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FANTASIA 2020

Fantasia si prepara per The Reckoning

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- Il leggendario regista John Carpenter riceverà il Fantasia Lifetime Achievement Award nel corso dell'edizione online del festival

Fantasia si prepara per The Reckoning
The Reckoning di Neil Marshall

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While predictably focusing on the new, the Fantasia Film Festival will also celebrate its 24th edition by acknowledging those who have paved the way, starting with a Lifetime Achievement Award for John Carpenter, who attended the event back in 1998. “He’s such a brilliant storyteller on every front and his works have inspired legions of filmmakers, cinematographers and composers. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that he is one of the most influential filmmakers of the last 45 years”, co-director and head programmer Mitch Davis tells Cineuropa. The late José Mojica Marins, a past recipient of the award, will be commemorated with showings of his three films, and a live talk with Dennison Ramalho, co-screenwriter of his 2008 horror Embodiment of Evil. “As the history and future of Brazil’s cinema is currently under threat in unconscionable ways, we feel it especially urgent to present a talk of this nature, both out of love for Mojica and in solidarity with Brazilian artists and the hardships they face,” stated the organisers.

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Although opting for an online edition, there will be no shortage of films. “We’d fallen in love with so many strong works since we began our programming last fall, we really wanted to be able to support them, and to be there for our audience at a time where everyone’s feeling so anxious and destabilised. We realised that we could bring a lot of happiness,” adds Davis.  “Speaking for myself, I’m positively jonesing to go to a cinema, but until there’s an effective treatment for C-19, if not a vaccine, there’s no way, and I would never try to convince our audience to go either, let alone our staff or volunteers. Sitting in a large, interior space for over two hours, breathing circulated air, is just not safe right now. Besides that, with physical distancing measures in place, the actual film-going experience would be far from joyous, with everyone being forced to sit away from their friends, worrying if someone with allergies sneezes.”

With Kiel McNaughton’s The Legend of Baron To’a set to close the festival, the likes of You Cannot Kill David Arquette will surely generate some interest: a documentary showing the actor’s further dive into wrestling following his controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship win. But European productions and co-productions will be given their moment as well, with Neil Marshall’s The Reckoning chosen as the opening film, summed up by Davis as “a cannonball of fury and tears.” “European genre cinema is always something to be excited about, and this year is no exception. A particular theme that we’re seeing reflected on in a number of the films is an eerie sense of countries and cultures in decline, addressed most vividly in Chino Moya’s incredible Undergods [+leggi anche:
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as well as Neil Marshall’s The Reckoning, Vincent Paronnaud’s Hunted [+leggi anche:
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and Christian Alvart’s Free Country [+leggi anche:
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. More hermetically intimate, there is Sabrina MertensTime of Moulting [+leggi anche:
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, one of the most haunting films of any genre that we’ve seen this year.”

In the Cheval Noir section, Sidharth Srinivasan’s Kriya (United Kingdom, India) will celebrate its world premiere, while Daria Woszek’s Marygoround [+leggi anche:
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from Poland will focus on a protagonist facing her upcoming 50th birthday and a menopause, all the more frustrating given that she has never actually had sex. In Selection 2020, The Columnist [+leggi anche:
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by Ivo Van Aart (The Netherlands) will prove that “hell hath no fury like someone insulted on social media”, while Rinio Dragasaki’s Cosmic Candy [+leggi anche:
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, Germany’s Sleep [+leggi anche:
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by Michael Venus, as well as France’s A Mermaid In Paris [+leggi anche:
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by Mathias Malzieu, Savage State [+leggi anche:
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by David Perrault and Zoé Wittock’s Jumbo [+leggi anche:
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will also be shown. Rounding up the section, Tim Mielants will leave nothing to the imagination in his nudist camp-set Patrick [+leggi anche:
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, and Makoto Tezuka will homage his father’s manga series in Tezuka’s Barbara. In Jeanette Nordahl’s Wildland [+leggi anche:
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, Sidse Babett Knudsen puts her own spin on a criminal Mommie Dearest, while Belgium’s Yummy [+leggi anche:
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by Lars Damoiseaux delivers exactly what is promised by its tagline: “Facelifts, boob jobs and zombies”.

Estonia’s The Old Man: The Movie [+leggi anche:
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will also get some attention, followed by documentaries The Prophet and the Space Aliens [+leggi anche:
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or another world premiere, Texas Trip – A Carnival of Ghosts. Finally, in Sweden’s Tiny Tim - King for a Day [+leggi anche:
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, Johan Von Sydow will take a look at a singer who found fame in the 1960s, with the help of one “Weird Al” Yankovic providing the narration. But this festival won’t be just about films, with many panels and special events accessible worldwide: yes, even US director Gary Sherman’s Virtual Birthday Bash. “A film festival is a living thing, built on intense shared experiences, momentum, anticipation and a sense of togetherness. How could an online edition, with everyone in isolation and filmmakers premiering their works in absentia, be meaningful at all?” wonders Davis. “Once we found ways we could push back against those limitations — by having many screenings in real-time, and with live virtual Q&As — we began to feel good about things. It won’t be the same energy or experience as our physical fest, but it’s going to be meaningful and exciting, with loads of bold new talents being launched to enthusiastic audiences, press and industry. Under the circumstances, we’ll gladly settle for that.”

The festival will take place from 20 August to 2 September.

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