New Films from Park Chan-wook, Ana Lily Amirpour, and Denis Villeneuve Head to Fantastic Fest 2016

By  · Published on August 25th, 2016

It’s Dishoom 2: The Dishoomening!

The second wave of Fantastic Fest 2016 titles have been announced, and it’s populated with some of the year’s most anticipated films alongside a bevy of promising unknowns. That, may friends, is the perfect mix of what you want to find at a film festival.

The big news is that Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic Arrival will be opening the fest and giving attendees a three-week lead before the film hits theaters in mid-October. More exciting for me though is the presence of new films from the directors of Lady Vengeance, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Housebound, and Undocumented.

In addition to the films announced below, the fest will also once again be showcasing a performance by the “blazing, 32-member aural assault” otherwise known as Itchy-O. I missed them last year, but I don’t plan on making that same mistake again. Fans of lost “classics” will be satiated too with new prints of The Zodiac Killer and Goke: Body Snatcher from Hell courtesy of the fine folks at AGFA (American Genre Film Archive).

Keep reading for a look at the latest titles set to play this year’s Fantastic Fest.


India, 2001 – International Premiere, 178 min – Director: Suresh Krissna

Kamal Hassan stars in this ridiculously entertaining tale of an Indian commando pitted against his own serial killer twin brother in a deadly race to save the beautiful Tejaswini from certain death.


United States, 2016 – Opening Film, 116 min – Director: Denis Villeneuve

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.


Japan, 2016 – U.S. Premiere, 118 min – Director: Eiichiro Hasumi

This conclusion to last year’s hit finds Class-E running out of time in their efforts to assassinate Koro-sensei, their yellow octopus smiley-faced teacher who is about to destroy Earth.


United States, 2016 – U.S. Premiere, 115 min – Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Ana Lily Amirpour follows up her alt-cult sensation A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE with her highly anticipated dystopian cannibal desert trip.


United States, 2016 – U.S. Premiere, 93 min – Director: Paul Schrader

From the brilliant minds of Edward Bunker and Paul Schrader comes this unhinged pulp comedy at a million miles an hour; the story of three hardened criminals and the final, simple crime which will bring them all down.


France, 2016 – US Premiere, 131 min – Director: Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven’s debut in French cinema highlights an incredible Isabelle Huppert in a dramedy that first subverts then transgresses the rape-revenge narrative.


United States, 2016 – Regional Premiere, 77 min – Director: Nick Pesce

After a traumatic event, a young girl begins to associate pain and death with love and friendship in increasingly dangerous ways.


United Kingdom, United States, 2016 – US Premiere, 111 min – Director: Colm McCarthy

In a dystopian future, young Melanie must go on a trip with the soldier who needs to kill her, the doctor who wants to use her and the teacher who wants to help.


Japan, 1968 – Special Screening, 84 min – Director: Hajime Satô’s

An airplane crashes under mysterious circumstances and the survivors find themselves stalked by an evil blobby presence bent on world domination.


South Korea, 2016 – U.S Premiere, 145 min – Director: Park Chan-Wook

In the 1930s, country girl Sook-Hee is hired as a handmaiden to Japanese heiress Lady Hideko, who lives a secluded life with her uncle. However Sook-Hee is not what she seems… and neither is Lady Hideko, Count Fujiwara or Uncle Kouziki.


Austria, France, Italy, 2015 – Texas Premiere, 90 min – Director: Andreas Horvath

Filmmaker Andreas Horvath (EARTH’S GOLDEN PLAYGROUND) offers a deeply personal and unblinking portrait of Helmut Berger, the Austrian film star of the ’60s and ’70s best known for his work with director Luchino Visconti.


Poland, 2016 – International Premiere, 97 min – Director: Wojciech Kasperski

Father/son bonding time takes an extraordinarily dark turn when a former guard and his two teen boys receive an unexpected guest in their remote cabin along the Poland-Ukraine border.


India, 2016 – North American Premiere, 240 min – Director: Rajeev Raji

Aging gangster Krishnan returns to his hometown after receiving a distressing phone call from a friend, only to find that he’s picking up the pieces after thirty years of bloody gang war.


Japan, Canada, 2016 – U.S. Premiere, 64 min – Director: Nick DiLiberto

Painstakingly hand-drawn by a single animator over four years, this saturated slice of lo-fi sci-fi pulp recalls both Moebius and Miyazaki as it ambitiously realizes an eclectic post-apocalyptic future populated by lion-men, brain-leeching slugs and Saturday Morning Cartoon villainy, the latter most memorably personified by the sublimely named Dr. Mindskull.


France, 2016 – US Premiere, 98 min – Director: Julia Ducournau

Part sister bonding, part coming-of-age story, part gross-out horror flick, Julia Ducournau’s debut feature is the terror discovery of 2016.


France, 2017 – North American Premiere, 81 min – Director: Michaël Dudok De Wit

A castaway ekes out an existence on a deserted tropical island guarded by an enigmatic red tortoise in this magnificent animated fable from the imagination of acclaimed Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit (FATHER AND DAUGHTER) and produced in part by the legendary Studio Ghibli.


Japan, 2016 – US Premiere, 98 min – Director: Kôji Shiraishi

The showdown of the century is about to begin and no one in Tokyo will be spared: Ring’s Sadako vs The Grudge’s Kayako in a fight to determine the future of humanity.


Australia, United States, 2016 – World Premiere, 85 min – Director: Chris Peckover

Chris Peckover, director of 2010’s UNDOCUMENTED, returns to Fantastic Fest with this playfully twisted suburban Christmas thriller in which babysitter Ashley must protect twelve-year-old Luke during an unusual home invasion.


Japan, 2016 – International Premiere, 103 min – Director: Hajime Hashimoto

Dora is a lowlife con man who runs a marriage scam with his associates. But a badly timed encounter with a yakuza will plunge Dora into a new, deep world of darkness, both ugly and enticing!


United States, 2016 – World Premiere, 76 min – Director: A.D. Calvo

Adele is a friendless young woman living with her wealthy but agoraphobic aunt. She meets Beth and the two become fast friends, but Adele may be drawn to a darkness within her new companion, a darkness that threatens to overtake everything.


New Zealand, 2016 – International Premiere, 92 min – Director: Gerard Johnstone

Teenaged cat burglar Terry Teo turns crime fighter when his estranged father is killed by local gangsters in this revival of the classic New Zealand character.


Germany, 2016 – U.S. Premiere, 162 min – Director: Maren Ade

A father tries to reconnect with his repressed, career-driven daughter in the funniest movie to ever come out of Germany.


Italy, 2015 – Texas Premiere, 118 min – Director: Gabriele Mainetti

A lowlife thug finds his grimy, pornography-filled existence disrupted when he accidentally acquires superpowers that force him to become a better man against his will.


Ireland, 2015 – International Premiere, 84 min – Director: Peter Foott

The day after the largest drug bust in Irish history, with massive packages of cocaine washing up along the shoreline, two go-nowhere teens make a most sensible decision: They will ride to the coast on stolen bicycles and claim a bundle of that wondrous cocaine for themselves.


United States, 1971 – World Premiere, 85 min – Director: Tom Hanson

AGFA and Something Weird present a brand new 4K transfer of this sanity-defying, tabloid-horror vortex that was produced with one goal in mind: to capture the real-life Zodiac Killer.

Fantastic Fest 2016 runs September 22nd-29th.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.