Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival is the latest to head online in these troubled times and will bring its trademark brand of diverse genre cinema to homes across Canada from August 20 to September 2. With the second wave of the lineup now announced, here’s a look at how the East Asian selection is shaping up ahead of the full programme reveal on Aug. 6:


  • Crazy Samurai Musashi – samurai action drama featuring the long-awaited return of Tak Sakaguchi.
  • Labyrinth of Cinema – final film from Nobuhiko Obayashi in which three youngsters find themselves lost in the movies.
  • Life: Untitled – Kana Yamada adapts her own stage play set in the office of a Tokyo escort service. Review.
  • Project Dreams: How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar – employees at an engineering firm attempt to draft the hangar from the legendary mecha anime.
  • Special Actors – meta-narrative from One Cut of the Dead‘s Shinichiro Ueda in which a shy aspiring actor joins an unusual agency where he’s asked to play a part in other people’s “real life”. Review.
  • Tezuka’s Barbara – Macoto Tezka adapts the manga by his famous father in which a novelist (Goro Inagaki) becomes obsessed with a woman he picks up off the street (Fumi Nikaido). Review.


  • Beauty Water – animation in which a woman who believes herself ugly tries an experimental treatment to make herself beautiful.
  • Jesters: The Game Changers – Joseon-era street entertainers get into trouble for spreading fake news in a period drama from The Grand Heist’s Kim Joo-ho.
  • Me and Me – directorial debut from actor Jung Jin-young in which a policeman wakes up one day to discover he’s someone else.
  • My Punch-Drunk Boxer – a former boxer picks up the rhythms of pansori.
  • Vertigo – a young office worker is rescued from her sense of existential vertigo by the gentle presence of a chivalrous window washer. Review.


  • Detention – horror-inflected video game adaptation dramatising the trauma of the “White Terror” martial law era. Review
  • I WeirDo – madcap OCD rom-com shot on an iPhone.

This year’s festival will be entirely digital with all titles available to stream across Canada from August 20 to Sept. 2. Further details along with the full programme will be announced on August 6.

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