The 2005 edition of Fantasia was concentrated into 19 days, compared to the 25 days of 2004, but still attracted 75 000 cinephiles, which represented a proportional increase in attendance of nearly 20%.
For the first time the festival had an official competition with a jury. Lead by Jury President Érik Canuel, the panel was composed of Patrick Masbourian, Pierre Dalpé, Michèle Grondin, Daniel Andréani and Nabi‐Alexandre Chartier. The great leader of the competition was Yuasa Masaaki’s crazy animation film Mind Game, winning the Best Film, Best Director (ex‐aequo with Gen Sekiguchi for Survive Style 5+) and Best Script Awards, as well as a Special Award for its Visual Accomplishment. Other laureates included Kosuke Matushima’s The Taste of Tea for Best Cinematography, Crying Fist ’s Choi Min‐sik for Best Actor and Dark Hours’ Kate Greenhouse for Best Actress. The Séquences 50th anniversary Award went to Shutter and the L’Écran Fantastique Award went to Survive Style 5+. The audience favoured Survive Style 5+ and The Taste of Tea ex‐aequo for Best Asian Film, El Lobo for Best European or American Film, Mind Game for Best Animated Film, Survive Style 5+ for Most Groundbreaking Film, Karukenbo for Best Short Film and Alex Vampire Slayer for Best Quebec DIY Short.
For the first time in Fantasia’s history, a Lifetime Achievement Award was given to an international genre‐cinema craftsman. The very first laureate was Ray Harryhausen, who graced us with his presence, discussed with the audience about his career and presented a few of his rare early works, followed by a screening of Jason and the Argonauts on a new 35mm print. The edition opened with the International Premiere of Yojiro Takita’s Ashura, followed by the Canadian Premiere of Crying Fist, hosted by its Director Ryoo Seug‐wan and Producer Syd Lim, who also hosted the North American Premiere of Arahan the following day. The Director and Screenwriter Masaaki Yuasa wowed the audience with Mind Game, presented as a Canadian Premiere. Tim Sullivan came to present the Canadian Premiere of his remake of 2001 Maniacs, joined by actors Christa Campbell and Dylan Edrington. Screenwriter and director Jeff Burr presented the Canadian Premiere of Straight Into Darkness. The International DIY Short Films block attracted the presence of André Kapel from Brazil for 06 Tiros, 60 ML, Fabrice Lambot from France for Le Sang du Châtiment, Josh Townsend and Christian Ray from the US for Loyalty and Graveless. Producer Clark Balderson and actress Selene Luna came to present the Canadian Premiere of Firecracker. Thai Co‐Director Buranee Rachjaibun hosted the North American Premiere of Zee Oui.
The Small Gauge Trauma block saw the return of Belgian Co‐Directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani for the North American premiere of L’étrange portrait de la dame en jaune, as well as Actress Laura Leigh Hofrichter for Disposer and Christian Viel for Pain Killer. Writer / Director Ti West came to introduce the Canadian Premiere of The Roost along with his Producer and Fantasia darling Director Larry Fessenden. Belgian Screenwriter and Director Harry Cleven came to host the North American premiere of Trouble. The World Premiere OF Shadow: Dead Riot was hosted by its Co‐Writter, Fantasia regular and Fangoria managing editor Michael Gingold, as well as Producer Carl Morano. Finally Singapore Director Tzang Merwyn Tong presented the Canadian Premiere of his film A Wicked Tale.
On the local front, the World Premiere of La dernière incarnation was hosted by Director Demian Fuica, Producer Benoit Lavallée and Actors Gilbert Turp, Catherine Florent and Leonardo Fuica. A Special Advance screening of Dark Hours was hosted by its Director Paul Fox, Producer Brent Barclay, Screenwriter Wil Zmak and Lead Actors Kate Greenhouse and Aidan Devine. Montreal Writer / Director Jesse Heffring presented the Canadian Premiere of Sigma. Fantasia also screened the International Premiere of SV Bell’s Purple Glow.
Three master classes were held: Lloyd Kaufman, beloved American independent and father of Tromaville came to present a master class on the ins and outs of indie filmmaking titled How to Make Your Own Damn Movie, which was concluded by a screening of his classic The Toxic Avenger; Joe Coleman, notorious visionary painter and performance artist, made his first‐ever Montreal appearance to present a special midnight multimedia show entitled Retinal Stigmatics: An Evening with Joe Coleman where the artist performed live spoken word, projected images of paintings shot on an animation stand and screened rare intense footage; Finally, esteemed comic‐book artist and film journalist Stephen R. Bissette was in town to host a pair of slideshow lectures on the early history of horror comics entitled Stephen R. Bissette’s Journeys Into Fear – The History, Heritage, and Censorship of Horror Comics.
A second edition of Komikstok was held, where live feature and animation films, adapted or inspired by comic books, were featured. This included the International Premiere of Cromartie High School, the North American Premiere of Fighter in the Wind and Phantom Master: Dark Hero From Ruined Empire, the Canadian Premiere of Live Freaky! Die Freaky!, Neighbor Watch No. 13, Otakus in Love andTetsujin‐28, as well as the 1971 animation Yasuji No Pornorama – Yacchimae!!
Other films on the animation front included the International Premiere of Le portrait de petite Cossette, the North American Premiere of Ghost in the Shell : Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, and the Canadian Premiere of the multi‐Fantasia‐Awards‐winner Mind Game.
A Hong‐Kong spotlight saw the screenings of a few premieres and five retrospective titles from the ‘70s, most notably a fully restored print of Fist of Fury (1972), hosted by Bruce Lee’s co‐star Nora Miao, and 3 restored prints from the Shaw Brothers. Oxide Pang Chun’s The Eye 2 had its North American Premiere and the Canadian Premiere of Wilson Yip’s White Dragon and Love Battlefield also screened.
The Japanese spotlight saw the International Premiere of Yojiro Takita’s Ashura and Space Police, the North American Premiere of One Missed Call 2 and the Canadian Premieres of Takashi Shimizu’s Ju‐On: The Grudge 2, the now‐classic Kamikaze Girls and Survive Style 5+ as well as new additions to Fantasia staples: Godzilla: Final Wars and Ultraman: The Next. The programming from South Korea was particularly rich in premieres, including the North American Premiere of Ryoo Seug‐wan’s Arahan, who also presented the Canadian Premiere of his following film Crying Fist (which had won the FIPRESCI Prize at that year’s Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes). Fighter Fighter in the Wind, Ghost House, Please Teach Me English and Spin Kick also had their North American Premiere. Screening as Canadian Premieres were Another Publick Enemy, Jewel in the Palace, R‐Point, Silmido and Some.
A follow‐up to the 2004 Thai films spotlight included the Canadian Premiere of Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom’s Shutter (who were later celebrated at Fantasia for their films Alone and 4BIA).
On the European front, Fantasia saw the North American Premieres of Nicolas Winding Pusher II – with Blood on My Hands (Denmark), Atomik Circus – Le Retour de James Bataille (France), The Birthday (Spain), G.O.R.A. (Turkey), Sharks (Denmark) and Trouble (Belgium). Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch (Russia) and Night of the Living Dorks (Germany) had their Canadian Premieres.