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Forget Netflix exists this month: Fantasia Film Festival is going to be the best watch party of 2020

Here are our picks for this year's Fantasia Film Festival in 2020, launching on an all new online festival platform for immersive viewing.

By JP Karwacki
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From August 20 to September 2, you can forget all about Netflix: That's when Fantasia Film Festival is going to be launching an all-new online format in lieu of cancelling its in-person festivities, 

Montreal movie theatres may be open, but reduced seating capacity and social distancing guidelines have made it all but impossible for momentous moving picture occasions like the annual Fantasia Film Festival to draw in the crowds it needs.

Back in April, the festival announced that it would be shifting its entirety online with a newly-launched online festival platform. With it, moviegoers will be able to access several of the festival's programming in real-time in order to recreate the shared experience that movies like this are heightened by.

Montrealers and people from around the world can rest assured that access to many of the films' international, national and provincial premieres will be moving forward in way that broadcasts it directly into your home, in addition to all of the filmmaker intros, audience Q&A’s, live panels, and workshops that form an essential part of experiencing Fantasia.

The first wave and second wave of titles—including titles that were anticipated to be released during the cancelled SXSW and Tribeca events—have been released, with the complete listing going up August 6 with ticket sales going up shortly after.

Here are some of the ones we're looking forward to, like...

...Neil Marshall’s adventure horror film The Reckoning, which will open the fesitval. Set in 1665 against the backdrop of the Great Plague and witch hunts in England, its dealings with sickness and the ensuing paranoia and fear that comes with it is sure to put 2020 in perspective.

...the North American premiere of The Old Man Movie from director Oskar Lehemaa, Peeter Ritso and Mikk Mägi. It's an Estonian shock-comedy animated film about city kids stuck at their grandfather’s farm, and how all hell breaks loose when the old man's cow escapes. If you love stop-motion animation, this is the one you need to see this year.

...the world premiere of Thomas Robert Lee’s The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw, telling a nightmare story through freaky folklore and horror that's sure to make you realize the bowl of popcorn's been nervously gobbled up within the first 20 minutes.

...Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team's Shakespeare's Shitstorm for its absolutely bonkers interpretation of the Bard's The Tempest, told through America’s opioid crisis. Expect insanity on screen as the film takes on "Big Pharma, addiction, and an intolerance of social media with all the sex, mutants, musical numbers, and violence that Shakespeare always wanted but never had."

...Writer and director Brea Grant's 12 Hour Shift, a real-time, thriller and black comedy taking place in the late ’90s hospital at the onset of the opioid crisis. Follows a junkie nurse (Angela Bettis) "through an ascension of grisly criminal happenings as she funds her habit through organ harvesting side work on the job."

...Eduardo Rivero's Canadian premiere of A Costume for Nicholas, the animated story of a ten-year-old with Down Syndrome and the costumes his mother maks for him and his escapades in make-believe alongside a trouble cousin named David.

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