2018 ACE Comic Con Arizona: ‘Captain America’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ stars confirmed to attend

October 5, 2017

"Captain America" star Chris Evans and "Spider-Man: Homecoming" star Tom Holland
“Captain America” star Chris Evans and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Tom Holland (Image courtesy of ACE Universe)

The following is a press release from ACE Universe:

Chris Evans, star of the worldwide hit “Captain America” movie franchise, and Tom Holland, who portrays Spider-Man in the Marvel hits “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Captain America: Civil War” are headlining the new ACE Comic Con Arizona at Gila River Arena, Jan. 13-15, 2018.

ACE Comic Con Arizona is a division of ACE Universe, a newly launched experiential events company created by brothers Gareb and Stephen Shamus.  With 20 years of experience and 175 Comic Con shows under their belts, the brothers are creating a new immersive experience that looks to redefine the industry and break the mold of the linear Comic Con business.

Along with Evans and Holland, other confirmed guests include Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier – “Captain America”), Anthony Mackie (The Falcon – “Captain America”), Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter – “Captain America”), Laura Harrier (Liz – “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), and Jacob Batalon (Ned – “Spider-Man: Homecoming”).  More guests will be announced soon, including superstars from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

VIP Admissions, Photo Ops and Autographs are on sale now at www.aceuniverse.com.  General Admission Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) starting at 10 a.m. PST on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Additional ticketing information also can be found at www.aceuniverse.com.

“When we first went to Gila River Arena, we knew we had found the right home for our next big event,” said Gareb Shamus, ACE Universe Chairman and CEO.  “We believe the fans will fall in love with this new style of Comic Con and we can’t wait for everyone to enjoy everything the weekend will have to offer, which includes the opportunity to watch all of the can’t-miss programming on the arena Jumbotron.”  ACE Universe has secured an exclusive Marvel Comic variant cover to Captain America #495, drawn by Good Charlotte lead guitarist and illustrator Billy Martin.  This book is exclusive to box office buyers and VIPs.  Martin will be on hand all three days to sign the books, which feature Captain America and Spider-Man, in an homage piece of art to the great Todd McFarlane. 

ACE Universe also has partnerships across key sectors including technology, media, entertainment, gaming, publishers, manufacturers, licensors and retailers to help create a robust experience for fans.

Additionally, ACE Universe will be the first to provide FREE global live streaming to fans with wall-to-wall coverage of the entire Comic Con.  Now, all fans can enjoy access to top-tier talent, breaking news and on-site programming as every aspect of the show will be fully streamed, social media friendly, and available on mobile devices.

Chris Evans, Tom Holland and the casts of both films are global box office stars that provide fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and greet with their favorite super heroes,” said Stephen Shamus, President of ACE Universe.  “When you listen to the fans, these are the stars that are most requested, so securing the main cast members from both Marvel franchises makes this a can’t miss weekend.  We also haven’t forgotten the WWE fans, some of the most excitable fans in the world.”

ACE Comic Con Arizona is the second of the new ACE Comic Cons, with the debut event set to take place at NYCB Live:  Home of the Veterans Memorial Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY, Dec. 8-10.  In addition to these two shows, ACE Universe will announce more 2018 dates, cities and ticket information at www.aceuniverse.com and on the ACE Comic Con social channels at Facebook.com/acecomicon or @acecomiccon on Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT ACE UNIVERSE
ACE Universe (www.aceuniverse.com) is a New York-based media and experiential events company founded by Gareb and Stephen Shamus, who are the world’s most experienced producers of Comic Con conventions.  Stephen has personally produced over 175 Comic Con events, booked thousands of celebrity guests, and played host to millions of happy fans.  Gareb is a leading pop-culture expert, founder of the largest Comic Con tour in the world, an original producer of national Comic Cons, and publisher of multiple award-winning magazines published in 75 countries worldwide.  ACE Universe produces premium events in world-class venues that feature the best of Film, TV, Gaming, Virtual Reality, Collectibles, Comics, Original Art, Toys, Action Figures, Graphic Novels, Illustrators, Writers, Creators, and Entertainment Programming.  Fans can live stream all ACE Universe events at www.aceuniverse.com and engage with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

November 3, 2017 UPDATE:

(“Captain America” star Chris Evans, Stan Lee and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Tom Holland Image courtesy of ACE Universe)

The following is a press release from ACE Universe:

Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, world-renowned comic book writer and former publisher of Marvel Comics, has been added to the star-studded lineup for ACE Comic Con Arizona, which will take place Jan. 13-15 at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

Lee is known as the creative force behind Marvel Comics and was a co-creator for numerous popular Marvel characters, including Spider-Man.  He also is credited with re-launching Marvel’s Captain America in the 1960s.

“We are committed to bringing fans the best of the best guests, and today’s announcement reinforces this commitment,” said Stephen Shamus, President of ACE Universe. “Stan Lee is an iconic figure, and having the opportunity to take a Photo Op with his superhero creations come to life – Captain America & Spider-Man (Chris Evans & Tom Holland), will create a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Taking a Photo Op with all three will be a truly historic moment.”

Lee will be available for dual photo opportunities with Captain America (Chris Evans) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), as well as a triple photo opportunity with both characters together.  Additionally, Lee will be doing solo photo opportunities and autograph sessions, and take part in a panel discussion which will be live streamed to fans around the world.

Lee also will participate in “Comic Con” night at the Arizona Coyotes – Edmonton Oilers game on Friday, Jan. 12, the night before the kickoff of ACE Comic Con Arizona.  Lee will be on hand to drop the puck to start the game, and a variety of other ACE Comic Con Arizona artists and vendors will be available on the concourse for autographs signings and merchandise sales.

ACE Comic Con Arizona officials announced one additional change to the weekend lineup.  Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter – “Captain America”), who was scheduled to appear both Saturday and Sunday, will now only appear on Sunday as she booked a role in a play. All Saturday ticket holders with VIP packages, photo ops or autographs including Hayley will be notified via email with instructions on how to exchange tickets for Sunday, or to get a refund.

ACE Comic Con Arizona is a division of ACE Universe, a newly launched experiential events company created by brothers Gareb and Stephen Shamus.  With 20 years of experience and 175 Comic Con shows under their belts, the brothers are creating a new immersive experience that looks to redefine the industry and break the mold of the linear Comic Con business.

 

2017 New York Comic Con: What to expect at this year’s event

October 5, 2017

by Carla Hay

New York Comic Con

The 12th annual New York Comic Con takes place October 5 to October 8 in New York City. The event is expected to draw at least 180,000 people, according to ReedPOP, company that produces the event. New York Comic Con’s main hub is at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, but there are also numerous activities taking place at several other locations in the city, including Hammerstein Ballroom, Hudson Mercantile, the New York Public Library and the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

TV shows dominate the most high-profile panels and activities. There are some movies due to be released in theaters that will be showcased at the event. And, of course, there will be plenty of panels, exhibits and previews for comic books, video games, fantasy novels and other pop-culture attractions.

This year, New York Comic Con has joined forces with Keanu Reeves, Hollywood and Puerto Rico Filmmakers and CINE to raise money for he Puerto Rico Film Friends Relief Fund, which will help victims and survivors of Hurricane Maria. Click here to donate or for more information. Reeves will be at New York Comic Con on October 5 to promote his movie “Replicas.”

Here is a list of the TV and movie panels that are expected to draw the largest crowds*:

TELEVISION

BBC America Presents: Peter Capaldi Spotlight

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 6, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Peter Capaldi, star of BBC America’s “Doctor Who,” will head the list of top talent set to attend NYCC. Capaldi, the 12th Doctor, is a Spotlight guest and will join fans for a panel on Friday, October 6. The fan Q&A marks his return to NYCC and is a very special moment leading up to the highly-anticipated Doctor Who Christmas Special, Twice Upon a Time, which is Peter Capaldi’s final episode in the iconic hit series. As previously revealed in the closing moments of the season finale, the special will feature Capaldi’s current Doctor team up with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley.

Rooster Teeth’s “RWBY”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 6, 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Rooster Teeth’s global hit western anime series “RWBY” returns to New York Comic Con, and the cast and crew are here with an exclusive sneak peek at Volume 5. Join Lindsay Jones (Ruby), Barbara Dunkelman (Yang), Miles Luna, Kerry Shawcross, and Gray G. Haddock for exciting “RWBY” news, hilarious behind-the-scenes stories, an audience Q&A and more!

Freeform’s Super Sci-Fi Q&A Panel with “Shadowhunters” and “Beyond”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Fans of Freeform’s hit series “Shadowhunters” and “Beyond” get a glimpse into the upcoming seasons from cast and executive producers. “Will it be smooth sailing for the reunited Malec?,” “Will Holden return to a normal life?,” plus much more will be revealed during this epic panel. Cast and EP participants to be announced at a later date.

Marvel Television Presents: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Join Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television, in celebrating Season Five of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” with the entire cast and executive producers as they come together at Madison Square Garden, for the very first time, with an action-packed panel, Q&A and never-before-seen footage. This is the one you’ve been waiting for!

“Star Trek: Discovery”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

This fall on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, while learning that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The iconic television franchise, which first launched over 50 years ago, continues to remain true to its roots, and Starfleet’s steadfast ideals of adventure, an earnest pursuit for exploration, and the hope that we can all come together for a better tomorrow.  Join members of the cast, alongside the creative minds behind the new series for a panel conversation on Star Trek: Discovery.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

Join “The Walking Dead” cast and executive producers for a panel where they will discuss the season 7 finale and share a sneak peek into season 8, premiering October 22nd 9/8c.

In addition, these TV shows will be showcased with panels at New York Comic Con this year:

  • “American Gods”
  • “Archer: Danger Island”
  • “Ash vs. Evil Dead”
  • “Black Mirror”
  • “Blindspot”
  • “Castle Rock”
  • “Comic Book Men”
  • “Deception”
  • “The Defenders”
  • “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”
  • “Drunk History”
  • “Electric Dreams”
  • “The Exorcist”
  • “Explosion Jones”
  • “Family Guy”
  • “Final Space”
  • “Future Man”
  • “The Gifted”
  • “Gotham”
  • “Happy!”
  • “Hey Arnold!”
  • “Jack Ryan”
  • “Lore”
  • “The Magicians”
  • “The Man in the High Castle”
  • “Once Upon a Time”
  • “The Orville”
  • “Power Rangers Ninja Steel”
  • “Psych Reunion Movie”
  • “The President Show”
  • “Reverie”
  • “Robot Chicken”
  • “Runaways”
  • “The Shannara Chronicles”
  • “Shut Eye”
  • “Siren”
  • “Stan Against Evil”
  • “SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween”
  • “The Tick”
  • “Voltron: Legendary Defender”
  • “The X-Files”

MOVIES

“Pacific Rim Uprising”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 6, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

“Pacific Rim Uprising” director Steven S. DeKnight will be joined by stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Burn Gorman and Cailee Spaeny—as well as moderator Aaron Sagers, SYFY WIRE’s editor-at-large—to discuss the upcoming action-adventure from Legendary and introduce the world premiere of the new trailer.  The follow-up to 2013’s cinematic epic of monsters and mechs, the film will inspire a new generation to become the biggest heroes to ever walk the earth.  Also starring Jing Tian, Rinko Kikuchi, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day, “Pacific Rim Uprising” hits theaters March 2018.

“Professor Marston & the Wonder Women”

Hammerstein Ballroom

October 8, 2017, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

By now every fan knows the origin of Wonder Woman, but very few know about the real-life women who inspired the iconic super-heroine and their unique relationship with the man who created her. “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” tells that fascinating and extraordinary story. Please join us for a preview panel about this acclaimed film with its stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and director Angela Robinson. Everyone attending will receive a “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” poster and pencil. Moderated by Fandango’s Tiffany Smith.

“Replicas”

Javits Center, Room 1A06

October 5, 2017, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Join Keanu Reeves and the team behind “Replicas,” for an exclusive first look and conversation about the film. Reeves developed and produced the “Replicas” with his producing partner, Stephen Hamel, and Transformers-franchise producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura.  The film is written by Chad St. John (“London Has Fallen:) from a story by Hamel, and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (writer of “The Day After Tomorrow”). “Replicas” is the story of a scientist (Reeves) who loses his family in a horrific accident, but is determined save his wife and children by bringing them back to life with cutting-edge cloning technology.

*All panel descriptions are courtesy of New York Comic Con.

2017 Toronto Film Festival: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ wins People’s Choice Award

September 17, 2017

TIFF logo

The Toronto International Film Festival took place from September 7 to September 17, 2017. Here is  the list of this year’s TIFF award winners:

People’s Choice Awards

The Grolsch People’s Choice Award
Winner: Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
First runner-up: Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya”
Second runner-up: Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name”

The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award
Winner: Joseph Kahn’s “Bodied”
First runner-up: James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist”
Second runner-up: Craig Zahler’s “Brawl in Cell Block 99”

The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award
Winner: Agnès Varda and JR’s “Faces Places”
First runner-up: Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier’s “Long Time Running”
Second runner-up: Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”

International Jury Awards

Toronto Platform Prize Presented by Air France
Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country”

The Prizes of the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipreci Prizes)
Winner – Discovery: Sadaf Foroughi’s “Ava”
Winner – Special Presentations: Manuel Martín Cuenca’s “The Motive (El Autor)”

Netpac Award
Winner: Huang Hsin-Yao’s The Great Buddha+

Short Film Jury Awards

IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film
Winner: Marc-Antoine Lemire’s Pre-Drink

IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film
Winner: Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s The Burden (Min Börda)

Canadian Film Jury Awards

City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian Film
Winner: Wayne Wapeemukwa’s “Luk’ Luk’l”

Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film
Winner: Robin Aubert’s “Les Affamés”

2017 Toronto International Film Festival: Event Photos and Videos

TIFF logo

The 42nd Annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place at various locations in Toronto from September 7 to September 17, 2017. Here are some photos and videos from the event:

“Suburbicon”

“mother!”

“Battle of the Sexes”

Fox Searchlight’s TIFF Party

“Mudbound”

“The Mountain Between Us”

 

Grey Goose Vodka events

Reese Witherspoon navigates love and an unusual living situation in ‘Home Again’

September 8, 2017

Reese Witherspoon in "Home Again"
Reese Witherspoon in “Home Again” (Photo by Karen Ballard)

“Home Again” stars Reese Witherspoon as Alice Kinney in a modern romantic comedy. Recently separated from her husband, (played by Michael Sheen), Alice decides to start over by moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles with her two young daughters. During a night out on her 40th birthday, Alice meets three aspiring filmmakers (played by Pico Alexander, Nat Wolff, and Jon Rudnitsky) who happen to be in need of a place to live. Alice agrees to let the guys stay in her guest house temporarily, but the arrangement ends up unfolding in unexpected ways. Alice’s unlikely new family and new romance comes to a crashing halt when her ex-husband shows up, suitcase in hand. “Home Again” is a story of love, friendship, and the families we create. And one very big life lesson: Starting over is not for beginners.

Here are videos and photos from “Home Again”:

 

Orion Pictures relaunches under MGM

September 6, 2017

The following is a press release from Orion Pictures:

Orion Pictures, the well- known motion picture label established in the early 1980s, is being relaunched by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)  as a new, stand-alone U.S. theatrical marketing and distribution company to distribute Orion’s productions and acquisitions, it was announced today by Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Veteran entertainment executive John Hegeman has been appointed to the newly created role of President to run Orion Pictures, reporting to Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s President, Motion Picture Group, beginning this week, ahead of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

The first film released under the new label will be Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Michael Sucsy’s YA romance “Every Day,” starring Angourie Rice, Maria Bello and Debby Ryan on February 2, 2018. Based on David Levithan’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, “Every Day” tells the story of Rhiannon (Rice), a 16-year-old girl, who falls in love with a spirit named A, a traveling soul who wakes each morning in a different body, living a different life every day.  The screenplay was written by Jesse Andrews (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”). “Every Day” is an MGM Pictures production produced by Likely Story and FilmWave.

In making the announcement, Barber said, “Orion is one of MGM’s legacy brands that has released crowd-pleasing hits like “The Terminator,” “Robocop,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “Hoosiers,” and such critically acclaimed films as “Silence of the Lambs” and “Dances With the Wolves.” We couldn’t think of a better time to revitalize this nostalgic brand and return to U.S. theatrical distribution utilizing this label, with John leading the marketing and distribution efforts.”

“After working together, we saw first-hand John’s ingenuity in creating disruptive marketing campaigns with limited budgets. He is the ideal executive to lead Orion as he has proven that he can deftly craft strategies for releases, spanning all genres, to reach targeted audiences without the burden of high-cost traditional advertising,” said Glickman.

Hegeman, who early in his career spent over a decade at Orion, added, “Orion Pictures was founded as a home for innovative filmmakers with unique voices and stories to tell. The new Orion Pictures will embrace that same principle and continue to release commercial entertainment that does not conform to any specific genre, platform or scope. I am excited to work together with Gary and Jon and for what lies ahead. ”

Under the new Orion Pictures label, Hegeman will build out a theatrical distribution, marketing and digital team and will be responsible for the marketing and distribution of four to six modestly- budgeted films a year, across genres and platforms, both wide and limited releases for targeted audiences.

Hegeman joins Orion from Blumhouse Productions’ Blumhouse Tilt (“BH Tilt”), where he served as President of the division. BH Tilt is known for exploring new distribution and marketing methods through socially and digitally driven campaigns to reach specific audience segments. During his time at BH Tilt, Hegeman oversaw the successful wide release of the Orion Pictures’ production of James Gunn’s horror thriller, “The Belko Experiment” in March 2017. Hegeman also spearheaded innovative campaigns for such BH Tilt releases as Eli Roth’s “The Green Inferno,” “The Darkness,” and went beyond horror with the recently successful launch of “Lowriders,” in conjunction with Telemundo.

Hegeman has long been regarded as one of the industry’s leading innovators in theatrical marketing, having worked on such diverse titles as “Fury,” “28 Weeks Later,” “Crash,” “Saw,” Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Blair Witch Project” and “Birdcage,” among many others.

Prior to BH Tilt, Hegeman has held various executive positions, including Chief Marketing Officer for New Regency Productions; Chief Operating Officer for Fox Atomic; and President of Worldwide Marketing for both Lionsgate and Artisan Entertainment.

2017 Fantastic Fest: Final wave of programming announced

September 5, 2017

Fantastic Fest 2017 LOGO

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

***

Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

***
Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

***
Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

2017 Fantastic Fest: Satellite offshoots added in New York, San Francisco, Denver

September 1, 2017

Fantastic Fest 2017 LOGO

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Fantastic Fest is proud to announce the creation of a trio of ‘satellites’ hitting three flagship Alamo Drafthouse theater locations: New York, San Francisco and Denver. Spanning the weekend of September 29 to October 1, these satellites will share a highly-curated selection of Fantastic Fest’s signature programming with audiences who crave the best in adventurous genre cinema from across the world.

“For too long Austin has had all the Fantastic fun,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director, Evrim Ersoy. “We’ve long wanted to share these brilliant films with the widest audience possible, by opening up these three satellites it’s our first step in expanding their exposure and having them embraced by new audiences.”

This year’s slate of satellite films share the the DNA and lineage of programming that has helped Fantastic Fest become the largest genre film festival in the U.S. and be dubbed “America’s wildest film festival” by The Guardian. Highlights include S. Craig Zahler’s Venice Festival debutante BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, Takashi Miike’s deliriously violent 100th film BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, MY FRIEND DAHMER, Marc Myers’ powerful adaptation of the celebrated graphic novel and a super secret, mystery movie courtesy of American Genre FIlm Archive that has to be seen to be believed.

Tickets for these shows will go on sale Wednesday September 7th at 1pm EST. A limited number of badges for the San Francisco Fantastic Fest will go on sale today at 12pm PST.

New York Fantastic Fest – Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn
AGFA Presents: Mystery Movie
Blade of the Immortal
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Jailbreak
My Friend Dahmer
Top Knot Detective

San Francisco Fantastic Fest – Alamo Drafthouse Mission
AGFA Presents: Mystery Movie
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Hagazussa
Jailbreak
My Friend Dahmer
The Square
Top Knot Detective

Denver Fantastic Fest – Alamo Drafthouse Denver- Sloan Lake
AGFA Presents: Mystery Movie
Blade of the Immortal
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Hagazussa
Jailbreak
My Friend Dahmer
The Square
Top Knot Detective

2017 BFI London Film Festival: programming slate announced

August 31, 2017

2017 BFI London Film Festival logo

The following is a press release from the BFI London Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® today announces its full programme, featuring a diverse selection of 242 feature films from both established and emerging talent. This 12 day celebration of cinema illustrates the richness of international filmmaking, with films to delight and entertain audiences, and also films that probe and interrogate issues of significance.

The Festival is the UK’s leading and most prestigious film festival, representing one of the first opportunities for audiences – both the UK public and film industry professionals – to see the very best new films from across the globe, alongside an events programme with some of the world’s most inspiring creative talents. This year, the Festival will host 28 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres and 34 European Premieres and will welcome a stellar line up of cast and crew for many of the films.’

The 242 feature programmes screening at the Festival include: 46 documentaries, 6 animations, 14 archive restorations and 16 artists’ moving image features. The programme also includes 128 short films, and 67 countries are represented across short film and features.
Each evening of the Festival sees a Headline Gala presentation at Odeon Leicester Square. Films in Official Competition and Strand Galas are once again presented at the 820-seat Embankment Garden Cinema following a successful inaugural year in 2016, with audiences and filmmakers alike praising its quality of cinema experience. This temporary venue, constructed to the highest technical specifications, brings the festival to even more people and connects screenings in the West End with the BFI’s home cinema at BFI Southbank.

Alongside the Galas, Special Presentations and films in Competitions, the Festival will show a thrilling range of new cinema in sections Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Experimenta and Family – which provide pathways for audiences to navigate the programme. In 2017, the LFF presents a new strand, Create, featuring films that celebrate artistic practice in all its channels and forms the electricity of the creative process, reflecting London’s position as one of the world’s leading creative cities.

Audiences have the opportunity to hear some of the world’s creative leaders through the Festival’s acclaimed talks’ series LFF Connects, which features artists working at the intersection of film and other creative industries, and Screen Talks, a series of in-depth interviews with leaders in contemporary cinema. Participants this year include Julian Rosefeldt & Cate Blanchett, David Fincher, Demis Hassabis, Nitin Sawhney, Johan Knattrup Jensen, Ian McEwan and Takashi Miike.

As one of the few film festivals in the world to be staged in a production capital, the Festival takes its place as a jewel in the crown of London’s cultural calendar, channelling the excellence of one of the world’s most vibrant cultural cities, and highlighting the enormous wealth of talent working in film today, both behind and in front of the camera. Alongside the industry programme and Awards, the Festival proudly acts as a launch
pad for new as well as established voices, and supports filmmakers throughout their career aiming to interrogate how film and filmmaking reflects – and reflects on – our society.

The BFI London Film Festival each year provides a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas, with films stimulating debate and shining a light on pressing social and political issues. This year a number of ‘talking points’ ripple through the Festival programme, including:
• LBGT – In the year of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the Festival presents a powerful LGBT line-up.
• Immigration and Social Division – Two of the defining themes of our times are explored by filmmakers who are committed to telling powerful and complex stories about borders – both real and psychological.
• Black Star – Following the BFI’s landmark season celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors in film, recent world events give new urgency to questions of opportunity, and basic human rights.
• Visionaries – Cinema remains one of the most exhilaratingly kinetic and visually potent storytelling forms, and many filmmakers this year impress with the singularity and power of their vision, with keen imagination and dazzling style.
• Thrill – It’s a very strong year for global thrill seekers at the Festival, with a particularly strong showing from East Asia, which comes as the BFI embarks on the UK-wide season BFI Thriller, exploring how the genre reflects societal upheavals, fears and anxieties.
• Strong Women – The Festival continues to shine a light on strong women behind and in front of the camera. At this year’s Festival, 61 women directors are represented in the feature film selection, approximately 25% of the programme.
• Deafness and disability – Both feature with marked prominence in this year’s Festival programme, though the film industry still has a long way to go in terms of representation for disabled people. The Festival’s industry programme will include a partnership event on equality of opportunity and expression for deaf and disabled people working in film & television.
The Festival takes over screens at fifteen venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Vue Leicester Square and the iconic Odeon Leicester Square; central London venues – BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Empire Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – Hackney Picturehouse , Rich Mix in Shoreditch and Curzon Chelsea. Special screenings will also be held at the National Gallery and the Barbican, and several key events will also be cinecasted to cinema venues around the UK.

“It is a delight to welcome some of the most thrilling storytellers from across the world to the Festival – we love to watch and engage with the extraordinary conversations that the Festival brings to our doorstep with every edition,” comments Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, BFI. “London has a big heart and this year we are again reminded of the generosity and freedom of this awesome capital city of ours which so readily embraces this multiplicity of cultures and new voices. This creativity is reflected across the UK and the engine that is enabling filmmaking to thrive, supported by a favourable fiscal environment, outstanding skills and talent and ever expanding infrastructure and facilities.”

“In these globally tumultuous times, filmmakers around the world have increasingly urgent stories to tell and more reasons than ever to reimagine our reality,” comments Clare Stewart, Festival Director. “This year’s BFI London Film Festival programme is rich with opportunity – to stay informed, be challenged, feel the pleasure of escape and see the world differently.”
Whether it’s short films or documentaries, live action or animation, audiences should find a film to suit their passions – and with a range of ticket options, including family ticket prices and £5 rush tickets for under-25s, the Festival will bring the vibrancy of the world’s film industry to as many people as possible, offering an unparalleled experience to see the films that everyone will be talking for months.

GALAS

OPENING & CLOSING NIGHT GALAS

As previously announced, the Festival opens with the European Premiere of BREATHE, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, on Wednesday 4 October. Adventurous and charismatic, Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) has his whole life ahead of him when he is paralysed by polio whilst in Africa and given just months to live. Against all advice, Robin’s wife Diana (Claire Foy) brings him home from hospital where her devotion and witty determination inspire him to lead along and fulfilled life. Together they refuse to be limited by expectations, dazzling others with their humour, courage and lust for life. A live cinecast brings all of the excitement from Leicester Square to simultaneous screenings taking place at cinemas across the UK.

The Festival closes with Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI on Sunday 15 October, marking McDonagh’s return to the Festival following the presentation of Seven Pyschopaths (2012). THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama, which sees Mildred Hayes (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) take a stand against the town’s revered chief of police, William Willoughby (Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson) after months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case.

HEADLINE GALAS

The American Express Gala is the rousing BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Receiving its European Premiere, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s film dramatises the build up to the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). Billed ‘Battle of the Sexes’ in the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the match became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME features as the Mayor of London’s Gala. Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash LFF 2015) returns to the Festival with this adaptation of André Aciman’s coming-of-age novel – a sun-kissed, cinematic ode to the ecstasy and exquisite pain of first love, starring Timothée Chalamet as Elio, a musically gifted 17-year-old whose idyllic summer break takes a tumultuous turn when Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives to stay at the family palazzo.

The BFI Patrons’ Gala, DOWNSIZING, is a wildly inventive and satirical film from Alexander Payne (Nebraska, LFF 2014) which puts climate change, mobility and immigration under the microscope. After Norwegian scientists discover a method for shrinking people to pocket-size as part of a grand design to limit humanity’s footprint, a thriving parallel ‘small’ society emerges. Ordinary, work-a-day Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) wants to scale-up his options by sizing-down, but things begin to go awry when his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) gets cold feet.

The May Fair Hotel Gala is the European Premiere of FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, in which Annette Bening and Jamie Bell vividly bring to the screen the intense romance between Academy Award®-winning star of The Big Heat and In a Lonely Place, Gloria Grahame and her much younger lover. The film is directed by Paul McGuigan and produced by Colin Vaines and Barbara Broccoli.

Director Saul Dibb brings R C Sheriff’s classic play JOURNEY’S END to the big screen with shattering potency. When C Company, led by Captain Stanhope (Sam Claflin) is about to take its posting on the front line during the First World War, with munitions and morale depleted each man’s character is laid bare. The film receives its European Premiere at the LFF.
Yorgos Lanthimos follow-ups The Lobster (LFF 2015), with Headline Gala THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman star in a deliciously twisted and slyly macabre morality tale which interlaces elements of Greek tragedy, surrealism and absurdist horror.

Richard Linklater returns to the Festival with the International Premiere of LAST FLAG FLYING, a tribute and sequel to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail. Both droll road movie and a meditation on the futility of war, the film stars Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne as an endearingly shambolic threesome of veterans reunited by one man’s tragedy.

MUDBOUND is Dees Rees’ triumphant return to the Festival after Pariah (LFF 2011). Receiving its European Premiere as the Royal Bank of Canada Gala, her majestic epic examines the histories of two families in the Deep South, charting how the unlikely friendship of two Second World War veterans ignites racial tension.

Exuberantly drawing on classic 1950s sci-fi B-movies and the on-going fascination with Area 51 conspiracy theories, the American Airlines Gala THE SHAPE OF WATER, is an old-school tale of the inexplicable and pure cinematic joy from Guillermo del Toro, featuring a wonderful central performance from Sally Hawkins.
Former Best Film and Sutherland Winner, Lynne Ramsay returns to the Festival with Headline Gala YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, a stark inversion of the noir thriller. This devastatingly brutal portrayal of one man’s battle with repression and abuse is anchored by a rage-fuelled, Cannes-winning performance from Joaquin Phoenix.

STRAND AND FESTIVAL GALAS

The Festival Gala, in association with Time Out, features Sean Baker’s magical, magnificent and madcap follow up to Tangerine (LFF 2015), THE FLORIDA PROJECT, an instant classic about childhood innocence set against the backdrop of America’s failed economy.
More about Strand Galas can be found in each of the sections below but in 2017, they are: the Dare Gala, François Ozon’s AMANT DOUBLE; the Family Gala, Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert’s THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES; the Thrill Gala, Takashi Miike’s BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL; the Debate Gala, Samuel Maoz’s FOXTROT; the Laugh Gala in association with Empire, Noah Baumbach’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED); the Love Gala, Dominic Cooke’s ON CHESIL BEACH; the Create Gala, Michel Hazanavicius’ REDOUBTABLE; the Archive Gala, SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA; the Cult Gala, Joachim Trier’s THELMA and the Journey Gala, Todd Haynes’ WONDERSTRUCK.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Eight Special Presentations shine the spotlight on new work from major directors. The European Premiere of DARK RIVER is Clio Barnard’s searing, eloquent response to Rose Tremain’s novel Trespass in which two siblings struggle to come to terms with their inheritance following the death of their father. With HAPPY END, Michael Haneke ingeniously reworks and updates the enduringly relevant themes of all his previous films in one brief, brilliant, sometimes slyly satirical gem, whilst Sally Potter’s THE PARTY brings together a brilliant ensemble cast for a supremely entertaining satire on Britain’s political elite. Lucretia Martel makes an eagerly awaited follow up to 2008’s The Headless Woman with ZAMA, presented in association with Sight & Sound, a film charting the epic decline of an 18th century colonial empire ruled over by a distant Spain.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, the BFI Flare Special Presentation returns with A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Sebastián Lelio’s brilliant and avowedly queer drama about a transwoman navigating the death of her lover. The Documentary Special Presentation is the European Premiere of THE FINAL YEAR, recounting the final, momentous year of the Obama administration with extraordinary intimacy by Greg Barker, whose Manhunt screened in the LFF 2013 Documentary Competition, whilst the Experimenta Special Presentation, LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM sees the return of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat with a film-within-a-film about one of the Arab world’s greatest ever female vocalists. Finally, 2017 sees the first LFF Connects Special Presentation with the European Premiere of the first two episodes of MINDHUNTER, David Fincher’s sharply scripted Zodiac-style procedural, based on the men who first coined the phrase ‘serial killer’.

Key filmmaking talent due to attend the Festival’s gala and special presentation screenings include:
Andy Serkis, Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Martin McDonagh, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Luca Guadagnino, Timothée Chalamet, Paul McGuigan, Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Saul Dibb, Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield, Toby Jones, Stephen Graham, Yorgos Lanthimos, Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Richard Linklater, Bryan Cranston, Dee Rees, Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Guillermo del Toro, Lynne Ramsay, Joaquin Phoenix, François Ozon, Patrick Imbert, Takashi Miike, Sean Baker, Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Valeria Cotto, Bria Vinaite, Samuel Maoz, Noah Baumbach, Emma Thompson, Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Michel Hazanavicius, Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo, Joachim Trier, Todd Haynes, Oakes Fegley, Jaden Michael, Clio Barnard, Daniela Vega, Greg Barker, Shirin Neshat, David Fincher, Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallanay, Sally Potter, Bruno Ganz, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Lucrecia Martel.

AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS

The BFI London Film Festival Awards celebrate the highest creative achievements of British and international filmmakers showcased in our Competitive sections, applauding extraordinary storytelling and inventive filmmaking across all the categories. The winners in each competition are selected by festival juries and announced at the LFF Awards, a high profile awards dinner held at Banqueting House on Saturday 14 October.

The Best Film Award is presented to the winner of the Official Competition; the Sutherland Award is presented to the winner of the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award is presented to the winning film in the Documentary Competition. Each section is open to International and British films. The Jury for each category will be announced ahead of the opening of the Festival. Paul Greengrass will be presented with the BFI Fellowship award at this year’s Awards ceremony.

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

The Official Competition, recognising inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking, includes the following shortlisted titles:
 Robin Campillo, 120 BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE)
 Vivian Qu, ANGELS WEAR WHITE
 Majid Majidi, BEYOND THE CLOUDS (World Premiere)
 Nora Twomey, THE BREADWINNER (European Premiere)
 Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, GOOD MANNERS
 Xavier Beauvois, THE GUARDIANS (European Premiere)
 Andrew Haigh, LEAN ON PETE
 Andrey Zvyagintsev, LOVELESS
 Azazel Jacobs, THE LOVERS (European Premiere)
 Warwick Thornton, SWEET COUNTRY
 Cory Finley, THOROUGHBRED (International Premiere)
 Annemarie Jacir, WAJIB
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
Titles in consideration for the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition recognising an original and imaginative directorial debut are:
 Daniel Kokotajlo, APOSTASY
 Léa Mysius, AVA
 Michael Pearce, BEAST (European Premiere)
 Ofir Raul Graizer, THE CAKEMAKER
 Gilles Coulier, CARGO
 Kogonada, COLUMBUS
 Rungano Nyoni, I AM NOT A WITCH
 Léonor Serraille, JEUNE FEMME
 Ana Asensio, MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
 Carla Simón, SUMMER 1993
 Hlynur Pálmason, WINTER BROTHERS
 John Trengove, THE WOUND
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
The Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition category recognises cinematic documentaries with integrity, originality, and social or cultural significance. This year the Festival is screening:
 Maryam Goormaghtigh, BEFORE SUMMER ENDS
 Elvira Lind, BOBBI JENE
 Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Behrouz Boochani, CHAUKA, PLEASE TELL US THE TIME (International Premiere)
 Radu Jude, THE DEAD NATION
 Shevaun Mizrahi, DISTANT CONSTELLATION
 Frederick Wiseman, EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
 Agnès Varda, JR, FACES PLACES
 Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth, GRAY HOUSE
 Brett Morgen, JANE (European Premiere)
 Lucy Cohen, KINGDOM OF US (World Premiere)
 Emmanuel Gras, MAKALA
 Sonia Kronlund, THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD

SHORT FILM AWARD

The Short Film Award recognises short form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content. This year the Festival is screening:
 Gabriel Abrantes, THE ARTIFICIAL HUMORS
 Phil Collins, DELETE BEACH
 Billie Pleffer, FYSH (International Premiere)
 Anna Cazenave Cambet, GABBER LOVER
 Karishma Dube, GODDESS
 Aegina Brahim, LAWS OF THE GAME
 Jonathan Vinel, MARTIN CRIES
 Patrick Bresnan THE RABBIT HUNT
 Moin Hussain, REAL GODS REQUIRE BLOOD
 Kibwe Tavares, ROBOT & SCARECROW
 Kazik Radwanski, SCAFFOLD
 Harry Lighton, WREN BOYS (World Premiere)
Additional filmmaking talent attending for feature films in competition include:
Robin Campillo, Vivian Qu, Majid Majidi, Nora Twomey, Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, Xavier Beauvois, Laura Smet, Andrew Haigh, Charlie Plummer, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Azazel Jacobs, Warwick Thornton, Cory Finley, Annemarie Jacir, Daniel Kokotajlo, Michael Pearce, Ofir Raul Graizer, Gilles Coulier, Rungano Nyoni, Léonor Sérraille, Laetitia Dosch, Ana Asensio, Carla Simón, Hlynur Pálmason, John Trengove, Maryam Goormaghtigh,
Elvira Lind, Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Radu Jude, Shevaun Mizrahi, Frederick Wiseman, Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth, Brett Morgen, Emmanuel Gras, Sonia Kronlund.
The Festival will announce its complete guest line up for all sections in early October.

STRANDS

The Festival programme is organised in sections to encourage discovery and to open up the Festival to new audiences. The strands are: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Treasures and Experimenta.

LOVE

Sweet, passionate, tough – Love is a complex and many-splendoured thing and this selection charts the highs and lows of many kinds of love from around the globe. The Love Gala is the European Premiere of Dominic Cooke’s quietly heart-breaking film debut ON CHESIL BEACH. Saoirse Ronan and rising actor Billy Howle star as a young couple in the early 1960s struggling to physically connect on their honeymoon, impeccably adapted for the big screen by Ian McEwan from his own Man Booker-shortlisted novela.
Oher highlights in this section include: CLOSE-KNIT, Naoko Ogigami’s quietly subversive and emotionally rich portrait of a transwoman whose maternal feelings are stirred by the arrival of her boyfriend’s 11-year-old niece; THE GROWN-UPS, Maïte Alberdi’s tender and bittersweet documentary portrait of Chileans Anita and Andres, who have Down’s syndrome and are very much in love; the World Premiere of Carlos Marques-Marcet’s ANCHOR AND HOPE, a London-set story about modern love and family featuring Oona Chaplin; John Cameron Mitchell’s cosmic ride HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES, sees aliens have landed in 1970s Croydon in a funny, energetic love story starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp and Nicole Kidman; the World Premiere of JOURNEYMAN, features Paddy Considine following up his acclaimed debut Tyrannosaur with the story of a boxer who must rebuild his life after a near-fatal injury; GOING WEST, a World Premiere from Norwegian newcomer Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken who delivers a sweetly delicious road movie; LET THE SUNSHINE IN, Claire Denis’ darkly witty drama starring Juliette Binoche as an artist caught up in a series of unsatisfying affairs, and David Gordon Green’s rousing yet devastating true-story drama STRONGER featuring a remarkable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal as a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.

DEBATE

Representing films that amplify, scrutinize, argue and surprise, Debate inspires riveting conversation, which is never more engaging than when the world outside the cinema is reflected back at us. This year’s Debate Gala is Samuel Maoz’s FOXTROT, a film that combines thrilling cinematography with superb performances, and highlights the absurdities of conscripted service.
Debate also includes: BIRDS ARE SINGING IN KIGALI, Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze’s hard-hitting drama about the intertwined lives of two refugee survivors reeling from the impact of the Rwandan genocide and containing powerful central performances; the World Premiere of THE CLIMB, Michael Woodward’s debut documentary that charts Greenpeace’s daring all-female team that illegally ascended The Shard in protest against petroleum giant Shell’s plans to dig for oil in the Arctic; the World Premiere of THE FORGIVEN, Roland Joffé’s political drama starring Forest Whitaker as Desmond Tutu and Eric Bana as Piet Blomfeld, asking how far we can go in forgiving past crimes; the World Premiere of ISLAND, Steven Eastwood’s haunting and deeply moving documentary combining observational footage with contemplative shots of the costal landscapes of the Isle of Wight, and set among terminally ill cancer patients, and THE VENERABLE W., Barbet Schroeder’s disturbingly illuminating portrait of Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, who was known for espousing anti-Muslim hatred.

LAUGH

From laugh-out-loud comedy, to dry and understated, Laugh celebrates humour in all its forms. This year’s Laugh Gala, in association with Empire magazine, is Noah Baumbach’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND
SELECTED). A stellar cast give uniformly excellent performances, including Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Elizabeth Marvel and Emma Thompson. Through the madcap antics of a neurotic, failure-obsessed clan, Baumbach surfaces bigger questions about how to value family and the meaning of success.
Laugh also includes: the World Premiere of Adrian Shergold’s FUNNY COW, which contains a formidable performance from Maxine Peake as an aspiring stand-up comic confronting her violent husband and the sexist Northern England club circuit; INGRID GOES WEST, Matt Spicer’s jet-black stalker comedy brilliantly skewers dangerous obsession and the sham of Instagrammed perfection with wicked and fearless performances from Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza; joy and grace flow out of Dustin Guy Defa’s observational comedy drama PERSON TO PERSON, starring Michael Cera as a reporter keen on quoting (his own) heavy metal lyrics; Daan Bakker’s QUALITY TIME is perfect for lovers of experimental and irreverent cinema offering a portmanteau selection of stories of male arrested development; and Henrik Ruben Genz’s WORD OF GOD is set months after the Chernobyl disaster and provides dark and dirty humour where pretty much nothing is off limits.

DARE

In your face, up-front and arresting, films in Dare take you out of, and beyond, your comfort zone. The Dare Gala is François Ozon’s frisky new thriller, AMANT DOUBLE, a deliciously duplicitous tale of psychoanalysis and seduction that channels the spirits of Hitchcock and De Palma at their naughtiest and stars Jérémie Renier, Marine Vacth and Jacqueline Bisset.
Other highlights in the strand include: Eliza Hittman’s BEACH RATS, a gripping investigation of repressed sexual desire in a hyper-masculine environment; Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi’s touching drama GIANT, set in 19th century Spain and based on the true story of Mikel Jokin Eleizegi, allegedly the tallest man of his time; Semih Kaplanoğlu’s spellbinding dystopian sci-fi, GRAIN in which climate change has caused the near-extinction of human life; Liu Jian’s adult animé HAVE A NICE DAY, a biting, bone-dry satire on contemporary Chinese social mores and featuring plenty of bloodthirsty Tarantino-esque genre thrills; the European Premiere of Bornila Chatterjee’s THE HUNGRY, which reworks Shakespeare’s bloody Titus Andronicus into a macabre modern tragedy set in Northern India; Barbara Albert’s resplendent drama MADEMOISELLE PARADIS, based on the true story of Maria Theresia ‘Resi’ von Paradis, a gifted blind musician and contemporary of Mozart, paraded through Vienna’s courts to perform; Jean Libon and Yves Hinant’s jaw-dropping and extraordinary documentary SO HELP ME GOD, which details the work of an unorthodox Belgian judge Anne Gruwez as she tackles gruesome crimes, domestic violence and other sordid cases; and WESTERN, director Valeska Grisebach’s contemporary western in which tensions mount between German construction workers and Bulgarian villagers in a small rural town.

THRILL

Thrill features nerve-shredders that’ll get your adrenaline pumping and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This year’s Thrill Gala is Takashi Miike’s savage and inventive action thriller, BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, based on the famous manga series by Hiroaki Samurai about a samurai cursed with immortal life and has the distinction of being Miike’s 100th feature film.
Thrill also features: the European Premiere of Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Thai teen thriller BAD GENIUS, in which young brainiac Lynn uses a very special set of skills to cheat on behalf of her classmates in the high-stakes world of entrance exams for elite international universities; the European Premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s THE BRAWLER in which a young and talented Indian boxer dreams of being champion, but is knocked sideways when he falls for the niece of the man blocking his road to success; Aaron Katz’s GEMINI in which a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant, Jill played by Lola Kirke and her Hollywood movie star boss Heather played by Zoë Kravitz; the Safdie brothers’ latest film GOOD TIME features Robert Pattinson as a small-time New York criminal, who after a bank robbery goes seriously wrong, devises a plan to spring his injured accomplice from police custody; Jennifer Peedom’s spectacular documentary MOUNTAIN, is a mind-blowing symphony of images and sound chronicling the powerful attraction mountains hold over us; love, crime and action combine in a taut and twisty thriller-cum-romance in Michaël R. Roskam’s RACER AND THE JAILBIRD starring Adèle Exarchopoulos as Bibi, a young racing driver
and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gigi the Jailbird, a dashing playboy with, it seems, time and money to burn; Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms’ blackly comic, crime noir, SMALL TOWN CRIME (European Premiere) stars John Hawkes as alcoholic former cop Mike, channelling a drunk Columbo who embarks on his own unofficial crime investigation while Octavia Spencer plays his supportive sister Kelly who is starting to lose patience with Mike’s lying, drifting and drinking; and the International Premiere of Xin Yukun’s sophisticated arthouse thriller, WRATH OF SILENCE featuring martial arts maestro Song Yang, as a mute bruiser who returns to his home, a remote farming village, following the disappearance of his son. With tight plotting, memorable characters and an unforgettable climax, director Xin Yukun establishes himself as a new international filmmaker you need to know.

CULT

From the mind-altering and unclassifiable to fantasy, sci-fi and horror, in the Cult strand, the dark side is welcomed. The Cult Gala is Joachim Trier’s subtle shocker THELMA, a supernaturally-tinged tale of a young woman’s macabre coming of age.
Other titles in the strand include: S. Craig Zahler’s genre-bending, bone-crunching exercise in slow-burn suspense, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, starring Vince Vaughn as a former boxer-turned mechanic involved in a drug deal that goes wrong that sees him behind bars; the walking dead get a second chance at life in David Freyne’s debut THE CURED starring Ellen Page in an inventive and surprising post-zombie era drama where a cure has been found for the infected and the rehabilitated are transitioned back into society; the World Premiere of Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s GHOST STORIES in which they bring their hit London stage play to the big screen, with suitably chilling results. Nyman plays Phillip Goodman, an academic and professional sceptic out to debunk claims of the supernatural , but when he stumbles across a long lost file containing three unsolved cases of the Occult, his whole belief system – not to mention his sanity – is thrown into question; LET THE CORPSES TAN is directing duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s influential 1971 crime novel and the result is a sun-drenched Western-tinged, crime-caper; MY FRIEND DAHMER is director Marc Meyers’ adaptation of John Backderf’s revered graphic novel and is an unnerving portrait of one of America’s most prolific murderers, Jeffrey Dahmer; and Paco Plaza’s much-anticipated new horror film, VERONICA, inspired by an actual unsolved case in Spain and a no-holds-barred supernatural shocker.

JOURNEY

Whether it’s the journey or the destination, these films will transport you and shift your perspective. This year’s Journey Gala is Todd Haynes’ new film WONDERSTRUCK, an enthralling adaptation of Brian Selznick’s acclaimed young adult novel. Featuring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams in supporting roles alongside a gifted young cast, Oakes Fegley and newcomer Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actress making her film debut, it is both a whimsical children’s film for adults and a refreshingly grown-up film for children.
Other Journey titles include: Arshad Khan’s ABU, a compelling documentary about a young Pakistani man’s difficulties in coping with migration and the resultant cultural change, his emerging sexuality and an increasingly orthodox father; Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji’s THE JOURNEY, a taut, thought-provoking thriller that tackles what might just be the final moments of a potential suicide bomber’s life; David Batty’s stylish documentary MY GENERATION, presented and narrated by Michael Caine, playfully explores the impact of Britain’s working class cultural revolution in the 1960s and features a wealth of archive footage and a spot-on soundtrack from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who, which makes for an exhilarating journey back in time; the European Premiere of Egyptian director Amr Salama’s SHEIKH JACKSON, a bittersweet and poignant tale of an Islamist preacher experiencing a crisis of faith following the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson; Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh’s fascinating and immersive exploration of mindfulness, WALK WITH ME, featuring narration by Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the daily rituals and routine of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and offers a rare insight into life within a monastic community; and the World Premiere of THE WHITE GIRL, where debut director Jenny Suen collaborates with legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle on an intoxicating and textually rich film.

CREATE

The brand new Create strand channels the electricity of the act of creation, celebrating artistic expression in all its forms. The inaugural Create Gala is Michel Hazanavicius’ REDOUBTABLE, an audacious, multi-layered biopic of French cinema’s most notorious director, Jean-Luc Godard.
Also in Create: Greg Kohs’ ALPHAGO the story of how Google’s DeepMind team took on Go world champion Lee Sedol, posing questions about whether computers can think creatively and whether there is an algorithm for intuition; the World Premiere of THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS, Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s portrait of one of the great British folks singers who mysteriously lost her voice in 1980; G-FUNK tells the story of how three childhood friends from East Long Beach Warren G, Snoop Dogg and the late great Nate Dogg, transformed hip-hop into a global phenomenon and changed the world; the World Premiere of William Badgely’s HERE TO BE HEARD: THE STORY OF THE SLITS is a riveting film about the game-changing and largely female feminist punk band; Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s LOVING VINCENT is a stunning, fully painted animated feature created in the style of Van Gogh’s paintings matching extraordinary style with richly satisfying storytelling, broadcast live from the National Gallery to cinemas nationwide; and Julian Rosefeldt’s MANIFESTO starring Cate Blanchett as thirteen different characters in this energetic tribute to artistic troublemakers.

FAMILY

Showcasing films for the young, as well as the young at heart, this year’s Family section is, as always, an international affair. The Family Gala is THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES, an outstanding, laugh-a-minute animation from Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert, the team behind Ernest & Celestine (LFF 2012, Family Gala) and is guaranteed to appeal to adults as much as it will to children.
Other highlights include Chang-yong Moon and Jin Jeon’s beautifully made documentary BECOMING WHO I WAS about a young monk Padma Angdu, who is said to be the latest incarnation of a religious teacher, known as a Rinpoche, and his attempts to reach the home he had in a former life; Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang’s visually breath-taking Chinese animated fantasy, BIG FISH & BEGONIA is as near to the best of Studio Ghibli as you’re likely to find anywhere; Meikeminne Clinckspoor’s family adventure CLOUDBOY is about 12-year-old Niilas who is sent away against his wishes to spend the summer with his estranged mother in Swedish Lapland, among the indigenous reindeer herding Sami people; and winner of the top prize at this year’s Annecy Animation Film Festival, Masaaki Yuasa’s anime LU OVER THE WALL brings human and merfolk together with surprising outcomes. This funky, upbeat tale is full of energy, features cute ‘merdogs’, musical mermaids and a giant humanoid shark and has a really cool soundtrack.
This section also includes a programme of animated shorts for younger audiences which bring together eclectic, exciting and colourful films from all around the globe.

TREASURES

Integrated into our strands, our Treasures selection brings recently restored cinematic classics from archives around the world to the Festival in London. The Archive Gala is the World Premiere of the BFI National Archive restoration of the silent film SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA (1928), a ravishing, romantic tale based on the story of the 17th century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, his queen and the building of the world’s most beautiful monument to love, the Taj Mahal. Directed by Franz Osten, based on a play by Niranjan Pal and starring and produced by Himansu Rai, the film was shot entirely in India and performed by an all-Indian cast. A new score commissioned by the BFI from world-renowned sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar will be performed live with an ensemble of musicians playing Indian and western instruments. The restoration and new score are part of the BFI’s contribution to the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.
Other highlights include the World Premieres of the 4K restoration by Sony Pictures Entertainment of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946); the digitally remastered experimental documentary FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN WHITE MASK (1996), directed by artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, as well as the new 4K restoration, by The BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation, of Terry Gilliam’s first feature as a solo director, JABBERWOCKY (1977). The Festival will also screen the 4K restoration of Toshio Matsumoto’s
FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES (1969), a wild, kaleidoscopic vision of the underground scene in 1960s Japan and a significant influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Italian genre-master Dario Argento’s eye-popping slice of technicolour terror, SUSPIRIA (1977) with stunning 4K restoration.

EXPERIMENTA

Experimenta, in association with Lux, features films and videos by artists who transform our experience of seeing moving images. Arts Council England are also generously supporting the Experimenta programme.
Highlights include: the World Premiere of Benedict Seymour’s DEAD THE ENDS, a politically urgent retelling of Chris Marker’s La Jetée bookended by the 2011 London riots; ERASE AND FORGET, Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s film is an excavation of the influence of fiction on truth in the American imagination of warfare and gun culture; the World Premiere of LEK AND THE DOGS, Andrew Kötting’s account of the ultimate outsider uses a range of visual styles derived from avant garde and genre cinema, and Kevin Jerome Everson’s TONSLER PARK uses an unobtrusive observational style to divulge the mechanisms behind the operation of Election Day at polling stations in Charlottesville, Virginia.

SHORTS

The eclectic range of shorts this year will make audiences experience a range of emotions from euphoria to sadness as they cover all the different strands in the programme.
Like A Heartbeat Drives You Mad (LOVE Strand) brings together stories of disapproving parents, difficult love and traumatic break-ups in this selection of films from all over the world, including Daisy Jacob’s THE FULL STORY, an animation about a father’s affair, family break-up and sibling rivalry.
Distilled Identities (DEBATE Strand) explores stories that question identity and belonging, including Kazik Radwanski’s SCAFFOLD, depicting the daily interactions of two Bosnian-Canadian builders reminiscing about home as they make repairs.
There is dark, dry and witty on-screen humour in short form with Gits and Shiggles (LAUGH Strand), including Kate Herron’s SMEAR, in which the awkward reality of a first-time smear test is made funny by one woman’s crushing femininity.
My Loneliness is Killing Me (DARE Strand) presents a selection of films asking existential questions about our place in the world at a time when we are more connected than ever, including SALT & SAUCE by Alia Ghafar, a film about battered sausages and trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing with your life.
The Thrill of the Chase (THRILL Strand) provides an adrenaline shot to put us on the edge of our seats. In OKSIJAN by Edward Watts, the true story of a seven-year old Afghan boy who finds himself trapped in a refrigerated truck with 14 other refugees as they are smuggled into the UK. In 1745 by Gordon Napier, two slave sisters escape into the Scottish wilderness in the year of the Jacobite rising.
There are alternative fictions and skewed realities in Strange World (CULT Strand), including Seth Ickerman’s TURBO KILLER, a sci-fi take on The Fast and the Furious and Kitty Faingold’s BODY WORLD, in which a fully grown new born woman is birthed into a hazy summer’s garden.
Heading for that Adult Crash (JOURNEY Strand) explores the stressful journey from childhood to adulthood, including Aneil Karia’s WORK about a 17 year old dancer attempting to contain her growing contempt towards an unjust world, and Patrick Bresnan’s THE RABBIT HUNT, in which an initiation rite is performed on boys on the cusp of manhood in Pahokee, Florida.
London Calling (JOURNEY Strand) spotlights some of the capital’s most exciting upcoming filmmakers including SAMIRA’S PARTY by Bijan Sheibani, in which the bonds between 14-year old Samad and his mum are put to the test on a trip to the supermarket, and FIGHTER by Bugsy Riverbank Steel, about a boxer with Down’s syndrome who fights for his right to get in the ring in the tense minutes before a boxing match.
Hoping. Fearing. Dreaming (CREATE Strand) examines lives yet to be lived including DELETE BEACH, a collaboration between Turner Prize-nominated Phil Collins and leading animation Studio 4°C.

LFF CONNECTS & SCREEEN TALKS

The acclaimed LFF Connects series returns with a programme of agenda-setting talks from the world’s leading artists and thinkers who are working at the intersection of film and other creative industries, while the Festival’s acclaimed Screen Talks series will welcome some of the most exciting international actors and directors in contemporary cinema to discuss their body of work.

LFF CONNECTS: JULIAN ROSEFELDT & CATE BLANCHETT

Artist Julian Rosefeldt is renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving image artworks. Inspired equally by art, film, architecture and the history of popular culture, he creates complex multi-screen installations that carry viewers into surreal, theatrical realms. Here he is joined by BFI Fellow Cate Blanchett to discuss their collaboration on the critically acclaimed, 13-channel video installation MANIFESTO (in the Festival’s Create strand), a deconstruction of art manifestos and a call for original thought, which has been adapted and reassembled as a 90-minute feature and receives its European Film Premiere at the Festival (Fri 6th October, NFT1).

LFF CONNECTS: NITIN SAWHNEY

Nitin Sawhney is firmly established as a world-class multi-hyphenate artist – producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ. He has composed for multiple forms, from film and videogames to dance and theatre. Highly prolific, his collaborations include some of the world’s leading orchestras and songwriters, including Paul McCartney, The London Symphony Orchestra, A R Rahman, Brian Eno, Sinéad O’Connor, Anoushka Shankar, Cirque Du Soleil and Akram Khan. Having composed the score for the Festival’s Opening Night Gala film BREATHE, he is currently collaborating with that film’s director Andy Serkis on the upcoming Jungle Book. (Sat 7th October, Vue7).

LFF CONNECTS: IAN MCEWAN

One of the greatest modern British writers, Ian McEwan made a name for himself writing dark and gripping novels, often notorious for their extreme themes. His work has also explored the impact of unusual situations on ordinary people and examined how social and political issues determine personal lives. With his latest adaptation ON CHESIL BEACH as this year’s Love Gala, we’re delighted to have McEwan join us to discuss the different disciplines of writing for the page and the screen and explore why his fiction continues to have such enduring appeal for big screen storytellers (Sun 8th October, Curzon Soho).

LFF CONNECTS: JOHAN KNATTRUP JENSEN

Based in Copenhagen, the progressive production studio Makropol strives to create transforming stories with tools from the new digital age. Their credo is: art can drive innovation and innovation can be art. Makropol employ virtual- reality technology to test the boundaries of film narrative. Building on traditional visual storytelling, they introduce new opportunities for audiences to interact with plotlines and characters, and one another. Johan Knattrup Jensen graduated from the progressive alternative film school Super16 in 2012 and is considered to be among the pioneers of cinematic virtual reality. Here, he leads a masterclass on Makropol’s most significant virtual reality projects, highlighting the discoveries and detailing the challenges that have determined their approach to cinema (Tues 10th October, NFT3).

LFF CONNECTS: DAVID FINCHER

One of the most revered filmmakers of a generation, Fincher began his career making pop promos with some of the world’s most influential artists, from Madonna to Michael Jackson. He has also directed a series of iconic ad campaigns for major international brands. As a feature filmmaker he has few peers, with a back catalogue including Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. MINDHUNTER (this year’s LFF Connects Special Presentation) marks Fincher’s return to the small screen after overseeing House of Cards for Netflix. Fincher returns to the BFI London Film Festival to discuss MINDHUNTER in the context of his career and the recent boom in long-form episodic drama (Tue 10th October, NFT1).

LFF CONNECTS: DEMIS HASSABIS

Demis Hassabis, the co-founder of renowned artificial intelligence (AI) lab DeepMind, is recognised as one of the world’s smartest thinkers in his field. DeepMind is on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem. Greg Kohl’s documentary AlphaGo (in the LFF Create strand), details how DeepMind’s AlphaGo algorithm beat a world champion at the notoriously difficult Chinese board game Go. Demis Hassabis will discuss his journey from junior chess champion and videogame creator to world-renowned AI pioneer. He will also talk about the Go challenge and speculate on how AI will shape the future (Wed 11th October, NFT3).

LFF SCREEN TALK: TAKASHI MIIKE

The revered Japanese director achieved global prominence with his astonishingly graphic films Audition and Ichi the Killer in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now with a hundred films under his belt, the prolific filmmaker has defied all attempts to pigeon-hole him as a niche director, being both a big-budget hit-maker and film festival darling. Best known for over-the-top violence and gore, his films cover the gamut of genres and styles including light-hearted children’s films (Zebraman and The Great Yokai War) period pieces (Sabu) subdued road movies (The Bird People in China) and farcical musical-comedy-horror films (The Happiness of the Katakuris). He joins us to talk about his life in film on the occasion of his 100th movie, which the Festival presents as this year’s Thrill Gala, the blood-drenched supernatural samurai BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL.
(Mon October 9th, Curzon Soho)

INDUSTRY & EDUCATION

The Festival offers a full benefits package for Industry delegates. This year’s industry programme, supported by the Mayor of London, via Film London, includes the LFF Connects strand which celebrates artists working at the intersection of film and other creative industries; the talent development programme [email protected]; Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow 2017 and a host of other panels, talks and networking events.
This year’s Festival marks the second year of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. At £50,000, the Bursary is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry, supporting exceptional new and emerging writers, directors and writer/directors resident in the UK, and premiering their first or second feature in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival. The full industry programme will be announced in September.
The Festival again hosts Press and Industry screenings at Picturehouse Central, the Digital Viewing Library, a host of delegate hubs, discounts at partner venues and numerous networking opportunities with delegates and filmmakers. Visit www.bfi.org.uk/lff/professional-delegates for further details.

The BFI London Film Festival Education programme is supported by funding contributors The Film Music Foundation and BFI Film Academy, and event partners Into Film, London Music Masters and no.w.here. It includes a diverse range of morning screenings of films selected from the festival programme and special events for schools, students and young people, all featuring a wide range of film industry professionals, as well as the opportunity to take part in one of our three Young Juries for students, secondary and primary schools. For students in Higher Education, the Festival also offers a Student Accreditation scheme and the Film School Programme presented in partnership with the National Film & Television School, London Film Academy, London Film School and Birkbeck College.

BFI PLAYER

The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK-wide on BFI Player, the BFI’s VOD service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the range of services on BFI Player – at player.bfi.org.uk/

BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL: AT A GLANCE

The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®
4 – 15 October 2017
Tickets on sale:
 BFI Members: 10:00am 7 September
 Amex priority booking opens at 10.00am, 12 September
 General sale: 10:00am 14 September
For tickets, visit: www.bfi.org.uk/lff
Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 10:00 – 20:30
…ENDS…

THE 61st BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORS AND FUNDERS

We’re delighted that American Express® join us for their eighth year as Principal Sponsor and Preferred Payment Partner.
We welcome the Royal Bank of Canada as a Main Sponsor of the Festival for the second year and are thrilled to see the return of American Airlines as Main Sponsor and Official Airline. We’re delighted IWC Schaffhausen return as the Festival’s Official Time Partner.

We give heartfelt thanks to The May Fair Hotel, who return as the Festival’s Official Hotel and Renault, our Official Car Partner.

The BFI London Film Festival is made possible thanks to support from DCMS and The National Lottery and many other cultural institutions and organisations. We are also delighted to be supported directly by the Mayor of London through Film London as a funding contributor.
The remastering and new score of the BFI Archive Gala film, SHIRAZ, is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, alongside additional support from Matt Spick; PRS Foundation’s ‘The Open Fund’; the George Harrison family, on behalf of the Material World Foundation; and all donors to the BFI’s Film is Fragile fundraising campaign.

A huge thank you goes to the Festival’s generous in-kind Sponsors: returning photography sponsor Getty Images and cinema advertising partner Digital Cinema Media. Additionally, we would like to welcome DDA and Four Colman Getty and thank Exterion Media, Fever-Tree, Green & Black’s, Harkness Screens, The Hospital Club, The House of St Barnabas, Impact Marketing, The Library, Picture Production Company, Pink Pepper Gin, TV5 Monde and The Union for their continued support. We would also like to thank new sponsors Dalston Cola and Maltsmiths.

Cinema partners returning this year are Odeon, Vue, Curzon, Picturehouse, ICA, Empire Haymarket, Ciné Lumière, Prince Charles Cinema and Rich Mix.
We are delighted to welcome back returning Media Partners Evening Standard, Time Out, Empire, Sight & Sound, Screen International, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Little White Lies as well as valued Broadcast Partners BBC London and Magic FM for continuing to provide invaluable media support. We are also pleased to welcome VICE as a media partner this year.

The Festival would also like to give a huge thanks to returning sponsors Christie Digital, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Newman Displays.

Finally, the Festival would like to thank the many embassies and cultural institutes who support the Festival by helping to bring in filmmakers to present their work.

2017 Halloween Horror Nights: ‘The Horrors of Blumhouse’ mazes added at Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando

August 29, 2017

The following is a press release from Halloween Horror Nights:

Jason Blum, one of today’s most prolific producers of contemporary horror films, brings his signature movies to life in the uniquely distinctive “The Horrors of Blumhouse” maze at this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” event at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, beginning Friday, September 15.

Based on “The Purge,” “Sinister” and “Insidious” franchises, as well as the upcoming thriller “Happy Death Day,” Blumhouse Productions (“Split,” “Get Out,” “Whiplash “), is teaming with the creative minds behind the nation’s most intense and immersive Halloween event to unleash three twisted Blumhouse films in one bone-chilling experience at each Halloween destination.

At Universal Studios Hollywood, legions of terrified guests will come face-to-face with the most iconic and unnerving moments from the blockbuster “The Purge” franchise, “Sinistermovies and soon-to-be released “Happy Death Day.” In The Purge, guests will attempt to survive the night as they are immersed in the film’s depraved world, where all crime is declared legal as part of the government’s annually sanctioned 12-hour Purge. In what can be described as a living trailer for “Happy Death Day,” guests will experience a deja-vu scenario as they are forced to relive the last day of their lives over and over again in an attempt to escape a masked killer. The final nightmare will unmask itself in Sinister, where guests will encounter an ancient pagan deity who is determined to trap them in the sordid shadow world of the dead…for all eternity.

“It’s a privilege to collaborate with Jason Blum and his team at Blumhouse Productions to create ‘The Horrors of Blumhouse,’” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “The decisive, inventive way in which he interprets underlying issues plaguing today’s society into his films provides us with a plethora of content to create truly captivating, one-of-a-kind modern horror experiences for our guests.”

Upon entering “The Horrors of Blumhouse” maze at Universal Orlando Resort, guests will attempt to survive three of the most menacing anthologies in the Blumhouse assemblage. First, guests will face the horror of becoming stars in the next home murder movie of the menacing demon Bughuul, from the infamous “Sinister” franchise. Then, they’ll run for their lives to escape the gang of bloodthirsty home invaders from the first installment of “The Purge” saga. Finally, guests will be thrust into the Further from the “Insidious” legend, where they’ll come face-to-face with the paralyzing Lipstick-Face Demon from Chapter 1 and witness Dr. Elise Rainier’s own personal hauntings from her nightmarish childhood in a first-look at “Insidious: Chapter 4” – in theaters January 5, 2018.

“We’re thrilled to bring the terrifying vision of Jason Blum and the Blumhouse Productions team to life on an even grander scale at Halloween Horror Nights 2017,” said Charles Gray, Show Director for Creative Development, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort. “He is the modern voice of horror, whose films run the gamut of intense, in-your-face terror – and this year, we’re taking our guests deeper into the horrific world of Blumhouse than ever before.”

“We are so excited to expand our collaboration with the terrific creative team at ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ this year,” commented Blum. “With ‘The Horrors of Blumhouse’ maze, people will be able to fully immerse themselves into the cinematic worlds of our most terrifying films – with bone-chilling results.”

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 20 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. The streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing “scare-actors” lunge from every darkened corner. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are erected throughout the event, based on everything from iconic slasher films to hit horror television series to haunting original stories.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

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