Pascal Plante’s ‘Red Rooms’ And Nicolas Cage Pic ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ Among Titles Set For Fantasia Festival

EXCLUSIVE: Quebec’s Fantasia International Film Festival will open its 27th edition with the North American premiere of Pascal Plante’s latest pic Red Rooms (Les chambres rouges).

Plante will bring the pic to his native Quebec following a Competition bow at Karlovy Vary in June. The film, Plante’s third, follows the high-profile case of serial killer Ludovic Chevalier, which has just gone to trial, and Kelly-Anne is obsessed. When reality blurs with her morbid fantasies, she goes down a dark path to seek the final piece of the case’s puzzle.

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The Nicolas Cage-starrer Sympathy for the Devil will have its international premiere at Fantasia. Written by Luke Paradise, the pic follows “The Driver” (Joel Kinnaman), who finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse after being forced to drive a mysterious man, “The Passenger” (Cage). As their white-knuckle ride progresses, it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems. Deadline previously shared an exclusive first look at the pic here.

Elsewhere, A24’s buzzy supernatural horror-thriller Talk to Me from Australian twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou will have its Canadian premiere, while Stéphan Castang’s Cannes title Vincent Must Die will have its North American bow.

This year’s Fantasia fest runs July 20 through August 9. Check out the full list of confirmed titles below:

Red Rooms, dir: Pascal Plante. Opening Film. North American Premiere.

Sympathy For The Devil, dir: Yuval Adler. International Premiere.

Talk To Me, dir: Danny and Michael Philippou. Canadian Premiere.

Stay Online, dir: Eva Strelnikova. World Premiere.

Kurayukaba, dir: Shigeyoshi Tsukahara. Axis Section. World Premiere.

The Becomers, dir: Zach Clark. World Premiere.

Romi, dir: Robert Cuffley. Septentrion Shadows section. World Premiere.

Irlande Cahier Bleu, dir: Olivier Godin. Camera Lucida section. World Premiere.

The Primevals, dir: David Allen. World Premiere.

Insomniacs, dir: Chihiro Ikeda. International Premiere.

Vincent Must Die, dir: Stéphan Castang. North American Premiere.

River, dir: Junta Yamaguchi. North American Premiere.

Pett Kata Shaw, dir: Nuhash Humayun. North American Premiere.

Restore Point, dir: Robert Hloz. North American Premiere.

Killing Romance, dir: Lee Won-suk. Canadian Premiere.

T Blockers, dir: Alice Maio Mackay. Canadian Premiere.

Suitable Flesh, dir: Joe Lynch. Canadian Premiere.

The First Slam Dunk, dir: Takehiko Inoue. Axis Section. Canadian Premiere

Additional Second Wave Titles:

#MANHOLE (Japan) – Dir. Kazuyoshi Kumakiri

Successful salesman Shunsuke falls into a concrete manhole with no way out in this clever, gory nailbiter. A tale with more twists than a corkscrew factory, and an elegant balance of black humour, social satire, and nerve-wracking tension. Official Selection: Berlinale 2023. Canadian Premiere.

AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE (Japan) – Dir. Ayuko Tsukahara

Set in a fantastical version of 19th century Japan, this romantic epic follows a tortured young woman who, after being married off to a ruthless military commander, still hopes for a better future. Adapted from a popular light novel series by Akumi Agitogi. Quebec Premiere.

DEEP SEA (China) – Dir. Tian Xiaopeng

The ocean’s depths are alive with dreams and nightmares in the emotionally courageous fantasy from director Tian Xiaopeng (MONKEY KING: HERO IS BACK). Using a cutting-edge digital particle-animation technique to emulate traditional ink-wash painting, Tian has created a visual spectacle of unprecedented richness, which will be screened, as it deserves, in 3D. Axis section. Canadian Premiere

DIVINITY (USA) – Dir. Eddie Alcazar
In a barren future wasteland, two cosmic brothers abduct a mad pharmaceutical mogul on a quest for immortality. A face-meltingly stylized sci-fi mind trip produced by Steven Soderbergh, starring Scott Bakula, Stephen Dorff and Bella Thorne. Official Selection: Sundance 2023. Canadian Premiere.

IN MY MOTHER’S SKIN (Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan) – Dir. Kenneth Dagatan
In the final, dire days of the Second World War, the young Tala discovers something otherworldly in the woods. A Filipino folk-horror fairy tale set in a time of perfidy, dread, and desolation. Official Selection: Sundance 2023. Canadian Premiere.

JOURNEY TO THE WEST (China) – Dir. Kong Dashan
Tang Zhijun, the middle-aged, down-and-out editor-in-chief of a science fiction magazine, embarks on a final journey to find aliens. A workplace mockumentary tour-de-force! Camera Lucida section. Canadian Premiere.

LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL (Australia) – Dirs: Colin and Cameron Cairnes

A career-best performance by David Dastmalchian headlines this innovative and nightmarish horror treat in which a live television broadcast in 1977 goes horribly wrong, unleashing evil into the nation’s living rooms. Accurately hailed by Stephen King as “absolutely brilliant”. Official Selection: SXSW 2023. Overlook 2023. Canadian Premiere.

MAD FATE (Hong Kong) – Dir. Soi Cheang
A demented fortune teller and a “born psychopath” try to beat fate and solve a murder in this madcap supernatural neo-noir, produced by Johnnie To’s Milkyway Image. Opening Film: Hong Kong International Film Festival. Official selection: Berlinale 2023. Canadian Premiere. 

MAMI WATA (Nigeria, France, UK) – Dir. C.J. Obasi.
An ancient water deity reigns over progress and power in this stunning and expressionistic African saga. Special Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, Sundance 2023. Camera Lucida section. Canadian Premiere.

MARRY MY DEAD BODY (Taiwan) – Dir. Cheng Wei-Hao
Ghost stories, gangsters, and gay pride collide in this three-way of supernatural goosebumps, high-octane thrills and odd-couple comedy. Official selection Taipei Golden Horse 2022. Canadian Premiere.

MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE (USA) – Dir: Michael Lukk Litwak

Zosia Mamet and Aristotle Athari charm in this wildly endearing sci-fi romantic comedy about a man and woman whose orbits repeatedly collide over the course of 12 years, 4 planets, 3 dimensions, and one space-cult. Winner: Best Feature, Fantaspoa International Film Festival 2023 Canadian Premiere.

MY ANIMAL (Canada) – Dir: Jacqueline Castel

First pitched at the Frontieres Market in 2019, this transformative queer horror drama flips the script of GINGER SNAPS, giving the slow-burn lycanthropic love story at its core some serious bite. Stars Bobbie Salvör Menuez and Amandla Stenberg, with Stephen. McHattie, Scott MacDonald and Heidi von Palleske topping off Castel’s stunning feature debut about young lovers and an accursed family legacy. Official Selection: Sundance 2023. Septentrion Shadows section. Canadian Premiere.

PERPETRATOR (USA) – Dir: Jennifer Reeder

Kiah McKirnan, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Lowell and Ireon Roach star in a poetic and hyper-original genre creation of the kind that only Jennifer Reeder could make. At its core, it is a horror film inspired by the shared experience of generations of women. Official Selection: Berlinale 2023, Tribeca Film Festival 2023. Canadian Premiere.

SHIN KAMEN RIDER (Japan) – Dir. Hideaki Anno

The masked, motorcycle-riding dark superhero Kamen Rider embarks on a rampage of destruction to stop an evil organisation, in Hideaki Anno’s latest tokusatsu reimagining, this time of the enormously popular superhero franchise. Special Screening.

WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN (Canada) – Dir: Kim Albright

In a world where our hearts are removable objects and we’re ruled by an app, it’s tricky to find authentic love. Anabel refuses to live via tech and falls for the emotionless George, impulsively ripping her heart out for him and turning her world upside down. This darkly funny fantasy with quirky charm stars Anna Maguire (VIOLATION), Hamza Haq ( TRANSPLANT) and Veena Sood (CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING). Official Selection: SXSW 2023. Septentrion Shadows section. Canadian Premiere


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