The Mascara & Popcorn fest launches tonight

Genre film fans suffering from Fantasia withdrawal are in luck.


Fantasia may be over, but genre film fans with an insatiable hunger can feast upon the offerings of the fifth edition of the Mascara & Popcorn festival & competition, kicking off tonight at Bistro de Paris.

This short-film fest focuses on works by emerging filmmakers both local and international. This year’s jury is presided over by the indefatigable Mitch Davis (Fantasia’s co-director), who has to choose from a cornucopia of shorts that range from body horror to dark comedies and straight-up gore. Split between MainLine Theatre (3997 St-Laurent) and Bistro de Paris (4536 St-Denis), Mascara & Popcorn offers four days of celebration of dark art in all its forms.

The festival kicks off tonight at Bistro de Paris with a Black Carpet event that features live performances by Commander Clark, dark cabaret musician Alex Robshaw and burlesque troupe Candyass Cabaret. Montreal Etsy artists will be on-site, and Bistro’s usual Thursday night karaoke, provided by Turbo Micro (formerly of the late Jackie & Judy), will be happening, too. Tickets are still available for this event, hosted by Freaky Miss T and Yordevil, for $15. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Screenings of short films (both in and out of competition) begin as early as 1 p.m. on Friday with the Friday Brunch (at MainLine), showcasing comedic and more light-hearted shorts. At 4 p.m. the Tainted Love program focuses on affairs of the heart both tortuous and life-affirming. Friday finishes with the Edge, a program of heavier shorts that eventually leads into the Festival Roundup, a roundtable discussion focusing on the events covered that day. All screenings cost $10 — tickets are still available here.

Saturday’s proceedings begin at 3 p.m. with the Strange Days ($10) program focusing on genre films encompassing sci-fi, post-apocalyptic dystopias and the undead; that program eventually gives way to the self-proclaimed “merciless” Grindhole ($15) segment at 7 p.m., featuring the most extreme films the festival has to offer. Head on over to Katacombes (1635 St-Laurent) for the afterparty (titled Nevermore), featuring music by the Scroll as well as DJ sets by DJ Faith and Rocket Boi — the cover charge is $6.

Mascara & Popcorn ends with a bang with its Sunday night awards ceremony, hosted by Freaky Miss T and Yordevil, as well as live shows and performances and a special Zombie Karaoke event MCed by the ever-freaky Freaky Miss T. Entry to the awards ceremony costs $15 and the karaoke $10, though attendance is free for all M&P ticket holders.

Anyone suffering from a heavy Fantasia hangover or a desire to see some cutting-edge independent filmmaking should certainly have their needs met with the line-up of this year’s Mascara & Popcorn festival. A few festival passes are still available for $60 a pop over here.