Fantastic Fest 2010 details emerge, promise unique cinema offerings

By Sean O’Connell New details emerged this morning for the next Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based film festival that has been described by the trades as “The Geek Telluride.” The sixth annual Fest will be held Sept. 23-30, in Austin, Texas, the hub of unusual cinematic offerings.

In a press release, Fantastic Fest organizers have mapped out what they call “the broad brush strokes of exciting things to come.” Attendees can expect the following programs:

Fantastic Arcade
An independent games festival, Fantastic Arcade, which will run concurrent with the first four days of Fantastic Fest and feature fresh, cutting-edge games designed by independent game developers. Highlights include a games showcase from both major and super-independent game developers, games industry guest speakers and live game demos on the big screens at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Jeffrey Combs and Stuart Gordon: Nevermore
Jeffrey Combs and Stuart Gordon will be live in person with repertory screenings of “From Beyond” and “Reanimator.” Combs also will be performing his one-man show “NEVERMORE… AN EVENING WITH EDGAR ALLAN POE.” Stuart Gordon wrote the play, using a compilation of historical accounts, actual monologues, articles, letters and Poe’s own words to construct the definitive portrait of American’s most fam ous macabre poet. The play ran for months in Los Angeles and received unanimously glowing reviews.

Extreme Cuisine
Every year, Fantastic Fest incorporates a number of culinary theatrics. This year, Alamo Drafthouse executive chef John Bullington will be kicking off the opening night party by butterfly-butchering an entire adult cow and cooking it in the Argentinian style – smoked on an open fire for 18 hours. Bullington will also be overseeing the annual Fantastic Fest five course feast for the 2010 food-themed feature selection. Expect more signature food and drink pairings as the 2010 Fantastic Fest schedule is announced.

Spotlight: Norway
Though Norway has a long established and well respected film history the nation had long avoided genre film, preferring to make their name at home with broadly commercial comedies and dramas and abroad with high end arthouse film. That changed for good with the arrival of Roar Uthaug and Cold Prey. The first modern slasher movie produced anywhere in the Nordic countries, Cold Prey was initially considered a risky proposition but went on to become a total game-changer for the local industry. A massive smash hit – not only in Norway but throughout the entire region Cold Prey proved to the young generation of producers and directors that they could be successful making the sorts of films they loved, the sorts of films they had previously thought were the sole purview of Hollywood. And since then its been game on, with a string of young talents producing a diverse wave of high quality genre hits.

Other News
Look for the return of several of our favorite Spanish filmmakers, the addition of an after-hours karaoke experience, parties every night at the Highball, the return of signature events such as 100 Best Kills, the ever-boisterous Fantastic Feud, the Fantastic Debates and more. Suffice it to say, Fantastic Fest will continue to strive to be what Texas Monthly has called “the most important film festival in North America.” We are the film Festival with the boring parts cut out.

For more details regarding Fantastic Fest, visit

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