Alamo Drafthouse's Fantastic Fest delivers another dose of cinematic decadence with its second wave of programming. Procured once again from the most curious corners of the genre universe, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its opening film, Denis Villeneuve's stunning ARRIVAL. ARRIVAL marks Villeneuve's Fantastic Fest debut, which has proved to be worth the wait as his spectacular science fiction feature promises to kick off proceedings in explosive fashion.
It wouldn't be Fantastic Fest without some true heavyweights of world cinema represented and this year is no exception. Park Chan-Wook, legendary South Korean director of OLDBOY and STOKER, attends the festival for the first time to present the US Premiere of his gorgeous erotic drama THE HANDMAIDEN. Dutch defiler Paul Verhoevenhas provided what will prove to be one of the most controversial and provocative films of the year with his dark and deadly comedic rape-revenge thriller ELLE, while Paul Schrader delivers his unique brand of pugilistic raw force with his hyper-violent, crime-at-all-costs thriller DOG EAT DOG.
Female directors take center stage for three of Fantastic Fest's most hotly anticipated titles this year, firmly shattering the myth that game-changing cinema is gender-biased. Ana Lily Amirpour follows up her alt-cult sensation A GIRL WALK HOME ALONE AT NIGHT with her sand-blasted, dystopian love story THE BAD BATCH; Maren Ade delivers what will be the most uncomfortable film of the festival, the desert-dry black comedy TONI ERDMANN; and Julia Ducournau's directorial debut, RAW, takes us on a cannibalistic coming-of-age shock ride that resonates long after its stunning finale.
"I'm proud of the creative tension we've asserted with this year's program," said Fantastic Fest founder Tim League. "Established, award-winning veterans are celebrated on the same stage as first-time filmmakers. This dynamic speaks to the strong diversity and rich blood of talent that is challenging cinema today. It's an honor to share their work with our global audience."
One of last year's most memorably chaotic and explosive events returns as Itchy-O lay claim to slay Austin and unleash their mayhem once more. A blazing, 32-member aural assault from the darkest depths of Colorado, Itchy-O is a wholly immersive, musical experience on a massive scale that is right at home at Fantastic Fest.
Alamo Drafthouse's American Genre Film Archive plays an important role in this year's Fantastic Fest with the inclusion of two films prized from its vaults. First up is a watershed moment for AGFA and the culmination of years of work: a brand new digital transfer of THE ZODIAC KILLER, a film made with one goal in mind - to capture the real-life Zodiac Killer. Made possible by the 783 lovable perverts who donated to AGFA Kickstarter capaign launched at last year's Fantastic Fest, the World Premiere screening of AGFA's new transfer, and crown jewel from the Something Weird archive, will feature a Q&A with Lisa Petrucci, the incomparable founder of Something Weird!
Screening in conjunction with the release and signing of American Cinematheque's Dennis Bartok's new book, A Thousand Cuts, is a rarely seen 35mm print of the 1968 low-budget alien invasion gem GOKE: BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL. Courtesy of a print provided by AGFA, director Hajime Sato's delightfully pulpy and deliriously earnest example of Japanese horror creates a remarkable example of what a filmmaker can do with a few bucks, a model airplane and some silly putty.
See below for the full lineup of newly announced film titles for Fantastic Fest 2016. Final wave of titles to be announced shortly.
International Premiere, 178 min
Director - Suresh Krissna
Kamal Hassan stars in this ridiculously entertaining tale of an Indian commando pitted against his own serial killer twin brother in a deadly race to save the beautiful Tejaswini from certain death.
United States, 2016
Opening Film, 116 min
Director - Denis Villeneuve
When a mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers - and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.
ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM - GRADUATION
U.S. Premiere, 118 min
Director - Eiichiro Hasumi
This conclusion to last year's hit finds Class-E running out of time in their efforts to assassinate Koro-sensei, their yellow octopus smiley-faced teacher who is about to destroy Earth.
THE BAD BATCH
United States, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 115 min
Director - Ana Lily Amirpour
Ana Lily Amirpour follows up her alt-cult sensation A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE with her highly anticipated dystopian cannibal desert trip.
DOG EAT DOG
United States, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 93 min
Director - Paul Schrader
From the brilliant minds of Edward Bunker and Paul Schrader comes this unhinged pulp comedy at a million miles an hour; the story of three hardened criminals and the final, simple crime which will bring them all down.
US Premiere, 131 min
Director - Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven's debut in French cinema highlights an incredible Isabelle Huppert in a dramedy that first subverts then transgresses the rape-revenge narrative.
EYES OF MY MOTHER
United States, 2016
Regional Premiere, 77 min
Director - Nick Pesce
After a traumatic event, a young girl begins to associate pain and death with love and friendship in increasingly dangerous ways.
GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
United Kingdom, United States, 2016
US Premiere, 111 min
Director - Colm McCarthy
In a dystopian future, young Melanie must go on a trip with the soldier who needs to kill her, the doctor who wants to use her and the teacher who wants to help.
GOKE: BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL - PRESENTED BY AGFA
Special Screening, 84 min
Director - Hajime Sato's
An airplane crashes under mysterious circumstances and the survivors find themselves stalked by an evil blobby presence bent on world domination.
South Korea, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 145 min
Director - Park Chan-Wook
In the 1930s, country girl Sook-Hee is hired as a handmaiden to Japanese heiress Lady Hideko, who lives a secluded life with her uncle. However, Sook-Hee is not what she seems... and neither is Lade Hideko, Count Fujiwara or Uncle Kouziki.
HELMUT BERGER, ACTOR
Austria, France, Italy, 2015
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director - Andreas Horvath
Filmmaker Andreas Horvath (EARTH'S GOLDEN PLAYGROUND) offers a deeply personal and unblinking portrait of Helmut Berger, the Austrian film star of the '60s and '70s best known for his work with director Luchino Visconti.
THE HIGH FRONTIER
International Premiere, 97 min
Director - Wojciech Kasperski
Father/son bonding time takes an extraordinarily dark turn when a former guard and his two teen boys receive an unexpected guest in their remote cabin along the Poland-Ukraine border.
North American Premere, 240 min
Director - Rajeev Raji
Aging gangster Krishnan returns to his hometown after receiving a distressing phone call from a friend, only to find that he's picking up the pieces after thirty years of bloody gang war.
Japan, Canada, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 64 min
Director - Nick DiLiberto
Painstakingly hand-drawn by a single animator over four years, this saturated slice of lo-fi sci-fi pulp recalls both Moebius and Miyazaki as it ambitiously realizes an eclectic post-apocalyptic future populated by lion-men, brain-leeching slugs and Saturday Morning Cartoon villainy, the latter most memorably personified by the sublimely named Dr. Mindskull.
US Premiere, 98 min
Director - Julia Ducournau
Part sister bonding, part coming-of-age story, part gross-out horror flick, Julia Ducournau's debut feature is the terror discovery of 2016.
THE RED TURTLE
North American Premiere, 81 min
Director - Michael Dudok De Wit
A castaway ekes out an existence on a deserted tropical island guarded by an enigmatic red tortoise in this magnificent animated fable from the imagination of acclaimed Dutch animatior Michael Dudok de Wit (FATHER AND DAUGHTER) and produced in part by the legendary Studio Ghibli
SADAKO VS KAYAKO
US Premiere, 98 min
Director - Koji Shiraishi
The showdown of the century is about to begin and no one in Tokyo will be spared: Ring's Sadako vs The Grudge's Kayako in a fight to determine the future of humanity.
Australia, United States, 2016
World Premiere, 85 min
Director - Chris Peckover
Chris Peckover, director of 2010's UNDOCUMENTED, returns to Fantastic Fest with this playfully twisted suburban Christmas thriller in which babysitter Ashley must protect twelve-year-old Luke during an unusual home invasion.
International Premiere, 103 min
Director - Hajime Hashimoto
Dora is a lowlife con man who runs a marriage scam with his associates. But a badly timed encounter with a yakuza will plunge Dora into a new, deep world of darkness, both ugly and enticing!
SWEET, SWEET LONELY GIRL
United States, 2016
World Premiere, 76 min
Director - A.D. Calvo
Adele is a friendless young woman living with her wealthy but agoraphobic aunt. She meets Beth and the two become fast friends, but Adele may be drawn to a darkness within her new companion, a darkness that threatens to overtake everything.
New Zealand, 2016
International Premiere, 92 min
Director - Gerard Johnstone
Teenaged cat burglar Terror Teo turns crime fighter when his estranged father is killed by local gangsters in this revival of the classic New Zealand character.
U.S. Premiere, 162 min
Director - Maren Ade
A father tries to reconnect with his repressed, career-driven daughter in the funniest movie to ever come out of Germany
THEY CALL ME JEEG ROBOT
Texas Premiere, 118 min
A lowlife thug finds his grimy, pornography-filled existence disrupted when he accidentally acquires superpowers that force him to become a better man against his will.
International Premiere, 84 min
Director - Peter Foott
The day after the largest drug bust in Irish history, with massive packages of cocaine washing up along the shoreline, two go-nowhere teens make a most sensible decision: They will ride to the coast on stolen bicycles and claim a bundle of that wondrous cocaine for themselves.
THE ZODIAC KILLER - Presented by AGFA and SOMETHING WEIRD
United States, 1971
World Premiere, 85 min
Director - Tom Hanson
AGFA and SOMETHING WEIRD present a brand new 4K transfer of this sanity-defying, tabloid-horror vortex that was produced with one goal in mind: to capture the real-life Zodiac Killer.
About Fantastic Fest
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past the festival has been home to world premieres of BONE TOMAHAWK, JOHN WICK, FRANKENWEENIE, MACHETE KILLS, RED DAWN, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND and RED while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Nicolas Winding-Refn, Lilly and Lana Wachowski, Robert Rodriguez, Rian Johnson, Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Keanu Reeves, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky and Mike Judge. Fantastic Fest also features world, national and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS and I DECLARE WAR. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired and TIME. Variety included Fantastic Fest in a list of "10 Film Festivals We Love," and was also named one of the "25 coolest film festivals" by Moviemaker Magazine.
About Alamo Drafthouse
Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. Nineteen years later, the now 24-location chain has been named "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short three year existence and Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform edited by veteran journalist Devin Faraci.