Fantastic Fest (September 24-October 1, 2009 www.fantasticfest.com) is one of the most unique, diverse, and successful film festivals in the world. The fest showcases great mainstream and independent films from around the world, and from genres such as sci-fi, fantasy, action, and horror, amongst others. Fantastic Fest also has bright stars and big premieres; having hosted the likes of Mike Judge, Pauls Rudd and Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Bill Murray, Mel Gibson, George Romero, Jon Favreau, and Darren Aronofsky, and the world premieres of There Will Be Blood and Apocalypto, to name a few. The fest’s home is not Hollywood, but instead “The Live Music Capital of the World”, Austin, Texas, and subbing for Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is the world famous Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (www.drafthouse.com), which features feasts for both your eyes and your stomach.
This year’s Fantastic Fest will feature several events worth the price of admission all by themselves. There’s, of course, the Opening Night Party, which will be built around the opening night film Gentlemen Broncos directed by Nacho Libre and Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jared Hess and starring The Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement. Other parties will follow and include the 100 Best Kills Party, a party where attendees quite literally get to gape at some of the most gruesome death scenes in cinematic history. And not only will attendees get to watch some of the hosts’ favorite kill shots, but they are invited to bring along their own favorite killer scenes to share; with prizes being awarded to the best kills of the night. The Fantastic Debates Party will feature film pros and media pros facing off in formal debates followed by a round of boxing. The Fantastic Feud Party is like the Olympics of horror knowledge, as the best American horror scholars match wits with their foreign counterparts. The Meet the Japanese Party will be a rubbing of elbows, of sorts, involving attendees, Japanese film pros, sake, shochu, and karaoke. The DVD release screening party for Synapse Film’s 42nd Street Forever Volume 5: Alamo Drafthouse Edition, a collection of over 40 of the Alamo Drafthouse’s classic trailers and special announcements, will feature 35mm screening of all the trailers with special guest Don May, Jr. of Synapse Films.
But even before the fest officially kicks off September 24th, Fantastic Fest is co-presenting a few film screenings in Austin, including Quentin Tarantino’s Ingluorious Basterds on August 15th (there will be a Q & A with QT after the film) and the world premiere of Mike Judge’s Extract on August 18th (Judge and the film’s star Jason Bateman will be attending the screening). As for the films that Fantastic Fest will feature September 24-October 1, check back here very soon for a preview of the flicks highlighting the 2009 Fantastic Fest schedule!