These 5 Films Will Be the Breakout Stars of Fantasia 2020

With so many festivals canceling this year, one of the biggest film festivals in the world has gone virtual, which means that for the first time, you’ll be able to watch cutting-edge films from the comfort of your own home. Here are five must-see Fantasia films that everyone will be talking about.

From alien joy-rides to the realities of eco-horror, these out-of-this-world Fantasia Film Festival selects will make your summer.

THE FOURTH WALL (Director: Kelsey Bollig)

"Chloé is a serious actress who's spent her life on the stages of Paris. The result? She has been chipped down into a product of the scrutiny and unfair politics that infest the entertainment industry. Doomed to star in one last performance of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Chloé fights for her moment in the spotlight amongst the self-serving newcomers she is forced to share the stage with. How far will she go to be the star of the show?"

Why You Need To See It:

Bollig is an emerging director with a massive amount of buzz surrounding her, followed by the mega success of Asking For A Friend, which won 17 awards and countless nominations in the 2019 film festival circuit. The Fourth Wall is deeply immersive, packing a saturated punch that consists solely of 6 predatorial long takes that build up to a shocking culmination. The Fourth Wall welcomes familiar faces such as Lizzie Brochere ("American Horror Story: Asylum"), Roby Schinasi ("Gossip Girl"), and Jean-Marc Barr (Nymphomaniac: Vol. II).

THE RECKONING (Director: Neil Marshall)

"A poignant and horrific period thriller set in 1665 against the backdrop of the Great Plague and the subsequent witch hunts in England. The Reckoning boasts a stellar cast lead by Charlotte Kirk (Ocean’s 8) and Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers)."

Why You Need To See It: 

Eerily timely given today’s cultural climate, The Reckoning is one of the opening films for Fantasia. This is the second time in the festival’s history that one of Marshall’s films has opened the festival (after 2005’s The Descent), an honor shared only with the prolific Japanese auteur Takashi Miike.  

LUCKY (Director: Natasha Kermani)

"Lucky follows May, a self-help book author with all the answers, who suddenly finds herself stalked by a threatening but elusive masked man, and caught in a struggle to get help from the people around her and maintain control on her own life."

Why You Need To See It: 

Originally supposed to premiere at SXSW, Lucky is a new, dark feminist thriller directed by Imitation Girl's Natasha Kermani.  The film stars and was written by Bea Grant, (who also recently played supporting lead in Jeremy Gardner's Something Else). This is a highly anticipated film given the success of Imitation Girl, which was a major film darling in the 2017 festival circuit.

UNEARTH (Directors: John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies)

"Equal parts docu-drama and eco-horror, Unearth is a terrifying, and uniquely American story, which follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are put to the test when one of them leases their land to a gas company and has it drilled using the controversial method, fracking."

Why You Need To See It: 

This is a true horror story, in the sense that it’s so deeply based in the realities of today. Lyons spent his youth on farms and in the woods of Pennsylvania, giving him a deeply personal insight into the complex relationship between the environment, people, and the essential nature of land, which yields beautifully to the authentic terror of this film. 

FRIED BARRY (Director: Ryan Kruger) 

"Barry is a drug-addled, abusive bastard who, after yet another bender, is abducted by aliens. Barry takes a backseat as an alien visitor assumes control of his body and takes it for a joyride through Cape Town. What follows is an onslaught of drugs, sex, and violence as our alien tourist enters the weird and wonderful world of humankind. Fried Barry is based upon the short film of the same name, which earned 57 official selections and 12 wins at festivals around the world."

Why You Need To See It: 

Fried Barry is a musically aesthetic ride that is full of color (and blood) with all the right moving parts. Not to mention that Kruger approached the entire film like an experiment and directed it without a script. 

Fantasia 2020's full lineup will be revealed in early August, with ticket sales commencing shortly afterwards.

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