Quentin Tarantino once called the Fantasia International Film Festival, in Montreal, Quebec, as “the most important and prestigious genre film festival in the continent.” Since 1996, the festival has showcased one of the most eclectic selections of world genre cinema and it just announced its first wave of participants for this year’s 25th edition.
Among those parts of the line-up is Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story, directed by Avid Liongoren and produced by Rocketsheep Studio and Spring Films. A Filipino entry to the festival, it describes itself as an “adult-oriented animation” — a romantic comedy following the love triangle between feline Nimfa; Roger, a mongrel, and; Iñigo, a wealthy and entrepreneurial dog. Esquire Philippines praised the film as a “glorious toast to Filipino animators'' — a “welcome escape.” Hayop Ka is the first animated Netflix film from the Philippines, which will make its North American premiere at Fantasia as part of its dedicated animation section, Axis.
For its 25th edition, the festival, running between 5-25 August, will also have an enhanced focus on Japanese cinema “in celebration of the key role Japan’s culture has played across Fantasia’s history.” In fact, the festival is largely cited as the place where the Japanese horror craze started in the West, hosting the North American premiere of Hideo Nakati’s Ring (Ringu) in 1999 and the world premiere of Satoshi Kon’s feature debut, Perfect Blue.
Fantasia will roll out a virtual film festival on a platform created by Festival Scope and Shift72 for audiences across Canada. A possible in-person event is still being deliberated, depending on advice from local health authorities in Montreal.
“Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” is available to watch on Netflix (Philippines). For more information on Fantasia International Film Festival, visit www.fantasiafestival.com.