Special Events

Hosted on Zoom, all panels and special events are FREE and accessible worldwide.

If you wish to participate and be able to ask questions within the Zoom platform, please register in advance using the links provided on our website (below). Zoom sessions allow a maximum of 500 attendees, but if you miss registration, or simply prefer watching "passively", no worries! Panels will also be streamed live on our YouTube channel.


Presentation by Carolyn Mauricette

Historically, when we think about the future and science fiction, the default is usually a 50s version of modern society with flying cars, moving sidewalks, and jet packs, or space travel to faraway galaxies with shiny, new technology. And who do we typically see when this vision pops into our heads? Intelligent white people, enjoying the conveniences of a futuristic society, figuring out the mysteries of the universe, or exploring space to meet or battle extra-terrestrial beings and save the world. But what about the erasure of the rest of humanity, “The Other”? In this lecture, we’ll see how the lack of representation of BIPOC people in science fiction changed with Afrofuturism pioneers of music, film, and literature, break down the definitions of Afrofuturism, and see how the movement has influenced today’s creators towards making a whitewashed future a thing of the past.

August 21 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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John Carpenter: Masterclass & Lifetime Achievement Award

It seems appropriate that Fantasia’s first recipient of our virtual Cheval Noir award would be legendary master of horror John Carpenter. Veteran Fantasia attendees lovingly recall that the Kentucky-raised multihyphenate writer/director/musician was one of the first major international guests to attend Fantasia, way back for the festival’s third edition in 1998 when Carpenter launched the international premiere of VAMPIRES with us. Now our 2020 online Carpenter master class will take you back to that magical Fantasia moment, as well as other stops on his unrivalled genre express, from HALLOWEEN to THE FOG to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK to THE THING to STARMAN to THEY LIVE and all the rest. We will also explore his recent resurgence as a touring musician and play for you his latest spine-tingling single. Can you think of any better way to spend Fantasia’s opening weekend than with the great John Carpenter himself?

August 22 - 4pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Join the staff of Rue Morgue, Canada’s premiere horror and culture in entertainment periodical, for a discussion on the challenges, merits and overall state of print journalism in an increasingly digital age.

August 23 - 4pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Under the best of circumstances, Simon Barrett, screenwriter of THE GUEST and YOU’RE NEXT (and director of the upcoming film SEANCE) is a useless source of information, as he has no real knowledge of anything. Fortunately, he realized years ago that most people who ask him questions on social media really just want advice on how to begin or manage their own careers in the increasingly inexplicable film business. Unfortunately, that is the subject Barrett understands the least. Marvel in horror as he blunders his way through this talk, attempting to answer questions that will be submitted by attendees in advance, then utterly failing to address their concerns. Stare in wonderment as his internet connection fails three or four times. “Consistently the worst thing at Fantasia since his first appearance as an attendee in 2001; we often wish we could do something about it.” - François Legault

August 24 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Severin Films Presents

With panelists Kinitra Brooks (author, Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror), Bernice M. Murphy (author, The Rural Gothic in American Popular Culture), Michelle Latimer (director: The Inconvenient Indian) and Mikel Koven (author, Film, Folklore, and Urban Legends), moderated by Kier-La Janisse (director/producer, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror)

In anticipation of Severin Films’ upcoming documentary Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, this panel shifts away from the traditional view of folk horror as a specifically British phenomena to look at folk horror coming from different perspectives, including Jewish folk horror, Indigenous folk horror, folk horror derived from slave history in the Americas and more. From Dybbuks to Conjure Women and Ozark Witches, we will investigate how the “folk” aspects of these films - which are often presented as the source of the horror - can be a means of navigating everyday monsters, and folk traditions a source of empowerment to marginalized communities that have endured cultural erasure.


August 25 - 3pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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THE UNITED BEAT OF SEX AND ART - Reshaping Cinematic Ecstasy through the Modern Female Gaze on Sexuality

With panelists: Nicole Bazuin (MODERN WHORE), Isa Mazzei (CAM), Josie Hess (MORGANA), Isabel Peppard (MORGANA), Morgana Muses (MORGANA), and Zoé Wittock (JUMBO)

Moderated by : Stoya

“Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.” Anaïs Nin

Hysterical witches, shameless harlots, dolled-up models, vengeful chicks... A heteronormative male gaze dominates and molds the representation of women and more specifically female sexuality in film and everywhere. With Cinema as a tool for education and dialogue, female filmmakers and sex advocates are now unveiling the hypocrisy of sexual taboo and paving a way for women to reclaiming their natural right to pleasure.
Join us for a sex-positive conversation with women who are bringing a new meaning to sex on screen, in pleasure, in work, in mainstream, in porn, alone, with a man, with a woman, or with a ... ferris wheel.

August 25 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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A talk with the sonic archeologists at La-La Land Records

With panelists MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys, author Jeff Bond, Neil S. Bulk, Dan Goldwasser, composers Joe Kraemer & Harry Manfredini and legendary producer / mixer Mike Matessino, who’s worked on over 100 soundtracks and Isolated Scores over the last 25 years, for LLL as well as Varése Sarabande, Intrada, Kritzerland, Quartet and others. Moderated by Concordia Film professor Randolph Jordan.

We live in miraculous times when it comes to the availability of motion picture scores, those both long-unavailable (or in some cases, previously unavailable in any way) and historically neglected with only partial releases. Composers whose work seldom saw standalone releases now have their entire output available, often in definitive presentations, no less, regularly sourced from original 2-inch music masters, vault elements that in some cases hadn’t been touched in decades and were in need of significant restoration work.

At the forefront of these incredible endeavors is La-La Land Records. In recent years, this label and their team of producers-cum-sonic-archeologists have attained access to archives that until recently were inaccessible to anyone but their respective studio owners. They’ve restored and released definitive and often expanded presentations of key genre scores from across the decades, from such composers as Ennio Morricone, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Hideakira Sakurai, David Shire, Leonard Rosenman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Basil Poledouris, Jerry Goldsmith, John Carpenter and John Williams, among many others.

Join us for a talk with some of La-La Land’s key team of holy grail rescuers to discuss the agonies and ecstasies of soundtrack preservation work.

August 26 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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A Miskatonic Tribute to Stuart Gordon

With panelists Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Dennis Paoli, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon and Brian Yuzna. Moderated by Graham Skipper.

Stuart Gordon, who we lost earlier this year, is inextricably tied to Miskatonic. Not only by continuing the legacy of the fictional Miskatonic University in his iconoclastic Lovecraft adaptations, but by christening the very first branch of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies in July 2010 with his longtime writing partner Dennis Paoli – while visiting Fantasia with their acclaimed stage production Nevermore - with a masterclass on the challenges of adapting “the unfilmable” H.P. Lovecraft for the screen. Two years later, Stuart’s Frontières project Purgatory was the very first project submission of the initiative, making him integral to the founding of not only Miskatonic, but Frontières as well. Like a peeping pineal gland, Stuart Gordon was the trigger that gave to life to what was only in our imaginations.

Here we bring together his closest collaborators from stage and screen to celebrate the life of this pioneering director, who always found bold new ways to access difficult material, who invigorated his community and never ceased to surprise and inspire.


August 27 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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We love Gary Sherman. You surely do too. A trailblazing US filmmaker and longtime member of the Fantasia family, we can’t imagine what the genre would look like without the inspiration he’s brought to it through such singular classics as DEATH LINE, VICE SQUAD and DEAD & BURIED, to name a few, not to mention the influence he’s had on so many careers. On Friday, August 28, Gary’s turning 75 and we’re going to toast with him, alongside an assortment of special guests that will include John McNaughton, Jeremy Dyson, C. Robert Cargill, William Lustig, Kier-la Janisse, Steven Poster, Jovanka Vuckovic, Joe Renzetti and others to celebrate his life and career. You’ll be able to ask questions and give him birthday wishes as well. Join us! And mind the doors!

August 28 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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A TALK WITH FINN WOLFHARD - in conversation with Jay Baruchel

British Columbian actor and musician Finn Wolfhard burst onto the world stage in the culture-shifting Netflix series STRANGER THINGS. With subsequent performances in the IT films, THE GOLDFINCH, THE TURNING and THE ADDAMS FAMILY, among others, and forthcoming roles in Jason Reitman’s GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE and Guillermo del Toro & Mark Gustafson’s recently announced PINOCCHIO, Wolfhard has solidified his standing as a major international talent.

Now, at the age of 17, he's completed his debut as a writer/director, the clever character-driven comedy short NIGHT SHIFTS, premiering in our lineup this year. To celebrate the launch of his move into storytelling, Fantasia will be presenting a live virtual artist talk with Finn Wolfhard and Actors of the film Billy Bryk, Artoun Nazareth and Malcolm Sparrow-Crawford, in conversation with none other than Jay Baruchel, on Saturday, August 29 at 2PM EDT, free of charge and accessible worldwide.

August 29 - 2pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Presentation by Michael Gingold

For decades, the provinces of screen horror were European castles and villages, Southwest/California towns and deserts, and Hollywood sets—until 1968’s ROSEMARY’S BABY, when terror moved into New York City and never left. This presentation will chronicle the history of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs in genre cinema, addressing many specific titles—from expensive studio fare to down-and-dirty independents—lensed on and under its streets, classic and recurring locations, and how the many sides of the city were explored and exploited by filmmakers. Resident auteurs such as Larry Fessenden, William Lustig, Abel Ferrara, Larry Cohen and Frank Henenlotter will be addressed, as will the ways in which New York City-set scare flicks reflected the changes in the city itself over the years.

Join author/filmmaker Michael Gingold (AD NAUSEAM) to take a bloody bite out of the Big Apple!

August 29 - 3pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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TORN FROM THE PAGE, BLED INTO LIGHT: Mike Flanagan on Literary Adaptations and Personal Horror Creation

A Live Post Mortem Event

Writer/Director Mike Flanagan ranks among today’s most exciting genre talents, creating character-driven horror works built on genuine grief and anxiety that are also richly cinematic and deeply rewarding experiences. DOCTOR SLEEP. GERALD’S GAME. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. BEFORE I WAKE. OCCULUS. HUSH. ABSENTIA. These remarkable works all in less than a decade.

He’s also one of the rare filmmakers able to effectively tackle complex literary works and adapt them to the screen in ways that not only do justice to the original material, but also bring heartfelt new dimensions into play. How many filmmakers can say that they’ve successfully adapted works from both Stephen King and Shirley Jackson? The answer, of course, is one.

Join us for this special artist talk that will see Mike Flanagan in conversation with filmmaker and Post Mortem founder Mick Garris, himself no stranger to adapting Maine’s favourite son, having made THE STAND, BAG OF BONES, RIDING THE BULLET, DESPERATION, SLEEPWALKERS and the 1997 TV mini-series version of THE SHINING. Both filmmakers have been at Fantasia multiple times, but we’ve never had the ability to do something with them together. Until now.

August 30 - 3pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Film Fatales Presents: Genre film as political and social commentary

With panelists Mattie Do, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Elza Kephart, Natasha Kermani, Jennifer Lynch, Amelia Moses and Jennifer Reeder

Moderated by producer Patricia Gomez Zlatar

With its rich visual language and creative use of metaphors, genre cinema has always been an excellent medium to address complex stories and dive into difficult topics. As more and more diverse voices step behind the camera, genre cinema continues to grow, evolve, and reinvent itself to better serve these stories, and the recent successes of socio-political horror films confirm that audiences are starving for this kind of content. Film Fatales, in collaboration with the Fantasia Film Festival, invites a distinguished group of women directors with films in this year’s edition of Fantasia, as well as filmmakers whose work has profoundly impacted Fantasia audiences in the past to discuss their bodies of work and the power of genre cinema as a tool for social and political commentary.

About Film Fatales

Film Fatales is a non-profit arts organization which advocates for parity in the film industry and supports an inclusive community of over a thousand women and non-binary feature film and television directors worldwide. Film Fatales raises the visibility of marginalized directors and increases the talent pool for industry organizations, programmers and production companies looking to work with more underrepresented voices. By expanding the landscape of storytelling, Film Fatales continues to bring exciting new films to the screen.


August 30 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Boutique Video Labels and Film Festival Communities in Pandemic Times

With panelists Donato Totaro, Peter Rist and Randolph Jordan (Concordia Film Faculty), Lee Paula Springer and Chris Bavota (Indie Filmmakers - Dead Dicks), Louise Buckler and Mike Hewitt (Arrow Video)

There has been important overlap between boutique home video labels and the film festival scene. Restorations are screened, merch tables are lovingly curated for the festival audience, and fan communities are built and sustained through the intersection of these practices. The passion for theatrical experience fostered by festivals connects well with the seemingly opposite impulses that drive domestic viewing and collecting, and the current pandemic is revealing more about how these overlaps work. With Fantasia set to experiment with its first ever online edition, the time is right to have a chat about what we're learning about different forms of cinephilia and what the path forward might look like. In this panel hosted by Concordia University film faculty, we will converse with filmmakers and label representatives to share our recent experiences with the shift to online delivery and how our favourite releases from Fantasia-favourite labels fit into our new realities today.

August 31 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Le grand défi des tournages à l’ère de la Covid-19

Event in French only - Après le confinement, la vie sur les plateaux de tournage risque de ne plus être pareil pour les mois à venir. Toutes les manières de procéder doivent être revues et repensées. La reprise des tournages sera d’ailleurs laborieuse avec les mesures sanitaires. Reste à voir comment on pourra raconter nos histoires en respectant la distanciation physique et la désinfection de tout ce qu’on touche. Les scènes intimes, les scènes d’amour et les mouvements de foule vont être plus difficiles à tourner. Pour en discuter, Christian Laurence, réalisateur de la 3e saison de 5E RANG dont le tournage a commencé en juin dernier; Catherine Brunet, comédienne dans la série 5E RANG; Mylène Cyr, Directrice Générale de l’Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ); et Jarrett Mann, directeur général et artistique de Kino Montréal et PDG du Festival SPASM.

1 septembre - 14h EDT | Évévement GRATUIT

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In celebration of our showings of CLAPBOARD JUNGLE, the new documentary / moviemaking survival guide from Toronto’s Justin McConnell (LIFECHANGER), hailed by Exclaim as “a sharp and concerning look at the state of independent film”, Fantasia will be presenting a special talk with the filmmaker, in conversation with director Vincenzo Natali (CUBE, IN THE TALL GRASS). Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating discussion between two generations of Independent Canadian genre film mavericks, free of charge and accessible worldwide.

September 1 - 3pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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Apprenticeship of Evil: Dennison Ramalho on José Mojica Marins

On February 19th of this year, South American cinema lost one of its boldest visionaries with the passing of José Mojica Marins. As part of our tribute to the departed artist, truly one of the most original genre voices, award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Dennison Ramalho (THE NIGHTSHIFTER), co-screenwriter of Mojica’s 2008 comeback film, EMBODIMENT OF EVIL and long-time friend and protégé, will give a live talk. He will reminisce on his own history, growing up inspired by the great man’s work and the evolution that came with the two meeting and developing both a friendship and creative relationship that endured through the years. The talk will close with a question period open to the virtual audience.

As the history and future of Brazil’s cinema is currently under threat in unconscionable ways, we feel it especially urgent to present a talk of this nature, both out of love for Mojica and in solidarity with Brazilian artists and the hardships they currently face.

September 2 - 5pm EDT | FREE EVENT

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