Brain Freeze to open Fantasia 2021

Online festival may include physical screenings if safe to do so

by Jennie Kermode

Brain Freeze
Brain Freeze Photo: Fantasia International Film Festival

As it gears up for its 25th edition and its second to be held wholly or predominantly online, Montreal-based genre celebration Fantasia has announced its opening film. Julien Knafo’s Québécois zomcom Brain Freeze delivers biting social satire as it depicts an epidemic in which corporate greed puts the vulnerable at risk and the privileged get a shock when zombies break into a gated community. Shot in stages around lockdown, it stars Roy Dupuis, Iani Bédard and Marianne Fortier.

Fantasia 2021 poster
Fantasia 2021 poster Photo: Donald Caron

Like last year, the festival team plan to bring their Canadian audience a collection of online screenings ranging from horror and science fiction films to fantasy and animé. There will also be online premieres, panels, and workshops, informed by and expanding on the 2020 experience. If local authorities deem it safe, some physical screenings may be added to the line-up.

Today the festival also revealed its 2021 poster, designed by acclaimed illustrator Donald Caron and inspired, of course, by Lone Wolf And Cub. it celebrates the substantial contribution to the festival made by Japanese culture over the years, and the key position which Japanese films will hold in the 2021 line-up, full details of which are yet to be revealed.

In 2020, Fantasia was one of the first major festivals to take stock of the Covid-19 pandemic and commit yo being held entirely online. It attracted 85,000 spectators and helped to launch several critically acclaimed independent films, including Anything For Jackson, which was picked up by Shudder, and The Block Island Sound, which is now available on Netflix.

This year's festival will be presented by Videotron in collaboration with Desjardins, and we will be bringing you full coverage here at Eye For Film.

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