Ithaca Fantastik wraps 6th edition! Best film honors awarded to Deborah Haywood’s debut feature PIN CUSHION!
November 16th, 2017 — The Ithaca Fantastik film festival closed out another successful year of genre programming, events and guests in upstate New York this past Sunday. Our 6th edition of the festival opened on November 3rd at our main festival venue, Cinemapolis with Tyler MacIntyre’s critically acclaimed coming-of-age-slasher-comedy TRAGEDY GIRLS and closed-out Sunday, November 12th with Cho Sun-Ho’s Korean time-loop drama A-DAY.
This year the festival was thrilled to offer two weekends of dynamic genre and vanguard cinema book-ending our thorough retrospective on Italiano Psichedeliko. Our returning programming blocks, International Competition, Cinema Pur, Festival Favorites, and Midnighters, we’re joined by a Shudder Presents screening of MON MON MONSTERS and 2K restorations of DEATH LINE and DEATHDREAM (shared for the very first time with our audience!) as part of a spotlight on Bill Lustig’s cult and exploitation label Blue Underground, with both Lustig and prolific director Gary Sherman in attendance.
In addition to film screenings the festival boasted a visually enthralling art show by famed Belgian artist Gilles Vranckx, a live scored screening of Jean Cocteau’s BLOOD OF A POET composed and performed by local artist and Ithaca Fantastik alum Anna Coogan, and a fun-filled trivia night for locals and guests hosted by IF fest director Hugues Barbier and filmmaker Graham Skipper.
The 2017 edition of the festival hosted films from 24 different countries and celebrated guests such as artist, illustrator and poster designer Gilles Vranckx, SNOWFLAKE producer Eric Sonnenburg, SEQUENCE BREAK director Graham Skipper, and cult classic filmmakers Gary Sherman and Bill Lustig. We also welcomed the return of the 48-Hour Fantastik Film Challenge, which engages teams of students from Ithaca College to produce a genre short over two-days to screen at the festival. This year top honors were awarded to ME, MYSELF, AND DIE by Jyasi Nagel & Em Zarabet by challenge organizers Kevin Fermini and Jack Warner.
This year’s jury consisted of artist Gilles Vranckx and locals Bob Proehl, author and arts & culture columnist, and genre film aficionado Woody Chichester. “2017 was truly a fantastic year, we had the chance to be able to screen some of the movies that will stay with me forever, and seeing how tight was the Cinema Pur and Int’l competition Audience awards it seems like our audience felt the same,” said Barbier on the competition selection. “Our jury had a great time talking and debating these movies, and even though it’s been a hard to decide, the awards have been given at the unanimity for each category.
Our International Competition consisted of nine feature films and our Cinema Pur competition of vanguard programming consisted of six. Our esteemed jury awarded honours in the following four categories:
Best Film: PIN CUSHION, dir. Deborah Best Screenplay: THE ENDLESS, dirs. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Best Achievement in Directing: Adolfo J. Kolmerer and William James, SNOWFLAKE
Best Short: MIRIAM IS GOING TO MARS, dir. Michael Lippert
Cinema Pur Audience Award: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID, Issa López
International Competition Audience Award: SNOWFLAKE, dirs. Adolfo J. Kolmerer and William James
Ithaca Fantastik would like to thank Cinemapolis, Ithaca College DKA Professional Cinematic Society Volunteers, Ithaca Underground, Shudder, Community Art Partnership, The Tompkins Country Tourism Grant Program, Angry Mom Records and our amazing audience!