Sunday, August 01, 2021

Fantasia ’21: An Appreciation

If there is one film festival you have to attend in person sometime, it is the Fantasia International Film Festival, up in Montreal. Sure, the films are always the kind of weird horror, sophisticated animation, and thrilling Asia action we love, but it is the traditions that make Fantasia Fantasia.

First of all, having covered Fantasia in person for the 2019 festival, I have to say their PR department does more to make press feel welcome than any other fest I covered. Even more important (for civilians) is the in-person screening experience. At your first movie, you might be wondering why people are meowing like cats? The truth is nobody really knows, but there will always be six or seven people doing it at every screening.

However, that is nothing compared to how the theaters always erupt in cheers for the Nongshim cup noodle commercial. Nobody knows how that tradition started either, but you have to love how epic they are. Even Nongshim was surprised by the love they get at the festival, so they doubled down on their support. By the way, they have some of the best cup noodles available in neighborhood grocery stores. Thanks to Fantasia, we definitely have some in our cupboard.

Of course, Fantasia is all about the films. I’ve seen some of my favorites in conjunction with my festival coverage and I’ll probably never hear the end of one spectacularly splattery horror film we saw in 2019. As usual, this year’s slate is stacked with films genre fans will want to see. Plus, there are a lot of great places to eat near the main Concordia venue, especially for burgers.

We’re so glad they have in-person screening again this year, because that is how Fantasia is best experienced. If you are anywhere in Eastern Canada, you owe to yourself to check out some in-person screenings. Wherever you are, you can find coverage of this year’s Fantasia right here throughout August.