FANTASIA MARCHES INTO ITS FINAL WEEK Image

The Fantasia Ubisoft festival has announced that more than 70,000 tickets have been sold during the first three weeks of the event. 73, 000 tickets were sold for the entire 2003 edition of the festival. So we guess you can say this fest just keeps growing stronger and stronger.
An additional day has been added on Monday August 2nd. On this additional day, attendees will be able to see “Dark Water”, the work of Hideo Nakata, the director of the “RINGU” 1 and 2. “DARK WATER” was originally an anthology written by Koji Suzuki, the author of Ring, a Japanese novelist often referred to as the Asian Stephen King.
The festival will also showcase the world premiere of the Canadian film “ETERNAL”. Set in modern-day Montreal and Venice, “Eternal” is a psychological thriller that focuses on Raymond Pope (Conrad Pla), a tough Montreal vice detective of questionable morals. When Pope sets out to determine the whereabouts of his frequently wayward wife, his path crosses that of the wealthy and enigmatic Elizabeth Kane (Caroline Néron) and her servant Irina (Victoria Sanchez). Behind Elizabeth’s fascinating looks and aristocratic manner lurks a terrifying killer who lures, seduces and murders innocent women in order to bathe in their blood, believing that such a gruesome ritual will preserve her own youth forever.

During the course of its last days of screening, the Fantasia Ubisoft festival will also host many special events.

GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA / GODZILLA TOKYO SOS ^ (Thursday July 29th : Concordia Hall Theater) ^ Fantasia wouldn’t be Fantasia without Godzilla. To celebrate the King of Monster’s 50th Birthday, the Ubisoft Fantasia Festival will screen not one, but two new Godzilla movies. In this context, they will show “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla “(Masaki Tezuka’s 2002 remake) and “Godzilla Tokyo SOS” (also directed in 2004 by Masaki Tezuka), a solid story that winks at several of the best Godzilla films of the golden age, the 1960s. Reportedly, the Godzilla series will come to an end this coming December with “Godzilla: Final Wars”. Along with the presentation of the film, André Dubois, Godzilla-mania expert, will present a special tribute to the king of the monsters. Discover the making of a king, special effects, commercials, bloopers, and many other surprises.

THE CALAMARI WRESTLER ^ (Friday July 30th : Concordia Hall Theatre and Sunday August 1st at J.A. De Sève Theatre) ^ A championship wrestling match pits Koji Taguchi against Crush Volcano, the latter no match for Koji’s signature move, the Torture Ring Strangler. Koji beams as he clutches the Champion Belt, only to have it snatched away by a mysterious new challenger in the ring—a giant squid! A giant squid, in fact, who not only evades Koji’s key attack, but destroys him with a Northern Light Suplex! Koji’s fiancée Miyako watches tearfully, though there’s something about this Calamari Wrestler that seems familiar to her…

That’s right, you read correctly—the hero of The Calamari Wrestler is a big, bug-eyed, squishy squid. It’s written and directed by Minoru Kawasaki, a veteran of Ultraman Tiga and a variety of manga-to-live-action adaptations, and a man who calls himself both “Ed Wood, Jr. with talent” and “Japan’s Roger Corman.” A very unusual, off-the-wall comedy with a deft dramatic touch, The Calamari Wrestler delivers laughs galore, a little romance on the side and of course loads of amazing wrestling action!

HILLSIDE STRANGLER ^ (Friday July 30th August 1st at J.A. De Sève Theatre) ^ Between October 1977 and February 1978, ten young women were kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered in the hills above Los Angeles. The media attributed the horrific crimes to a single serial killer they dubbed the Hillside Strangler. Determined police work, however, led to the arrests of two men, cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who had collaborated on the crimes. The pair has achieved the same degree of infamy as Ted Bundy and Richard “Nightstalker” Ramirez. This Canadian premiere will be hosted by directory/screenwriter CHRIS FISHER and rising star BRITTANY DANIEL.

DIY ^ (Saturday July 31st and as an encore presentation on Monday August 2nd at the J.A. De Sève Theater) ^ « Do-it-yourself » cinema. Probably the purest form of cinema out there. No sponsors. No production houses. No catering. Just a few filmmakers, their trusty cameras, and a world of ideas. The triumph of talent over means. This selection brings you everything from zombie-businessmen to killer cups including a giant rampaging beaver, vampires, ghosts, cowboys, and science gone wild. The kitchen sink cannot be far behind. Low-budget entertainment, sure, but also a glimpse into the future of local filmmaking. In all, 10 short features. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover the next Sam Raimi or David Cronenberg? This competition is possible through the help of the Institut National de l’Image et du Son (INIS). The three best films will also be screened next fall on the NFB Website.

RIDING THE BULLET ^ (Sunday July 1st at Concordia Hall Theatre) ^ This unique combination of supernatural thriller and Halloween ghost story is based on Stephen King’s first e-book, which attracted over half-million online readers. Considered one of the most famous and popular short stories of the last decade, it is also included in King’s anthology Everything’s Eventual, a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Set in the late 1960s on Halloween, “RIDING THE BULLET” is the story of a New England college student who learns that his mother has been hospitalized after a stroke. He must hitchhike across the state over the course of one night to be with her. Along the way he confronts his past, his future, his demons and fears – and a terrifying personification of death.

The screenplay for “RIDING THE BULLET” was written by longtime King collaborator Mick Garris (THE STAND and THE SHINING miniseries), who also directs and produces, with Stephen King as executive producer. Mick Garris will be present to host this world premiere.

SUSPECT ZERO ^ (Sunday July 1st at Concordia Hall Theatre) ^ In the hands of independent filmmaker E. Elias Merhige, whose surrealist visual feast “BEGOTTEN” and his breakthrough film “SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE” (a cinematic love letter to silent filmmaking), what could have been a routine police procedural becomes a psychic battleground as Mackelway pursues justice in a world where good and evil aren’t so clear-cut. Using the homegrown optical printer “silent movie” tricks of his previous films, “SUSPECT ZERO” is also a technical marvel. What starts out as a mainstream cop movie gradually unwinds into a dreamlike fantasia of O’Ryan’s remote viewing.
Other films will also be screen during the last week of this 25 days genre film extravaganza.
For more info, visit the FantAsia website.

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