Fantasy out in force
by Anne Feuillère
05/04/2007 - The 25th Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film (BIFFF) – an annual event held in the Belgian capital that aims to make cinema a true celebration, a carnival even – opens its doors this evening at a new 9,000 square metre venue. Screenings will also be held in several Wallonian towns.
UK director Danny Boyle’s Sunshine [trailer, film focus] (see news) will kick off festivities, which will last until April 12. The 13-day festival programme includes 76 features from 27 different countries, as well as national and international premieres of films from the science-fiction, fantastic, fantasy and horror genres.
Asia dominates in international competition with the latest films by the Pang brothers (The Messengers) and Tsukamoto (Nightmare Detective), while only two European films will screen at this year’s BIFFF: Austrian helmer Andreas Prochaska’s acclaimed, Dead in 3 Days [trailer] (see news) and the French/Russian co-production The Ugly Swan by Konstantin Lopushansky.
The two titles will compete for the Méliès awards in European competition, along with six other films: French title Nos amis les terriens [trailer] (Our Earthman Friends), a mockumentary directed by Bernard Werber (author of the best-seller Les Fourmis) and produced by Claude Lelouch’s Les Films 13; Broken by UK directing duo Simon Boyes and Adam Mason; kung-fu title Jade Warrior [trailer], co-produced with China, by Finland’s Antti-Jussi Annila (see news); a second Russian production, The Sword Bearer by Philipp Yankovsky; and two Spanish films, Daniel Monzon’s third feature El laberinto de Kovak and Elio Quiroga’s The Dark Hour [trailer].
In addition to parties, concerts, the Vampire Ball competition, all-night horror film events, theme-based afternoons to showcase Turkish and Bollywood cinema, as well as Japanese animated film, the festival will hold tributes and retrospectives to honour three film artists: America’s Tom Savigny, king of special effects gore and make-up artist for George Romero, who will be a special guest at the festival, and Syd Mead (designer of several sets, including Ridley Scott’s well known Blade Runner); as well as French cartoonist and film director Enki Bilal, four of whose films will screen at the Musée du Cinéma.
(Translated from French)