About the festival


In July 2019, the Fantasia will celebrate its 23rd edition. Located in the heart of beautiful Montreal, Fantasia is a cultural and professional destination point, and since its first edition, the festival’s ever-growing popularity has attracted the attention of the international film industry alongside a legion of attendees from across the world. Every facet of the filmmaking chain is increasingly represented with in-person delegates at the festival: directors, actors, producers, studio representatives, distributors and festival programmers, who get to experience the legendarily enthusiastic, taste-making audience of Fantasia.

For our forthcoming 23rd Edition, Fantasia will host the 11th edition of the Frontières International Co-Production Market. For this event alone, more than 400 members of the film industry will be making their way to Montreal. Overall, the 2019 edition of Fantasia will welcome close to 700 guests from all facets of the film industry.

Some of the numerous guests in past editions of Fantasia have included: Robert Pattinson, Ben & Josh Safdie, Guillermo del Toro, Mark Hamill, Takashi Miike, Sam Elliott, Tony Todd, Danny Masterson, David Bordwell, David Arquette, Jaume Balagueró, Jay Baruchel, Michael J. Bassett, Michael Biehn, Don Bluth, Kim Bodnia, Darren Lynn Bousman, Nicolas Bro, Jörg Buttgereit, Paul Campion, John Carpenter, Hélène Cattet, Nacho Cerda, Lau Ching-Wan, Larry Cohen, Joe Coleman, Jeffrey Combs, Don Coscarelli, Maurice G. Dantec, Roy Dupuis, Jason Eisener, Larry Fessenden, Bruno Forzani, Amanda Fuller, Xavier Gens, Julian Gilbey, Buddy Giovinazzo, Stuart Gordon, Matthew Gray Gubler, Adam Green, Sasha Grey, James Gunn, Robin Hardy, Lee Hae-young, Ray Harryhausen, Frank Henenlotter, Noburo Iguchi, Yang Ik-June, Yoshimasa Ishibashi, Shunji Iwai, Kang Je-gyu, Lee Joon-ik, Terry Jones, Shusuke Kaneko, Udo Kier, Ryûhei Kitamura, Satoshi Kon, Ted Kotcheff, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Tyler Labine, John Landis, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Casper van Dien, Bruce Leung, Gordon Liu, David Lowery, José Mojica Marins, Neil Marshall, Malcolm McDowell, Lucky McKee, Glenn McQuaid, Jim Mickle, Daniel Monzón, Bill Mosely, Hideo Nakata, Paul Naschy, Vincenzo Natali, Yoshihiro Nishimura, F.J. Ossang, Bangjong Pisanthanakun, Bill Plympton, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jean Rollin, Eli Roth, Simon Rumley, Ken Russell, Josh and Ben Safdie, Tak Sakaguchi, Tom Savini, Marc Senter, Ryoo Seung-wan, Eihi Shiina, Chris Sivertson, Christopher Smith, Sion Sono, Richard Stanley, Carl Tibbetts, Johnnie To, Alan Tudyk, Agustín Villaronga, Tomas Villum Jensen, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard and Parkpoom Wongpoom, Masaaki Yuasa, among many others.

The most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent.

Quentin Tarantino

Fantasia is a shrine.

Guillermo Del Toro

Fantasia remains to this day one of my very favorite film festivals in the world.

James Gunn

The most important event dedicated to genre film in north america.

Les cahiers du cinéma

One of canada's hottest film events


One of the most exciting genre film festivals in the world.


This is what I look forward to in the summer. Fantasia is it for me. It's the only festival I ever went to as a fan.

Jay Baruchel

Le festival en image


Fantasia is at the vanguard of international genre cinema, thanks to its distinct programming, its prominent media coverage and the record-breaking attendance by passionate film fans. Over 100,000 festival-goers attended Fantasia in 2018 setting records for sold out screenings, and the festival has attracted over a million spectators over its duration, establishing Fantasia as an event with long-term benefits for films both big and small. Fantasia’s website was frequented by some 184 000 visitors, for more than 1 300 000 pages views.


The 22nd edition of Fantasia International Film Festival had impact in the media across the world. For the fourth consecutive year, over 3,000 articles or media mentions went out on the topic of our festival and over 550 media outlets from some 35 countries covered or mentionned our festival, while some 230 journalists were accredited to cover us.

Fantasia is regularly featured in such outlets as Variety, Screen, Cahiers du Cinéma, Entertainment Weekly, IndieWire, Vice, The Hollywood Reporter, Screen Anarchy, Premiere, The Daily Beast, Nerdist, RogerEbert.Com, MovieMaker Magazine, Ain’t it Cool News, The A.V. Club, Birth. Movies. Death., Arrow in the Head, Senses of Cinema, Film Threat, The Globe and Mail, Filmmaker Magazine, CBC, Film School Rejects, Rue Morgue, Sight & Sound Magazine, Le Monde, Dread Central, Quiet Earth, Film Comment, Bloody Disgusting, Anime News Network, Playback, KoBiz, Fangoria, Coming Soon, Mad Movies, Shock ‘til You Drop and Little White Lies, as well as front-page and cover stories in local print media such as Le Devoir, The Montreal Gazette, Journal de Montreal, Cult MTL, Voir and La Presse.


Since its earliest days, Fantasia has been responsible for breaking countless new talents and introducing International greats to new audiences in our part of the world. Among our accomplishments:

  • In 2018, Fantasia premiered CAM, which was then acquired by Netflix and went on to become a raging success throughout the genre scene.
  • Fantasia launched the career of Adam Wingard with our world premiere screening of his feature debut Home Sick, directed when he was just 19 years of age.
  • Fantasia’s 2014 world premiere of The Midnight Swim introduced the world to the brilliance of filmmaker Sarah Adina Smith, whose sophomore feature, Buster’s Mal Heart, has become one of the most celebrated indie films on the 2016 festival circuit.
  • Fantasia’s 2017’s International premiere of Nico van den Brink’s atmospheric short Sweet Tooth led directly to the gifted Dutch filmmaker being signed to Paradigm, with James Wan teaming up with him to make a feature adaptation of the film at New Line.
  • Our 2017 lineup included major premieres of three features that would become their countries’ submissions for 2018 Foreign Language Oscars – Fantasia showcased the International Premiere of A Taxi Driver (South Korea), the North American Premiere of Spoor (Poland) and the Canadian Premiere of Tom of Finland (Finland).
  • Fantasia is widely cited as being the place where the J-horror craze started in the West. With our 1997 screening of Fudoh, Fantasia was the first festival in North America to introduce audiences to the anarchistic inventions of Takashi Miike. Our 1999 Premiere of Hideo Nakata’s Ring (Ringu) led directly to the film being acquired by Dreamworks, both for their 2002 remake as well as for North American distribution of Nakata’s original instant-classic.
  • Our world premiere screening of Satoshi Kon’s landmark feature debut Perfect Blue introduced the master animator to an adoring international public and led to the film getting North American distribution.
  • Our 2013 lineup included the Canadian Premieres of three features that would go on to become their countries’ submissions for 2014 Foreign Language Oscars — respectively, The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), The Great Passage (Japan) and Metro Manilla (UK).
  • Our 2014 lineup included the world Premiere of Unfriended (under its early title Cybernatural), which was acquired by Universal and Blumhouse on the spot and saw a wide theatrical release in April 2015. The film’s January 2015 trailer launch broke Twitter records with 261,941 tweets.



Since its beginnings, the Fantasia International Film Festival has explored the diverse realms of genre cinema, creating bridges between the cutting edge and the mainstream, and providing a festive but professional environment where emerging artists are given exposure alongside their more established counterparts, both locally and internationally. We showcase the best in Canadian and world cinema, discovering and nurturing exciting new talents and offering a platform through which artists and audiences can connect. 


Fantasia’s definition of genre cinema is broad and continually evolving; aligned with the European tradition of ‘genre’ as a challenging and elegant stream of cinema, the festival juxtaposes pop culture with alternative culture, and its distinct programming has enabled Montreal to radiate in the international film community. Fantasia strives to be a North American counterpart to Spain’s Sitges Fantastic Film Festival, which has been Europe’s leading fantastic film festival for the past 50 years - buzzing with major industry participation and international stars while maintaining an independent and progressive vision that benefits emerging artists. An immense cultural event for a diverse but equally robust audience, bristling with discoveries, opportunities and passion. Fantasia has shown that even the most esoteric films can be accessible to a wider audience when properly contextualized, and can even prove to be significant commercial successes. Renowned worldwide for the boundless energy of its creative team, the festival keeps audiences coming to the theatrical environment, enabling independent artists and distributors to have their work shown in a professional and enthusiastic milieu. While already widely considered to be one of the largest and most influential fantastic film festivals in the world, Fantasia looks forward to expanding on its achievements with more visiting filmmakers, industry attendees, global media impact, original critical writing through a monthly web magazine, and the introduction of a film market that will enable independent media artists to exchange ideas and to connect with patrons and audiences alike.