Fantasia announces more Canadian world premieres

Four more homegrown features, including Berkley Brady's Canadian Rockies horror Dark Nature, will bow at the 26th annual film festival.

Berkley Brady’s Dark Nature, Andrew T. Hunt’s The Fight Machine, and Luke Higginson’s Relax, I’m From the Future are among the latest Canadian features chosen for a world premiere at the 26th edition of Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.

Directed and written by Brady, Dark Nature (pictured), which is her first horror feature film, is about a sinister weekend retreat in the Rocky Mountains. Produced by Michael Peterson and distributed by Los Angeles-based Epic Pictures, the horror was part of the Cannes Market’s Fantastic 7 showcase for 2022. It stars Hannah Emily Anderson, Madison Walsh, and Kyra Harper, and was filmed at Kananaskis Country, a multi-area park in Calgary, Alta., in the foothills and front ranges of the Canadian Rockies.

The Fight Machine is directed and co-written by Hunt and author Craig Davidson, who wrote the 2007 novel The Fighter on which the film is based. The story follows two young men in an underground fighting ring. Produced by Pasha Patriki and distributed by Raven Banner, the gritty noir film stars Dempsey Bryk, Greg Hovanessian, Michael Ironside, Natasha Henstridge, Greg Bryk and Noah Dalton Danby. The film was shot in multiple cities in Ontario including Hamilton, Toronto and Parry Sound.

Higginson’s debut feature Relax, I’m From the Future follows a time traveller who is stuck in the past and has to figure out a way to save the doomed future. Written and directed by Higginson, the sci-fi comedy was shot in Hamilton, Ont., and adapted from Higginson’s short film of the same name. It stars Rhys Darby, Gabrielle Graham, Janine Theriault, and Julian Richings, and is produced by Tim Doiron and James van der Woerd for Wango Films. Game Theory Films is handling distribution in Canada, while Universal Pictures Content Group is handling international distribution.

Skinamarink from writer-director Kyle Edward Ball and producer Edmon Rotea follows two children who wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing and all the doors and windows in their home have vanished. Distributed by Mutiny Pictures, the experimental horror was filmed in Alberta and will also world premiere at Fantasia.

The film festival will take place from July 14 to Aug. 3, with its Frontières International Co-Production market being held July 21 to 24. It will open with KC Carthew’s post-apocalyptic Polaris, a Yukon/Quebec/Ontario interprovincial coproduction filmed in Yukon and starring Viva Lee.

Previously announced Canadian world premieres set for Fantasia include Rodrigo Gudiño’s The Breach, produced by Hangar 18 Media and Raven Banner Entertainment, and The Diabetic, written, directed and produced by Mitchell Stafiej.

Other Canadian films include director Avalon Fast’s Quebec premiere of her directorial debut feature film, Honeycomb. The horror follows a group of young women who leave their lives in the city to live in an abandoned cabin in the remote countryside. The film, which is directed and written by Fast, premiered virtually at Utah’s Slamdance Film Festival.

Denis Côté’s That Kind of Summer follows three women who are being treated for their “hypersexuality” in a cabin by the lake and will have its North American premiere at Fantasia. The drama was in the official selection at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival. Produced by Sylvain Corbeil and Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre of Montreal-based Metafilms and distributed by Maison 4:3, the film stars Larissa Corriveau, Laure Giappiconi, Aude Mathieu, Samir Guesmi, and Anne Ratte-Polle.

Image courtesy of Fantasia International Film Festival