Red Rooms by Pascal Plante, a French-language thriller about a woman’s preoccupation with a high-profile serial murderer case, will kick off this year’s 27th Fantasia Film Festival, which is set to run between July 20 and Aug. 9 in Montreal.

“It’s a film of enormous emotional force, unbelievably controlled and smart, with a staggering performance from Gariépy. Pascal is one of the greatest talents of his generation in Quebec cinema and among the strongest filmmakers in the country right now,” says the festival’s artistic director Mitch Davis. 

As Fantasia unveiled its second wave of films on Thursday, the festival also scheduled world premieres for Kurayubaka, an anime adventure directed by Shigeyoshi Tsukahara, Stay Online, a Ukrainian thriller by Eva Strelnikova set against the backdrop of the ongoing Russian invasion, and Romi, a film by Robert Cuffley starring Alexa Barajas that examines the dangers of artificial intelligence in a smart home.

Sympathy for the Devil, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Yuval Adler after The Secrets We Keep, is also making its international debut at Fantasia. The psychological thriller begins with a man (Kinnaman) being forced at gunpoint to drive a mysterious passenger (Cage). Soon, it becomes evident that not everything is as it seems, as he finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. 

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The biggest genre film festival in North America had previously announced a number of world premieres for its 27th edition, including Theresa Sutherland’s Lovely Dark and Deep, which stars Barbarian star Georgina Campbell; Victor Ginzburg’s Empire V; Jared Moshe’s Aporia, starring Judy Greer and Faithe Herman; and The Adams Family’s Where The Devil Roams.

The Festival’s artistic director adds, “The Fantasia crowd is the best, most adventurous, and most reactive audience there is: Even if our film is quite insidious and dark, they will bring the ‘festive’ back into ‘festival’!”

Other films with world premieres in Montreal have already been announced, such as Xavier Gens’ Mayhem!, which stars Nassim Lyes and Olivier Gourmet, Larry Fessenden’s Blackout, Nicholas Tomnay’s What You Wish For, from the makers of The Florida Project and starring Nick Stahl as a chef with a gambling problem, and Ryan Ward’s Daughter of the Sun.

The festival’s complete lineup will be announced in early July. You can find the full list of titles here

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