Of all the film festivals I’ve been to over the years I rank Austin’s Fantastic Fest as one of my favorites. The selection of films, events, parties and the people running the fest, and in Austin in general, make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Now it seems the fine folks in charge of the fest are trying to make it even better with the announcement of the new Fantastic Fest Fantastic Arcade.
This new part of the fest will feature fresh, cutting-edge games designed by independent game developers and publishers. During the fest the infamous Highball ballroom will be transformed into an old style arcade to showcase all of these games. This event promises to further enhance Fantastic Fest’s already terrific lineup of things to see and do. I, for one can’t wait to check it out.
Fantastic Fest runs from September 23-30 in Austin, TX. If you love genre movies and want to have a great time, it is well worth the trip. Check out the full press release announcing the Fantastic Arcade after the jump.
Fantastic Fest announces debut indie games event Fantastic Arcade
National event features new games and major publisher showcase
Austin, TX—Wednesday, June 9, 2010—America’s largest genre film festival Fantastic Fest today announced Fantastic Arcade, their new independent games festival scheduled for four days, September 23-26, 2010 in Austin, Texas.
Co-founded by Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News, Fantastic Fest attracts major film and TV celebrities every year, making Fantastic Fest a star-studded week of screenings, VIP parties and significant national media coverage. Stars and filmmakers who have attended include Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Woody Harrelson, Paul Rudd, John C. Reilly, Sam Rockwell, Simon Baker, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jon Favreau, Kevin Smith and Mike Judge, among many others.
Designed as a games spin-off event from the main film festival, Fantastic Arcade is a debut games festival featuring fresh, cutting-edge games designed by independent game developers and publishers.
Indie game designers are being invited to show off their new titles to an audience mix of Fantastic Fest attendees and game fans. More than 4,000 attendees are expected to visit Fantastic Arcade over four days for hands-on gameplay action in a fun, high octane environment at top Austin entertainment venue, the HighBall.
The Highball ballroom will be transformed into an old-school arcade featuring games the likes of which never existed in any Aladdin’s Castle. The Fantastic Arcade curators have selected some of the most fascinating new independent games and retrofitted them into vintage arcade consoles set to free-play for the duration of the event.
Other Fantastic Arcade highlights include a live game demos by their authors on the big screens at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, a machinima film competition judged by Red Vs. Blue creator Burnie Burns, video game art installations featuring work by Cory Arcangel, live chiptune music performances, games showcases and demos from major game publishers, game design guest speakers, screenings of popular games culture films, a Starcade game-show competition, a light saber dance party and more! Among other topics, the panels will explore the crossover and differences between the visual story-telling mediums of the film and game worlds.
Tim League, co-founder of Fantastic Fest and owner of the Alamo Drafthouse, offers, “While Fantastic Fest is already known as a prestigious film event, it has evolved into an ideal venue for independent game developers and game publishers to exhibit their original games to their target demographic. Video games rightfully belong side by side with shorts and feature films at Fantastic Fest, and the artistic merit of these games will be honored with both audience awards and a juried competition.”
Along with Tim League, the curating team for Fantastic Arcade includes CineVegas alum Mike Plante and Roger Erik Tinch, and game designer Eddo Stern. Plante and Tinch helped form the film lineup and overall art design for CineVegas each year from 2002-2009, while Stern makes games that explore fantasy and reality with political over tones.
Mike Plante, curator for Fantastic Arcade, adds, “Fantastic Arcade is highly interested in exploring the crossover between the film and game worlds in terms of both talent and content. Films and games are both visual story-telling mediums that have been sharing plots, dialogue and characters for years.”
Fantastic Arcade is scheduled for September 23-26, 2010 at the Highball on South Lamar, running concurrently to Fantastic Fest at near by Alamo venues, September 23-30. Passes for Fantastic Arcade will go on sale on Thursday, July 1, 2010, starting at $15 per day pass.
About Fantastic Fest
Dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by showbiz bible Variety, Fantastic Fest is also known as the “Comic Con of film festivals.” Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States, showcasing eight days of offbeat cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The 2009 edition hosted over 70 world, U.S. and regional premieres of the latest sci-fi, horror, fantasy and cult films from around the world. www.fantasticfest.com
For more details regarding Fantastic Arcade, contact Fiona Cherbak, ThemePark Studios, (512) 916-9633 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Mike Plante, Fantastic Arcade creative director, at email@example.com. For more information, visit www.fantasticfest.com/arcade.