Today marks the opening of Fantastic Fest, the largest genre oriented film festival in the United States, specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and overall fantastic movies. Now in its ninth year, the one of a kind film festival will open September 19th and run through the 26th at the newest iconic Alamo Drafthouse in North Austin. Opening the festival this year will be the premiere of Robert Rodriguez’s new film, Machete Kills. The Grindhouse sequal showcases a talented cast including some A-List Stars such as Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Mel Gibson, that will add to the glitz, glamor and unique events that make up the sci-fi/horror/fantasy oriented film festival one of the best in the country. The Opening night bash does not disappoint either with a suggestion to guests to wear “something moderately flame-retardant, because we’re going to detonate North Austin with a rampage of film-themed experiences.”
Fantastic Fest is a fast paced film festival with world and regional premiers, film journalists, actors, distributors and everything else in between. In essence, it is six days of nonstop films, however as with any Austin festival the nights are just as lively as any of the scenes on the big screen.
Keanu Reeves is in Austin for his directorial debut with the Man of Tai Chi. Reeves will also be taking part of the Fantastic Debates with Tim League, co-creator of the film festival and founder of the Alamo Drafthouse. Another noticeable premier, the Grand Piano, will star John Cusack and Austinite Elijah Wood. Others include, The Unknown Known, Errol Morris’ latest documentary about former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield. Metallica Through the Never by filmmaker Nimrod Antal (Predators; Kontroll) creates a groundbreaking 3-D motion picture event.
Fantastic Fest concludes with the closing night film by Terry Gillian famous for Brazil, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and. Gillian’s newest film, Zero Theorem, is a dystopian vision and is assured to be the talk of the festival along with the same themed closing night event.
Paired with the film part is the indie gaming event, Fantastic Arcade, headed up by Dazed and Confused and Waking Life star Wiley Wiggins. Alamo Drafthouse – Lakeline will be fun for all things geek, including creator panels, tournaments, and showcasing the latest upcoming video game titles. PlayStation is expected to have a heavy presence in an area to get fans a hands-on opportunity with a multitude of PS Vita games, including upcoming indie titles like Luftrausers, Fez, Hohokum, and TxK. The closing night event for Fantastic Arcade will be hosted by London based, The Wild Rumpus in addition with Devolver Digital, which will feature live dj performances, video games, and of course refreshments.
Fantastic Fest is one of the most unique, adventuresome, dorky, and overall most talked about film festival that blends the best indie film culture with the most favorable aspects of Austin.