Fantasia’s annual showcase of provocative sci-fi works returns with eight films from five countries that confront and amaze.
From Canada, David Jermyn’s striking BE MY GUEST (North American Premiere) is set in the near future, where loving couple Tim and Claire make supplemental income in a novel way: Tim uses grey market mind-transference technology to rent his body out to paying clients… who then sleep with Claire. On to the USA, Andrea Ashton’s unsettling GREATER GOOD (International Premiere) sees a pregnant woman receiving a visit from a pair of strangers, who give her an unthinkable choice to make. In Joe Lueben’s haunting ONE DAY THE SUN TURNED BLACK (International Premiere), people are forced to pigment themselves in order to survive the sun’s rays, after it permanently blackens in the sky. Travis Bible’s EXIT STRATEGY (Canadian Premiere) was a standout at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and ranks among the most compelling genre works of the year. Two brothers who have fallen out of touch reunite around their father’s passing and find themselves in a desperate time loop navigating a series of events to prevent a calamity from occurring.
THE FLAPPING OF THE HUMMINGBIRD (North American Premiere) from Spain’s Meritxell A. Valls is a sweet, sad film about the intersection between free will and fate, in which a car accident affords a man an opportunity to step back in time to potentially fix past mistakes. THEY WAIT FOR US (Canadian Premiere), from British filmmakers Lukas Schrank & George Thomson, is a haunting mini-masterpiece in which an introverted worker at a futureworld end-of-life facility loses his grip on reality when he becomes convinced that a comatose patient is urgently trying to communicate with him. France brings the goods with Leticia Belliccini’s SPIN (International Premiere), where a man finds himself in an intensifying loop of events, as the witness, victim and perpetrator of an assault. In Magali Magistry’s EXHALE (Canadian Premiere), a toxic fog has blanketed the earth, forcing humans and animals to live in confined spaces. A stunning film with unforgettable imagery that won the Méliès d’or for best European Fantastic Short. – Mitch Davis