Festival to feature a special focus honouring Japanese cinema for 25th edition
June 23rd, 2021 // Montreal, Quebec – The Fantasia International Film Festival, North America’s premier genre film festival located in Montreal, Quebec, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a virtual event that includes a special focus honouring Japanese cinema and the bold contribution its made to both the fest’s history and to genre cinema around the world.
The festival is proud to unveil an impressive selection of Japanese animation and live-action manga adaptation features among our first and second wave programs. Fantasia will run from 5 to 25 August, 2021 as a virtual event geo-locked for Canadian audiences.
Adapted from the picturebook by popular Japanese comedian Akihiro Nishino, POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN, the official closing film at IFFR this year, is a heartfelt rollercoaster ride through a nonstop cavalcade of eye-popping animated visual delights. Nishino’s tale – the celestial quest of a boy and his friend, a man made of garbage – is brought to life by veteran CG animator Yusuke Hirota and the cutting-edge talent at STUDIO4ºC (TEKKON KINKREET, MIND GAME, CHILDREN OF THE SEA). NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE.
Following the wondrous, well-received CHILDREN OF THE SEA (2019), director Ayumu Watanabe returns with a quirky, candid, colourful anime comedy-drama, also from STUDIO4ºC. Based on a book by author Kanako Nishi, an astute observer of the human condition, FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO demonstrates with precision and panache how the most ordinary people and places can be quite extraordinary! NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE.
A love letter to the art and industry of filmmaking, Takayuki Hirao‘s funny, fast-paced, and entirely sympathetic anime adaptation of the much-loved manga POMPO: THE CINÉPHILE is a convincing crash course on how movies get made, and what makes them work. It’s also an outstanding work of animation, using clever transitions and other tricks and techniques to make the most of the storytelling process. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE.
Beginning with PERFECT BLUE and MILLENNIUM ACTRESS, which Fantasia world premiered in 1997 and 2001, respectively, the late director Satoshi Kon‘s brief but monumental filmography proved a dramatic paradigm shift for Japanese anime, and indeed for world cinema. French documentarian Pascal-Alex Vincent unveils SATOSHI KON, THE ILLUSIONIST, a poignant, detailed portrait of this unique and transformative talent, after whom Fantasia named its prestigious animation award. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE.
In 2017, Fantasia revealed to the world Takahide Hori’s one-man stop-motion project, the ambitious, existential cyber-horror concoction JUNK HEAD. A surprise hit and award-winner at the festival, it then vanished for five years. At last, this year, a tighter, meaner theatrical edit of JUNK HEAD has been produced, and Fantasia is proud to once again open this portal into Hori’s mind. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF NEW THEATRICAL CUT.
A disgraced, introverted Tokyo bank clerk gets transferred to the middle of nowhere – and finds himself. A beautiful reminder to free ourselves from self-imposed barriers, the heartwarming LOVE, LIFE AND GOLDFISH will slap an uncontrollable smile on your face. I AM A MONK director Yukinori Makabe’s colourful J-pop musical, adapted from Noriko Ōtani‘s manga, is a must-see feelgood movie. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE.
Welcome back to Hyakkaoh Academy, where the students engage in compulsive gambling to climb the social ladder. KAKEGURUI 2: ULTIMATE RUSSIAN ROULETTE, written and directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa (PROJECT DREAMS), raises the stakes beyond money and clout to a game of life and death. This highly creative, colourful, and thrilling live-action manga adaptation makes a reinvented poker game as engaging as a championship match. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE.
Ah, teenage romance! It’s all wrong and full of embarrassing misunderstandings and cruel twists and turns that make you feel like your life is over. Director and screenwriter Natsuki Seta (A LIAR AND A BROKEN GIRL) exposes this delicate period of our life with GEORAMA BOY PANORAMA GIRL, a beautiful, sensitive, and touching coming-of-age story adapted from Kyoko Okazaki‘s manga. CANADIAN PREMIERE.
Take note that POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN, FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO, and POMPO: THE CINÉPHILE are nominated for Fantasia’s prestigious Satoshi Kon Award for Achievement in Animation (Feature Film Category).
The 25th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival will be presented by Videotron in collaboration with Desjardins, and will be made possible thanks to the financial assistance of the Government of Quebec, SODEC, Telefilm Canada, the City of Montreal, the Conseil des arts of Montreal and Tourisme Montréal.
A final wave of Fantasia 2021 titles will be announced in late July, with ticket sales commencing shortly afterwards.
For more information, visit us on the web at www.fantasiafestival.com
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