Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here and while I'm not really known for posting many press releases, this one just smacked me right in my short film loving gut. As you may or may not know, each week I'm lucky enough to screen a handful of short films here that are typically (99% of the time) created by AICN readers. Well my appetite for new and interesting short films isn't limited just to films that hit my inbox, so I'm always on the hunt for great short films. Film fests.... Other websites... Friends Facebook messaging links... I'm always down to see something new, just as I think most people are. "Something new" is just one phrase I could throw out that describes Austin's Fantastic Fest. "Insane Fun." "Uniquely Original." You get the picture... My point is, the programming staff at the fest typically do an insane job with their selections. Hell, I can only imagine how many screeners they've gone through to dwindle it down to the lineup below. This is the cream of the crop, the films that stood out, the movies that have something to say. I'm dying to check them all out, and if you plan to attend this year's fest, I hope you have a chance to see some of them as well!
FANTASTIC FEST 2015 ANNOUNCESSHORTS PROGRAMMINGAustin, TX - Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 - Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the short film line up for the 11th edition of Fantastic Fest, happening Sept. 24th - Oct. 1st in Austin, Texas. Fantastic Fest once again will showcase a diverse range of short-subject genre films across three distinct programming sidebars and a dozen pre-feature presentations.Curated by veteran festival programmer, film producer and hat enthusiast Peter Kuplowsky, the 40 film lineup champions the best, the brightest and, in an inaugural programme (SHORTS WITH LEGS), also the strangest and most eccentric short films from around the world. All in all, short-form cinema guaranteed to melt minds, split sides, and drop jaws.The complete lineup, divided by programme, is as follows:FANTASTIC SHORTS 2015For those in the mood for a little bit of everything, FANTASTIC FEST 2015 is a sampling of the year's best shorts; both live action and animated, ranging from the comic to the dramatic, and all of them guaranteed fantastic!CHULYEN, A CROW'S TALEFrance, 2015US Premiere, 20 minDirectors - Cerise Lopez & Agnès PatronA rapscallious man-crow indulges his selfish whims and courts the wrath of the spirits of the forest in this simply sketched, but elegantly animated chiaroscuro adaptation of Northern Native American folklore.DETECTIVE TROUSERS IN THE BEAT GOES ONUnited States, 2015Texas Premiere, 5 minDirectors - Zachary Scheer and Matt ChoiThe Gold Watch Murders have put a damper on Captain Padlilly's Retirement party in this witty stab at an animated police procedural that intermingles humans with anthropomorphic animal gumshoes and will leave you jonesing for more.ENHANCEDUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 16 minDirector - Jeremy David WhiteMoments before taking the stage, a performer is contacted by his estranged sister and confronted with his stubborn decision to abstain from participating in their society's "brave new world". A dystopian tale with a refreshingly low-key, yet emotional expression of resistance.GROWING PAINSDenmark, 2014Regional Premiere, 21 minDirector - Tor FruergaardAfter years of living under his mother's thumb, a sexually repressed teenager finds his body undergoing some unusual transformations upon catching the eye of a cute neighbor. A coming of age story complete with threat of castration, brilliantly animated against a backdrop of paper dioramas.THE GUESTSAustralia, 2015North American Premiere, 10 minDirector - Shane DanielsenThe guests have begun to arrive, only Anna didn't invite them. An exquisitely eerie nightmare of manners.MOVIES IN SPACEUnited States, 2015Regional Premiere, 14 minDirector - Chris SmithThe axiom that in Hollywood "nobody knows anything" also rings true in the rest of the galaxy, so Earth Ambassador Travis Shepherd discovers when he inadvertently becomes a movie mogul on an alien planet. An infectiously hilarious marvel in its comic escalation.TOONPOCALYPSEScotland, 2015Texas Premiere, 18 minDirector - Owen RixonTwo cartoon characters become privy to a video documenting the invasion of the Earth by fiends hailing from the second-dimension! A thrilling and hilarious reinvigoration of the found footage genre through a delightful marriage of live-action and animation.TRYING NOT TO EXPLODEUnited States, 2015Texas Premiere, 17 minDirector - Dave DorseyThe spontaneous combustion of his parents has Leonard concerned that he might be next, so he's not taking any chances. Fortunately, someone is prepared to take a chance on him.SHORT FUSE 2015Fantastic Fest once more ignites your synapses with an assembly of the year's best short-form horror, including PORTAL TO HELL, the last film of genre film icon and wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper!THE BABYSITTER MURDERSUnited States, 2015Texas Premiere, 21 minDirector - RYAN SPINDELLA babysitter does epic battle with a dangerous psychotic in this slick and scary homage to slasher cinema.EL GIGANTECanada, 2014Texas Premiere, 13 minDirector - Gigi Saul GuerreroA desperate trek across the US/Mexico border condemns a man to a blood-stained ring of death at the behest of a cannibalistic family of luchador aficionados in this slick and sick grand guignol of guts and gore.HOUSE OF STRAWUnited States, 2015US Premiere, 16 minDirector - Kyle BogartIt's almost 6 o'clock and Emma and Reed's marriage is coming apart at the seams, but more importantly: it's almost 6 o'clock. A novel supernatural slice of monstrous domestic drama containing exemplary emotional resonance.THE LISTINGUnited States, 2015Texas Premiere, 12 minDirector - Luke JadenAn invisible malevolent entity impatiently waits for a family to haunt in this expertly wound and spooky jack-in-the-box of a horror short.THE MILL AT CALDER'S ENDUnited States, 2014Texas Premiere, 14 minDirector - Kevin McTurkA young man returns to his childhood home intent on breaking a family curse. An exceptionally creepy pastiche of Poe and Lovecraft's mood and mythology realized through bunraku rod puppets voiced by Jason Flemyng (THE MISSING) and Barbara Steele (BLACK SUNDAY).OUT OF THE MOLDUnited States, Australia, Canada, 2014Regional Premiere, 12 minDirector - Michel moonA gross-out, but poignant portrait of a relationship disintegrating at the prospect of having a child, in poetic tandem with the growth bathroom mold.PORTAL TO HELLCanada, 2015US Premiere, 11 minDirector - Vivieno CaldinelliToilet clogged? Call the super. Hallway light needs replaced? Call the super. Got an infestation of Cthulhu's tentacles in the basement? Pray that Rowdy Roddy Piper is your super. Fortunately for the folks in this short, he is, and unfortunately for the elder god, he's all outta of bubblegum.SISTER HELLNorway, 2015World Premiere, 14 minDirector - Fredrik HanaA nun absconds from her monastery and embraces a more hedonistic lifestyle, but the sisters she left behind are soon hot on her heels in a bid to save her soul. Only it might not be her soul that needs saving. Fredrik Hana (ANGST, PISS AND DRID, AUTUMN HARVEST) returns with this demonic parable inspired in part by the "energy & sheer insanity" of last years Fantastic Fest.TRUSTUnited States, 2015US Premiere, 2 minDirector - Jerry PyleTwo roommates engage in an escalating game of trust exercises (that we fear will eventually become a Fantastic Fest after-party activity).SHORTS WITH LEGS 2015Inspired by the DIY tour-de-force I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS, which played at last year's Fantastic Fest, this programme compiles the strangest and most compelling eccentric short films we've seen all year, from polished excursions into existential surrealism from the creators of SOUND OF NOISE and THE EDITOR to enthusiastic reveries of outsider art madness.ALIKE & DIFFERENTUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 4 minDirector - David DavisDavid Davis becomes your new favorite outsider artist in this lo-fi satirical look at a first contact scenario.DISCO INFERNOSpain, 2015North American Premiere, 12 minDirector - Ali WaddingtonA black clad vixen infiltrates a sumptuous mansion overrun with cultists in what begins as a rescue mission, and then deliriously descends into an eerie musical reverie, before finally arriving at a most unexpected conclusion.DIVORCED DAD : HOME IMPROVEMENTSCanada, 2015World Premiere, 6 minDirectors - Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney, Matthew BrooksDivorced Dad (with you the first and third weekend of the month) gets some bad news in this hilarious and disturbing public access nightmare that could have only emerged from the mad minds at ASTRON-6 (MANBORG, THE EDITOR).DOG BOWLUnited States, 2015Texas Premiere, 19 minDirector - Gordy HoffmanThe theft of service "dog" vest ignites an existential crisis with "sirius" cosmic repercussions. This short is also exactly 44.5x funnier than that aforementioned pun. It is impecable absurdism, the kind that inspires both wonder and gleeful delight.MAN WITHOUT DIRECTIONSweden, 2015World Premiere, 15 minDirectors - Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Pelle Öhlund, Nina JemthA put-upon man nearly loses himself to the labyrinthine corridors of a shabby roadside hotel in this sublimely surreal dark comedy inspired by Dante's Inferno. A unique collaboration between the creators of SOUND OF NOISE and Moomsteatern, an acclaimed Swedish theatre company comprised of performers with intellectual disabilities.MY JOHNNYUnited States, 2014Texas Premiere, 30 minDirector -Vincent de GhoulieAn epic suburban fever dream about a boy, a babysitter and prescription LSD. LA fringe filmmaker Vincent De Ghoulie claims to have invoked the spirit of his former teacher and great experimental artist George Kuchar while making the film and the result is something so magnificently singular it deserves to sits alongside cinematic company as prestigious as Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE and as infamous as Breen's FATEFUL FINDINGS. May melt your brain, but will split your sides and leave you in utter astonishment.REVERSE EFFECTSUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 3minDirector - David DavisDavid Davis warns of the dangers of purchasing time travel over the Internet.SUPERHEROUnited States, 2013Austin Premiere, 30 secondsDirector - David DavisDavid Davis reminds us about the importance of being an organ donor. Don't wait till your dead.TRIAL RUNUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 20 minDirector - Lawrence Peter KleinA pop-up ad on a porn site leads an unemployed and unstable man on a convoluted cross-country mission to recover a litany of mysterious corpses with the promise of sexual fulfillment. A kinetic and compelling menagerie of conspiratorial musings and manic ruminations reminiscent of Craig Baldwin's Tribulation 99 monologues, as if performed by a deranged Jack Burton.WIND THROUGH A TREECanada, 2015US Premiere, 10 minDirector - Seth SmithExperimental filmmaker Seth Smith (LOWLIFE) offers up the eccentric anti-adventures of four members of his family, connecting their souls through colour and composition in this poetic, tragicomic fusion of fiction and home movie.SHORTS PAIRED WITH FEATURES:THE CHAMPCanada, 2015World Premiere, 9 minDirector - Fabian VelascoA former boxing champion sits on death row. He has accepted the inevitable, but is nonetheless determined to ensure that no one will ever lay claim to his championship belt. An exceedingly odd and idiosyncratic parable of ego and futility.THE CHICKENINGCanada, 2015US Premiere, 5 minDirectors - Nick DenBoer & Davy ForceAll work and no chicken makes Jack a dull boy, so heeeere's THE CHICKENING! The most awe-inspiring and ridiculous mash-up of cinema and cuisine your eyes will ever see.COPYCATUnited States, 2015Regional Premiere, 9 minDirector - Charlie LyneIn 1991 Rolfe Kanefsky made a meta-horror film that few people saw, but perhaps one person stole. Experimental filmmaker Charlie Lyne records the testimony and sets its against a hypnotic and witty montage of horror cinema.DEATHLYUnited States, 2015North American Premiere, 13 minDirector - Mike WilliamsonA man's home becomes the site of supernatural occurrences following his wife's untimely passing. Alan Ruck (FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF) stars in this fun slice of pulpy horror from Fantastic Fest alumni Mike Williamson (IN THE WALL).FUCK BUDDIESCanada, 2015World Premiere, 19 minDirector - Nathaniel WilsonPlatonic roommates Joseph and Ellie try to 'keep it casual' when they find themselves manipulated into sex with each other by an enigmatic entity. A gross, disturbing and scathingly funny investigation of the compulsion for intimacy and its emotional and biological collateral damage.FUCKKKYOUUUUnited States, 2015Texas PremiereDirector - Eddie AlcazarLove hurts in this gorgeous and grotesque experimental trance of time travel and body horror, stunningly captured with immaculately textured black and white photography.MORE THAN FOUR HOURSUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 10 minDirector - Bryan PoyserIt would be cruel to spoil the comedic set up to this short which confirms that boners are hilarious. So just expect a boner and expect hilarity. And a full-body cringe.SLOW CREEPUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 12 minDirector - Jim HickcoxThree teens defy the warnings of a video store clerk and go ahead with renting a cursed VHS. What begins as an endearing exercise in creature feature schlock then transforms into a sublime and infectious... well I won't spoil it here.TEETHUnited States/Spain, 2015North American Premiere, 14 minDirector - Jennifer CoxA high-school girl learns to stand up to her bullies by embracing precisely that which makes her a target. An ambitious and confidently executed exploration of adolescent anxiety.THIS HOME IS NOT EMPTYCanada, 2015Texas Premiere, 3 minDirector - Carol NguyenA chilling experimental meditation on the lies in which we tell ourselves expressed through the starkly minimalist dioramic presentation of a seemingly empty home. Haunting stuff.THORNJapan, 2015Regional Premiere, 15 minDirector - Soichi UmezawaA grieving mother discovers her son's supernatural secret after communing with his cactus. Soichi Umezawa follows up his acclaimed segment from THE ABCS OF DEATH 2 (Y is for YOUTH) with another surreal venture into body horror and adolescent angst, only this time adding psychic powers to the mix!WARM INSIDESUnited States, 2015World Premiere, 10 minDirector - Andrew MerrillA skin-crawling and impressively haptic grayscale psychodrama, wherein a woman's body becomes host to a parasitic, worm-like organism. She really doesn't need this right now, especially so close to the holidays.WORLD OF TOMORROWUnited States, 2015Special Screening, 16 minDirector - Don HertzfeldtA young girl is confronted with her future in this sublime award-winning festival favorite by Don Hertzfeldt (IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY, REJECTED).Attend Fantastic Fest:DAYTIME ONLY Badges, FAN Badges, and 2ND HALF Badges for Fantastic Fest 2015 are available for purchase here.For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Fest official site www.fantasticfest.com and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.For Fantastic Fest & Alamo Drafthouse Media Inquiries:
CONTACT: Brandy Fons
PHONE: (310) 809-8882
About Fantastic Fest
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past the festival has been home to world premieres of JOHN WICK, FRANKENWEENIE, MACHETE KILLS, RED DAWN, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND and RED while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Andy and Lana Wachowski, Robert Rodriguez, Rian Johnson, Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Keanu Reeves, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky and Mike Judge. Fantastic Fest also features world, national and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS and I DECLARE WAR. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired and TIME. Variety included Fantastic Fest in a list of "10 Film Festivals We Love," and was also named one of the "25 coolest film festivals" by Moviemaker Magazine.Our PartnersPresenting Sponsors for Fantastic Fest include Texas' own Shiner Beer, whose family of products will be featured throughout the festival. And Chiller, the only cable channel devoted to delivering round-the-clock scares.Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. 17 years later, the now 19-location chain has been named "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short three year existence and Birth. Movies. Death, an entertainment content platform edited by veteran journalist Devin Faraci.
Out of those many descriptions, which ones seem the most interesting to you all? WORLD OF TOMORROW, THE MILL AT CALDER'S INN, and THE GUESTS are the three I'm most excited to see, but I'm more than game to check them all out. How about you?
- Mike McCutchen