Hitting Melbourne in April, Fantastic Film Festival just dropped its offbeat 2021 program

Hitting Melbourne in April, Fantastic Film Festival just dropped its offbeat 2021 program

Words by Gabriela Caeli Sumampow

Bringing the best in weirdly wonderful cinematic innovations.

After wrapping up its 2020 festival narrowly close to the first lockdown, Fantastic Film Festival Australia (FFFA) returns to Victoria’s Lido Cinemas and New South Wales’ Ritz Cinemas this year. FFFA launched its 2021 program earlier this month with a sneak peek of Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma’s TEDDY, a French body horror movie complete with dark humour and teen angst.

What you need to know

  • The Fantastic Film Festival Australia is returning for 2021 with an eccentric program
  • The festival is being held at Lido Cinemas in Victoria and Ritz Cinemas in New South Wales
  • The festival runs from Friday April 16 to Saturday May 1

Keep up with the latest film and TV news here.

FFFA’s 2021 program is loaded with daring innovations and bizarre plotlines – even weirder than sitting on a plush cinema seat post-lockdown. Running from Friday April 16 to Saturday May 1, this year’s instalment features 21 movies and seven short films from countries all across the world – among them 13 Australian premieres, including the festival’s opening and closing night films.

“Suited for provocateurs, adrenaline junkies, cinephiles, and everyone in between, our 2021 lineup is packed full of films to scratch every cinematic itch,” Artistic Director Hudson Sowada said in a press statement. “This is an energetic program that will inspire unpredictable and revelatory journeys into uncharted territories.”

The festival kicks off with an opening night screening of Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland, starring Nicolas Cage. The Japanese director’s English language debut is an unexpected cross-cultural mashup. In a post-apocalyptic world, an outlaw takes on a mission to look for the Governor’s granddaughter, who is on the run in a leather bodysuit loaded with timed explosives.

The only Australian-made film in FFFA’s lineup is Bloodshot Heart, which will be paired with a cast and crew Q&A session after the gala screening. Parish Malfitano’s exciting new film stars producer-turned-actor Richard James Allen, as it follows a driving instructor’s obsession with winning the heart of a tenant half his age.

Taiwanese comedy-horror film Get The Hell Out is I-Fan Wang’s giddy debut, fusing tongue in cheek gore-horror with political satire at its core. Expect some kung fu, flesh-eating zombies, and fist-fights on legislature floors.

Martin Laroche’s Laughter is an emotional exploration of surviving and healing from trauma in a time of social unrest. The story of a mass execution’s sole survivor blurs lines between time, reality and identity. A director Q&A and the screening of Swedish short film A Tale Best Forgotten will follow the film.

The festival will close with Lenny & Harpo Guit’s Mother Schmuckers, where two brothers live a life full of madness. Bringing pure pandemonium to the streets of Brussels, its wild lo-fi energy and is set to be an instant cult classic.

FFFA 2021 will run from Friday April 16 to Saturday May 1 at Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn. For more info, and to book your tickets, visit the festival website