The Ithaca Fantastik Film Festival…
Last Sunday, The Ithaca Fantastik film festival wrapped up another successful edition of genre programming, documentaries, events and guests in gorgeous Upstate New York. The 7th edition of the festival opened on October 26th at our long time main festival venue, Cinemapolis with Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s critically acclaimed drug crime thriller BIRDS OF PASSAGE and closed on Sunday, November 4th with Victor Danell’s Crazy Pictures feature, the Swedish disaster action drama THE UNTHINKABLE.
For the second year in a row, the festival ran for ten days straight with returning programming blocks, International Competition, Cinema Pur and Midnighters as well as the new Documentaries, Throwback Thrillers and Down Under sections.
In addition to film screenings the festival presented two art exhibitions: the visually enthralling collected works of Caroline Harrison, and a collection of works from various artists based around this year’s theme of difference and similarity in our age; and the FANTASTIK VR section which presented six riveting shorts that went from horrific to inspiring.
The 2018 edition of the festival hosted films from 19 different countries and welcomed guests such as STARFISH director A.T. White; GIRLS WITH BALLS actress Anne-Solenne Hatte; Perry Blackshear, director of THE RUSALKA; BOILED ANGELS director Frank Henenlotter, producer Mike Hunchback and criminal indie comic book artist and subject of the film Mike Diana; and CAM actor Patch Darragh. We also hosted the very first DRUNKEN CINEMA projection in the US where spectators were invited to participate to an informal drinking game involving secret rules while watching an 80’s classic genre film.
“Working with so many talented people to craft the 7th edition of the Ithaca Fantastik was such a pleasure and a great ride. The Fantastik family is growing every year, and the indefectible support from our audience as well as the community foreshadows the best for the years to come” said Hugues Barbier on this year’s festival. “Seven years ago we had a crazy idea to create a film community in central state NY to nourish a vacuum for genre film lovers. Witnessing the growing interest from general audiences is the most gratifying outcome we could have expected!”
This year, the jury was composed of Yellow Veil Pictures co-owner Joe Yanick, programmer and producer Vanessa Meyer and the Archive co-owner and Vinegar Syndrome lead restoration artist Brandon Upson.
Our International Competition consisted of nine feature films and our Cinema Pur competition consisted of six. Our esteemed jury awarded honours in the following three categories:
Best Film: MY NAME IS MYEISHA, dir. Gus Krieger
Best Screenplay: DOG, Samuel Benchetrit and Gábor Rassov
Best Achievement in Directing: Gus Krieger, MY NAME IS MYEISHA
Special Mention directing: Yann Gonzalez, KNIFE + HEART
This year, the Shorts winners were chosen through a nomination process by the programmers and a panel of viewers in Ithaca. The shorts winners are as follows:
Best Horror Short: MILK dir. Santiago Menghini
Best WTF! Short: MOTHER FUCKER dir. Nicholas Payne, who was in attendance at the festival.
Best comedy Short: FETISH, dirs. David Lee Hess and Richard H. Perry
The Necessary Voices shorts section was created this year to uplift the voices of filmmakers and narratives that often aren’t lifted. This year’s Necessary Voices honorable mentions are as follows : DEATH METAL GRANDMA, dir. Leah Galant, EVERY GHOST HAS AN ORCHESTRA, dir. Shayna Connely TiCK, dir. Ashlea Wessel THOSE WHO CAN DIE, dir. Charlotte Cayeux SWEET DECEIT, dir. Shannon Jones ENTROPIA, dir. Marinah Janello BFF GIRLS, dir. Brian Lonano
Audience Awards are as follows:
Cinema Pur Audience Award: KEEP AN EYE OUT, dir. Quentin Dupieux
International Competition Audience Award: MY NAME IS MYEISHA, dir. Gus Krieger
Short Audience Award: FETISH, dirs. David Lee Hess and Richard H. Perry
Ithaca Fantastik would like to thank Cinemapolis, The Studio Ithaca College space, Ithaca College DKA Professional Cinematic Society Volunteers, Ithaca Underground, Community Art Partnership with their Grant for Art program, The Tompkins Country Tourism Grant Program, Angry Mom Records and our amazing audience!
Images: Ithaca Film Festival