The Fantasia Film Festival has finally come to an end with the same bittersweet feeling that comes with the closing of every film fest. On one hand, there is the disappointment of not watching three to five movies a day and rushing to the (in this case, virtual) lobby to talk to everyone about it. One the other hand, there is the joy of not watching three to five movies a day and having the chance to stop and catch your breath. The end of a film festival also gives you a chance to reflect. Here are some of our reflections from our first Fantasia.
Female creators highlight Fantasia
Some of Fantasia’s most well received work were female helmed projects. Lucky written by Brea Grant (who also won the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay for 12 Hour Shift) is one of the most clever horror movies in years. Bleed with Me was another excellent film. Written and directed by Amelia Moses, it is a tense horror movie that will emotionally engage the audience. Fantasia was a great showcase for talented female creators.
COVID has permanently changed the way film fests are going to be held. Fantasia’s first all virtual event went incredibly smoothly. The Fantasia staff were fast and helpful. There was also a virtual press lounge to replicate the feel of attending the festival live. It is hard to get the atmosphere of attending a film fest live down, but this came as close to getting the job done as possible. It also made it possible for hundreds of journalists from across the world to attend the event.
Staring at a computer for hours at a time can be an especially bleak thing to do in today’s world. Streaming movies has become more commonplace than ever, but how much true crime and binge watching can one person do? Fantasia’s line up gave attendees a chance to leave the real world for a little while. Movies like The Block Island Sound mixed genres in providing mystery, horror, and drama. Special Actors was a heartwarming movie that was also fun and suspenseful. Documentaries like Clapboard Jungle and Feels Good Man showed the sacrifice and dangers of trying to live out your dreams. Every movie seemed to offer up something different to draw people away from the dark times happening outside their doors.
Let’s go crazy
Fantasia is a genre film festival. This gives audiences the chance to see some of the riskiest, most innovative, and unique films in the world. Hunted takes the rape and revenge sub genre to a new fairy tale tinged level. For the Sake of Vicious has more blood splattered on walls than has been seen in years. Monster Seafood Wars lives up to its title with people dressed in rubber suits as kaiju. Short films like Your Last Day on Earth proved there are still wonderful things that can be done in time travel movies. Fantasia was an all around wonderful event that showed that great films will continue to be found.