The Fantasia International Film Festival is proud to celebrate its upcoming 25th edition, set again to take place as a virtual event accessible to audiences across Canada. The festival will run from August 5 – 25, 2021, and will include scheduled screenings and premieres, panels, and workshops, with films once again hosted on the leading-edge platform created by Festival Scope and Shift72. Here are 10 feature films we are dying to see at the Fantasia International Film Festival!
The Last Thing Mary Saw – Edoardo Vitaletti
Brace yourself for THE LAST THING MARY SAW, a breathtaking period occult drama set in an isolated farmhouse in the winter of 1843, where a young woman is under investigation following the mysterious death of her family’s matriarch. It soon becomes apparent that ageless forces are at play, from within and without. An eerie and hypnotic nightmare vision from debuting writer/director Edoardo Vitaletti, starring Stefanie Scott (INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3), Isabelle Fuhrman (ORPHAN), Judith Roberts (YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE), and Rory Culkin (LORDS OF CHAOS). WORLD PREMIERE.
King Knight – Richard Bates Jr.
Richard Bates Jr. has been a longstanding member of the Fantasia Family with fest favourites EXCISION, TRASH FIRE, TONE-DEAF, and SUBURBAN GOTHIC. We’re thrilled to announce his return with the outlandish KING KNIGHT, an outsider’s outsider comedy starring Matthew Gray Gubler and Angela Sarafyan as Thorn and Willow, husband-and-wife high priest and priestess of a coven of witches in a small California community. When Willow unearths a secret from Thorn’s past, their lives are thrown into turmoil in this kooky, clever treat, decked with a wild cast that includes Nelson Franklin, Johnny Pemberton, Barbara Crampton, Ray Wise, Andy Milonakis, and the voices of Aubrey Plaza and AnnaLynne McCord. WORLD PREMIERE.
Baby Money – Mikhael Bassilli and Luc Walpoth
After a botched burglary, a pair of criminals take refuge in the house of a single mother as they wait on their getaway driver to hash an escape plan in Mikhael Bassilli and Luc Walpoth’s phenomenal BABY MONEY. Mounting suspense, textured characters, and jolting storytelling come together in this powerhouse, pulse-racing crime thriller. Led by a remarkable cast that includes Danay Garcia (FEAR THE WALKING DEAD), Taja V. Simpson (THE OVAL), Michael Drayer (MR. ROBOT), and Joey Kern (GOOD BEHAVIOR) alongside newcomer Vernon Taylor III, an exceptional special-needs talent. WORLD PREMIERE.
Hellbender – The Adams Family
An occult, coming-of-age film unlike any you’ve seen, HELLBENDER is the extraordinary new creation from the Adams Family (John Adams, Toby Poser, Zelda Adams), the gifted filmmaking family behind 2019’s indie sensation THE DEEPER YOU DIG. It further affirms their stature as singular poets of the genre, making soulful and wholly original works with a one-of-a-kind look and feel, this time in the dreamy story of a lonely teenage girl (Zelda Adams) who finds guidance in her family’s suppressed supernatural lineage. HELLBENDER imaginatively explores questions of identity, instinct, and power roles in youth and parenthood alike. An uncanny film that’s all at once haunting, heartfelt, freakish, and fun. WORLD PREMIERE.
Agnes– Mickey Reece
In AGNES, the latest from prolific filmmaker Mickey Reece (CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER), a dissident priest and a bright-eyed neophyte are sent to investigate rumours of demonic possession at a convent. Both will be met with temptation as the strange goings-on test their faith, as well as that of one specific nun in residence. This structurally daring film tests the narrow-minded restrictions of (self) narrative and memory, as well as those of institutional religion. Starring Hayley McFarland (THE CONJURING), Jake Horowitz (THE VAST OF NIGHT), and Ben Hall (MINARI), and featuring Sean Gunn, Rachel True, Chris Browning, and Molly C. Quinn. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE.
Kratt – Rasmus Merivoo
12 years after BURATINO, SON OF PINOCCHIO, Rasmus Merivoo has returned to filmmaking with KRATT. In a small Estonian village, two kids (Nora and Harri Merivoo, the director’s own children), hoping to get out of farm work, bring the local legend of The Kratt – a Terminator-like demonic spirit that must always be fed work, or else – to life so they can escape their chores, but in doing so they may bring about the destruction of all human life on earth! It’s pretty safe to say that no other movie at Fantasia 2021 will reach KRATT’s delightful preposterousness— unless another Estonian dry comedy/fantasy/political commentary comes along to outplace it. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE.
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It – Yernar Nurgaliyev
Seasoned Kazakh comedy director Yernar Nurgaliyev plunges into horror-comedy for the first time, serving us a fresh, dynamic mix of genres while spicing it with Kazakh flair. Three bona fide losers escape from their drama-filled lives to go on their first fishing trip together, in a van filled with sex dolls and high optimism. While peacefully fishing, they witness inept gangsters accidentally blowing someone’s head off. While hotly pursued by the mobsters, a one-eyed man, highly skilled with knives and his fists, watches in stoic amusement in the shadows, and begins to pick both parties off one by one. The situation quickly escalates to complicated status, as it’s mating season for a “friendly” lady who may be related to the killer, and who has found a candidate among the hunted bunch. With nobody to rescue them, what twisted fates and bodily injury will greet our heroes and villains? Strap yourself in for absolute joyous craziness guaranteed to tickle your funny bone – while shattering every other bone with its brilliantly conceived executions. Imagine THE HANGOVER meets TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and a touch of WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE (Fantasia 2019). CANADIAN PREMIERE.
ALL THE MOONS – Igor Legarreta
Spain. 1876. A young girl (Haizea Carneros) is severely injured when a religious orphanage is bombed during the third Carlist war. On the verge of death, she is healed by a mysterious woman (Itziar Ituño) whom she perceives to be an angel. They are soon separated, the child left to fend for herself – for decades upon decades. With ALL THE MOONS, director Igor Legarreta masterfully employs the tenets of vampire lore as the basis for an intimate epic dealing with themes of life and death, love and loneliness, devotion and intolerance. Impeccably crafted, it ranks among the best of vampire cinema. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE.
Coming Home in the Dark – James Ashcroft
As thought-provoking as it is devastating, COMING HOME IN THE DARK is a blisteringly tense road movie into hell that plays like a home-invasion thriller set largely in a moving car. Based on the 1995 short story by award-winning New Zealand author Owen Marshall, described by David Hill as “one of the most harrowing narratives in our literature”, it’s an extraordinary neo-Noir that addresses the horrific failings of NZ’s state-run institutions through a prism of genre with an impact that will tear your guts out. With this masterful feature debut, director/co-writer James Ashcroft pulls off multiple miracles in tightly controlled mise-en-scene and an ability to build grounded characters in tandem with bottomless reservoirs of suspense. Evocative of Mario Bava’s RABID DOGS, centered around a singularly unsettling performance from Daniel Gillies (THE ORIGINALS), COMING HOME IN THE DARK is an anguished journey into horrors most human. Told with compassion – and without mercy. – Mitch Davis – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Which ones are you looking forward to? Are any of our picks on your list? Let us know and stay tuned for upcoming coverage for the Fantasia International Film Festival 2021 via news, reviews, and interviews!