Heads Up: Fantasia Festival 2021 is coming next week!

Fantasia Festival 2021

Good news, everyone! Montreal’s Fantasia Festival is back for its 25th year. This year will be a hybrid of in-person and online screenings, which means we’ll be covering the festival from our headquarters in Vancouver.

The festival runs from August 5th to 25th and features a ton of genre films from around the world. The online portion of the festival will be available to audiences across Canada, which means you can enjoy it from home, too.

You can check out the entire catalogue online now at the 2021 Festival Website. Watch for coverage here on Awesome Friday starting on the 5th.


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I made a list of film festivals

Film Festivals

He friends, I made a thing. I made a list of upcoming film festivals for my own reference, and I figured that others might find it useful, too. I know there are ways to find this info, but I like having it all in one big list, and I figure I can’t be the only one. 

This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just the festivals that are presently on my radar. If you were wondering: yes, there are way too many for anyone to attend them all. If you know of a festival that I don’t have here, please feel free to shoot me an email or @ me on Twitter.

The list is presented in chronological order. Expected dates are present whenever they’re not available, and those dates are my guesses. I will do my best to keep this up to date on a monthly-ish basis. 

You can find the list here. I hope you find it useful.


Heads Up: North Bend Film Festival is this week!

North Bend Film Festival

I’ll be covering the virtual edition of the 2021 North Bend Film Festival this coming weekend (July 15th to 18th)!

This year’s festival is hybrid, with both virtual and in-person screenings. I’ll be covering the virtual edition this year. Unfortunately, being in Washington State, the festival itself is geo-locked America, so Canadian friends, we won’t be able to screen the films directly, but I will be providing Canadian release information wherever I can with reviews.

You can follow festival coverage using the NBFF 2021 tag here on the site and on social media. So follow along; it’s going to be fun!

Canada’s Future of Film Showcase starts this Friday, and here are the films!

2021 Future of Film Showcase

The Future of Film Showcase is a festival of short films featuring Canadian filmmakers under the age of forty. Designed to highlight the, well, future of Canadian film by giving a platform to up and coming artists, it is an exciting chance to take a peek at what is around the corner in Canadian art.

This year the showcase features 11 films, and –for the second year in a row– they will be available virtually via CBC Gem from July 9th to 22nd, for free, to anyone in Canada who wants to watch them. There is a wide variety of styles and intents here, and having had the opportunity to watch them, below follows a list of the films and a brief review of each.

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Assassin’s Creed Loses Its Charm When The City Is No Longer The Star

A tale of true cities.

It took two hours to see the opening title of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and just one more before I knew I was done with it. And that moment of realisation came at the most unlikely of moments – just as I stepped out of my longboat onto the shores of England, not far from where I spent the first eighteen years of my life . It’s not a common thing to have your actual home town in a video game when you’re from the Hampshire green belt, and I’d anticipated a more glowing reaction.

However, as I opened the map and saw the sprawl of space ahead of me, with the towns and icons dotted around the sparse rolling hills, I finally realised why Valhalla – or Odyssey or Origins before it – just had not clicked. And it took the mucky streets of Unity‘s Paris and Syndicate‘s London to bring it all into focus.

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Heads up Canada: Whistler Film Festival is on!

Whistler Film Festival

Whistler Film Festival, one fo the last festivals on the Canadian circuit, has started! Due to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has moved online the year. The festival started on December 1st and runs until December 20th, and films will be available to stream all the way to December 31st.

Starting this week, we will have some limited coverage of the festival, which boasts nearly 100 films this year; an impressive feat given the ongoing worldwide pandemic. You can find all of my coverage at the WFF 2020 tag here on Awesome Friday!

I’m thrilled to be able to cover the festival this year, which features predominantly Canadian content. You can find a complete listing of features, short films, and creator talks on the Whistler Film Festival website.


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(Re-)Review – Absolute Drift on Switch is still absolutely vital, and now also portable

I first reviewed Absolute Drift way back in the before-times of 2015 (when I was deep in my lead-with-an-almighty-anecdote phase, apparently) after having met developer Dune of Funselektor demoing his game at a stall in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It’s clear that I loved the game (if fact, it was pretty much love at first sight, from the beginning), and this love only grew stronger as I played it for hours on PC, then on PS4.

You can imagine my glee, then, when I saw the Switch version was incoming.

Absolute Drift is the perfect game for dipping in and relaxing after a hard day, so I was curious as to whether the port would capture that again. Well, thanks to a copy provider by the publisher, I can tell you that I’ve been back in its gloriously minimalist settings for the last week, and it is somehow better than ever.

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