Fantaspoa Fantastic Film Festival announced via Deadline today that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its seventeenth edition will again be held online and completely free of charge. The 2021 edition of the beloved South American genre festival is supported by a special grant from the Brazilian government, which is offered to relevant cultural events amidst the pandemic. The festival will also renew its partnership with Darkflix, Brazil’s immensely popular streaming service aimed at fantastic genre cinema.
Fantaspoa’s festival directors are keenly aware of the fact that no live events will take place in the cinemas of Porto Alegre in 2021. Theaters currently remain closed due to a worsening of the virus and its variants in Brazil, as well a sharp increase in COVID-related deaths in the country, which has again forced Fantaspoa’s directors and programmers to again create the best – and safest – online experience for its dedicated fans.
Beginning on April 9th and running through April 18th, the seventeenth edition of Fantaspoa will again transform streaming service Darkflix into its center stage, featuring more than 100 shorts and 50 feature films from more than 35 countries. All film screenings will have a cap of 3,000 views, and all will be geo-blocked to Brazilian viewers.
Building on last year’s wildly successful online edition, Fantaspoa is also offering fourteen free online live workshops with Brazilian creators, including actors, directors, screenwriters, and make-up artists. These special activities, available to participants anywhere in the world, will continue to be available on Youtube and Facebook through the end of the festival, and aim to promote the development of future genre films in Brazil and bring global awareness to the country’s incredible creators.
And while the festival’s films are geo-blocked to Brazilian residents, several screenings will be accompanied by online and interactive Q&As that will be available to fans worldwide. Between completely free films for Brazilian audiences and free events accessible anywhere on Earth, Fantaspoa is one of the largest online initiatives of any Latin American film event. The festival hopes that its attempts to combat social isolation through digital gatherings will be seen as a small but valiant way to help fight this continuing and unprecedented pandemic that has taken such a painful toll on Brazil.
The poster for the 2021 edition of Fantaspoa, created by renowned artist Renan Santos, is titled “Reflection”. It is a solemn-yet-hopeful reference to the festival’s seventeen years, through the image of a young man in his late teens reflecting on a distorted view of himself. Creating the lettering for the poster, Thalles Mourão, art director of the festival, opted for a reflected text, dividing the two images and suggesting the possibility of seeing another world through the fantastic films presented by Fantaspoa.
According to the programmers, after several months of working through 500 entries, “The festival programming is unparalleled to any other fantastic film festival in Latin America, reinforcing the curatorial character of the event, bringing a variety of countries and cinematic genres, while always prioritizing the quality of the content presented.”
The festival’s initial wave of 25 feature films includes three World Premieres, five International Premieres, ten Latin American Premieres, and six Brazilian Premieres. These films represent 17 countries and have played in such prestigious fests as International Film Festival Rotterdam, San Sebastián Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, and Tallin Black Nights.
Fantaspoa 2021’s first 25 titles, announced today, are:
A DARK, DARK MAN
(Adilkhan Yerzhanov, 2019, Kazakhstan/France, Latin American Premiere)
(Parish Malfitano, 2020, Australia, International Premiere)
THE CEMETERY OF LOST SOULS
(Rodrigo Aragão, 2020, Brazil, Regional Premiere)
(Tyler Russell, 2020, USA, Latin American Premiere)
(SABU, 2019, Japan, Latin American Premiere)
(Lexie Findarle Trivundza, Nick Trivundza, 2020, USA, International Premiere)
FRANK & ZED
(Jesse Blanchard, 2020, USA, Brazilian Premiere)
GET THE HELL OUT
(I-Fan Wang, 2020, Taiwan, Brazilian Premiere)
THE GREAT LEAP
(Karim Lakzadeh, 2021, World Premiere)
HAWK AND REV: VAMPIRE SLAYERS
(Ryan Barton-Grimley, 2020, USA, Latin American Premiere)
HISTORY OF THE OCCULT
(Cristian Ponce, 2020, Argentina, Brazilian Premiere)
(Anshul Chauhan, 2019, Japan, Latin American Premiere)
(Elbert van Strien, 2020, Netherlands/Luxembourg/United Kingdom, International Premiere)
(Robert G. Putka, 2021, USA, World Premiere)
MOSCOW DOES NOT HAPPEN
(Dmitry Fedorov, 2020, Russia, International Premiere)
MURDER BURY WIN
(Michael Lovan, 2020, USA, Latin American Premiere)
NOCTURNA (SIDE A)
(Gonzalo Calzada, 2020, Argentina, Latin American Premiere)
(Gem Deger, 2020. Czech Republic, Latin American Premiere)
(Péter Bergendy, 2020, Hungary, Latin American Premiere)
(Eric Fleitas, Luciana Garraza, 2019, Argentina, Brazilian Premiere)
SOUND OF VIOLENCE
(Alex Noyer, 2021, USA/Finland, International Premiere)
(Jill Gevargizian, 2020, USA, Latin American Premiere)
SWEETIE, YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT
(Yernar Nurgaliyev, 2020, Kazakhstan, Brazilian Premiere)
THIS GAME’S CALLED MURDER
(Adam Sherman, 2021, USA, World Premiere)
(Santiago Fernández Calvete, 2020, Argentina/Singapore, Brazilian Premiere)