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And Here Are The Fantastic Fest 2014 Shorts

Short but sweet. Or mean, as the case may be.

And Here Are The Fantastic Fest 2014 Shorts

Goat Witch

Tomorrow will be exactly TWO WEEKS until the commencement of FFX, the tenth anniversary of this glorious week of chaos we celebrate every year. So far we've announced the First and Second Waves of programming, the Fantastic Market works-in-progress and film previews, the MondoCon lineup, the Fantastic Arcade lineup, the Bumper Contest (6 days left!), our Nerd Rap challenge AND a brand new raygun logo

And today we're super happy to announce our shorts lineup! The shorts are always a marvelously weird mix of genres, tones and mayhem, and this year proves to be no different. Stay tuned here and to the Fantastic Fest Twitter and Facebook for plenty more news in the upcoming 15 (!) days. 

Read on for the press release!

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Author, film producer, and original Alamo Drafthouse film programmer Kier-la Janisse has curated a massively compelling, distressing, amusing and entertaining selection of short films from around the universe. You’ll thrill, laugh, gasp, cry, and probably vomit. Prepare to be transported into dozens of different worlds, if only for a moment each, but long enough to transform you forever. We are proud to have FANGORIA Magazine on board as the official sponsor for FFX's 2014 short film programs. 

FANTASTIC SHORTS 2014

In the true tradition of the European ‘fantastique,’ this collection of shorts interweaves the diverse strands of science fiction, fantasy, horror and surrealism to explore themes of parenthood, ritual and religious iconography, all culminating in a show-stopping short from that cosmic brain-trust known as the Jodorowsky family. 

MY FATHER IS A BIRD (ABA SHELI TZIPOR)

Isreal, 2013

US Premiere, 12 min

Director - Boaz Debby

A young man realizes that he’s literally killing his feathery father every time he masturbates. Can a pubescent boy withstand the temptations that surround him without sending his dad to an early grave? 

ABDULLAH

United Kingdom, 2014

North American Premiere, 12 min

Director - Evrim Ersoy

Abdullah is a lonely London cab driver who goes through the motions of his day while clearly disconnected from his environment. When he is invited to interact with a client, Abdullah chooses a frightening form of contact. 

SOLITUDO

United Kingdom, 2014

World Premiere, 10 min

Director - Alice Lowe

Fantastic Fest is proud to premiere the directorial debut of writer/actress Alice Lowe (SIGHTSEERS; GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE), an austere tale of a nun in isolation at a rural convent who is terrorized by an encroaching darkness… that may be coming from within. 

LITTLE LAMB

Australia, 2014

North American Premiere, 22 min

Director - Heidi Lee Douglas

Winner of the Stranger with My Face Horror Film Festival’s annual scriptwriting contest, writer/director/producer Heidi Lee Douglas’ gothic period piece is set in the wilds of 19th century Van Diemen’s Land, where the inhabitants of a brutal women’s prison are occasionally plucked from the system by a mysterious benefactor who allegedly engages them as servants. Anxious to get out of jail, a feisty young prisoner volunteers herself as his next employee, not realizing that her new master has a dark secret. 

BEHIND HIS BACK (UN BEBE DANS LE DOS)

France, 2014

North American Premiere, 14 min

Director - Olivia Weemaes

A man dumps his girlfriend when she expresses an urge to have children, only to suddenly become pregnant himself. A simple story that allows for a smorgasbord of brilliant comedic moments. 

THE NOSTALGIST

United Kingdom, 2014

Texas Premiere, 18 min

Director - Giacomo Cimini

When his glasses break, a man must leave his son alone in their hermetically-sealed apartment as he goes out to get them fixed. Ignoring his father’s instructions, the little boy follows him and learns the horrible truth about the outside world. Based on the award-winning short story by Daniel H. Wilson, THE NOSTALGIST is a stunning example of dystopian sci-fi whose ambitious production design is matched by its poignancy and emotional depth. 

REAVER

United States, 2014

World Premiere, 20 min

Director - Len LoBiondo

Two teens deal with their departed father’s estate. Lamenting his lifelong paranoia, they start dismantling the contraptions he obsessively affixed to the house to ward off a supernatural threat. A solidly acted and tightly directed exercise in mounting dread. 

THE VOICE THIEF

United States - France, 2013

Texas Premiere, 26 min

Director - Adan Jodorowsky

Asia Argento stars as a flamboyant opera singer who loses her voice in a row with her husband (Cristobal Jodorowsky aka Axel Jodorowsky, SANTA SANGRE), prompting him to trawl the back alleys of late-night Miami looking for a worthy voice to steal. His sinister adventures lead him to a dwarf prostitute, a transvestite and a garbage heap goddess, who each aid him in his climactic transfiguration. A lush film based on a story by Alejandro Jodorowsky and fueled by the same iconoclastic vision, with music by ROB (MANIAC). 

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DRAWN & QUARTERED – ANIMATED SHORTS 2014

Drawn & Quartered 2014 presents a truly psychedelic topography of animated experiments, with selections from Taiwan, Canada, Spain, the UK, France and the US, all illustrating a weird sense of global lysergic synergy. Something is definitely in the air… (or in the water, since our program begins and ends with the sea). From folktales to weird science, from slow motion dreamscapes to non-stop 2D assaults, I dare say this is Fantastic Fest’s most mind-blowing program of animated shorts yet. 

THE PRESENT

Taiwan, 2013

North American Premiere, 15 min

Director - Joe Hsieh

Based on the same ancient folktale that inspired Kihachiro Kawamoto’s DOJOJI TEMPLE (1976), Joe Hsieh’s unsettling film (realized in a striking black/white/red color scheme) tells of a married travelling salesman who stops at a seaside inn for the night, only to have the landlord’s strange daughter fall in love with him instantly. But when he rejects her, she vows revenge. 

THE AGE OF CURIOUS

United Kingdom, 2013

US Premiere, 8 min

Director - Luca Toth

Luca Toth’s Royal College of Art graduation film is a tactile, subversively sensual coming of age film that explores the rituals of puberty and the mysteries that lay beneath manes of flowing hair. 

UNICORN BLOOD (SANGRE DE UNICORNIO)

Spain, 2013

Texas Premiere, 8 min

Director - Alberto Vazquez

A festival favorite since its premiere at Fant Bilbao last year, Alberto Vasquez’ follow up to his award-winning BIRDBOY (2011) is a plushy pastel tale of two teddy bears on the hunt for unicorn blood, a rare blueberry-flavored treat and the secret to eternal cuteness. 

BEAST (LA BETE)

France, 2013

Regional Premiere, 8 min

Director - Vladimir MAVOUNIA-KOUKA

A woman discovers her animal nature when a wolf grows out of her own body and ravages her. A beautifully choreographed erotic tale that recalls Walerian Borowczyk’s film of the same name. 

DAY 40

Canada, 2014

US Premiere, 6 min

Director - Sol Friedman

Last year’s Fantastic Shorts winner Sol Friedman (BEASTS IN THE REAL WORLD) returns with a new animated film about what really happened on Noah’s Ark… and it ain’t pretty. You could say it’s a clusterfuck of biblical proportions. 

METAMORFOZA

The Netherlands, 2013

Regional Premiere, 7 min

Director - Martha Colburn

DIY collage-animating legend Martha Colburn turns her talents to three-dimensional stop motion and found footage in this transformative experimental nightmare originally commissioned by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. 

365 - One Year, One Film, One Second a Day

United Kingdom, 2014

Austin Premiere, 2014

Director - Greg McLeod Myles Mcleod

The latest maniacal exercise from the BAFTA-winning Brothers McLeod is a schizophrenic overload of id-beasts and hilarious non-sequiturs, assembled from 365 one-second animations they made each day over the course of a year. 

THE OBVIOUS CHILD

United Kingdom, 2013

Texas Premiere, 12 min

Director - Stephen Irwin

One of the wildest, most richly perverse animators of recent years, UK-based filmmaker Stephen Irwin (MOXIE; THE BLACK DOG’S PROGRESS) returns with this controversial tale of a chain-smoking toddler whose stuffed rabbit helps her get her dead parents’ dismembered limbs into heaven. 

THE CHAPERONE

Canada, 2013

Texas Premiere, 13 min

Director - Fraser Munden & Neil Rathbone

This funky animated/stop-motion/documentary hybrid utilizes over 10,000 crayon drawings to recount the true story of a heroic 1970s high school teacher who takes on an army of bikers single-handedly when they crash the school dance. 

LUCKY AND FINNEGAN

Canada, 2014

US Premiere, 9 min

Director -  Davide Di Saro

Video and sound artist Davide Di Saro’s incredibly ambitious animated music video for Toronto band Ronley Teper and the Lipliners has a roster of weirdo characters and infernal landscapes to rival a 1930s Fleischer Brothers cartoon. 

STORM HITS JACKET (TEMPÊTE SUR ANORAK)

France, 2014

North American Premiere, 13 min

Director - Paul Cabon

As a storm brews outside, two scientists on the verge of a major discovery get embroiled in a scheme of industrial espionage and an unexpected menage-a-trois. A delightful sci-fi comedy and a testament to the beautiful, bewildering chaos of nature. 

RITUAL OF CATHODY RAY TUBE

Taiwan, 2013

North American Premiere, 5 min

Director - Mores Zhan

RITUAL OF CATHODE RAY TUBE began its life as a multi-screen gallery installation, in which a series of monochrome drawings interact with each other like a live news feed recording of a black magic happening. Hypnotic and awesome. 

BROKEN FACE (SALE GUEULE)

Canada, 2014

US Premiere, 17 min

Director - Alain Fournier

We return to the whipping waves of the sea for our program’s closing film, a lighthouse terror tale performed by marionettes and infused with that wistful melancholia that only the Old Ones and ancient mariners understand. 

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SHORT FUSE 2014

From blood-spattered spectacles to challenging explorations of trauma, this year’s program of grotesque, garish and gory short films is an infernal thrill ride through the international landscape of envelope-pushing genre talents. 

CRAZY FOR YOU

United Kingdom, 2013

Texas Premiere, 10 min

Director - James Moran

This subversive twist on the romantic comedy from Fantastic Fest alum James Moran (SEVERANCE) stars Arthur Darvill (TV’s Doctor Who) as a serial killer who falls in love at first sight with a quirky shopgirl. Can he keep his nocturnal proclivities from his new beau, or is his romance doomed? 

GOAT WITCH

United States, 2014

US Premiere, 14 min

Director - James Sizemore

A young woman participates in her humorless girlfriend’s black magic ritual in a bid to win her affection, but realizes she’s got tough competition in the form of a terrifying she-demon. An immensely satisfying Satanic short filled with all the boobs, blood and black metal you expect from the genre. 

DEATH SENTENCE (PEINE DE MORT)

France, 2014

North American Premiere, 12 min

Director - Julien de Volte

A woman savagely brutalizes two men in the woods. What would drive a woman to commit such atrocities? A frank and disturbing film about vengeance. 

HE TOOK HIS SKIN OFF FOR ME

United Kingdom, 2014

Texas Premiere, 11 min

Director - Ben Aston

An exquisite short from relative newcomer Ben Aston, about a man who removes his skin at his girlfriend’s whim, only to realize that his increasing vulnerability is unattractive to her. A poignant, yet guignol-esque analogy for what many go through as their relationships decline. 

AUTUMN HARVEST

Norway, 2014

World Premiere, 17 min

Director - Fredrik S. Hana

Fantastic Fest is proud to unleash the latest short from Fredrik Hana, who won last year’s Short Fuse competition with his film ANGST, PISS AND DRID. This time around, Hana fashions a Lovecraftian tale of a reclusive fisherman in service to an entity that inhabits the rolling mists of the sea. 

WATERBORNE

Australia, 2014

US Premiere, 9 min

Director - Ryan Coonan

Move over, Skippy! There’s a new ‘roo in town and he’s undead and pissed off. An environmental worker sent to investigate a report of dodgy water in rural Australia has his hands full when the local wildlife turns deadly. 

INVADERS

United States, 2014

World Premiere, 6 min

Director - Jason Kupfer

A Thanksgiving home invasion does not turn out as planned. 

THE STOMACH

United States, 2014

US Premiere, 15 min

Director - Ben Steiner

Frank is a bedridden man in a squalid London house who is able to communicate with the dead in a most unusual fashion. With his health failing, he opts to do one last job before quitting the spirit medium business for good. But some local gangsters have other plans… 

BAD GUY #2

United States, 2014

World Premiere, 10 min

Director - Chris McInroy

This outrageously gory Austin-based crime comedy follows a struggling hitman whose upward mobility lands him at the dreaded position of Bad Guy #2–a prominent but ultimately expendable character in the bad guy pantheon–leaving him no choice but to up his game or die violently at the hands of his emotionally erratic boss. Full of over-the-top practical FX and dazzling comedic performances. 

EXTREME PINOCCHIO

France, 2014

Texas Premiere, 22 min

Director - Pascal Chind

A sordid, politically incorrect twist on Carlo Collodi’s classic 19th century children’s story, where our “Gepetto” is a portly pedophile and his wooden boy is in fact a disguised junkie dwarf out to find the pervert’s hidden stash of cash. So wrong in every way.

 

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SHORTS PAIRED WITH FEATURES

BON APPÉTIT

United States, 2014

World Premiere, 8 min

Director - Christopher Todd

A distinguished Chef stows himself away in the privacy of his own home to explore his dark culinary desires.

INHERENT NOISE

Poland, 2014

World Premiere, 16min

Director - Karol Jurga

An old recluse, neglected by his 20-something party-girl caretaker, experiments with recording in his decrepit rural mansion, which is suffused with sinister sounds that are slowly encroaching upon him. A stylish and strange horror/crime hybrid steeped in Eastern Bloc cool.

(Playing With WHISPERS BEHIND THE WALL)

PANDAS (PANDY)

Slovakia, Czech Republic, 2014

Regional Premiere, 11 min

Director - Matúš Vizár

This apocalyptic short about the evolution of the Panda Bear from prehistory to the dystopian future is oozing with the psychedelic vitality of the “lowbrow” underground art style associated with Robert Williams and Gilbert Shelton.

(Playing with WASTELANDER PANDA)

RABBIT 105 (LIEBRE 105)

Argentina, 2013

US Premiere, 17 min

Director - Sebastian Rotstein & Federico Rotstein

A tense, DePalma-esque dance of death in an underground parking garage, from first time directors Federico and Sebastian Rotstein.

(Playing with NECROFOBIA 3D)

SHARK

United States, 2014

World Premiere, 13 min

Director -  Zach Endres

Arthur Dale (star of last year’s S/ASH) is an alienated teen whose gnarly choppers earn him both an uncomplimentary nickname as well as frequent beatings at the hands of the school bully. When his father realizes the kid’s lack of confidence is hereditary, he unwittingly orchestrates a surprising act of aggression.

(Playing with KID POWER BOOK LAUNCH : BUGSY MALONE)

A TOWN CALLED PANIC: THE CHRISTMAS LOG (La Bûche de Noël)

France, 2014

Texas Premiere, 26 min

Director - Vincent Patar & Stéphane Aubier

Our most highly anticipated addition to that time-honored tradition known as the weirdo Christmas special, this latest stop motion short from Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar reunites their beloved plastic heroes Cowboy, Indian and Horse for a raucous, forehead-slapping adventure to the North Pole and back again. When Cowboy and Indian ruin Horse’s beautiful yule log, Horse convinces Santa to hold back their presents until they can redeem themselves. But why do that when they can just steal Farmer Steven’s yule log?

(Playing with DANGER 5)

HURRICANE BOY FUCK YOU TABARNAK (L’OURAGAN FUCK YOU TABARNAK)

Canada, 2013

Texas Premiere, 14 min

Director - Ara Ball

Dripping with crass humor and Quebecois colloquialisms, this hilarious short is about a neglected, angry white trash kid with a mullet who rechristens himself “The Hurricane” and sets about terrorizing the neighborhood.

(Playing with KID POWER BOOK LAUNCH : BUGSY MALONE)

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