Fantastic Fest

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Get a sneak peek at Golden Compass 12/1!

It's no secret at this point that living very close to the surface of my 37 year old skin is a super-geeky 12 year old boy. And when that boy senses a new world with rampaging polar bears, fighting monkeys, marauding pirates, flying witches and fantastical airships is about to hit the screen, he commands my limbs to be first in line on opening day to check it out.

Just such a film is THE GOLDEN COMPASS, based on Phillip Pullmans amazing series, HIS DARK MATERIALS, which up until yesterday I was going to have to wait until December 7 to check out.

New Line, however, has announced a special sneak preview screening of THE GOLDEN COMPASS at the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Saturday night. This show is definitely going to sell out, so if you, like me, want to appease your hungry inner 12 year old, get your tickets soon!

See you on Saturday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2008 Fantastic Fest submissions are now active!

As of today, we have activated submissions for the 2008 Fantastic Fest, and I for one can't wait! We use Without A Box to collect submissions, and it's an easy form for filmmakers to fill out. Have an awesome new short or feature that fits into the loosely defined programming web of Fantastic Fest? By all means, send it our way. In the first couple of years, we were predominantly a horror, sci-fi and fantasy festival. While that's still our core, we've expanded a bit to include films with magic realism, crime and action movies, and really any movie that is we would succinctly define as "badass." We program a good chunk of the festival through direct submissions. So, if you've finished a "badass" movie or know someone who has, then please, send that film our way.

Check out the festival website for more information on Fantastic Fest and the submission process.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fantastic Fest 2007 Press links archive online!

We have waded through the vast world wide web to compile a non-comprehensive (but yet still not to shabby) listing of all of the press links from the 2007 festival.

Highlights include of course the great coverage from the AICN gang, the brouhaha at bigger/bossier festival about the world premiere screening of THERE WILL BE BLOOD, the extensive coverage by Peter, Jette and Scott at Cinematical, AMC Monsterfest coverage by Matt Kiernan, the festival coverage by Blake, Todd and Peter at Twitchfilm, Michael Lerman's Indiewire posts, the video archives at Texas Geek and the ever expanding video footage over at Dell Lounge.

Check out the complete list of links for Fantastic Fest 2007.

If anyone has any further press links not on this list, please feel free to drop us an email and we will update the list.

Thanks again to all the journalists who attended the festival this year. We hope you had a great time and look forward to seeing you in 2008. We are already... on the hunt for the best of the best of all films cool, weird, wonderful and/or bloody.

Filmmaker Joe Lynch talks about FF2007

We got to know a bunch of great folks at Fantastic Fest 2007, from festival attendees to studio execs to the media and of course, visiting filmmakers. One young filmmaker that we were really pleased to get to know better was Joe Lynch, director of Wrong Turn 2. Joe wrote an extensive blog about his all-too-short time with us here at Fantastic Fest which chronicles the movies he watched, his extra-curricular activities, every morsel he ate and drank and the even the gas he passed.

Check out the full post here. It makes for a pretty damn fun read. Joe, hurry the hell up and make another film so we can see you again next year!

If you didn't get a chance to see Wrong Turn 2, check it out on video, coming soon to a store near you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fantastic Fest badges go on sale NOV 23, noon!

We have expanded the badge offerings for 2008. We still have our VIP and Regular Badges, but we now also have discounted "2nd-half-of-the-fest" badges and "day-only" badges. VIP Badges sold out in 2 days when they went on sale during the 2007 festival, and we expect the remainder of badges to be sold-out quickly. The following describes the badge options for 2008:

V.I.P. Badges are available for $250 and include an exclusive limited-edition t-shirt and poster, plus a souvenir Fantastic Fest shoulder bag filled with seriously fun schwag. The main benefit of the V.I.P. badge, however, is guaranteed admission to the movie of your choice at any given showtime. VIP Badgeholders must arrive 20 minutes before showtime or else your seats may be given up. V.I.P. badge holders will also receive guaranteed admission to all panels and parties.

Film Badges are available for $120 and guarantee you a seat at all time slots during Fantastic Fest (just not necessarily your first choice film in each time slot. Most films screen more than once, so you should be able to see everything you want, with the exception of the high profile opening and closing films. We are attempting in 2008, however, to open up the high profile films to more timeslots/screens so that more regular badge holders will be able to attend. The Film Badges also includes access to all of the Fantastic Fest parties, including the opening and closing night parties.

This is the first year we will be offering discount 2nd-half festival badges, the price is $65. The busiest time of the festival is always the 1st half. The majority of the industry folks, distributors and buyers are in town for opening weekend and then leave on Monday morning or Sunday night. The way the festival is programmed, we try to play almost all of the films in the first 4 days and then again in the second 4 days, so if you purchase a 2nd-half festival badge, you will still get the chance to see just about everything from the festival line-up. If you purchase the 2nd-half badge, you can check out the BSide feedback to see which movies are getting the biggest buzz. Also, with fewer folks in attendance, the lines will not be nearly as bad. 2nd-half festival badges are good for any screening Monday-Thursday, September 22-25. 2nd-half festival badge-holders will be seated at the same time as the regular badge holders for the second half of the fest. The 2nd-half festival badge also includes access to all of the Fantastic Fest parties in the 2nd-half of the fest, including the closing night party.

The cheapest badge option, also a new badge for 2008, is the "day-only" badge, that we are offering for $40. This badge allows you access to any screening starting before 6:00 PM, any day of the festival. This is the perfect badge option if you have limited funds, but want to sample and get a taste of some of the movies of the festival. We will be offering approximagely 50 screenings at these early timeslots, and each and every film in the 2008 line-up will be something special. This badge does not include access to the evening parties.

Due to increased sales of festival badges, individual show tickets will mainly be available day of show in person at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. It is unlikely that individual show tickets will be available for high profile screenings such as our opening and closing night films. These shows will likely be limited to badge holders only. Closer to the festival, limited number of individual tickets to select shows may become availalbe online, particularly for daytime screenings and screenings in the second half of the festival. Check back here or subscribe to the festival Blog for more details.

Monday, November 12, 2007

First Big Movie to Hit the Ritz...

The best movie you will see all year is opening at the Alamo Ritz Theatre this Friday, November 16th. This is no exaggeration, because this Friday we're getting NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, the newest film from the Coen Brothers, and the one that all of the critics are saying hearkens back to their glory days of BLOOD SIMPLE and FARGO and delivers the Coen Brothers movie we've wanted to see for years. But don't take my word for it, watch the trailer here, and check out some of the reviews that have come in from advance screenings:

"A return to glory for the Coen Brothers, a revisiting of the formula that worked so well for them in Fargo, but with a darker, more cynical twist." (

"An intense, nihilistic thriller as well as a model of implacable storytelling, this is a film you can't stop watching even though you very much wish you could." (Los Angeles Times)

"For formalists -- those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design -- No Country for Old Men is pure heaven." (New York Times)

"A brilliant example of how plot devices as simple as murder and money can be used to explore larger sweeping themes of mortality, morality and more -- while still delivering rousing, intelligent pure entertainment." (Cinematical)

This was the first new release film we screened at the Ritz, and for good reason - this is the Real Deal. Not only that, but it's one of those films that you NEED to see as soon as possible, because if you overhear people talking about it there are all sorts of spoilers that will start creeping into your subconscious no matter how much you try to keep yourself protected.

As always, it's more than just movies at the Alamo, and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is no exception. We'll have onscreen Coen Brothers trivia before the show, a barrage of vintage 35mm Coen Brothers trailers and there's even a rumor of a NCFOM-inspired skull-crushing piston, courtesy of the Austin chapter of DorkBot. Check back to the website for more. We'll also be the only theater in the country featuring a new 35mm trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Unlike the other trailer, this one was cut by the director himself and is only available at Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz.

If you've never been there before, check out the info section of the website for more details about parking at the Ritz.

Grab your tickets online here and head down to the Ritz this weekend. You'll thank me. You'll thank yourself. You'll thank the Coen Brothers. We'll see you at the Ritz.

Tickets are already starting to go fast and seating is limited at the Ritz, so we highly encourage you to get tickets early.

My 2007 FANTASTIC FEST TRIP - Maurice Devereaux

By Maurice Devereaux (writer/director END OF THE LINE)
September 28th, 2007.

Now I was really happy when my film END OF THE LINE was chosen to be part of FANTASTIC FEST in Austin Texas. It was one of the rare festivals I actually paid the entry fee to enter (for all the others, my film was invited) as I felt it was important to try to be part of this fast growing, and happening event. And because I had heard nothing but praise from anyone who had gone to the fest and the legendary status of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema itself.

Not to mention the potential of many journalists that would cover the film (including, of course, the Ain't it cool gang).

I arrived for opening night, with the premiere of George Romero's Diary of the Dead with the man himself in person! Now I am a huge Romero fan, I have seen all his films (even There's always Vanilla) and his work, as been a huge influence on me and especially END OF THE LINE. So after the film, in true FAN BOY mode, I shook his hand, told him he was one of my heroes...He nicely told me "You have to be your own hero" and I agreed, as I always sought to forge my own "voice" as writer/director of all my films...

I have to say this is the most FUN I have had at any of festivals I've been to...I and the many other guests, were treated like kings! Free food, daily activities, including: eating a ton of delicious BBQ meat with our HANDS at the oldest BBQ place in Austin, a delicious lunch at Festival honcho's (and all around cool guy) Tim League's house, shooting Shotguns on a range and visiting Roberto Rodriguez' TROUBLEMAKER STUDIOS, which is HUGE...I left feeling very impressed (and very puny), we didn't get to meet the MAIN MAN himself (busy prepping for the BARBERELLA shoot), but we were given many gifts (A BONE SHACK T-Shirt, and pencil mug from Grindhouse, and a new music CD from Robert’s band).

Now in between seeing films and eating tons of food, it was a blast meeting and hanging out with the other guests...My good friend and fellow Montrealer Karim Hussain (Beautiful Beast), Ryan Shifrin and Theresa Eastman (ABONIMABLE, KING IN A BOX), Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2), Richard Gale (Criticized), Damon Vignale (The Entrance), Rod Gudino (Demonology of Desire), Ryan Thiessen, Greg Swinson and Sandra Paduch (Five across the Eyes), Phil Mucci (Far out), Adam Green (Hatchet) Nacho Vigalondo (Time crimes) the crazy BRIT PACK Harvey Fenton (FAB Press)Ian Rattray, Paul Mcevey and Joahana (FrightFest) and the many journalists Chris Cargill (AICN) Scott Weinberg (Cinematical) Matthew Kiernan (Fangoria) and Michele Williams (Austin Movie Show), just talking films, talking shop, exchanging war stories, made for a fun and productive few days...

Of course the staff of the festival were super cool too, Tim, Devon, Thomas, Dillinger, Jasmine and all those I'm forgetting...

During the shotgun outing I had mentioned to Tim League that it might be fun to do some KARAOKE after the FANTASTIC FEUD TRIVIA GAME that night, well Tim gets on the phone and WHAM!!! That same night it was organized...This man is amazing!

As for the screenings of my film, I was really nervous because Harry Knowles was there, it was quite surreal...But the crowds really seemed to enjoy the film and the kind comments I got and good reviews, just made me want to rush out of the theatre, grab a plane back and GET TO WORK ON ANOTHER FILM as soon as possible...It is very addictive to get that kind of feedback, attention and yes...Love.

Also Tim League chose my film as the first ever screening in the still unfinished NEW ALAMO THEATRE. The private screening for guests and journalist went over well I was told (I was doing the Q&A for my screening at another theatre at the same time)

And finally, also on my last night was THE PARTY...Now I'm sure you've read a lot about the FANTASTIC FEUD TRIVIA GAME and the KARAOKE PARTY after, let me tell you this...Everything you will hear about that party is true...

Now the TRIVIA GAME was a hoot, Kudos for master of ceremony, Scott Weinberg, who was hilarious!

I fucked up on a few trivia questions, but held my own (I could not believe I was the only one who knew that Ed Harris played in Knightriders)

Then the KARAOKE, well that was just insane...Hasko Baumann (Moebius Redux) and I went for a LOVE BOAT duet. Nacho Vigalondo (Time Crimes) brought down the house with his many inspired antics on stage, this man is multi-talented, not only was he a great SHOT at the range, now he was a crazy entertainer...There was nothing he could not do...Tim League was also quite a hoot, Richard Gale was actually a good singer...

After the Karaoke at around 5AM, two super cool and very beautiful girls (Martha and Claire) invited me and a few others to continue the party at their place...Could this evening get any better?!!!

Unfortunately before anything memorable could happen, I had to leave to catch my flight back home at 10am...Damn! I want a rain check to continue that party some other time...

And just minutes ago, I found out I WON the Special Jury Prize For innovative Vision...UBER COOL!!! Now that is just icing on the cake! Now I really have to get cracking on a new project to live this all again...
Stay scary!
Maurice Devereaux