Fantasia 2021 Announces Opening Film and Unveils 25th Anniversary Poster

The 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival will take place from August 5—25th and open with the world premiere of director Julien Knafo’s zombie flick, Brain Freeze.

Now in its 25th year, Fantasia 2021 will be a virtual event accessible to “audiences all across Canada, with a dynamic program of scheduled screenings and premieres, panels, and workshops using once again the leading-edge platform created by Festival Scope and Shift72.” As August approaches, the Fantasia team may offer a range of “flagship physical events” to the lineup, based on advice from local health authorities – fingers crossed.

Fantasia’s opening film, the “zomcom” Brain Freeze is described “a smart and stylish zombie comedy that slyly comments on social concerns both domestic and universal, telling the tale of an environmental disaster that leads to a fast-spreading virus ravaging a wealthy gated community off the island of Montreal.”


Last summer’s virtual edition showcased 104 features, a quarter of which were World Premieres, with the majority securing distribution out of the festival, with highlights including The Block Island Sound selling to Netflix, Come True to IFC, The Paper Tigers to WellGo USA, Anything for Jackson to Shudder, PVT Chat to Dark Star, and Minor Premise to Utopia.


Brain Freeze synopsis:

A fertilizer used in a rich gated community becomes the source of a genetic mutation that transforms its residents into zombies. Can a teenager and his baby sister break free from the quarantined island before turning into grass.

Fantasia unveil its 25th anniversary poster:

For the creation of its 25th anniversary poster art, pictured below, Fantasia has once again turned to the talents of renowned illustrator Donald Caron. Taking inspiration from Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s beloved LONE WOLF AND CUB, Caron has created a work that not only acknowledges the key role that Japanese culture has played across Fantasia’s history, but also one that hints and honours our upcoming edition’s embrace of Japanese cinema as a core cinematic theme.

Fantasia 2021 Poster

Fantasia’s full programming lineup will be announced in several waves across the coming months.