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The acclaimed Brazilian Genre Fest is gearing up for it seventeenth edition, with a bounty of free programming and special events.

Colorful Dreams

Sadly, we’re still not completely out of the woods when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many long-running film festivals are continuing to focus on virtual programming this year. Brazil’s prestigious Fantaspoa Fantastic Film Festival is no exception. The fest will celebrate its seventeenth edition completely online and, extraordinarily, completely free of charge.

The 2021 edition of the beloved South American genre festival is supported by a special grant from the Brazilian government, which is offered to relevant cultural events amidst the pandemic. The festival has renewed its partnership with Darkflix, Brazil’s immensely popular streaming service aimed at fantastic genre cinema.

Unfortunately for most of our readers, the festival’s extensive programming lineup, including 160 films (comprised of 103 shorts and 57 features), will be geo-locked to residents of Brazil.

The good news, however, is that the festival is also offering four incredible special events that will be accessible to viewers worldwide.

The Old Ways

These events include:

  1. Daily Q&As with artists on the festival’s YouTube channel
  2. A brand new score by the Brazilian band Quarto Sensorial to accompany Fritz Lang’s DESTINY (DER MÜDE TOD) to mark 100 years since its release, also on YouTube
  3. An exhibition comprised of new works from twenty female artists, called Medusa’s Laughter, that will be accessible via Fantaspoa’s website
  4. A kick-off online party on April 9 with 9 DJs and a costume contest

Most film fans would never have the opportunity to attend this extraordinary fest in person, so it’s truly a gift that we all have this unique opportunity to experience so much of the festival’s renowned event programming.

Festival directors João Fleck and Nicolas Tonsho elaborate on the festival’s mission to bring remarkable programming to the widest audience possible:

Victim of Love

“We know that Fantaspoa’s core is its amazing film selection, but the festival is so much more. Based on what we learned from last year’s digital festival experience, we’ve worked as hard as possible to try to bring the closest thing to the real Fantaspoa deal to the online community.”

The seventeenth edition of Fantaspoa is one of the largest online initiatives of any Latin American film event, with its screenings capped at 3,000 views and geo-blocked to Brazilian viewers. The festival hopes that its attempts to combat social isolation through digital gatherings will be seen as a small but valiant way to help fight this continuing and unprecedented pandemic that has taken such a painful toll on Brazil.

The festival’s final wave of 33 feature films includes one World Premiere, four International Premieres, seventeen Latin American Premieres, and six Brazilian Premieres.

The Nest

These films represent 22 countries and have won awards at festivals, such as Moscow International Film Festival, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, and Viennale.

The final wave of Fantaspoa 2021 features include…

AS IN HEAVEN, SO ON EARTH (d. Francesco Erba, 2020, Italy, International Premiere)

BENNY LOVES YOU (d. Karl Holt, 2019, UK, Brazilian Premiere)

BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES (d. Junta Yamaguchi, 2021, Japan, Latin American Premiere)

BLACK MEDUSA (d. Youssef Chebbi and Ismaël, 2021, Tunisia, Latin American Premiere)

BLEED WITH ME (d. Amelia Moses, 2020, Canada, Latin American Premiere)

CLAPBOARD JUNGLE: SURVIVING THE INDEPENDENT FILM BUSINESS (d. Justin McConnell, 2020, Canada, Latin American Premiere)

COLORFUL DREAMS (d. Jan Balej, 2020, Czech Republic, International Premiere)

CORTEX (d. Moritz Bleibtreu, 2020, Germany, Latin American Premiere)

DETENTION (d. John Hsu, 2019, Taiwan, Regional Premiere)

EJEN ALI THE MOVIE (d. Muhammad Usamah Zaid, 2019, Malaysia, Latin American Premiere)


A GRAVE FOR THREE (d. Mariano Cattaneo, 2020, Argentina, Brazilian Premiere)

HORSE TAIL (d. Manoj Leonel Jason and Shyam Sunder, 2020, India, Latin American Premiere)

IMMORTAL (d. Fernando Spiner, 2020, Argentina, Brazilian Premiere)

IN THE SHADOWS (d. Erdem Tepegoz, 2020, Turkey, Latin American Premiere)

IT CUTS DEEP (d. Nicholas Santos, 2020, USA, Latin American Premiere)

JUMBO (d. Zoé Wittock, 2020, France/Belgium/Luxembourg, Latin American Premiere)

KEEPING COMPANY (d. Josh Wallace, 2021, USA, Latin American Premiere)

KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN (d. Mariusz Wilczynski, 2019, Poland, Regional Premiere)

LAUGHTER (d. Martin Laroche, 2020, Canada, Latin American Premiere)

MENÁGE (d. Luan Cardoso, 2020, Brazil, Regional Premiere)

MODELL OLIMPIA (d. Frédéric Hambalek, 2020, Germany, Latin American Premiere)

A NAU DOS LOUCOS: MERGULHO E DECOLAGEM DE PAZUCUS (d. Gurcius Gewdner, 2021, Brazil, World Premiere)

THE NEST (d. Roberto De Feo, 2019, Italy, Latin American Premiere)

NON-LIVING (d. Agustín Rubio Alcover, 2020, Spain, Brazilian Premiere)

THE NOSE OR CONSPIRACY OF MAVERICKS (d. Andrey Khrzhanovskiy, 2020, Russia, Regional Premiere)

THE OLD WAYS (d. Christopher Alender, 2020, USA, Latin American Premiere)

PARALLEL MINDS (d. Benjamin Ross Hayden, 2020, Canada, Latin American Premiere)

THE RETURNED (d. Laura Casabe, 2019, Argentina, Brazilian Premiere)

RÖCKËT STÄHR’S DEATH OF A ROCKSTAR (d. Röckët Stähr, 2020, USA, International Premiere)

THE SHADOW OF THE ROOSTER (d. Nicolás Herzog, 2020, Argentina, International Premiere)

TRANS (d. Naeri Do, 2021, South Korea, Latin American Premiere)

VICTIM OF LOVE (d. Jesper Isaksen, 2019, Denmark, Brazilian Premiere)

The festival’s 2021 trailer can be viewed below, offering a glimpse at many of this year’s amazing film selections.

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