5 Women Directed Films to See at Fantasia 2019

Quebec’s Fantasia Festival is back this year from July 11th- August 1st for its 23rd year. The fest showcases a wide variety of international genre cinema and has previously premiered films such as Ringu, Unfriended and last year’s critical success and Screen Queens favourite, Cam. This year the festival’s slate boasts many films from women filmmakers such as Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin, Kim Bora’s House of Hummingbird and Alice Waddington’s Paradise Hills. There are also some women-directed films SQ are very excited to see, so here are our 5 anticipated picks from Fantasia 2019.

Riot Girls

After her segment in women horror anthology XX and her acclaimed short The Captured Bird, Jovanka Vuckovic is finally releasing her first feature. Her presence in the horror community is already held to such high regard that her debut is sure to be one of the most anticipated films of the festival. This dystopian sci-fi is set in an alternate 1995 where subcultural gangs are pitted against each other in a fight for survival; 90s teen Mad Max anyone?

Riot Girls screens on July 28th

Culture Shock

Having already made waves at other festivals, border-crossing horror Culture Shock is a dark reality check about the accessibility of the American Dream to immigrants, especially illegal ones. The feature length film is actually a part of anthology horror series Into The Dark and aptly aired yesterday, on the 4th July. Director Gigi Saul Guerrero has a wide array of short films under her belt and segments in The ABC’s of Death 2 and SQ favourites Women in Horror Month’s Blood Drive PSA’s.

Culture Shock screens on July 25th

The Father’s Shadow

Brazilian family horror drama The Father’s Shadow is the second film from Gabriela Amaral Almeida and was developed in 2014 at the Sundance Director’s Lab. The film follows a nine year old girl living with her father and auntie, grieving the death of her mother. Obsessed with old zombie films from the likes of George Romero, she begins to experiment with dark magic and incantations to try to bring back the spirit of her mother as her life crumbles around her.

The Father’s Shadow is screening on July 22nd and 23rd

Jessica Forever

Not too dissimilar from Vuckovic’s Riot Girls concept, French directing duo Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel also imagine a dystopian world where gangs run amok in their feature debut Jessica Forever. Taking a fantasy angle to their story they follows one violent woman and her chosen family to try to come to a time of peace. Her chosen family are all boys, and she acts as Peter Pan, guiding her lost boys to safety.

Jessica Forever is screening on July 26th and 30th

Judy and Punch

Australian director Mirrah Foulkes has an impressive back catalogue of roles as an actress in shows like The Crown and Top of The Lake. She turned her hand to directing in 2012 with her first short Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke and now, three short films later, she’s arrived at her feature debut, Judy and Punch. As I’m sure you can guess from the title, this crime drama is about none other than iconic puppeteers Punch and Judy. Starring Mia Wasikowska as Judy and Damon Herriman as Punch, the pair are a travelling act trying to regain some new audiences, in the small town of Seaside… and Punch doesn’t get his name for any old reason.

Judy and Punch is screening on July 31st and August 1st.


by Chloe Leeson

Chloe Leeson is the founder of SQ. She hails from the north of England (the proper north that people think is actually Scotland but isn’t). Her life source is Harmony Korine’s 90s Letterman interviews and Ezra Miller’s jawline. She is a costume designer for hire who spends far too much time watching bad horror movies. Her favourite films are Into The WildLords of Dogtown, Stand by Me and Pan’s Labyrinth. She rants about cinema screenings @kawaiigoff and logs them on letterboxd here

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