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Fantasia 2021 Preview - Most Anticipated Films

Certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Member of the Houston Film Critics Society. Also writes for Bounding Into Comics and GeeksHaveGame.


I found out last minute that I’ll be covering the 25th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival August 5-25. Fantasia approved my request extremely quickly as I applied for credentials really close to the festival’s start due to something else I had planned falling through. I covered a couple films from Fantasia last year and would like to exceed the five published pieces minimum this year.

Below are the two Fantasia articles I published last year as well as the ten films I’m looking forward to at this year’s festival and several honorable mentions. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I’m looking forward to most of the animated films they have in their program. I’m not entirely sure I’ll have access to everything here, but this will be my dream watchlist.

From Phil Tippet's, "Mad God."

From Phil Tippet's, "Mad God."

Fantasia Fest 2020: 'A Costume for Nicolas' Review

Fantasia Fest 2020: 'Fried Barry' Review

Interestingly enough, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes will be a part of Fantasia 2021. I saw the film earlier this year as part of Fantaspoa 2021. It’s worth checking out, especially with its brisk 70 minute runtime. You can check out my review of the film here.

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I also saw the two-hour version of Junk Head back in 2017 at Fantastic Fest and adored it despite its pacing flaws. This is a stop-motion animated film where one guy, Takahide Hori, pretty much accomplished everything by himself. A 101-minute theatrical cut will be shown at Fantasia 2021 and it sounds like the film will finally be distributed on a grander scale this year. I didn’t review the film, but it made my top ten at Fantastic Fest 2017.

From the animated film, "Poupelle of Chimney Town."

From the animated film, "Poupelle of Chimney Town."

Fantasia 2021: Most Anticipated Films

  1. Mad God
  2. Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist
  3. Frank & Zed
  4. The Deer King
  5. Poupelle of Chimney Town
  6. Prisoners of the Ghostland
  7. The Night House
  8. Little Vampire
  9. The Great Yokai War: Guardians
  10. Coming Home in the Dark

Honorable Mentions

From the bloody, puppet film, "Frank & Zed."

From the bloody, puppet film, "Frank & Zed."

Mad God is a stop motion animated film that took 30 years to complete by visual effects mastermind Phil Tippett. I’m a big, big fan of Satoshi Kon’s work; particularly Perfect Blue, Paranoia Agent, Paprika, and Tokyo Godfathers. Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist is a documentary and celebration of his work. Frank & Zed is a bloody puppet film that took six long years to finish. The Deer King is the latest anime film from animators Masashi Ando (Ando worked on several Studio Ghibli films, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika) and Masayuki Miyaji (storyboard artist on Attack on Titan). The Deer King looks like it’s heavily inspired by Princess Mononoke. Poupelle of Chimney Town is an animated film directed by visual effects artist Yuusuke Hirota (credited as working on CGI in Mind Game, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I, and Shin Godzilla).

Prisoners of the Ghostland is Sion Sono’s (Suicide Club) latest film starring Nicolas Cage. The Little Vampire is a French animated film about a ten-year-old vampire that can’t age who befriends a human boy. The Great Yokai War: Guardians is the latest film from Takashi Miike. Coming Home in the Dark is a New Zealand thriller about a brutal, nightmarish road trip that mostly takes place within the confines of a car.

© 2021 Chris Sawin

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