In addition to the previously announced all-star Haunted Reels book launch & live-read, Fantasia is proud to reveal the following array of exciting special events that will be presented free-of-charge.
ARTIST TALK: CHARLES BAND
In celebration of THE PRIMEVALS’ world premiere at the festival after decades in completion, Fantasia will be presenting a special artist talk with American independent producer and director Charles Band. With 50 years in the business and over 300 feature films under his belt, Band has done it all, from forming the first independent home-video distribution company in North America in 1978 (MEDA – later MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT), creating Atari 2600 game versions of horror classics, founding Empire Pictures, which produced as many as 12 theatrical features a year, among them some of the biggest cult hits of the ’80s, including GHOULIES, TROLL and perhaps most significantly, Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND and ROBOT JOX. He pioneered the independent direct-to-video feature with the formation of Full Moon Entertainment and with it, the creation of PUPPET MASTER, which has gone on to become the most successful direct-to-video film series of all time. He continues to make films under its banner to this day. Moderated by writer and journalist Michael Gingold.
Artist Talk / Workshop Event: DISCOVER MAYWA DENKI
Visit any variety store or musical instrument shop in Japan, and it’s likely that you’ll find a rack devoted to a novelty toy synthesizer with the appearance of a cartoon eighth note, called the Otamatone. It’s the best known of the many creations of Maywa Denki, a Tokyo-based company that democratizes creativity while legitimizing silly fun as a noble pursuit. Not only is Fantasia presenting the world premiere of the OTAMATOON series of video vignettes using MIDI and animatronics to bring the Otamatone and its associated noisemakers to life, the festival is welcoming Maywa Denki’s co-founder, inventor, musician, artist, and entrepreneur Novmichi Tosa for Discover Maywa Denki, a special, free artist talk/workshop event — an introduction to Maywa Denki’s history, an encounter with its most popular products in action, an unveiling of the OTAMATOON series, and a chance to purchase Maywa Denki items rarely seen in North America.
ARTIST TALK: JIMMY MCDONOUGH
If there was such a thing as a “gold standard” of exploitation cinema historians, Jimmy McDonough would be it. His landmark 2001 Andy Milligan biography THE GHASTLY ONE distinguished him as a writer whose work excelled not merely in recounting the life and career of a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, but the era in which he lived and thrived. Subsequent biographies of Neil Young, Russ Meyer, Tammy Wynette, and Al Green once again showcased his unique understanding of these great artists, and now, on the eve of the publication of what promises to be his most absorbing book to date, THE EXOTIC ONES (published by FAB Press), Fantasia is proud to present Jimmy McDonough live on stage to discuss both an extraordinary career and perhaps his most fascinating subject matter yet, the Ormond Family, the notorious Nashville mother-father-son trio who cranked out a wild bunch of movies, from Lash LaRue westerns and a stripper gore musical to a string of extreme Baptist extravaganzas. A limited number of books will be available for sale and signing. Moderated by author and journalist Ralph Elawani.
ARTIST TALK: LARRY KENT
Join us for a special artist talk with the legendary Larry Kent, Canada’s first underground feature filmmaker, presented as part of our celebration of the ground-breaking director as this year’s recipient of Fantasia’s Canadian Trailblazer Award. Cited by David Cronenberg as “a heroic figure,” Larry Kent made films “so ahead of their time” (to quote Atom Egoyan) that many eventually fell out of official circulation. His career is a window into nearly every foundational aspect of Canadian independent cinema. His work across six decades has given him many lifetimes of adventures. He is a man with a multitude of stories that shed light on the people and events that shaped much of what we know today as Canadian independent film. Moderated by writer and professor David Douglas, creator of the Pioneers in Independent Canadian Cinema Project.
CAREER MASTERCLASS: ROADKILL SUPERSTARS
RKSS, the initialism for Roadkill Superstars, is an internationally beloved filmmaking trio consisting of Canadian film directors François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell. The trio’s third feature, WE ARE ZOMBIES, will have its World Premiere as the Closing Night Film of Fantasia this year. Presented by Frontières, this masterclass will guide the audience through the career of these exciting Quebec filmmakers. Moderated by Screen Anarchy’s Andrew Mack.
PANEL DISCUSSION: BIPOC FUTURES IN CANADIAN GENRE FILM
Representation of BIPOC filmmakers in Canadian genre film is growing, with films like BLOOD QUANTUM by the late Jeff Barnaby, NIGHT RAIDERS by Danis Goulet, and NO GHOSTS AT THE MORGUE by Quebec-based Marilyn Cooke plus many others, but what steps did they take to bring their projects to reality? Join us for a co-presentation by BIPOC TV & FILM and Fantasia, where you’ll hear from French and English BIPOC panellists discussing the landscape of Canadian genre filmmaking for BIPOC creators and how they’re changing the narrative one film at a time.—Moderated by Reda Lahmouid, Lead Coordinator for HireBIPOC/EmbauchezDiversité at BIPOC TV & FILM, and Carolyn Mauricette, Director of Fantasia’s Canadian section, Septentrion Shadows.
TERROR IN THE AILIEN REALMS: TRANSDIMENSIONAL HORROR MOVIE POSTERS & THEIR FILM REVIEWS – BOOK LAUNCH EVENT
Driven by a profound nostalgia for roaming video rental stores and being captivated by VHS box artwork, filmmaker and sculptor Pat Tremblay created a series of horror movie posters with the assistance of AI, then invited an array of genre talents to write imaginary reviews for them. The result is Terror in The Ailien Realms: Transdimensional Horror Movies Posters & Their Film Reviews, featuring reviews by Stephen R. Bissette, Vincenzo Natali, Jennifer Reeder, Jay Baruchel, Karim Hussain, Joel Potrykus, Buddy Giovinazzo, Rodney Ascher, Ted Geoghegan, Alan Jones, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Simon Rumley, Tim Lucas, Jörg Buttgereit, Dennison Ramalho, Miguel Llanso, Steve De Jarnatt, Mike Mendez, and many more. A number of contributors will be attending this book launch event including Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, George Mihalka, Elza Kephart, Dave Alexander, Gary Sherman, Eric Falardeau, Lee Paula Springer, Chris Bavota, David Lawson, and Michael Gingold. Some will live-read their reviews.