Shin Ultraman 2022 Fantasia film festival programming

The Fantasia Film Festival reveals programming for its 2022 edition

Fantasia is back in-person with a 26th edition stacked with new spotlights, world premieres and tributes.

After two years in COVID limbo, Montreal genre film festival Fantasia is back with a fully in-person edition for 2022. After a first announcement that teased a lifetime achievement award for John Woo and a collection of premieres, today the festival has announced a new round of titles leading up to the full program announcement at the end of the month.

The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 26th Anniversary in Montreal this summer, taking place from July 14 to Aug. 3, with its Frontières International Co-Production Market being held July 21 to 24. Screenings, panels and special events will be taking place at the Concordia Hall and J.A. de Sève cinemas, with additional screenings at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée and the McCord Museum.

So, what can Fantasia fans look forward to this year? Probably the big highlight is Shinji Higuchi’s heavily anticipated Shin Ultraman. If you were a fan of Shin Godzilla, this is the second instalment in Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis)’s reimagining of the live-action monster madness. This film will be followed by Shin Kamen Rider as soon as 2023. 

Polaris, directed by Kirsten Carthew

Opening the festival will be the eco-action epic Polaris, directed by Fantasia alum Kirsten Carthew. With nods to George Miller’s Mad Max, this apocalyptic film was shot in the Yukon and follows the journey of Sumi (Viva Lee) and her adoptive polar bear mother to the north star Polaris as they navigate the harsh landscape. She encounters brutal foes that are no match for her fierce powers, and when she discovers unexpected allies along the way, the stakes become deadlier. 

Canadian science fiction film The Artifice Girl will undoubtedly lead to some great after-screening discussions among the festival’s world premieres. After an internet vigilante develops a new computer program to combat online predators, its rapid evolution and verisimilitude challenge the boundaries of man and machine. 

There’s also Red Shoes, a boxing drama about a struggling mother who has to get back into the ring to keep custody of her daughter after the death of her husband. The boxing drama directed by Toshiro Saiga (Kanon) has been described as Halle Berry’s Bruised meets the Rocky saga’s exhilarating fight sequences.

Local (and now, international legend) Kier-La Janisse will receive the Canadian trailblazer award. Most recently, she directed the groundbreaking documentary on folk horror, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg on an incredible career that includes writing House of Psychotic Women, founding the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, launching a publishing house, working as a programmer at Montreal’s former mini-cinema Blue Sunshine, Alamo Drafthouse, Fantastic Fest and much more! 

The award will include a special screening series including movies like In My Skin, Idenitikit, and Il Demonio.

For more information about the 2022 Fantasia Film Festival, including new films by Neil Labute, a spotlight on Queer Cinema, a documentary about the Middle East’s first all-female metal band and much more, check out the full release here
Shin Ultraman, directed by Shinji Higuchi, screening at Fantasia 2022

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