Scream) sets to rebuild his life against insurmountable odds. Written, shot and directed by Oblowitz (THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD) and inspired by Sion Sono’s HAZARD, THE FIVE RULES OF SUCCESS is a brightly-saturated phantasmagorical journey into the depths of Los Angeles’s underbelly. World Premiere. Wine, jello and vamps! Oh my! With CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER, legendary underground filmmaker Mickey Reece (STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS AND CURE HIS HEART) pits two sisters (the unforgettable Mary Buss and Ginger Gilmartin) against each other as they vie for the affections of a man who may or not be a bloodsucking vampire! A film teeming with oddball characters, star swipes and horrifically appealing jello platters that will leave your mouth watering and your stomach churning. Quebec Premiere
Also featured in the Underground section, Kaye Adelaide and Mariel Sharp’s playful, hilarious queer horror-comedy short,
DON’T TEXT BACK, about a young woman seeking assistance from a dead-pan energy healer in order to rid herself of a cursed necklace she got from a toxic tinder date.
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