Eight world premieres set to screen at event

BERLIN — The Fantasy Filmfest is celebrating its 21st anni with an increased lineup across the board, including a record 77 features and a Kiwi opener, “Black Sheep.”

The official selection for the fest, which runs July 24-Aug. 22 and travels through eight cities, includes a range of world-preeming sci-fi, thriller and horror pics.

Featured are “Black Water,” “Kaltmiete,” “Botched,” “Storm Warning,” “Welcome to the Jungle,” “The Deaths of Ian Stone,” “WAZ” and “Stuck.” “Stuck” is the latest from weirdmeister Stuart Gordon and stars Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea.

In addition to various European and German premieres, the Focus Asia and French Connection sidebars have been enlarged to 15 and eight titles, respectively.

New Zealand makes a strong showing with five titles: “Black Sheep,” “The Ferryman,” “The Devil Dared Me To” — helmer Chris Stapp will make an appearance –”Perfect Creature” and “Out of the Blue.”

“We are seeing some great titles coming from New Zealand,” said programming director Rudi Furstberger. “They’re really thriving down there.”

From Russia comes “Dead Daughters”; “Paragraph 78”; the epic fantasy “Wolfhound,” picked up by local distrib Senator Film; and “Day Watch,” acquired by Fox and scheduled to close the fest.

Also beefed up for 2007 is the First Blood sidebar highlighting frosh and soph features.

Fest travels to Berlin, Bochum, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

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