Polaris to open Fantasia 2022

Second wave of films announced

by Jennie Kermode

Polaris
Polaris Photo: courtesy of Fantasia International Film Festival

This year's Fantasia International Film Festival is to open with KC Carthew's Polaris, it has been revealed. The dystopian actioner, which follows a young woman and her adoptive mother, who happens to be a polar bear, on a perilous journey through northern badlands, stars Viva Lee and will screen on 14 July at the Concordia Hall in Montreal.

With the second wave of festival titles also announced, there's a lot to look forward to. A special focus on queer genre cinema will include vigilante thriller Compulsus and Lebanese heavy metal documentary Sirens. A strong animé line-up features Shinji Higuchi's eagerly awaited Shin Ultraman, while other big name films set to screen at the festival include Patrice Leconte’s Maigret, Toshiro Saiga’s Red Shoes and Neil LaBute's House Of Darkness.

Kier-La Janisse, whose Woodlands Dark And Days Bewitched: A History Of Folk Horror screened at the festival last year, is to receive this year's Canadian Trailblazer Award for her ground-breaking work as an author, filmmaker, historian and curator. A 10th anniversary expanded edition of her memoir, House Of Psychotic Women, will be launched at the festival.

There will also be a series of hard-to-find horror gems at the festival, recently restored by Severin Films: I Like Bats, Footprints, Il Demonio and In My Skin.

The final wave of Fantasia films will be announced later this month.

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