I’ll Follow You Down producer Lee Kim on launching at Fantasia

Kim talks to Playback about why he and director Richie Mehta (pictured) chose the Montreal festival when it came calling with interest.
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Credit Gillian Anderson of The X-Files fame for getting Canadian director Richie Mehta’s sci-fi mystery I’ll Follow You Down into the Fantasia International Film Festival for a high-profile launch.

Lee Kim, producer of the Haley Joel Osment-starrer, says he and Mehta first met at the bigger Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 when he was releasing director Ed Gass-Donnelly’s This Beautiful City and Mehta debuted his debut feature, Amal.

But when Fantasia, a genre festival, came calling with interest in I’ll Follow You Down, they opted to launch the picture at the smaller Montreal event over taking a run at a TIFF slot.

“Toronto is a great festival internationally, but sometimes you find Canadian films get a little lost in the shuffle,” Kim says of the bigger Toronto festival where I’ll Follow You Down would contend for critical and media attention against around 300 other high-profile movies.

At Fantasia, Kim and Mehta’s film has more clear runway for a promotional take-off, given Anderson’s appeal to the genre festival’s core audience.

“It bodes well for us. Anderson represents pedigree in the sci-fi world,” Kim explained.

Mehta’s Amal was shot with no recognizable actors outside of India.

I’ll Follow You Down is different in that a fanboy audience generating buzz online about Anderson and Joel Osment as leads could help strike foreign distribution deals.

After all, major film buyers don’t attend Fantasia in big numbers, as they do TIFF.

But they do respond to online heat that surrounds indie films ahead of a theatrical release, Kim insists.

“Sales for the film will ultimately come via a viral presence,” he says.