Running from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, 2009, Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. Held each year, primarily at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar in Austin, Texas, this eight-day festival features the best new Sci-fi, Horror, Fantasy and genre films, as well as choice classic and obscure cult titles from all over the world.
Fantastic Fest was created to offer exposure to genre films which are often overlooked by the traditional festival circuit. The organizers also strive to offer acquisition, media and exhibition opportunities for undistributed films as well as to spotlight upcoming genre theatrical releases and give audiences a chance to see 35mm prints of repertory genre classics.
The majority of screenings at the Fest are held on multiple screens of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The Alamo Drafthouse was named the best cinema in America by Entertainment Weekly in 2005 and features food and drink which is served without any disruption of the movie experience. Additional screenings are held at other venues in Austin including the historic Paramount Theater and the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz.
Founded by the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Tim League and Harry Knowles from Ain't It Cool News, the other co-founders are Paul Alvarado-Dykstra and Tim McCanlies. League serves as the Festival Director and the programming team includes Twitchfilm.com founder Todd Brown, Cinema is Dope's Blake Ethridge, Twitchfilm.com's Rodney Perkins, and the Alamo Drafthouse's Lars Nilsen, Henri Mazza and Zack Carlson. Matt Kiernan is the Fantastic Fest Sponsor Coordinator.
In past years, world premieres of There Will Be Blood, Apocaltypto, City of Ember and Eagle Eye were presented. The guest roster has included such talent as Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky and Mike Judge. It features world, national and regional premieres of new and up-and-coming genre films.
During his Keynote Address at the International film Festival Summit in Las Vegas, Variety president and publisher Charlie Koones listed Fantastic Fest in a list of "10 Film Festivals we Love," a list which included industry heavy-hitters such as Cannes, Toronto and Telluride.
Though you'll be gorging on movies at night, you won't have much time for the famous Austin nightlife but you have a chance to get a taste of Austin during the day. There is a list of some of the favorite Austin-area attractions and Austin restaurant recommendations on the website.
For recommendations of anything else to do in Austin, Tim League is available during the fest and he can steer you in the right direction.
Dates vary year to year, but the 2009 Fantastic Fest runs from September 24-October 1.
Go to Facebook or follow on Twitter for updates and special screenings throughout the year.
the Fantastic Fest
September 24 - October 1, 2009