The city of Porto Alegre, Brazil became an international hub for 18 days this May and June, with artists, filmmakers, actors, and cinephiles gathering there for Fantaspoa, Souther America's largest festival of fantastic cinema.
Between May 17th and June 3rd, the 14th edition of Fantaspoa transformed the city of Porto Alegre in the world's capital of genre films. With over 100 guests from around the globe, the event brought together some of the most talented and impressive voices of modern fantastic films, as well as lifetime achievement awardees who played pivotal roles in the inspiration of today's young filmmakers. In addition to more than 120 film screenings, Fantaspoa hosted numerous Q&A's, masterclasses, workshops, screenings with live music, and two special parties - a lusty Opening Night event based on Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and a Closing Night soiree on a three-story yacht, which took its revelers deep into the city's massive port.
In addition to the festival's massive success, the main innovation of the 2018 edition was its new production market, FantasMercado, in which 16 Latin American filmmakers pitched their projects and many deals were closed. At the market, Fantaspoa's own production arm, Fantaspoa Produções, partnered with Dallas Sonnier's Cinestate and Fangoria Films to come onboard Skull - The Máscara de Anhnagá, a project from Kapel Furman's Infravermelho Produções.
The festival itself tallied over 9,000 screening attendees and - including events and visitors to its Frankenstein Exhibition, which celebrated 200 years of Mary Shelley's immortal monster - welcomed more than 20,000 attendees. The festival's main events were held in Cinemateca Capitólio, a stunning 90-year-old cinema.
On the night of June 3rd, Fantaspoa's closing night film, Pedra da Serpente, by the first-time Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Sanches, was screened to a sold-out audience. Before the screening, an awards presentation took place and the year's winners were announced by festival director João Fleck (see below for details).
In addition to the awards, Fantaspoa's distribution arm, FantasFilms, was launched in that same night.
The newly-launched company will team with Marcelo de Souza's Mares Filmes with the plan of distributing roughly 20 films per calendar year to Brazilian cinemas, with all films selected coming exclusively from the festival itself. "The goal of company," as stated by directors João Fleck and Nicolas Tonsho, "is to bring some of our curatorship and love for genre films to the rest of Brazil." Sixteen titles were announced that evening (see below), with the remaining to be revealed next month at the 22nd edition of Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival.
In addition to their Brazilian offices, FantasFilms will have a branch in Europe. Konstantinos Koutsoliotas and Elizabeth E. Shuch's Melancholy Star will work as a sales agents for the shingle, focusing on unique projects, such as Hypnos and Pedra da Serpente.
Fantaspoa 2018's Awards are as follows:
The 2018 Critic's Jury was comprised of Adriano de Oliveira and Jacqueline Chala.
Best Domestic Short Film: Casa Cheia (Caco Nigro, Brazil)
Best International Animated Short Film: Dead Horses (Marc Riba and Anna Solanas, Spain)
Best International Live-Action Short Film: Ex-aequo La Fuite (Damien Stein, France) and The Sound, (Antony Petrou, UK)
Fantaspoa Jury Awards
The Official Fantaspoa Jury was comprised of Armando Fonseca, Kapel Furman, and Raphael Borghi.
Best Domestic Short Film: Rosalita (Luciano de Azevedo, Brazil)
Best International Animated Short Film: Nocturne (Anne Breymann, Germany)
Best International Live-Action Short Film: The Plague (Guillermo Carbonel, Uruguay)
Ibero-Americana Awards (comprising films and filmmakers from Latin America, Portugal, and Spain)
The Ibero-American Jury was compromised of Pedro Rivero and Rodrigo de Oliveira
Best Screenplay: Hernan Aguilar (Madraza, Argentina)
Best Actor: Gustavo Garzón (Madraza, Argentina)
Best Actress (tie): Itziar Castro (Killing God, Spain) and Luciana Paes (Friendly Beast, Brazil)
Best Direction: Gabriela Amaral Almeida (Friendly Beast, Brazil)
Best Film: Terrified (Demian Rugna, Argentina)
The International Jury was comprised of André Kleinert and Diego Faraone.
Best Bloodbath: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, UK, USA)
Best Art Direction: Hagazussa (Lukas Feigelfeld, Germany, Austria)
Best Visual Effects: The Endless (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, USA)
Best Screenplay: Justin P. Lange (The Dark, Austria, Canada)
Best Actor: Thomas Aske Berg (Vidar, The Vampire, Norway)
Best Actress: Luana Veliz (Luz, Germany)
Best Director: Bertrand Mandico (Les Garçons Sauvages, France)
Best Film: One Cut of the Dead (Shin'ichirô Ueda, Japan)
Artistic Contribution: Errementari (Paul Urkijo, Spain, France)
Best Soundtrack: The Ranger (Jenn Wexler, USA)
Most Creative Film / Coolest Person: JJ Weber (The Next Kill, USA)
The debut sixteen films to be distributed in Brazil by FantasFilms are:
Dave Made a Maze (Bill Waterson, USA)
Family (Veronica Kedar, Israel, Germany)
Freddy/Eddy (Tini Tüllmann, Germany)
Les Garçons Sauvages (Bertrand Mandico, France)
Hypnos (Konstantinos Koutsoliotas, UK, Brazil)
Kyrsyä - Tuftland (Roope Olenius, Finland)
One Cut of the Dead (Shin'ichirô Ueda, Japan)
Madraza (Hernan Aguilar, Argentina)
Matar a Dios (Caye Casas, Albert Pintó, Spain)
Mohawk (Ted Geoghegan, USA)
The Open (Marc Lahore, France)
Pedra da Serpente (Fernando Sanches, Brazil)
Psiconautas - The Forgotten Children (Pedro Rivero, Alberto Vázquez, Spain, Japan)
The Ranger (Jenn Wexler, USA)
Snowflake (Adolfo Kolmerer and William James, Germany)
Vydar, The Vampire (Thomas Aske Berg, Fredrik Waldeland, Norway)
Fantaspoa's 15th edition will take place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2019.