Their opening night is a week away, and my trip to Montreal doesn’t start for another five days after that, but what can I say, I’m really excited!
So, what am I looking forward to most?
1) The movies, obviously! There are a lot of great films playing throughout the fest, but here are my top five most anticipated, which happen to be playing during my week there:
- The Machine (I’m pretty sure it’s about a robot babe, so I’m sold already)
- Big Bad Wolves (I’ve never seen a horror film in Hebrew, but I can’t wait to see this one, which was one of the most buzzed about films in the Cannes market, at least among my horror-fan/genre-programmer pals)
- L’Autre Monde (a Richard Stanley documentary about mystical stuff? sure!)
- Rewind This (how can I resist a doc about ye olde VHS? I CANNOT)
- The Complex (new film by the director of the original Ringu – I’m in)
- OH YEAH, AND ALSO THE DEMON’S ROOK, EH?
2) Seeing international pals. It’s a blessing to have good friends from all around the world, and it’s an even greater blessing to be able to take a short, cheap train ride to Montreal and see dozens of them all at once.
3) The BUSINESS. I’m obviously super excited about all the stuff that I talked about in my last blog post, including the premiere of The Demon’s Rook and the Frontières International Co-Production Market. I hope it’s really informative and interesting and fun and fruitful. If last year’s inaugural edition is anything to base my expectations on, it will be – and more.
4) The amazing Fantasia gang. Seriously, the programmers and staff at this festival could not be more smart, funny, delightful, welcoming and genuinely enthusiastic. What a bunch of super great adorables.
5) Eating all the foods. Montreal has some delicious snacks to offer. I intend to have four of each.
6) The fact that this year, unlike every other time we’ve gone to Fantasia, Colin will be travelling without any TIFF programming tasks hanging over his head (which makes for a stressful and work-filled trip), because by the time we leave town, his slate of films for this year’s fest will be fully locked. A July getaway and we aren’t packing TIFF screeners? A very rare summer treat.
I only wish I’d been able to extend my trip by a few days in order to spend more time with my Montreal pals who aren’t Fantasia staffers or film types. Alas, the schedule is tight.
The news is finally in and I am free to talk about one of the big things that I’m super excited about this month: the super fun horror film from Georgia that Colin and I are Executive Producing, The Demon’s Rook (remember all that stuff about colour correction? that’s the one) has been accepted into Fantasia, and will be having its world premiere there on July 27th.
In case you’re not familiar with it, the Fantasia International Film Festival is a wildly fun and very well programmed (if I do say so myself!) three week genre-film-a-thon in Montreal. It usually starts around mid-July (this year it starts on the 18th – my birthday, and clearly a good omen) and goes until early August. I don’t know how the staff manage to maintain their crazy enthusiasm throughout. Ten days of TIFF, Cannes or Berlin wipes me the hell out and I’m not even officially “working it”. The stamina of those Québécois film buffs is impressive.
ANYWAY, GO BUY A TICKET AND COME TO OUR PREMIERE, EVERYONE!
SATURDAY JULY 27, 11:55PM, IMPERIAL THEATRE
I was already going to Fantasia between July 23 and 29 for Frontières, the international co-production market. I am there representing (along with four others) the new project by Steve Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, the fabulously talented filmmakers who brought you Manborg. Their new project is called The Void, and we’re quite excited about pitching it to some potential international partners in Fantasia. The To Do List for The Void is very long. It includes sending info about our project to the Fantasia team, finalizing copy for a brochure & info packet we hope to print, keeping on top of everyone else to ensure they meet their deadlines (finishing the script, the teaser trailer, etc), putting together a temp website / online EPK (electronic press kit, yo), and waiting for information to be published about industry delegates who will be attending the event so that I can pounce on it and start requesting meetings left, right and centre. I will also be writing the “script” for Colin’s portion of the pitch session, putting together a rough budget and contacting a bunch of last year’s participants to talk to them about their experiences and hopefully end up with a better presentation thanks to their feedback.
Of course, I’m not the only one working hard. The writer/director duo have been crazy busy as well. They’re finishing the script, revising the treatment to reflect some changes they’ve made to the story, and – get this! – shooting a bunch of amazing prosthetic effects tests into a two minute teaser trailer specifically for this event, just to show that they’re able to pull off the ambitious FX stuff they say they want to do. It’s impressive, and I am pretty proud to be affiliated with such a creative and ambitious (and productive!) team.
File under “unpaid work I do in exchange for a credit and the opportunity to keep learning about my new-ish chosen profession”.
We’ve been incredibly lucky that Fantasia scheduled The Demon’s Rook on the same weekend that we will be there to participate in the co-production market, so that we didn’t have to take two trips (not that I mind spending more time in Montreal, but time and money are in short supply these days). This means I will not only be able to be there to support The Demon’s Rook team, but I’ll also be able to invite all of my international film industry friends to see the film, since they’ll be there for the market anyway. It’s pretty much the definition of win-win.