29 More Reasons to Be Excited for Fantasia Film Festival 2020

We’re all feeling a little down these days, but for me, today’s specific malaise is because I’m not in Montreal enjoying the Fantasia Film Festival. I’ve spent this week up there the past several years, and it’s never been less than an absolute blast of fantastic films and great people. This year’s edition is transitioning to an entirely online experience for understandable reasons, and while I’ll still miss seeing friends new and old in person it looks like they’re putting together one hell of a fest. It runs this year from August 20th through September 2nd, 2020, and they’ve just announced the second wave of feature titles.

Twenty-one titles were already announced early last month, and now they’ve released another twenty-nine feature titles that will be playing this year. The selection once again includes a bevy of world premieres from all around the globe, and while I’m looking forward to seeing as many of them as possible there are some I want to highlight here.


Action/thriller maestro John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, 2012; Skin Trade, 2014) returns with Alone. It’s a remake of 2012’s Swedish hit Gone and sees a woman on the run through the woods with a killer close behind. I’m a sucker for survival tales, and this one’s setting in the Pacific Northwest makes me all the more excited. Bryan Bertino (The Strangers, 2008) is back with another chiller called The Dark and the Wicked. The film features a family gathering to mourn the imminent passing of their patriarch, and spooky things follow.

A Mermaid In Paris

One of the best animated films of the past decade that too many of you haven’t seen is Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2013), and now filmmaker Mathias Malzieu is back with a live-action feature. A Mermaid in Paris is a period musical that promises a love story set against memorable tunes and gorgeous visuals, and I am stoked. Tak Sakaguchi returned to the action forefront with the epic Re:Born in 2016 after too long of a hiatus, and now he’s back again with Crazy Samurai Musashi. The film is “shot as a single 77-minute action sequence,” and that’s more than enough to get my ass in a seat.

Savage State

“Home invasion” movies are my jam in part because, when done right, they’re both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s unclear if For the Sake of Vicious takes place in an actual home or not, but either way, it pits a woman against violent intruders and promises action and terror aplenty. While not quite a dying breed, Westerns remain a far too rare cinematic experience, so of course, I’m excited for Savage State. Described as a “feminist Western,” the film follows a family attempting to flee Missouri and the United States as the Civil War explodes across the fragile country.

The final bunch of titles will be announced on August 6th, but for now, the complete list (so far) of fifty feature films playing at Fantasia 2020 is below. Titles with a * are part of the newly announced second wave.

Title Director Country Premiere
#Shakespeareshitstorm Lloyd Kaufman USA World
12 Hour Shift Brea Grant USA International
Alone* Marc Menchaca USA International
Beauty Water* Cho Kyung-hun South Korea North American
Bleed With Me* Amelia Moses Canada World
The Block Island Sound* Kevin & Matthew McManus USA World
Class Action Park* Seth Porges & Chris Charles Scott III USA International
Climate of the Hunter* Mickey Reece USA Quebec
The Columnist* Ivo van Aart Netherlands North American
Come True Anthony Scott Burns Canada World
A Costume for Nicholas Eduardo Rivero Mexico Canadian
Crazy Samurai Musashi* Yûji Shimomura Japan Canadian
The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw Thomas Robert Lee Canada World
The Dark and the Wicked* Bryan Bertino USA International
Detention* John Hsu Taiwan Canadian
La Dosis* Martin Kraut Argentina North American
The Five Rules of Success* Orson Oblowitz USA World
For the Sake of Vicious* Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen Canada World
Fried Barry Ryan Kruger South Africa Canadian
Fugitive Dreams* Jason Neulander USA World
I WeirDo* Liao Ming-Yi Taiwan Canadian
Jesters: The Game Changers* Kim Joo-ho South Korea North American
Kriya Sidharth Srinivasan India/UK World
Labyrinth of Cinema Nobuhiko Obayashi Japan Canadian
Lapsis Noah Hutton USA Canadian
Life: Untitled* Kana Yamada Japan Canadian
Lucky Natasha Kermani USA International
Me and Me* Jung Jin-young South Korea North American
A Mermaid in Paris* Mathias Malzieu France North American
Minor Premise* Eric Schultz USA World
My Punch-Drunk Boxer* Jung Hyuk-ki South Korea North American
The Oak Room* Cody Calahan Canada World
The Old Man Movie Oskar Lehemaa & Mikk Magi Estonia North American
Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar* Tsutomu Hanabusa Japan International
The Prophet and the Space Aliens* Yoav Shamir Various North American
PVT Chat* Ben Hozie USA World
The Reckoning Neil Marshall UK Special
Sanzaru* Xia Magnus USA International
Savage State* David Perrault Various North American
Slaxx* Elza Kephart Canada World
Sleep Michael Venus Germany North American
Special Actors Shinichiro Ueda Japan Canadian
Tezuka’s Barbara Macoto Tezuka Japan North American
Time of Moulting Sabrina Mertens Germany North American
Tiny Tim: King for a Day Henrik Von Sydow Sweden World
Undergods Chino Moya Various World
The Undertaker’s Home Mauro Iván Ojeda Argentina World
Unearth John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies USA World
Vertigo* Jeon Gye-soo South Korea World
Yummy Lars Damoiseaux Belgium Quebec

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