Last year, I had the immense pleasure of attending my very first Fantasia International Film Festival. Since I departed Montreal last summer, I’ve been dreaming of all the things (read: food) I’ll get to enjoy upon my 2019 return. Now that the festival is upon us, I’ve crafted a handy listicle to keep my priorities straight as I prepare for my Québécois reunion.
Eat all the fries. ALL THE FRIES.
French Canada is famous for the heart-attack-on-a-plate known as poutine. If you’re in Montreal and you are not devouring crispy fries smothered in gravy and adorned with cheese curds, then what are you doing with your life? And that’s not all! Although it’s a Portuguese chicken joint, the fries at Rotisserie Romados are the absolute best deep-fried potato sticks I’ve ever had.
Get dem 2 am bagels
Nothing soaks up alcohol like the carbohydrates found in Montreal’s bagels. Whether you go to St-Viateur or Fairmount, you’ll find that these 24-hour bagel joints are exactly what you need after serenading your friends with Creed during a drunken bout of karaoke. These chewy circles of goodness are best when you grab them just as they’re emerging from the flames, piping hot and perfectly toasty.
Networking that doesn’t make you feel like a tool
Networking?! Ew, amirite? Small talk is my nightmare fuel, so I’m most definitely not the “networking type.” However, Fantasia is home to one of the greatest genre film networking opportunities out there: Frontières. It’s a destination where genre nerds can talk to other genre nerds about their projects.
If you’re an up-and-coming horror filmmaker, get in on this. Start by reading this article: Fantasia 2018: Why Every Indie Horror Filmmaker Should Know About Frontières
Walk the streets of Montreal because it’s the coolest
Montreal is a smorgasbord of a city. At times, you’ll feel like you’re strolling around Europe, with cobblestone beneath your feet and gothic architecture surrounding you. Other times, you’ll find yourself galavanting amidst a modern metropolis decorated with vibrant street art. Montreal is a truly international city that beautifully balances the old and new. I can’t wait to wander around this colorful destination again.
It’s impossible not to be impressed with the Fantasia lineup. Whether you’re into violent Korean gangster films (I’m looking at you The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil) or indie feminist horror (hello Knives and Skin), this festival offers something for every genre fan. I’m eager to check out the supernatural minimalist horror behind Sator, a project that took the writer/director/editor/producer/cinematographer (that’s just one person by the name of Jordan Graham) five years to finish. As a big fan of Samara Weaving’s performance in Mayhem, I’m super stoked to see her in Ready or Not, which promises to be a fun exercise in survival horror. A Good Woman is Hard to Find, Blood on her Name, and Satanic Panic are just a few more among a long list of films I can’t wait to get my eyeballs on.