The Fantasia International Film Festival is one of the biggest genre film festivals in the world — and now it’s the host of one of the only genre industry events in the world.
Stéphanie Trépanier is the Creative Director of Frontières International Co-Production Market at Fantasia.
She started up the market three years ago after realizing there were many co-production markets at other film festivals but only one, in South Korea, specializing in genre films — that is, horror, science fiction, suspense, action, etc.
"Our first year worked really well. We had 220 people come, a capacity crowd for our location. And a Quebec production, Turbo Kid, got funding on the spot from a New Zealand producer," Trépanier says.
Mihalka hopes to make comeback
For 2014, Trépanier chose 12 projects from 90 submissions for the pitch session. The director and screenwriter get about 15 minutes to present their project. Often times, they’ve already worked up a trailer, a dream cast as well as the script. What they're looking for is co-production funding, international sales and talent.
One of the projects Trépanier picked comes from Canadian director George Mihalka. He’s looking for money to make a horror/crime film titled Revelations, based on story written by Al Kratina about a criminal gang that kidnaps a teen who turns out to be the son of Satan.
For Mihalka, the director of the iconic 1981 slasher film My Bloody Valentine, the new project would mark his return to horror.
Mihalka says he’s been waiting for a script like Kratina’s.
"I’m looking for a next movie that could be as iconic as My Bloody Valentine," he says. "It was a very high bar — when Tarantino says it’s his favourite horror movie of all time — it’s a high bar to reach. So that’s why I’ve been coy about doing another one, and I think I’ve finally found the one that I can reach that same level with."
Kratina and Mihalka will be meeting with potential co-producers, distributors like The Weinstein Company and Magnolia Pictures from the U.S. and hoping to, if not sign a contract this weekend, at least make the contacts that will lead to co-production money and ideally a theatrical release for Revelations.
Frontières International Co-Production Market runs through July 24. It’s part of the Fantasia International Film Festival, which closes Aug. 6.