×

Cannes Fantastic 7 First-Ever Lineup for Genre Projects

Seven of the world’s foremost festivals dedicated to, or with strong traditions of highlighting genre cinema, have banded together to form the Fantastic 7, an initiative which sees each bring one project to be pitched at the Cannes Film Market.

The seven festivals include: Sitges Intl. Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia – which initiated the idea along with the Cannes Market; Bucheon Intl. Fantastic Film Festival, Cairo Intl. Film Festival, Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG), International Film Festival & Awards – Macao; South by Southwest and the Toronto Intl. Film Festival (TIFF).

Cannes Film Market executive director Jérôme Paillard, Sitges deputy general manager Mónica Garcia Massagué, and Ventana Sur and Blood Window founder Bernardo Bergeret initialized and head the program.

In addition to the project pitches, Spanish director J.A. Bayona will godfather the event. Bayona has a memorable relationship with the Cannes Festival. In 2007 he premiered his now classic debut feature “The Orphanage” at Critics’ Week. According to organizers, each year will see another A-list genre filmmaker occupy this role.

For the first edition of the event, the Sitges festival will bring Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s quasi-fantasy psychological thriller “Baby,” which tracks an upper-class, drug-addicted mother who gives up her newborn to a trafficking ring during a particularly dark moment in her life. Filled with regret, the woman decides to track down her child, but must first conquer her own demons to do so. Bajo Ulloa produces the feature with F. Tomás Olalla.

“Superpower Girl” is the fantastic coming-of-age tale selected by Korea’s Bucheon festival. Juri is an unassuming teenager who is granted superhuman abilities which allow her to make quilts of unparalleled quality. The girl’s talents allow her to get close to another young woman, and the two embark on a fledgling romance which, once it becomes public knowledge, threatens to ruin both the girls’ lives, and inspires a bloody, chaotic turn of events.

A sequel to 2014’s Egyptian breakout hit “The Blue Elephant,” Cairo will be bringing “The Blue Elephant 2” to the Marché du Film. The feature will see the return of lead actors and Cairo National Festival for Egyptian Cinema nominees Karim Abdel Aziz and Nelly Karim in a new story about protagonist Dr Yehia, a psychotherapist at a hospital working with violent criminally insane patients. Marwan Hamed sits in the director’s chair again while Synergy Film’s Tamer Morsi produces.

Chile was this year’s guest country of honor at FICG, so it’s only fitting that “Escape,” a Chilean entry in the festival’s projects section, should represent the festival at Cannes. Produced by Santiago-based Parox and directed by Cristián Jiménez, the film follows Miguel, a former political prisoner under Pinochet who made a daring prison break in the ‘80s, all the while imagining it as a film. In 2021, a Holywood actor comes to Chile to make that film a reality. While not itself a true story, the film is heavily influenced by actual events.

Representing the Macao Festival is Chao Koi Wang’s “Wonderland.” A major gambling center, the island of Macao boasts a number of gambling valets, which games can hire to escort them around the city. Huei is one such agent, living illegally on the island to which he emigrated 20 years before. When an old flame asks him to accompany her husband on a night out, things get chaotic when the husband dies of a heart attack in Heui’s house. Bingchi Pictures produces.

Mickey Keating’s “Haywire” will represent SXSW at Fantastic 7. The near-future sci-fi thriller proposes a world in which every home has a Henry robot that handles day-to-day tasks. Things get scary however, when one such robot gets infected by a rogue computer virus and turns on its owner. Henry gets ahold of the elderly man’s hunting rifle and embarks on a bloodthirsty quest for revenge. Gregory Chambet at WTFilms produces the feature which is currently casting and scheduled to shoot this fall.

Finally, TIFF has backed Jeff Barnaby’s zombie-horror film “Blood Quantum,” offering a twist on the popular genre. As the world is being consumed by undead monsters, the native population living on the of Red Crow Mi’gmaq reservation find themselves immune to the zombie plague. The tribe’s chief and able-bodied members must protect the rest from the bloodthirsty hoards, as there is no immunity from being eaten alive. Jeff Barnaby directs, with John Christou from Prospector Films producing.

Fantastic 7 will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, May 19 at Cannes Palais K.

CREDIT: JOHNNY WONG

More Film

  • Disney Movies

    Why Audiences Are Only Going to Disney Movies

    Julie Bikhman of Manhattan might buy the tickets, but when it comes to deciding what movie to see, her three young children are the ones calling the shots. “We pick them,” her 11-year-old daughter Annie declares before heading into a screening of Disney’s live-action “The Lion King.” “If it’s a Marvel movie, we know it’s [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Rob Schneider Running for SAG-AFTRA Board, Supporting Matthew Modine

    Rob Schneider is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate and as a representative of the union’s San Francisco branch. Schneider is a former cast member on “Saturday Night Live” with movie credits on “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick,” “The Benchwarmers,” [...]

  • The Lion King

    'Lion King' VFX Supervisor Rob Legato to Keynote at the 2019 View Conference

    Rob Legato, visual effects supervisor of “The Lion King,” “The Addams Family” co-director Conrad Vernon and Baobab Studios’ co-founder and chief creative officer Eric Darnell, director of the VR studio’s Emmy- and Annie-winning VR short “Crow: The Legend,” are rounding out the keynote speakers at this fall’s 20th edition of the View Conference in Turin, [...]

  • A woman prays at a makeshift

    Japan Expresses Its Grief Over Deadly Kyoto Animation Arson Attack

    Fellow animators and others in the Japanese entertainment industry have expressed their sorrow and solidarity with Kyoto Animation, the well-respected anime studio that suffered a horrific arson attack and the deaths of dozens of staffers. “We are all fellows in the same boat. If we continue to create without being afraid, we will find solace [...]

  • For Lineup Story

    Billie Piper's Directorial Debut, 'Rare Beasts,' to Bow in Venice Critics' Week

    “Rare Beasts,” the directorial debut of British stage and screen actress Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Collateral”) is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, which has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, four of them from female filmmakers. Produced by Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge Pictures in association with [...]

  • 'Mientras dure la guerra' -Rodaje Modmedia-

    Alejandro Amenabar, Ricardo Darin, Paco Cabezas Bound for San Sebastian

    MADRID  –  Alejandro Amenábar, Ricardo Darín and Paco Cabezas, director of episodes from “Peaky Blinders” and “American Gods,” look set to join Penelope Cruz, already confirmed as a Donostia Award winner, at this year’s 67th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival. The biggest movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, this year’s San Sebastian runs Sept.20-28. Amenábar’s [...]

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content