Fantastic Fest 2021: 'Titane,' 'Lamb' & New 4K Restoration Of 'Possession' Announced In Initial Line-Up

After 18 months of isolation and uncertainty and a 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19, Austin, Texas’s Fantastic Fest film festival is set to return this September. This year’s edition is being dubbed the “Post-Apocalyptic” Fantastic Fest, and according to the organizers, the newly returning festival is here to “remind us of the joy of cinema, community, and weird and wonderful movies.”

READ MORE: Titane’: The New Flesh Is Thriving, Living Rent-Free in Julia Ducournau’s F*cked Up Metallica Brain [Cannes Review]

The first wave of films is headlined by the truly extraordinary 2021 Palme D’Or winner “Titane” from “Parasite” distributor NEON. It might not have seemed possible to top her staggering debut “Raw” (Fantastic Fest 2016), but Julia Ducournau has somehow done just that. A poignant study on loneliness, isolation and gender identity wrapped in a constantly surprising world of body horror, muscle cars, violence, and disco-dancing firefighters. Fantastic Fest is so proud to share this singular vision. Fantastic Fest 2021’s opening night party will be dedicated to the instantly iconic visuals of “Titane” Muscle cars will be on hand, and metallic-themed or “French firefighter” costumes are highly encouraged. TITANE opens in U.S. cinemas on October 1.

READ MORE: ‘Lamb’: Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Tense, High-Concept Drama Is A Moody Thriller [Cannes Review]

Additionally, Mondo Records is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary at Fantastic Fest this year and will be on-hand with a very special “Titane” soundtrack giveaway ahead of the official Mondo vinyl release later this year. Additionally, there will also be a Mondo Records pop-up featuring rarities from the vault on opening night.

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Additional studio premieres include A24’s “Lamb,” winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize of Originality at Cannes (opening in theaters on October 8); “Bingo Hell,” part of the Amazon Studios and Blumhouse TelevisionWelcome to the Blumhouse” series; Jim Cumming‘s excellent #MeToo/Hollywood/Male cultural anxiety indie “The Beta Test,” and Netflix’s “The Trip,” starring Noomi Rapace in a delightfully twisted Norwegian mind-bender. Another big highlight for genre heads will be the U.S. premiere of the 4K Restoration of director Andrzej Zulawski’s cult-fave psychological horror “Possession” starring Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit and Margit Carstensen. The film has been unavailable for years in a decent DVD or Blu-Ray aside from old versions and bootlegs, but a 4K restoration surely means a proper DVD/Blu-Ray release is forthcoming, and that’s a relief because this film is a classic Lovecraftian mindf*ck. The first wave of Fantastic Fest films features 39 titles, showcasing world, U.S. and regional premieres, and two classic film sidebars. Fantastic Fest runs from September 23 through the 30th. The full initial announcement, below.


France, 2021
US Premiere, 130 min, Director – Bertrand Mandico
On a mysterious new planet populated entirely by women, teenager Roxy and her mother undergo a fantastical journey in pursuit of a murderous criminal.

USA, 2021
Texas Premiere, 93 min, Director – Mickey Reece
Fantastic Fest favorite Mickey Reece is back with his most ambitious production yet, the story of a headstrong young nun accused of possession and her best friend who’s left to grapple with the aftermath.

USA, 2021
World Premiere, 83 min, Directors – Emily Bennett & Justin Brooks
As a young woman painstakingly prepares a romantic homecoming for her girlfriend, their apartment begins to feel more like a tomb when voices, shadows, and hallucinations reveal a truth she has been unwilling to face.

United Kingdom, 2021
World Premiere, 90 min, Director – Charles Dorfman
An alpha male social media influencer and his beta brother meet for an explosive dinner with their significant others – one where secrets are revealed, lives are ruined, and chaos reigns (fox included).

USA, 2021
Texas Premiere, 93 min, Directors – Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe
Jim Cummings is back as co-director and star in this pitch-black film biz satire. Cummings revels in the full spectrum of bad behavior, leaving you laughing and gasping in equal measure.

Japan, 2021
North American Premiere, 70 min, Director – Junta Yamaguchi
Kato is a cafe owner in Kyoto who suddenly finds his bedroom computer screen linked to the one in his cafe, showing him exactly what’s going on downstairs – two minutes in the future. Things get really absurd when his friends find out and devise a way to go … BEYOND THE INFINITE 2 MINUTES.

USA, 2021
World Premiere, 85 min, Director – Gigi Saul Guerrero
The big, steel-toed boot of gentrification won’t stop one determined locally-grown advocate as a new building owner offers Bingo as a portal to financial prosperity – but the price is something far more sinister and much less liberating.

Denmark, 2021
US Premiere, 97 min, Director – Mads Hedegaard
Kim Cannon Arm sets out to shatter records by playing Gyruss for 100 hours straight on a single coin, and he can’t do it on his own in this funny and philosophical documentary about the importance of friends and community.

Taiwan, Hong Kong, 1976
Repertory Screening, 90 min, Director – Chi-Hwa Chen
At the nexus point where Jackie Chan’s star began to rise, and Angela Mao’s (ENTER THE DRAGON) was waning, they collaborated on this wild, rarely seen gem. Channeling Chan’s own acrobatic style, Mao avenges the defeat of her teachers using a powerful “dancing girl” kung fu style inspired by the gyrations of brothel attendants.

The Netherlands, Taiwan, 2021
North American Premiere, 98 min, Director – David Verbeek
Five wealthy, fashionable friends wake up from a wild night in Taipei to find they’ve become vampires in David Verbeek’s aesthetically gorgeous thriller.

Taiwan, Hong Kong, 1977
Repertory Screening, 92 min, Director – Chang Mei-chung
Now! DYNASTY! On the surface,
it looks like just another indie kung fu flick from Taiwan, but within minutes this crazy train has picked up a full head of steam and is on its way to a Never Never Land of wild weapons, mass mutilation, and major mayhem … all in 3-D!!!

USA, Mexico, Venezuela, 2021
World Premiere, 98 min, Director – Alejandro Hidalgo
When children in a small Mexican town start dying of demonic possession, the inhabitants seek the help of Father Peter Williams, a priest haunted by a past exorcism gone sinfully wrong. What follows is an epic battle between good and evil.

United Kingdom, 2021
US Premiere, 102 min, Directors – Sarah Appleton & Phillip Escott
Whip out your phone cams and prepare to get immersive: Sarah Appleton and Phillip Escott’s THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON is a documentary-shaped crash course on the wobbliest horror films out there.

USA, 2021
US Premiere, 82 min, Directors – Toby Poser, Zelda Adams & John Adams
Fantastic Fest’s favorite filmmaking family Toby Poser, John Adams, and Zelda Adams, return with their newest creative endeavor HELLBENDER, a witchy, heavy metal coming-of-age thriller.

USA, 2021
World Premiere, 88 min, Director – Eric McEver
Two self-proclaimed geeks and a live-in Japanese foreign exchange student procure a long-lost anime classic that inadvertently turns them into superheroes … just in time for a Y2K-era Kaiju face-off!

Brazil, 2021
US Premiere, 97 min, Director – Renata Pinheiro
A young man’s ability to surreally “be one” with cars sparks a revolution that could save transport in his community. When his invention inadvertently accelerates the underlying problems, our hero’s quest must grow bigger than his own personal ambitions.

Sweden, 2021
Texas Premiere, 78 min, Director – Frida Kempff
Molly seems to be the only one who hears strange knocking day and night in her apartment. But she won’t be deterred by unbelievers until she’s discovered the cause of the noises tormenting her.

Iceland, Sweden, Poland, 2021
US Premiere, 107 min, Director – Valdimar Jóhannsson
On a remote farm in Iceland, a couple that experienced recent loss is caring for their flock of sheep. One day, one of their sheep gives birth to a very peculiar lamb that will change their lives forever.

Japan, 2021
Texas Premiere, 139 min, Director – Kazuya Shiraishi
A hard-won truce between rival yakuza gangs threatens to erupt into bloody violence when a psychopathic hoodlum is released from prison and vows to avenge the death of his boss.

Ireland, 2021
World Premiere, 97 min, Director – Conor McMahon
Sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning when one brother is turned into a vampire and has to rely on his younger brother to protect him. Will brotherly love win out, or is someone getting staked?

Hong Kong, 2021Texas Premiere, 118 min, Director – Soi Cheang
A burnt-out cop and a by-the-book young detective team up to catch a vicious serial killer lurking in the garbage-filled alleys of Hong Kong in Soi Cheang’s grimy monochrome masterpiece.

USA, 2021
US Premiere, 83 min, Director – Phil Tippett
An adventurer descends into a pit reaching the bowels of the Earth, searching for a spot on a crumbling map. On his journey in an apocalyptic world, he meets and fights monsters and creatures out of your worst nightmares in this passion project from stop-motion legend Phil Tippett.

Denmark, 2021
North American Premiere, 125 min, Director – Martin Zandlivet
When Marco, a Romani kid without papers, is caught at the Danish border with the passport of a man who went missing, Detective Carl Mørck from Department Q unknowingly opens Pandora’s Box on what was supposedly a simple case.

Presented by 36 CinemaTaiwan, Hong Kong, 1975
Repertory Screening, 93 min, Director – Jimmy Wang Yu
A blind assassin armed with a vicious flying guillotine is out to kill the legendary one-armed boxer (martial arts superstar Jimmy Wang Yu). 36 Cinema presents MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE with live commentary by RZA!

South Korea, 2021
Texas Premiere, 103 min, Director – KWON Oh-seung
Discover the twisted nighttime alleys of Seoul in the tense and thrilling MIDNIGHT, the gripping tale of a Deaf woman and the serial killer who has underestimated his opponent.

Belgium, 2021
Texas Premiere, 70 min, Director – Lenny Guit & Harpo Guit
Issachar and Zabulon are two not-so-bright brothers who never manage to do anything right. When they lose Jacques-Janvier, their mom’s beloved dog, she gives them a day to find him … or else. And, of course, nothing goes smoothly.

Portugal, 2020
North American Premiere, 59 min, Director – Carlos Conceição
A serial killer is propelled into fame after he kisses a dying woman who has just thrown herself off a balcony. Viewed by the world as an act of kindness, that gesture may well be hiding something far more sinister.

USA, Uganda, 2021
World Premiere, 94 min, Director – Cathryne Czubek & Hugo Perez
Documenting the rise of Uganda’s Tarantino and his complex relationship with a middle-aged white dude from New York, ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA, tells the amazing story of a micro-film industry making $200 action films that have traveled the world, and how it happened almost by accident.

France, Germany, 1981
US Premiere of 4K Restoration, 124 min, Director – Andrzej Zulawski
It took 30 years for people to catch up to POSSESSION’s bizarre, gelatinous majesty, and now it graces the Fantastic Fest screen in a breathtaking 4K restoration.

Japan, 2020
US Premiere, 100 min, Director – Yusuke Hirota
In this animated adventure, a young chimney sweep meets a sentient pile of junkyard scrap one Halloween night, raising questions about the world outside the isolated, walled-off community the boy has known his entire life.

Indonesia, 2021
Texas Premiere, 91 min, Director – Randolph Zaini
After Pandu witnesses, a murder by a local gang – the unsavory mini-mob that his father works for – Deaf criminal Sandi has to turn against his own crew and flee town to protect him. Unfortunately, his boss Guru is not about to let go so easily.

Taiwan, 2021
US Premiere, 99 min, Director – Rob Jabbaz
As Taiwan succumbs to a viral pandemic that transforms ordinary peaceful citizens into sadistic, bloodthirsty maniacs, a young couple must battle to be reunited before they too become infected in this gleefully gory, morally reprehensible late-night splatterfest.

United Kingdom, 2021
North American Premiere, 95 min, Director – Charlotte Colbert
After a double mastectomy, actress Veronica Ghent travels to a remote place in Scotland in order to recuperate. However, the land around the retreat radiates with a dark power that will ultimately help liberate her from a traumatic past.

USA, 1974
Repertory Screening, 83 min, Director – Art Names
An exceedingly odd rural snake revenge movie — made on a zilch budget and scored by electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani — that will make you question your relationship with reality, relativity, and reptiles.

USA, 2021
World Premiere, 110 min, Director – Scott Barber
GWAR is the galaxy’s greatest rock ‘n roll band, an intergalactic troupe of marauders who crash-landed in Antarctica and are committed to rocking your face off. But they’re also a bunch of amazing artists from Virginia determined to put on the wildest, bloodiest show you’ve ever seen. This is how.

France, Belgium, 2021
U.S. Premiere, 108 min Director – Julia Ducournau
A car accident irreparably changes the course of one woman’s life, sending her down a bizarre, twisted path in the search for love and acceptance.

Norway, 2021
International Premiere, 113 min, Director – Tommy Wirkola
A married couple travels to their isolated cabin in the woods for some peace and quiet, with the husband planning to murder his wife. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and things only get worse from there ….

Italy, USA, 1979
Repertory Screening, 108 min Director – Michael J. Paradise
This Italian-made horror/soap-opera/psychedelic light show was made to scoop up any stray dollars that THE OMEN and THE EXORCIST may have left on the table. Featuring an amazing will-work-for-food cast that includes John Huston as a kind of cosmic child pimp for the lord, Shelley Winters, Lance Henriksen, Sam Peckinpah (!!!), and of course Franco Nero as Jesus Christ.

Japan, 2021
International Premiere, 67 min, Director – Hugo Sakamoto
And now for something completely different: Cannibal cultists and vengeful martial artists lead the way as found footage horror gets a cult film makeover courtesy of Hugo Sakamoto’s inventive and spirited debut.