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6 Films at the 2022 Fantasia Fest to Keep On Your Radar

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Every year, Montreal’s Fantasia Fest boasts an incredible lineup of genre films, ranging from horror films, thrillers, and the downright weird. But perhaps moreso than it is a genre-fest, Fantasia does a great job of bringing lesser-known, cult films from Asia and finds an audience for them here in North America. 

In preparation for the 2022 edition of Fantasia Fest, which runs from Thursday, July 14th all the way until Wednesday, August 3rd, here are a few films that we’re keeping an eye on this year.


1. Fast & Feel Love, dir. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit

Logline: When a world champion of sport stacking is dumped by his long-time girlfriend, he has to learn basic adulting skills in order to live alone and take care of himself.

There are two main takeaways from watching the trailer for Thai director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s Fast and Feel Love. One: Wow, the world of cup-stacking is insanely intense, and two: “what the hell?” 

Just like it is in the world of cup-stacking, every second… nay, every milli-second counts, and its trailer doesn’t waste any time showing off its off-kilter comedy style, larger-than-life characters, and its exaggerated sense of reality. We’re hoping that this one is going to be a win. Or at the very least, “darker than the DC Universe,” as the trailer promises.

2. Polaris, dir. KC Carthew

Logline: A young girl raised by a polar bear pursues her destiny after escaping capture by brutal warriors intent on killing her mother.

Is there a better film to open the Fantasia Film Festival than with Polaris? Even if you’ve never been to the festival itself, Polaris is a film that represents everything that you may have heard about the fest — genre mashups, ambitious vision, and Canadian representation, all wrapped into a singular vision. Just from the promo material alone, Polaris promises to thrill with Mad Max elements, revenge-thriller tropes, and of course, a promising spotlight for its lead, Viva Lee.

3. Popran, dir. Shinichiro Ueda

Logline: An unidentifiable object zips through the sky. A suspicious looking man holding a net suddenly appears, trying to catch the thing that ran away from him. He must catch that high-speed “buddy” within six days or he will lose it forever.

If you’re a horror/comedy/B-film fanatic, there’s no doubt that the name Shinichiro Ueda will ring some bells. 

Ueda, who was the director of the smash hit One Cut of the Dead (which interestingly enough, is finding new life here at Fantasia this year with its French, Michel Hazanavicius-directed remake Coupez!, also billed as an official selection), re-enters the festival this year with Popran, a film that promises to shock its viewers in perhaps… a different way. Trading zombies out for flying penises (yes, you read that correctly), Popran could very easily go all the way with the camp, but its trailer suggests a heartfelt story somewhere along the way. Will it deliver on the goods? You’ll have to find out.

4. The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra, dir. Syeyoung Park

Logline: A creature born in an abandoned mattress travels around the country feasting on its victims’ 

In a lineup for a festival that already showcases the weirdest of the weird, The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra stands out as one of the year’s more interesting picks.

Screening in the Underground section of the festival, director Syeyoung Park uses a number of filming techniques that seem certain to make your skin crawl. It’s hard to tell what the film is about based off the enigmatic trailer and its equally cerebral title, but whatever it is, it’ll be quite the trip. 

5. Sirens, dir. Rita Baghadi

Logline: Lilas and Shery, co-founders and guitarists of the Middle East’s first all-female metal band, wrestle with friendship, sexuality and destruction in their pursuit of becoming thrash metal rock stars.

Director Rita Baghadi’s Sirens has already made some noise at other fests, gaining a coveted nominee for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year and winning a handful of other awards at other film festivals. Even if metal’s not your scene, the way that it’s being used as a vehicle for defiance, autonomy, and liberation will probably be enough to draw you in.

6. La Pietà, dir. Eduardo Casanova

Logline: Follows the toxic relationship between a mother and her son, drawing a parallel between the dictatorship in North Korea and the people.

Yeah, I honestly have no idea what this film is about and how it ties mother-son relationships with North Korea, but color me intrigued.


The 26th edition of Fantasia Fest is being held this year from July 14th through August 3rd in Montreal, Quebec.

Header photo from Fantasia Fest.

Relevant links: Website

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