Fantastic Film Festival to bring naked screenings, cosmic queer sci-fi to Lido Cinemas

Fantastic Film Festival to bring naked screenings, cosmic queer sci-fi to Lido Cinemas

Words by Staff Writer

Fantastic Film Festival Australia is returning to Melbourne this year and bringing with it naked screenings, cosmic queer sci-fi, gothic horror scares and razor-sharp satires.

The Fantastic Film Festival is a zany all-rounder among the plethora of film festivals to hit Melbourne screens each year, blending the outrageous, mainstream and critically-acclaimed in one undescribable package.

In 2022, the festival brings its weird and wonderful cinematic offerings to Melbourne’s Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn from 21 April – 6 May 2022, as well as The Ritz Cinema in Sydney.

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“We’re extremely excited to present this year’s program,” FFFA artistic director Hudson Sowada said. “FFFA offers a journey beyond any known map of convention and the films we’ve curated this year come from filmmakers at the cutting-edge of international storytelling.”

“We have also widened our scope beyond cinema to embrace more modes of creative expression. We’re proud to launch the inaugural Music Video Blind Date, an event celebrating the best of our local music and filmmaking talent; and Cinema 1 Nightclub, a unique blend of live music, visual art and cinema, featuring DJ Female Wizard. You can also expect to find nude screenings, in-cinema DJ performances, Dungeons and Dragons, Q&As and exceptional short form work.”

The Festival will open with the first screening of action filled Viking epic The Northman from director Robert Eggars (The Witch, The Lighthouse), featuring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, and Willem Dafoe. The film will screen at midnight, with tickets including drinks and a DJ performance starting at 11pm.

Sundance’s psychological horror breakout We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is the debut feature from writer-director Jane Schoenbrun, following a teenage girl on a path of self-exploration through an online roleplaying game. Then, for those brave and perhaps foolhardy enough, FFFA will host a 25th anniversary naked screening of the award-winning comedy The Full Monty. Audiences are encouraged to embrace the spirit of the film and strip bare the film.

Other highlights of the festival include the kaleidoscopic sci-fi western fantasy flick After Blue, about a mother and daughter hunting a killer through toxic forests. Also, Dreams on Fire is a journey through dance and underground culture, screening with a Q&A with one of Japan’s most renowned dancers Bambi and the film’s director on Monday 25 April. On that same note, there will also be a 4K restoration of the 1981 cult spy film Possession. Originally cut for the US market and banned in the UK for almost two decades, this restored edition starring Sam Neill showcases the film as the director intended.

Closing the festival will be New York Ninja. Originally shot in 1984 but not finished until 2021, the film chronicles the rise of John, a TV news sound technician turned vigilante. Abandoned during production by director and star John Liu, only the unedited camera negative remained. Painstakingly reconstructed and re-voiced in 2021, New York Ninja finally screens in all of its bombastic insanity, giving audiences long-anticipated access to an almost-lost treasure.

The full program of 22 feature films, eight shorts and special events are on sale now on the festival’s website here.