Fantasia was so busy that I didn’t really get to see many movies or hang out with many of my Montreal-based friends. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun or get to hang out with some of my favourite members of the international film festival family that I feel pretty privileged to be part of.

Highlights included:

  • Getting to hear everyone’s amazing pitches during  Frontieres – seriously, even though this was part of the “business” it was still amazing to see people I like knock it out of the park, as Bobcat Goldthwait did with his hilarious pitch for a Kinks musical, and as the (truly awesome) Jason Lapeyre did with his simple, compelling pitch (he writer/director behind one of my favourite films of last year – I Declare War, which Drafthouse Films wisely picked up for distro)
  • Catching up with friends from all over the world.  Plus, even though Montreal is actually not far away, I don’t get there often or see my Montreal pals nearly enough, so it’s a nice treat even just to see those among them who happen to be Fantasia staffers, for a few days.
the friendly crowds at the Irish Embassy

the friendly crowds at the Irish Embassy

  • Going to a karaoke party, not doing any karaoke, but hearing a bunch of my favourite people really giv’r. Side note: why are film festival people so into karaoke? Every fest I go to there’s a huge karaoke party and these otherwise fairly laid back and/or let’s face it super shy and nerdy people are climbing over each other to get on stage. What’s the deal, film pals? I  don’t know anyone in my “real life” who is this into karaoke. I don’t really get it, but I try not to judge.
C-dawg and Bobcat enjoy the goth bar vibes while other people sing karaoke

C-dawg and Bobcat enjoy the goth bar vibes while other people sing karaoke

  • Eating in Montreal. One night, we went down a cobblestoned side road in the Plateau and stumbled upon a restaurant called La Prunelle, where Colin ended up eating a bison rib that was larger than his head. It was amazing, and a totally random discovery that we made because we weren’t in the mood for Schwartz’s, which is where our other pals were going in the same neighbourhood.
  • Getting to meet the crew of absolute sweethearts who accompanied our already-favourite Georgians, Tim and James, to Montreal for the premiere of The Demon’s Rook. I swear, the nicest group of people, every last one of them.
  • And, last but certainly not least, getting to sneak away for a portion of an evening and attend an amazing event put on by our friend Philippe Spurrell – a 16mm screening of animal-themed shorts and animations in a beautiful west end church. Getting to see old stop motion, Oscar-winning  animation from ’80s Russia, old Loony Tunes, and a weird black & white live action film about dogs that can walk tightropes and do other crazy tricks was a MAJOR treat!
Phil loads up another 16mm animal film

Phil loads up another 16mm animal film

Now the countdown is on before I get to do it all over again, but as the home-turf-host, because TIFF is in just under four weeks. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek.

Note to self for next time: take more actual photos of your friends, because you’ll want to remember those moments later. Milkshakes, maybe slightly less so?