ByDanni Winn, writer at
Lifelong lover of everything film. But Horror movies are my pride and joy
Danni Winn

2015 marks the 11th year the Fantastic Fest Film Festival showers its Southern Fiesta style celebration of all things awesome upon the lively city of Austin, Texas.

This is the largest film festival in the US that pays tribute to horror, sci-fi, action, and just the plain freakin' weird. Films from around the globe, as well as local and national submissions, are enthusiastically received by thousands of industry representatives and genre diehards.

The South Lamar location of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which Entertainment Weekly voted 'Best Theater in America,' will host one of the industry's favorite stops on the festival circuit. For one week, video games geeks, horror hounds, and genre greats will mingle among like-minded souls; giving way to a very relaxed and enjoyable vibe. It's somewhat hard to imagine the almost circus-like atmosphere of Fantastic Fest is regularly listed among Cannes, Toronto, and Telluride Film Festivals - which are some serious festival scene players. Fest has also earned its spot on Movie Makers Magazine's 'Top 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee' list.

"The Geek Telluride... Fantastic Fest lives up to its name." - Variety

Along with multiple film premieres, a massive video game arcade complete with with an opportunity to submit your very own gaming creation, and lots of beer, are the lists of available extracurricular activities. Several opportunities to embarrass yourself during a concert of karaoke present themselves. The game 'Geeks Who Drink' will test the useless knowledge of many, and copious amounts of barbecued meat will be consumed.

Video Game demonstration inside the Drafthouse
Video Game demonstration inside the Drafthouse

The unique program schedule of Fantastic Fest also includes a 'Bumper Contest' for anyone to enter, but it's at the Alamo Drafthouse, so there will be rules to adhere to that tend to lean toward the ridiculous end of the spectrum. The theme of this year's contest is 'REMAKE/RIP OFF/RAMPAGE,' and whomever can lay claim to the title of 'Winner' in their 30 seconds or shorter bumper ride takes home $2,000. Check out Fantastic Fest's website for full details.

As if all the features, short films, trivia, karaoke, and other delights weren't enough, the amazingly gifted director, Nicolas Winding Refn, will be present to curate an in-depth gallery exhibit. This exclusive event, along with a series Refn also headed, will help celebrate his new book, Nicolas Winding Refn: The Act of Seeing. The visionary filmmaker's brand new book highlights a collection of vintage American exploitation era movie posters. His program features a stellar selection of various films sharing the same theme.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn
Director Nicolas Winding Refn

Mr. Tim League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Drafthouse Films, and Fantastic Fest Film Festival, makes an effort to be different in many aspects of his creation's daily operations. Obviously this festival is no different. Some very popular films such as Zombieland, Frankenweenie, and There Will Be Blood have made their world premiere at Fantastic Fest. This year's fest will have yet another undoubtedly popular film making its world premiere, too. Director S. Craig Zahler, Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, and more will ride into town for the anticipated premiere of their film titled Bone Tomahawk. Described as a western with horror elements that include cannibalism, no wonder Mr. League said the following:

"Bringing Kurt Russell back to the Alamo is something we've been trying to do for a long time. And to do it with BONE TOMAHAWK, a quintessential Fantastic Fest film, means we're in for one hell of a closer. Huge thanks to Caliber Media for making it all happen." - Tim League

The impressive guests of the past include Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, Tim Burton, Paul Rudd, Roger Corman, Darren Aronofsky, and Bill f**ckin' Murray. Revealing that both Matthew Fox and Kurt Russell will also be attending in the first wave of announcements, it's a bit mind-boggling to try to guess what else Fantastic Fest has in store for us. All that is certain, is a remarkable line-up of genre masterpieces will be enjoyed while some very important and lasting memories are being made.


The first wave of announcements included this list of films and directors:

  • Darling (World Premiere) - Mickey Keating
  • Der Bunker (North American Premiere) - Niklas Chryssos
  • German Angst (US Premiere) - Jorg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski, & Andreas Marschall
  • In Search of Ultra Sex (North American Premiere) - Nicolas Charlet & Bruno Lavine
  • The Invitation (Special Screening) - Karyn Kusama
  • Liza the Fox Fairy (Regional Premiere) - Karoly Ujj-Meszaros
  • Love and Peace (US Premiere) - Sion Sono
  • Lovemilla (North American Premiere) - Teemu Nikk
  • Office (US Premiere) - Hong Won-Chan
  • Ruined Heart (Regional Premiere) - Khavan de la Cruz
  • Sensoria (World Premiere) - Christian Hallman
  • The Similars (World Premiere) - Issac Ezban
  • Speed (North American Premiere) - Lee Sang-Woo
  • Victoria (Regional Premiere) - Sebastian Schipper
  • Bone Tomahawk (World Premiere) - S Craig Zahler


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