(Left) Sosie Bacon in a scene from "Smile" which opens this year's Fantastic Fest (Image: Paramount Pictures)

The seventeenth edition of the world-famous genre film festival Fantastic Fest takes place September 22nd – 29th in Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. This year’s event promises everything from killer teddy bears and man-eating sharks to elderly zombies and cocktail-serving robots. 21 films will be making their World Premieres while 14 others are North American Premieres and there are 21 U.S. Premieres. This year South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook will be in attendance to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award and unveil his new film MUBI’s “Decision to Leave.”

Paramount Picture’s new horror thriller “Smile” directed by Parker Finn will open this year’s festival while Neon’s Palme d’Or-winning pitch-black comedy “Triangle of Sadness” directed by Ruben Östlund closes out Fantastic Fest 2022.

A total of 85 feature films, episodics, and shorts are part of this year’s festival including “The Menu” starring Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nicolas Hoult, a culinary nightmare comedy, and “The Banshees of Inisherin” starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Barry Keoghan which chronicles the dissolution of a friendship that escalates with shocking consequences. Both films are U.S. Premieres.

According to founder Tim League, “Fantastic Fest has always been the purest expression of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s founding principle: share the joy of cinema with people you love.” For those unable to travel to Austin, for the second year in a row Fantastic Fest will offer a viewing experience in the comfort of your home as the hybrid fest goes virtual from September 29th – October 4th.

2022 also marks the return of FF’s legendary parties which include experimental sonic sorcerers Itchy-O in The Highball cocktail bar, robot servers courtesy Roboexotica, Podcast recordings, live events with Leonard Maltin, Scripts Gone Wild, The Kingcast, and Screen Drafts, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of The Found Footage Festival fame performing a live show after their documentary “Chop & Steele,” plus festival favorites 100 Best Kills, the Fantastic Feud, and the Fantastic Debates.

If you are having Shark Week withdrawals, have no fear the AFGA (American Genre Film Archive) takeover is here bringing shark movies from around the world to FF including a 35mm version of Mexico’s “Tintorera!” from Quentin Tarantino’s vault.

This year, Fantastic Fest is partnering with the “Woman In Fan” initiative whose aim is to celebrate and elevate the role of female filmmakers in the fantasy genre by providing historical visibility and support for new projects while fostering connections and opportunities.

Badges are now available for purchase. Go to https://2022.fantasticfest.com/welcome

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Joe Friar head and shoulders

Joe Friar

Member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Latino Entertainment Journalists Association (LEJA), the Houston Film Critics Society, and a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.