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James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Gets Special Fantasia Fest Screening

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Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival got an early 25th birthday present in the form of James Gunn’s “Suicide Squad,” which will receive a special screening on Aug. 4, the day before Fantasia officially kicks off with the world premiere of Julien Knafo’s zombie thriller “Brain Freeze.” Gunn is a long-time friend of the fest, having first attended in 1997 before later returning for the Canadian premiere of his Marvel blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Fantasia also unveiled its second wave of features participating at this year’s festival, joining a raft of titles announced in May, and will announce the rest of its slate in late July along with details on several virtual events and this year’s juries.

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New world premieres, joining the a six-pack announced last month, include Ruth Platt’s “Martyrs Lane,” Anna Zaytseva’s feature debut “#Blue_Whale,” Jonathan Rhys Meyers-starrer “Yakuza Princes” from filmmaker Vicente Amorim, Marcela Matta and Mauro Sarser’s Uruguayan sex-positive comedy “Ghosting Gloria,” “Stanleyville” from Canada’s own Maxwell McCabe-Lokos and Hayley Garrigus’ well-studied documentary “You Can’t Kill Meme.”

This year’s festival includes a special focus on Japanese cinema, and several titles from wave two come from the island nation. Yukinori Makabe’s “Love, Life and Goldfish” will enjoy its international premiere while Soushi Matsumoto’s “It’s a Summer Film” and “Sakura” from Hitoshi Yazaki will receive their North American premieres. Seki Kazuaki’s “Jigoku-no-Hanazono: Office Royale” will be making its first Canadian appearance in the festival’s main section.

Four Japanese animated films were also included in today’s announcement: “Poupelle of Chimney Town” – hot off an Annecy competition appearance – and “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” from legendary Tokyo animation house Studio 4°C, Takayuki Hirao’s “Pompo: The Cinéphile” and a new cut of Takahide Hori’s enigmatic 2017 Fantasia player “Junk Head.”

Other second wave highlights take in Nicolas Cage-starrer “Prisoners of the Ghostland” from director Sion Sono, Jim Cummings’ Berlinale and Tribeca player “The Beta Test,” Jacob Gentry’s SXSW hit “Broadcast Signal Intrusion,” and Sundance players “Mother Schmuckers,” from Lenny and Harpo Guit, and “Strawberry Mansion” from co-directors Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley.

The Fantasia International Film Festival 2021 runs Aug. 5-25 and will feature screenings, panels and workshops on its digital platform, hosted for the second year running by Festival Scope and Shift72. Event organizers are also closely monitoring the health and safety guidelines laid out by public officials in Montreal, in hopes that some in-person events can be added before the festival kicks off.

Below, the second wave of titles headed to this year’s 25th edition.

FEATURE FILMS

“Love, Life and Goldfish” (Yukinori Makabe, Japan)

“Martyrs Lane” (Ruth Platt, U.K.)

“Poupelle of Chimney Town” (Hirota Yusuke, Japan)

“Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” (Ayumu Watanabe, Japan)

“#Blue_Whale” (Anna Zaytseva, Russia)

“Yakuza Princess” (Vicente Amorim, Brazil)

“It’s a Summer Film” (Soushi Matsumoto, Japan)

“Ghosting Gloria” (Marcela Matta, Mauro Sarser, Uruguay)

“Voice of Silence” (Hon Eui-Jeong, South Korea)

“Jigoku-no-Hanazono: Office Royale” (Seki Kazuaki, Japan)

“Hotel Poseidon” (Stefan Lernous, Belgium)

“Sakura” (Hitoshi Yazaki, Japan)

“Stanleyville” (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Canada)

“Hello! Tapir” (Kethsvin Chee, Taiwan)

“Back to the Wharf” (Xiaofeng Li, China)

“The Beta Test” (Jim Cummings, PK McCabe, U.S.)

“Broadcast Signal Intrusion” (Jacob Gentry, U.S.)

“Collectors” (Park Jung-bae, South Korea)

“Dreams on Fire” (Philippe McKie, Canada, Japan)

“Georama Boy Panorama Girl” (Natsuki Seta, Japan)

“Hold Me Back” (Akiko Ohku, Japan)

“Mother Schmuckers” (Lenny Guit, Harpo Guit, Belgium)

“Ora, Ora, Be Goin’ Alone” (Shuichi Okita, Japan)

“Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break” (Nick Gillespie, U.K.)

“Prisoners of the Ghostland” (Sion Sono, U.S.)

“Sexual Drive” (Kota Yoshida, Japan)

“Strawberry Mansion” (Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, U.S.)

“Time” (Ricky Ko, Hong Kong)

CAMERA LUCIDA

“The Slug” (Choi Jin-young, South Korea)

“The Story of Southern Islet” (Chong Keat Aun, Malaysia)

“Tiong Bahru Social Club” (Bee Thiam Tan, Singapore)

“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” (Jane Schoenbrun, U.S.)

DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE

“Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror” (Kier-La Janisse, U.S.)

“You Can’t Kill Meme” (Hayley Garrigus, U.S.)

AXIS

“Pompo: The Cinéphile” (Takayuki Hirao, Japan)

“Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist” (Pascal-Alex Vincent, France)

“The Spine of Night” (Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King, U.S.)

“Cryptozoo” (Dash Shaw, U.S.)

“Junk Head” (Takahide Hori, Japan)

ADDITIONAL SECOND WAVE TITLES

“The Beta Test” (Jim Cummings, PK McCabe, U.S.)

“Broadcast Signal Intrusion” (Jacob Gentry, U.S.)

“Collectors” (Park Jung-bae, South Korea)

“Dreams on Fire” (Philippe McKie, Canada, Japan)

“Georama Boy Panorama Girl” (Natsuki Seta, Japan)

“Hold Me Back” (Akiko Ohku, Japan)

“Mother Schmuckers” (Lenny Guit, Harpo Guit, Belgium)

“Ora, Ora, Be Goin’ Alone” (Shuichi Okita, Japan)

“Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break” (Nick Gillespie, U.K.)

“Prisoners of the Ghostland” (Sion Sono, U.S.)

“Sexual Drive” (Kota Yoshida, Japan)

“Strawberry Mansion” (Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, U.S.)

“Time” (Ricky Ko, Hong Kong)

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