Action, cold sweats and the supernatural at the Strasbourg Fantastic Film Festival

Spectators attend a screening of the film “The Exorcist” in a church, as part of the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival, September 20, 2018FREDERICK FLORIN

Heidi who returns to take revenge on a horrible Gruyère magnate in a gore version, unicorns exploding teddy bears (and vice versa), an Iranian exorcism film… the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival returns from Friday with an eclectic program, and director Christophe Gans as guest of honour.

For its 15th edition, the Strasbourg festival, which had welcomed more than 33,000 spectators during the last pre-Covid edition, in 2019, is offering until October 2 13 films in the international competition category, eight in “crossovers” and eight in animated films, as well as many events.

“Diabolik”, by the Manetti brothers, will be broadcast on Friday evening before the jury decides between the 13 films of the official selection, including in particular the disturbing “Family Dinner” by Peter Hengl, “Our ceremonies”, by the young French director Simon Rieth, or the black tale “You won’t be alone”, by Goran Stolevcki with actress Noomi Rapace.

Among the highlights, French director Christophe Gans will be the festival’s guest of honor and will give a masterclass on Sunday before the broadcast of his film “Le Pacte des loups” in a restored 4K version.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro will also be present for the screening of the restored version of “The City of Lost Children” as a world premiere on Saturday.

Gore lovers will stay on their side for the late screenings of the “Midnight movies” selection, with the bloody “Mad Heidi”, by Johannes Hartmann and Sandro Klopfenstein, the vertiginous “Fall”, by Scott Mann, or “Dark Glasses” , by Dario Argento, with his daughter, actress Asia Argento, in the credits.

The “Crossovers” section will offer a great diversity, between “Les Rascals”, by the French director Jimmy Laporal-Trésor, “Zalava”, by the Iranian Arsalan Amiri, or “Pamfir”, by the Ukrainian filmmaker Dmytro Sukholytkyy.

– “Brilliant action scenes” –

The youngest are not forgotten and are entitled to a dedicated session, with “The secret of the perlims”, by Alê Abreu: “A very colorful, magnificent film, a real pleasure, and for the parents too”, notes Daniel Cohen, the artistic director of the festival.

And lovers of nanars will not miss the eccentric night, “in partnership with the French cinematheque, which entrusts us with its worst films”, smiles Daniel Cohen again. An eccentric night often taken by storm, during which “The island of naked women”, “Dracula, sexual vampire”, and “The armed arm of Wang Yu” will be broadcast. A breakfast is then offered to the brave ones who stayed until the end.

At the end of the festival, “Hunt” will keep spectators spellbound. “It’s a film by Korean Lee Jung-jae, cult actor of the Squid Games series, who is both an actor and a director here. The film has blistering action scenes and is a bit reminiscent of Michael’s +Heat+ Mann,” enthused Daniel Cohen. And Greg Lauert, in charge of programming short and feature films, to highlight “the dexterity of Koreans in the representation of action, violence”.

On the sidelines of the festival, there will unfortunately be no “Zombie March” this year, the traditional costumed parade through the streets of Strasbourg of zombies, bloody monsters and other vampires, long one of the highlights of the festival: “It was fun to have fun on the theme of a post pandemic world, but today reality has surpassed fiction: after two years of Covid it is no longer a fantasy, today’s world has caught up with the concept “, regrets Daniel Cohen.

Action, cold sweats and the supernatural at the Strasbourg Fantastic Film Festival