The 18th Edition of Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival returned to its home at Concordia University after the location’s massive 2013 renovations, the festival benefited from having three theaters to screen their record 160+ films in.
Among the numerous highlights that took place during the three-week festival were the crowd-pleasing, revelatory world premieres of Leo Gabriadze’s CYBERNATURAL, Sarah Adina Smith’s THE MIDNIGHT SWIM, and Bennett Jones’ I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS. Also of note were massively successful screenings of Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD, James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Lee Su-jin’s HAN GONG-JU, Keishi Otomo’s RUROUNI KENSHIN – KYOTO INFERNO, and Lenny Abrahamson’s FRANK.
Animation legend Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL) and horror director Tobe Hooper (THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE) both received Lifetime Achievement Awards, while fans flocked to LIFE AFTER BETH stars Matthew Gray Gubler and Aubrey Plaza. Abel Ferrara presented the North American premiere of his controversial new film WELCOME TO NEW YORK.
In total, more than 129,000 festivalgoers attended Fantasia 2014’s various screenings and events. 90,000 fans attended the festival’s 216 theatrical film presentations, which represents more than 70% of the theaters’ full capacities. 19,000 spectators attended Fantasia’s two massive outdoor screenings, presented in collaboration with the Just for Laughs festival.
The third edition of the festival’s international co-production market, Frontières, also logged record attendance, with a boost of over 30% over their 2013 edition – and over 350 industry attendees from over twenty countries. The new Works-in-Progress session, in which films currently in post-production were able to screen glimpses of their projects to audiences, proved ones of the market’s most popular events.