Montreal’s Fantasia Festival Unveils First Look at 2021 Lineup with a Focus on Japanese Genre

Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival has unveiled much of its feature lineup including early highlights from several sidebars for this year’s online 25th edition, with the full program to be announced in July.

Fantasia’s preliminary lineup is highlighted by a glut of world and premieres including Edoardo Vitaletti’s “The Last Thing Mary Saw”; fest regular Richard Bates Jr.’s “King Knight”; Mikhael Bassilli and Luc Walpoth’s “Baby Money”; Canadian actor-turned-director Mark O’Brien’s debut “The Righteous”; “Hellbender” from John Adams, Toby Poser, and Zelda Adams; and the highly anticipated directorial debut of former Fantasia winning writer Travis Taute’s (“Number 37”) “Indemnity.”

Available to audiences across Canada, Fantasia will run Aug. 5-25 and present screenings, panels and workshops on its digital platform, hosted for the second year running by Festival Scope and Shift72. Event organizers are also closely monitoring the health and safety guidelines laid out by public officials in Montreal, in hopes that some in-person events can be added before the festival kicks off.

Having previously announced that Julien Knafo’s Quebec-set zombie comedy “Brain Freeze” would world premiere as the festival’s opening film, Fantasia has pulled the curtain back on an additional 15 feature titles from its main section, the first films heading to its Underground and Docs from the Edge sections, a quartet of films screening in the Camera Lucidia sidebar, and two titles – Philippine rom-com “You Animal! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” and France’s “Little Vampire” – which will play in the Axis animation section.

Fantasia 2021 features a raft of Japanese films as part of a special focus on the Asian island nation, including the North American premieres of the much-anticipated second film in the “Kakegurui” series, “Kakegurui 2: Ultimate Russian Roulette”; Fantasia favorite Daigo Matsui’s “Remain in the Twilight”; Masashi Yamamoto’s blood-soaked and paradoxically-named “Wonderful Paradise”; Tôya Satô’s feature film adaptation of the popular TV series “Caution, Hazardous Wife”; death metal-scored afterlife drama “Not Quite Dead Yet”; and a Kabuki performance filmed during quaranteen in “Art Kabuki.” From the Underground section, Junta Yamaguchi’s COVID-19 lockdown feature “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” joins this year’s Japanese contingent alongside Takumi Saitoh’s “The 12 Day Tale of the Monster That Died in 8″ from the Camera Lucidia section for experimental and audacious films.

Other highlights take in the latest thriller from Spain’s thriving Basque industry in Igor Legarreta’s vampire drama “All the Moons”; Rob Schroeder’s twisted couple drama “Ultrasound” featuring “Mad Men” star Vincent Kartheiser; and Renata Pinheiro’s Brazilian Rotterdam player “King Car.”


“The Last Thing Mary Saw,” (Edoardo Vitaletti, U.S.)

“Kakegurui 2: Ultimate Russian Roulette,” (Tsutomu Hanabusa, Japan)

“King Knight,” (Richard Bates Jr., U.S.)

“Remain in the Twilight,” (Daigo Matsui, Japan)

“Indemnity,” (Travis Taute, South Africa)

“Wonderful Paradise,” (Masashi Yamamoto, Japan)

“All the Moons,” (Igor Legarreta, Spain)

“Caution, Hazardous Wife,” (Tôya Satô, Japan)

“The Righteous,” (Mark O’Brien, Canada)

“Not Quite Dead Yet,” (Shinji Hamasaki, Japan)

“Baby Money,” (Mikhael Bassilli, Luc Walpoth, U.S.)

“Art Kabuki,” (Kazutaro Nakamura, Japan)

“Hellbender,” (John Adams, Toby Poser, and Zelda Adams, U.S.)

“Kratt,” (Rasmus Merivoo, Estonia)

“Ultrasound,” (Rob Schroeder, U.S.)


“Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes,” (Junta Yamaguchi, Japan)


“Straight to VHS,” (Emilio Silva Torre, Uruguay)


“The 12 Day Tale of the Monster That Died in 8,” (Takumi Saitoh, Japan)

“King Car,” (Renata Pinheiro, Brazil)

“Tin Can,” (Seth A. Smith, Canada)

“Agnes,” (Mickey Reece, U.S.)


“You Animal! The Nimfa Dimaano Story,” (Avid Liongoren, Philippines)

“Little Vampire,” (Joann Sfar, France)

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