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Fantasia Festival (Fantasia-fest, FanTasia, Fant-Asia) is North America's premiere (and largest) genre film festival. It usually takes place in the month of July, in the city of Montreal. It is a place where distributors come to pick up genre films from around the world for North American release, and where fans come from all over North America to see films that normally would not even be screened on the Art House or repertory circuit for fear of low turnout.

Contents

Overview

Created by Pierre Corbeil, André Dubois and Martin Sauvageau, Fantasia started in 1996 screening Asian films from Hong Kong and Japan, with Japanese anime as well. In 1997, the festival expanded its focus to bring in genre films from around the world, not just East Asia. Since then, Fantasia has featured many North American premieres and some world premieres. There have also been films screened in pre-final-cut condition, just to be there, find distributors, or build buzz.

Fantasia was the first member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation outside of Europe.

Venues

The festival started in the old Imperial Theatre, a grand old theatre with full balcony and backstage areas. The festival for a time also used the cinemas at Ex-Centris. When in 2002, the theatre was unexpectedly late on renovation and repairs, the festival had to be cancelled, and the next year moved to Concordia University's screening rooms (Henry F. Hall Alumni Auditorium, deSeve Cinema, D.B. Clarke Theatre). For Fantasia Under the Stars at the 10th anniversary festival, free showings were organized outdoors at Parc de la Paix (Peace Park), near the old venues of Ex-Centris and Imperial.

A spinoff festival in Toronto was tried, using the Bloor street theatre, but in the end, the endeavour failed due to time constraints and planning issues.

Festivals

Fant-Asia 1996 (Inaugural Festival)

Fant-Asia 1997

Some of the films featured were Perfect Blue, Drunken Master II, Stagefright, El Dia de la Bestia, Henry, Tromeo and Juliet and Cutting Moments.

Fant-Asia 1998

Fantasia's Toronto edition premiered at the Bloor Cinema.

Fantasia International Film Festival 1999

The 1999 edition of Fantasia was the only one which utilized the ex-Centris facilities. This year also featured the second Toronto edition.

FanTasia 2000

The 2000 edition of Fantasia featured the debut of the Just For Laughs film festival, Comedia, as a selection of comedy films were shown with the regular Fantasia fare. This was also the final year that a Toronto edition of the festival was presented.

FanTasia 2001

The 2001 edition was the last held in the Imperial Cinema. It was also the last time the festival was jointly held with Comedia.

FanTasia 2002 (Missed Year)

Fantasia 2002 was cancelled due to problems with the Imperial Cinema. The air conditioning system was broken, and it could not be fixed in time for Fantasia. Indeed, the theatre was not repaired until 2004. Due to the lack of assurance that the theater would be available, and the fact that it broke four months before the festival, meant that alternate bookings were not available. The lack of assurance for the 2003 festival meant a change in venue.

FanTasia 2003 (Move to Concordia University)

Fantasia 2003 was held for the first time on the Concordia University campus, using the DeSeve Cinema and Henry F. Hall Alumni Auditorium. The venue change was instigated by the lack of consideration that the Imperial Theatre gave in informing the festival organizers on the status of Imperial. This was also the first year that a DVD filled with movie trailers of movies shown at the festival was available for purchase with the festival guide book.

Fantasia 2004

The 2004 Fantasia was held at Concordia University using the Hall Auditorium and deSeve Cinema. Unlike the 2003 event, no DVD filled with trailers was available.

Fantasia 2005

Fantasia is now 10 years old. However, this is the 9th edition of the festival, due to a missed year in 2002. The festival is again held at Concordia University. This year, a trailer-filled DVD is provided as part of the festival guide book and not a separate purchase.

FanTasia 2006 (10th Edition/10th Anniversary)

Fantsasia's 10th anniversary and 10th edition, the 2006 edition, is the first to feature free outdoor shows. The outdoors shows are at Parc de la Paix and are free. Outdoor projections included films from the previous editions: Kamikaze Girls, the last four episodes of Goldorak, Night of the Living Dorks and Attack the Gas Station. The indoor shows use the same Concordia University facilities as since the move to Concordia. The outdoor shows are several kilometres away from the indoor shows.

With the 10th anniversary, Fantasia is helping to launch an associated but separate Toronto festival Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

FanTasia 2007

The edition was held from July 5 to July 23 2007 at the Concordia University. In addition to the Hall hall and DeSeve hall, a third screening room has been added at the D.B. Clarke Theatre. There were, however, no outdoor shows this year. Montreal film Flutter received the award for best Quebec short feature.[1]

Fantasia 2008

The lineup will be announced on Thursday, June 26, 2008.

Fantasia 2009

The films screened at Fantasia 2009 were, among others, Thirst, Love Exposure, Embodiment of Evil, Yatterman, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, Smash Cut, Trick 'r Treat, Neighbor, Must Love Death, Cencoroll and Dread. The festival started on July 9 and ended on July 29, 2009.

Others

  • Among the crew are a few unique personalities, but some amongst them truly stand out, whether they like it or not. This is the case of a scene technician called Daniel, who is usually seen taking microphones from the side to the front of the theatre for guests and presentations. Some Fantasia fans have taken upon themselves to laud his name nearly every time he comes into focus, yelling how much they love him and singing his name even louder. He has become somewhat of an underground mascot for the festival, going so far as making cameo appearances in some short movies made for the festival, some commercials and he even got himself immortalized by appearing on the hand-drawn poster in one of the earlier years of the festival.

Video Publications of Fantasia

Small Gauge Trauma is the name of the film shorts component of Fantasia. A DVD anthology of various shorts shown over various editions of Fantasia has been published.
Fantasia has published a subtitled VHS version of the Hong Kong film Red to Kill, for release in Quebec.
Fantasia has published a subtitled VHS version of the Hong Kong film Run and Kill, for release in Quebec.
  • Jackie Chan's Greatest Stunts
Fantasia has published a subtitled VHS version of the Hong Kong action scenes compilation Jackie Chan's Greatest Stunts Volumes 1 & 2, for release in Quebec.
Fantasia has published a subtitled VHS version of Jackie Chan's stunt action compilation My Stunts, for release in Quebec.
Fantasia has published a subtitled VHS version of Jackie Chan's autobiography My Story, for release in Quebec.
  • Trailer DVD
For the 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2003 festivals, a DVD filled with trailers of some of the films being played has been provided for purchase.

See also

References

  1. ^ "FANTASIA 2007 PRIZES ANNOUNCED". News release. Fantasia Festival. July 25th, 2007. http://www.fantasiafest.com/2007/en/news/release.php?id=59. Retrieved 2009-09-16.  

External links


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