Fantastic Fest Announces Early Film Lineup, Celebrity Guests

Fantastic Fest Announces Early Film Lineup, Celebrity Guests

Even though our minds are focused more on recovering from E3 and planning for San Diego Comic-Con, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten one of our favorite film festivals. Fantastic Fest, the annual fete featuring genre films in Austin, TX is near and dear to our hearts so as we get info on it we will dutifully bring it to you.

This time around the fest has announced some early films and special guests that will be part of the fun from September 23-30. Among these new announcements are appearances by director Stuart Gordon and Reanimator star Jeffrey Combs as well as a spotlight on Norway and its crop of young filmmakers making horror and other genre fare such as Roar Uthaug and the acclaimed Cold Prey.

Click through for the full press release with all the detailed scoop. Stay tuned right here for all the news on Fantastic Fest as we get it.

Fantastic Fest 2010 announces early film line-up and celebrity guests
National genre film festival features indie and major studio releases

Austin, TX—Wednesday, June 24, 2010—Programming for the sixth annual Fantastic Fest (September 23-30) is taking shape nicely with an incredible selection of horror, science fiction, fantasy and just downright weird films from across the globe. We will be announcing specific titles in a number of press releases over the next few months, but following you will find a few of the broad brush strokes of exciting things to come in this year’s program. Subscribe to our blog, follow us on twitter or become a fan on Facebook for all the latest updates.

The new look of 2010
The 2010 poster artwork has been completed. Visual artist Mike Saputo nailed it out of the park this year. Every year, the consistent theme of the Fantastic Fest poster is that it must feature a cyclops of some variety. This year’s beast appears to me at least to be a Lovecraftian electro-kinetic illuminati wizard. Cool. You can see the new artwork as the backdrop for the official 2010 Fantastic Fest website. BSide is once again running the community pages for the festival and is also working with us to develop this year’s Fantastic Fest iPhone application. If you don’t have one already, sign up for your free BSide account so that you can fully engage in the Fantastic Fest community. Interact with filmmakers and other guests, create your schedule and rate and review movies all on the Fantastic Fest site or (pending) iPhone application.

Fantastic Arcade
We are proud to announce our new independent games festival, Fantastic Arcade, which will run concurrent with the first four days of Fantastic Fest, September 23-26, 2010. Designed as a games spin-off event from the main film festival, Fantastic Arcade will feature fresh, cutting-edge games designed by independent game developers. Fantastic Fest badgeholders will be able to access the games and events of Fantastic Arcade, but we will also have Arcade-specific passes available. Fantastic Arcade highlights include a games showcase from both major and super-independent game developers, games industry guest speakers and live game demos on the big screens at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Other game festival features include a machinima film competition judged by Red Vs. Blue creator Burnie Burns, video game art installations featuring work by Cory Arcangel, chiptune music performances, screenings of popular games culture films, a Starcade game-show competition and a light saber dance party. 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. Passes for Fantastic Arcade start at $15 and go on sale on July 1 at noon CST. More info at

Jeffrey Combs and Stuart Gordon: Nevermore
Jeffrey Combs and Stuart Gordon will be live in person with repertory screenings of FROM BEYOND and REANIMATOR and Jeffrey Combs will be performing his one-man show NEVERMORE… AN EVENING WITH EDGAR ALLAN POE. Stuart Gordon wrote the play, using a compilation of historical accounts, actual monologues, articles, letters and Poe’s own words to construct the definitive portrait of American’s most famous macabre poet. The play ran for months in Los Angeles and received unanimously glowing reviews. When I saw the show in November, we immediately invited Combs and Gordon to come to Austin for this year’s Fantastic Fest. Although not a film, NEVERMORE was the very first show booked for this year’s festival. We will have 2 screenings open to Fantastic Fest badge holders with additional screenings available to the general public.

Extreme Cuisine
Every year, Fantastic Fest incorporates a number of culinary theatrics. This year, Alamo Drafthouse executive chef John Bullington will be kicking off the opening night party by butterfly-butchering an entire adult cow and cooking it in the Argentinian style – smoked on an open fire for 18 hours. Check the blog for photos of the industrial cow crucifix that is under construction and a meet and greet with the cow (Fanny) that is being raised for the occasion. Bullington will also be overseeing the annual Fantastic Fest five course feast for our 2010 food-themed feature selection. Expect more signature food and drink pairings as the 2010 Fantastic Fest schedule is announced.

Spotlight: Norway
Though Norway has a long established and well respected film history the nation had long avoided genre film, preferring to make their name at home with broadly commercial comedies and dramas and abroad with high end arthouse film. That changed for good with the arrival of Roar Uthaug and Cold Prey. The first modern slasher movie produced anywhere in the Nordic countries, Cold Prey was initially considered a risky proposition but went on to become a total game-changer for the local industry. A massive smash hit – not only in Norway but throughout the entire region Cold Prey proved to the young generation of producers and directors that they could be successful making the sorts of films they loved, the sorts of films they had previously thought were the sole purview of Hollywood. And since then its been game on, with a string of young talents producing a diverse wave of high quality genre hits.

Thrillers, horror, action flicks, science fiction … you name it and somebody is making it, and making it well. And though Cold Preys impact has been felt well outside of Norways borders triggering a surge of genre production in neighbouring Sweden, Denmark and Finland as well Norway remains the clear leader in Nordic genre film, with recent hits like Nazi-zombie comedy Dead Snow winning over audiences around the globe. Fantastic Fest is proud to embrace the sullying of Norways cinematic history with explosions of gore and violence as we present to you the very finest examples of current Norwegian genre film in our Norwegian Spotlight at Fantastic Fest 2010.

Other News
Look for the return of several of our favorite Spanish filmmakers, the addition of an after-hours karaoke experience, parties every night at the Highball, the return of signature events such as 100 Best Kills, the ever-boisterous Fantastic Feud, the Fantastic Debates and more. Suffice it to say, Fantastic Fest will continue to strive to be what Texas Monthly has called “the most important film festival in North America.” We are the film Festival with the boring parts cut out.

Our Partners
IFC is returning as a significant media partner this year, with the added support of our new media partner Time Warner Cable. KXAN Austin News (NBC) and The CW Austin (CW) are the brand new broadcast media television partners, providing extensive media and promotions for both Fantastic Fest and Fantastic Arcade. Dell and AMD are teamed up to support the Next Wave Filmmakers Competition at Fantastic Fest. We have also partnered with Ambhar Tequilla, the official tequila of Fantastic Fest, which should make every party and event at Fantastic Fest that much more fantastic. Other partners include Aint It Cool News, Austin Chronicle, 101X FM, The Onion, Chud, Fangoria, FEARnet, HitFix, Moving Pictures and Twitch.

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.