The 25th edition of Montreal’s International Film Festival looms closer and closer. We can’t wait until August gets here already. The festival is now announcing a second wave of films, all accessible virtually but geo-locked across Canada and with limited admission just like a regular theatre minus the people talking on their phone. You can see the full announcement as well as the first and second wave of films listed in the official Fantasia site. As a special event for Fantasia’s 25th anniversary, James Gunn’s superhero film THE SUICIDE SQUAD will have a special live screening at the Imperial Theatre on August 4th. The film is released on theatres on August 6th.

The festival starts officially on August 5th with the opening film BRAIN FREEZE from filmmaker Julien Knafo. Here’s some highlights on the films announced for this second wave.

LOVE, LIFE AND GOLDFISH comes to us via Yukinori Makabe. In this feature, a manga adaptation with a musical J-pop theme, a bank clerk named Makoto Kashiba ends up being transferred from the big city to the middle of nowhere. There he’s bound to learn a few life lessons about what is really important and life and odds are, so will we. International Premiere.

MARTYRS LANE is a creation of writer/director Ruth Platt. Young Leah (Kiera Thompson) lives in a clergy house that is full of live people during the day and the no-longer-living at night. The description of this film is “Tragic and unsettling with phenomenal performances and bottomless otherworldly atmosphere”. Lots of promise and I’m already having high expectations. World Premiere.

POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN is an adaptation of Akihiro Nishino’s popular picture book made by CG animator Yusuke Hirota and the cutting-edge talent at STUDIO4ºC. The same studio is also responsible for another animated marvel, FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO from director Ayumu Watanabe based on the book by author Kanako Nishi.

IT’S A SUMMER FILM is the debut of Soushi Matsumoto, where a cinephile fan of Samurai films finds herself abandoned by her high school club and goes about doing her own shoot with some unexpected results.

GHOSTING GLORIA is a feature by Marcela Matta and Mauro Sarser. When Gloria (Stefania Tortorella) searches for her sexual fulfillment, the ideal man for the task happens to be a ghost. Described as “horror, fantasy, and offbeat comedy — all wrapped up in a whimsical and subversive romance”, this feature seems custom made for this festival.

JIGOKU-NO-HANAZONO / OFFICE ROYALE is a creation of Kazuaki Seki which takes workplace rivalry to its most exaggerated escalation, an all out battle. With numerous callouts to tropes in comic books and manga, this one is gang war comedy at its finest.

THE STORY OF SOUTHERN ISLET was directed by Chong Keat Aun and based on his childhood experience. After her husband Cheong falls ill, Yan goes on a journey to save his soul. However, Cheong happens to be a believer in the folk god Datuk which brings a rather irrational set of implications. Winner of the Best New Director Award at the 57th Golden Horse Awards.

PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND is a creation of filmmaker Sion Sono. A girl (Sofia Boutella) has mysteriously disappeared, victim of an evil curse. The only one that can break it happens to be a criminal (Nicolas Cage). Canadian premiere.

You can read all press releases at the Fantasia official site and don’t forget to get your tickets for August when the 25th Montreal Fantasia International Film Festival starts. Bon cinema!

That will do for now.