Fantastic Fest 2016 Announces Short Film Lineup



Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the short film line up for the 12th edition of Fantastic Fest, which runs September 22 – September 29, 2016 at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX.

Once more, North America's largest genre festival has gathered together a diverse range of the best and brightest, as well as the scariest and strangest, short-subject genre films across three distinct programming sidebars and a dozen pre-feature presentations.

Curated by veteran festival programmer Peter Kuplowsky, the 41 film lineup includes the US Premiere of a new Cartoon Network series (SUMMER CAMP ISLAND), an innovative take on the zombie sub-genre featuring a deaf cast (DAWN OF THE DEAF) and the return of the SHORTS WITH LEGS sidebar, which hosts and champions the unconventional and the eccentric, including the North American premiere of a new work from cult animator Sawako Kabuki (NOU NEN FEAT.UTAE). "Not only am I thrilled with the quality of this year's lineup, but I am also really happy with how diverse the roster is as well – there's a plethora of voices, both emerging and established, from all over the world." said Kuplowsky.


The complete lineup, divided by program, is as follows:



This year's potpourri of short subjects once more run the gamut of fantastic cinema, from the funny to the freaky, from the emotionally affective to the poetic and introspective. Starting with a diverse assembly of animation that ranges from creepy to adorable, the parade of comic and dramatic live-action productions that follow include webslinger-inspired wrestlers, unusual vitamins, the benefits of a golden shower and the dangers of post-plastic surgery karaoke. You know, something for everyone.



Norway, 2016

US Premiere, 12 min

Director: Rune Spaans

Love and leeches are the results of a wrong turn in a creepy forest in this immaculate animated misadventure penned by famed cartoonist David Cooper, creator of the titular cult character.



Mexico, 2016

North American Premiere, 21 min

Director: Michelle Garza Cervera

A bite from a rabid dog condemns a woman to a claustrophobic cabin in this deftly directed dark drama that begins with beautiful charcoal animation before slipping into eerie live action. As her husband hunts the animal and its savage brethren, the woman grows to resent her imposed seclusion and becomes desperate to escape.



Canada, 2016

Texas Premiere, 10 min

Directors: Milos Mitrovic & Fabian Velasco

Introverted superfan Arnold undergoes plastic surgery to look like his pop idol Austin Kelsey (Astron-6`s Conor Sweeney). It does not go well, but it does go hilariously, and with an infectious earworm of a soundtrack to boot… or since it's Canadian should I say "aboot" (*programmer pelted with tomatoes*).



Australia, 2016

World Premiere, 10 min

Directors: Chris Mitchell & Yoav Lester

A transfixing character portrait that compellingly blurs documentary and drama with a shade of comic book mythos as it poetically captures the mix of emotions a young wrestler experiences on fight night.


United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 15 min

Director: Dianne Bellino

An extraordinarily visceral claymation drama depicting the touching connection that grows between a friendly rabbit and a sheepish wolf whose anxieties manifest as an obsessive and violent itch.



United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 8 min

Directors: Alex Kavutskiy & Ariel Gardner

A man opens a door to a robot that boasts exceptional ability and intelligence, but the man has only one thing on his mind. Practiced vulgarity that escalates to a darkly hysterical extreme.



United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 11 min

Directors: Bruce Bundy & Helen Rogers

Two BFF stoners engage in an unusual routine to accrue the capital needed to sustain their lifestyle. An endearing slice of slackerdom, dripping with charisma and various hallucinogenic properties.



United States, 2016

World Premiere, 2 min

Director: Dave Newberg

An animated adaptation of a voicemail received from that contextualizes the recording's ambiguous pregnant pauses to great comic effect.



United States, 2016

US Premiere, 9 min

Director: Julia Pott

Talking pajamas are just one of the many anthropomorphic wonders that await you in the first episode of Julia Pott's forthcoming Cartoon Network series about the strangest (and most adorable) summer camp your eyeballs have ever had the pleasure to witness.



United States, 2016

World Premiere, 2 min

Director: Grier Dill

Adapted from a series of micro-fiction tweets by @quietpinetrees, this amusing pastiche of educational shorts illuminates the benefits and dangers of lesser known vitamins.




Fantastic Fest delivers another sampling of the year's standout short-form horror in a program that promises to unnerve and disturb, when it is not serving up a healthy and hysterical splatter of crimson Karo syrup. Steel yourself for sinister stylists, scary slopes and spooky spaceships, but be warned you may develop a fear of pedestrian crossings. At least German ones.



Germany, 2015

Texas Premiere, 21 min

Director: Detsky Graffam

A man finds himself stranded on a malevolent traffic island in this clever Kafkaesque nightmare that collides compelling satire with creative splatter.



Australia, 2016

Texas Premiere, 10 min

Director: Tim Egan

Precariously perched on the slope of a smooth monolithic structure that recedes into a horrifying abyss, a woman strives to escape sliding to her doom; a nightmare expertly sustained and expressed through visceral visuals and a haptic soundscape.


United Kingdom, 2016

US Premiere, 12 min

Director: Rob Savage

Sporting a novel conceit that breathes new life into an oversaturated sub-genre, this network narrative of hearing-impaired protagonists unravels moments before the world gets a bad case of the undead.



United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 5 min

Director: Chris McInroy

A heavy metal guitarist shreds sick licks on an axe spawned from Satan with gleefully silly splatstick results.



United States, 2016

Regional Premiere, 13 min

Director: Alice Shindelar

An introverted teenager loses her virginity and her boyfriend in one fell orgasm; a sensitive portrait of adolescence that builds to one helluva FX gag that's both funny and frightening.



Australia, 2016

Austin Premiere, 8 min

Director: Craig D. Foster

Ralph's long day at the office just got longer, but he really needs to get home before dark. A stylishly funny send-up of horror's most pressed-for-time monster.



United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 15 min

Director: Jill Gevargizian

A gory story about a lonely hairstylist with a compulsion to take her work home with her. Literally.


Spain, 2015

Austin Premiere, 14 min

Director: Javier Chillon

Fantastic Fest alumni Javier Chillon (DECAPODA SHOCK) returns with a gorgeous retro-tinged sci-fi chiller about the existential perils and ethical compromises that occur when space travel goes awry.



United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 10 min

Director: Anthony Cousins

A terrifically gross-out body horror bonanza that recalls THE TINGLER by way of Frank Henenlotter as it unspools a tale of disgusting parasites and the hosts that love them.



There are short films and then there are those unconventional collisions of sight and sound that defy definition. These are the SHORTS WITH LEGS: cinematic excursions into the experimental and eccentric. Born from the minds of both skillful provocateurs and outsider art savants, these unpredictable productions are guaranteed to endure in your mind as either awe-inspiring exemplars of absurdism or brain-breaking traumas of WTF-ery.



Canada, 2016

US Premiere, 14 min

Director: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos

A startling and sardonic satire of post-consumerist enlightenment that at one point features the voice of David Cronenberg narrating the life cycle of Jellyfish. The less you know, the better.


United States, 2016

World Premiere, 11 min

Director: Amanda Kramer

Impressively dilated performances and a keen command of tone ground an increasingly absurdist argument between two young women, which eventually curdles into an unsettling psychological breakdown.



Canada, 2015

Texas Premiere, 9 min

Director: Seth Smith

Deliciously stylized neo-noir tropes get steeped in ethereal surrealist flourishes as a woman desperately vies to rescue a loved one. Bookended with an unreleased murder ballad from Timber Timbre and featuring some truly inspired experimental visual effects.


LEMONADE BY SOPHIE (Unofficial Music Video)

Canada, 2015

Austin Premiere, 2 min

Director: Kate Taeuschel

Anarchic video artifacting and savvy punnery collide throughout this decidedly lo-fi tribute to the electronic dance single by a Canadian teen filmmaker. Infectiously joyous stuff!



Japan, 2015

North American Premiere, 3 min

Director: Sawako Kabuki

A kaleidoscopic reverie of sexual encounters fluidly morphing to the jubilant beats of Japanese pop music. Delightfully animated by the cult animator behind such boundary-pushing works as ANAL JUICE and SUMMER'S PUKE IS WINTER'S DELIGHT.



United States, 2016

Texas Premiere, 12 min

Director: Catalina Jordan Alvarez

Paco wants you to bounce on his lap. A brilliant comic portrait of a catcaller choreographed with a non-professional cast and captured with disarmingly intimate 16mm photography.



United States, 2016

Austin Premiere, 12 min

Director: James Siewert

Ruminating on sexual anxiety and alienation, this experimental monochrome mixed-media allegory depicts a couple's attempt to renew a dying relationship via a decidedly analog means of recording and re-living better times.


United States, 2016

Special Screening, 2 min

Director: Calvin Reeder

A man is kidnapped and forced to undergo a cheeky but disturbing procedure. Cheeky as in butt cheeks. Among the finest permutations of this particular stratum of jokes.



United States, 2015

Texas Premiere, 25 min

Director: Vincent De Ghoulie

An unhinged elderly woman moves in with her significantly younger drug-addled brother in this abrasive psycho-comedy from the filmmaker that brought last year's mind-melting MY JOHNNY. Exceptionally outrageous performances abound and escalate in eccentricity with each passing hilarious minute, and though De Ghoulie's aggressive experimental style has grown more refined, his aesthetics are still as provocative and anarchic as ever.



United States, 2015

Regional Premiere, 3 min

Director: Becky James

An imprisoned worm is eventually granted a bittersweet release in this understated but amusing bit of pencil-drawn absurdism.



United States, Canada, 2016

World Premiere, 9 min

Director: Devon Bostick

Dean Norris portrays a sitcom showrunner whose incessant and indulgent laughter on set masks his darker disposition in this slick satirical slow-burn that builds to a devastating punchline.


United States, 2016

World Premiere, 10 min

Directors: Ryan Dickie & Abby Horton

Fantastic prosthetics and hilarious performances complement this improbable parable about the choice a preppy young man makes after his girlfriend is struck with a debilitating condition as a result of not adhering to his country club's guidelines.


Norway, 2016

World Premiere, 10 min

Directors: Aleksander Nordaas & Hallvard Holmen

After a prepubescent cyclist informs a man that his neighbor has killed his dog, he impulsively resolves to get all John Wick on him in this amusingly austere pitch-black satire.


United States, 2016

World Premiere, 11 min

Director: Mark Sean Haynes

This finely tuned cringe-comedy effectively modulates bursts of genuine suspense as it plays out an adolescent nightmare, wherein an intimidating police officer interrupts the backseat hanky-panky between two inexperienced teenagers.


United States, 2016

World Premiere, 15 min

Director: Daniel Stuyck

A ghostly transmission implores the help of an occult-savvy pizza delivery girl in this krautrock ghost story that packs its chilling trajectory with charming character beats and compelling supernatural mythology.



United States, 2016

World Premiere, 11 min

Director: Paul Gandersman

A petulant teen conducts an ancient ritual to enact petty revenge on those who she believes have wronged her in this slick Austin-shot spook'em-up.



United States, 2016

World Premiere, 9 min

Director: Mike Gasaway

Three pursuers of the paranormal make the bold choice to go with a blue night vision filter over a green one, and the terrible decision to investigate an abandoned asylum with a notoriously spooky history.


United States, 2016

Regional Premiere, 8 min

Director: Will Blank

An act of kindness to a supernatural creature affords a man of many regrets with a single wish. A stark but moving adaptation of a graphic novella by Marian Churchland.



United States, 2016

US Premiere, 13 min

Director: Stephen Reedy

A silly, splatterific symphony of ludicrously action-packed mayhem pivoting around a magically prophetic to-do list and set in an anachronistic old west populated by gunslingers, martial artists and sentient bullets. Bound to confound, astound and cure any frown!


United States, 2016

World Premiere, 11 min

Directors: Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites

Mackenzie Davis and Shane Carruth star in this understated slice of speculative fiction concerning an actress working at a memory recreation facility whose client pushes her to go further with every session.


United States, 2016

Austin Premiere, 10 min

Director: Brandon Daley

One man's particularly eventful yoga pose incites a midlife crisis that unravels and resolves over a sublimely deadpan series of deeply hilarious incidents and episodes.



Canada, 2016

US Premiere, 14 min

Director: Jay Cheel

Documentarian Jay Cheel (BEAUTY DAY) parses fact from fiction in this entertaining rumination on a memorable drive-in screening of the 1996 bad-weather blockbuster TWISTER that was interrupted by its namesake.

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