Well, 2020 has been a pretty unusual year, hasn’t it?

The so-called new normal does have certain advantages. For instance, access to Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival is entirely online, for the first time ever.

There are so many interesting morsels to consume this year. The festival really did make use of the online medium to bring the public a very well-rounded selection of films. And let’s face it. Don’t we all need some entertainment after all this pandemic stuff?

So let’s get to it. The new format provides access to many On Demand titles. Purchasing an On Demand ticket allows for anytime-viewing during the festival – but as soon as that Play button has been clicked, only 30 hours will remain to finish viewing the film. Popcorn and bathroom breaks will be easy to schedule without missing bits of the movie!

Other films have specific show-times, just like at a physical cinema. But don’t be late for these – access becomes restricted after the first 5 minutes of the program.

In addition, there are Facebook Live screenings, panel discussions, and a Masterclass & Lifetime Achievement Award with living legend, John Carpenter.

If your must-view list is looking a little long, Cinetalk has a recommendation to start the festival with a bang.

Dinner in America is a surprisingly sweet rom-com by Adam Carter Rehmeier. It’s nerdy, yet punk rock. It’s filled with reprehensible humans, cringey homophobic and racial slurs, and a bit of spit. The vibe is somewhere between Napoleon Dynamite (Jeremy Coon, Chris Wyatt, Sean Covel and Jory Weitz) and Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz) with a result not unlike a well-penned pop-punk song. It may sound ugly but it’s very catchy.

The staying power of the anti-heroes is unusual. An hour after I finished the film during my at-home screening, I already missed these weirdos. There’s something absurdly relatable and charming about them. Though the story could have continued, it ended at a very comfortable spot. There’s no need to spoon feed a Hollywood ending or over-explain subtleties.


Fantasia Film Festival 2020 runs from August 20th to September 2nd. 2020.

Dinner in America – 7 PM, Aug 21st, 2020

(on Zoom, at 8:50 PM, stay tuned for a live Q&A with Director Adam Rehmeier, Actors Emily Skeggs, Kyle Gallner, Ross Putman and Cinematographer Jean-Philippe Bernier)

Official Fantasia Website