Fantastic Fest

Bumper contests, Mercado Fantastico and the return of the Fantastic Arcade at Fantastic Fest 2015


As the days are ticking down towards this years Fantastic Fest there has been a slew of news hitting the interwebs. It has been announced that this years festival will once again be at the glamourous  South Lamar theater in Austin Texas. Also making it’s return is the “Bumper Contests” which this year will showcase a theme that coincides with one of the films playing at the fest. Another thing to be excited for is this years selection of films that will represent the Mercado Fantastico! There have been 13 projects announced that all should be worth your viewing pleasure so take a look ahead at all that’s in store and get ready to enjoy the Fantastic Arcade this year as well. Fantastic Fest runs from September 24th – October 1st.





Each year, Fantastic Fest hosts a bumper contest where we invite YOU (YOU!!!) to devise the most outrageous and entertaining under-30-second video possible. We use as many entries as we can and play dozens of different bumpers onscreen during the festival with two goals in mind:

  1. To represent the creativity and probable mental illness of the Fantastic Fest community, and…
  2. To ensure that the audience at the festival won’t have to sit through the same six or seven bumpers over and over again. (We hate that as much as you do.)

Your bumper can, will, and must reflect your unleashed initiative and imagination. But as always, we have a theme and a few ground rules:

This year’s theme is REMAKE / RIP OFF / RAMPAGE, inspired by the Fantastic Fest 2015 film REMAKE, REMIX, RIP OFF, a shocking, hilarious and illuminating documentary on the no-rules, brazenly plagiaristic Turkish filmmaking scene of the ’70s and ’80s.


This means we’re gonna ask you to adapt any existing film/TV property of your choice, from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK to THE PRISONER to BREAKING BAD to ALF… but there’s a catch: Your cast has to be entirely comprised of people 12 and under or 65 and over.

No kids? No parents?? No problem!!! We’ll also allow characters played by non-homosapien animals, or you can create your own puppets and/or full-body costumes. The main thing is that your bumper must contain zero visible skin of anyone between the ages of 13 and 64, a.k.a. “boring standard humans.”

To enter, vote on entries and learn more, go HERE:

All 2015 Fantastic Fest bumper videos selected by our programming committee will be screened in front of an unsuspecting audience during Fantastic Fest (September 24 -October 1, 2015). Each of those audiences will include visiting filmmakers from around the world, press from the likes of Birth Movies Death, IFC, ScreenCrush, TwitchFilm, Fangoria, SlashFilm, Film Threat, Ain’t It Cool News, Variety, USA Today and more, plus a legion of the most devoted, intelligent, fun-loving genre film fans on the planet.

Our jury will select the Top Four bumper finalists, and members of the Filmmaking Frenzy voting community will select the fifth finalist by audience vote. The Top Five bumpers will play at the Fantastic Fest 2015 Awards Ceremony, and the audience will select the grand prize winner. That winner will receive $2000 cash money from SourceFedNERD!


Fantastic Fest has also announced it’s 13 selected pitch projects for the third edition of its international co-production market:Fantastic Market | Mercado Fantastico. The market runs from September 24 through September 26, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Fantastic Fest runs from September 24th to October 1st.

This year’s crop of Fantastic Market projects showcases cutting edge talent from the United States, Latin America and Europe. The projects represent a diverse mix of newcomers and veterans, including people involved in such films as MISS BALA, REDEEMER, OPEN WINDOWS, SHREW’S NEST, ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN, HIGH FIVE and THE INCIDENT. Two projects-DESALMADOS and DEMON DRIVEN-were selected through Fantastic Market’s collaboration with Ventana Sur’s Blood Window genre market.

“Since its inception in 2013, Fantastic Market has helped many filmmakers move their films from concept to reality,” says market director Rodney Perkins. “We are extremely confident in the quality of this year’s projects and we look forward to sharing them with the world.”

Announcements regarding additional Fantastic Market programming will occur in the near future. The 13 pitch projects are as follows.



Director: Santiago Cendejas (PLAN SEXENAL)

Producers: Gerardo Naranjo (MISS BALA, VOY A EXPLOTAR), Vanessa Perez (PARADISE)

Amateurs is a point of view horror film, seen through the lens of a group of amateur pornographers working for a doomsday cult.





Producer: Diego Moral (REDEEMER)

An angry and out of control young businessman, who wants to rob the ambitious man who killed his father, joins a peculiar band of bank robbers that steals from the rich to give to the poor.


USA / Mexico

Director: Maru Buendia-Senties (First Feature)

Producer: Maru Buendia-Senties

An aging Hollywood B-lister and a prominent Mexican producer battle past failures and personal shortcomings to help a promising young actor become Mexico’s first action hero.




Director: Fabián Archondo Arce (First Feature)

Producers: Cyntia Navarro, Nicole Maynard Pinto

A cowardly candy salesman must face a Mexican vampire cartel assassin for the love of his own wife.



Director: Ramiro García Bogliano (PENUMBRA, THE ACCURSED)

Producer: Federico Ricaldoni (AGUA, ROOMS FOR TOURISTS)

A group of friends unleash a demon while partying on a wild night, and even though they are totally high and wasted, they have to become improvised exorcists to save their lives.



Co-Directors: Armando Fonseca (UPTAKE FEAR), Raphael Borghi (First Feature)

Producer: Kapel Furman (UPTAKE FEAR, POLVORA NEGRA)

In his fortress, Rex controls strictly the scarce resources of survival, particularly medicines that are left in the world after the global tragedy.


USA / Canada

Director: Gigi Saul Guerrero (First Feature)

Producers: Raynor Shima, Paulina Trujillo

A young woman’s troubled past, sets her out in search for the disappearance of illegal immigrants, until she stumbles upon “la familia”…



Director: Carlos Ameglio (LA CASCARA)

Producers: Mariana Secco (MR. KAPLAN, HIGH FIVE, LA CASCARA)

Can you save your relationship in a mutant-infested town?



Director/Co-Writer: Alice Waddington (First Feature)

Producer: Yadira Avalos (OPEN WINDOWS)

Co-Writer: Sofía Cuenca (SHREW’S NEST)

In an undefined future, Uma lives in a society obsessed with a social network that connects young women with rich men. Marriages are no longer about love, but about feeding monsters.




Co-Directors: Fernando Montes de Oca (First Feature), Xavier Sánchez Mercado (First Feature)

Producers: Isaac Ezban (THE INCIDENT, THE SIMILARS), Miriam Mercado (THE INCIDENT, THE SIMILARS), Amapola Rosillo

A psychotic old man, living in a garbage dump, resorts to animal and human sacrifices, to control an “imaginary” demonic being living below the mountains of waste.



Director: João Caetano Feyer (First Feature)

Producers: Malu Miranda (ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN), André Pereira (THE DOGNAPPER)

One man struggling for answers. One man haunted by the truth. By following THE TRACE, what separates them in life will bring them together in death.



Colombia / Chile

Director: Alfonso Acosta (THE CRACK)

Producer: Carolina Mosquera (THE CRACK)

She doesn’t know why she came back; but they know what it means. It’s the call of the blood…. She is not welcome. The machetes are waiting.



Director: Ramon Porto Mota (First Feature)

Producer: Lara Lima

THE YELLOW NIGHT is a spiritual slasher, a teen movie about fearing the future and disappearance, the unknown, the dark and death.


Organizers of Fantastic Arcade have announced the September 28th return of the yearly showcase of the best in independent games, now in its sixth year, and held in conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest, the world’s largest genre film festival.

For the first time ever, with help from Humble Bundle, this year’s Fantastic Arcade will include six brand new games exclusively premiering at the festival from some of indie gaming’s top developers. Included in this premiere showcase, and detailed at greater length below, are games from the creators of Desert Golfing, Nuclear Throne, Gardenarium, MirrorMoon EP and Perfect Stride.

These never-before-seen games will be featured in custom-built, free-to-play arcade cabinets at the Highball event center throughout the duration of Fantastic Fest, alongside a selection of more than 30 independent games from around the world. The first ten of these games, detailed at length below, will make up this year’s Arcade Spotlight, and come from both new developers and returning Fantastic Arcade fan-favorites.

In addition to the selection of freely playable games on display throughout the entirety of Fantastic Fest, Fantastic Arcade will once again feature a number of special events, panel discussions, developer talks, and game tournaments from September 28th through October 1st. All games and related events at Fantastic Arcade are, as usual, free and open to the general public at the newly-renovated Alamo South Lamar theater and the Highball. More information about this year’s special events including the fourth annual Gamemaking Frenzy competition will be released in the coming weeks.

The 2015 lineup of games have been chosen from nearly 250 submissions by Juegos Rancheros, Austin’s independent games collective operated by Adam Saltsman, Wiley Wiggins, Katie Kizziar, Rachel Simone Weil, and Brandon Boyer, alongside Fantastic Arcade Technical Director Joshua Fields. In addition to selecting the showcase lineup, the Juegos Rancheros team also incubated the six, new experimental games that will debut at the festival.

“Fantastic Arcade is to the world of indie gaming what Fantastic Fest is to genre and cult film,” noted Wiley Wiggins, Juegos Rancheros co-founder and Fantastic Arcade Director. “It’s not like any other festival or trade show. It’s a party where the best and brightest outsider talents come to enjoy the company of their audience: both die-hard fans and newcomers. This year, we’ll feature new games from developers whose work has caught our eye again and again with its ingenuity, uniqueness, and artistic flair.”

Images from last years Arcade:


This year’s six original Fantastic Arcade game cabinets, presented with help from Humble Bundle, will include:

Wheels of Aurelia (Santa Ragione)

Wheels of Aurelia is a narrative road trip game set in the roaring Italian 70’s from the creators of Fotonica & MirrorMoon EP. Half racing game and half interactive fiction, it tells the story of Lella, a restless woman driving on the roads of the western coast of Italy, the famous Via Aurelia.

Hellmouth (Thu Tran and Ivan Safrin)

Hellmouth is a competitive cooking game where players collect ingredients from a hellish death course and cook it to perfection to feed Satan. Hellmouth is co-created by developer Ivan Safrinand Thu Tran, the mind behind the Independent Film Channel television show Food Party, and host of the ‘Barfcade’ at Fantastic Arcade 2014.

Hoky (Jan Willem Nijman and Kitty Calis)

Hoky is arcade action on ice for up to four players, from the developers who separately helped bring you Nuclear Throne and Action Henk, and who together created Adventure Minute, the winner of Fantastic Arcade’s Adventure Time Gamemaking Frenzy in 2012.

CRAP! No One Loves Me (Arcane Kids)

“My morning ritual is pretty simple: I check my phone and scream. Then I crawl into my coffin, it’s all warmed up… let’s go for a ride.”

CNOLM is a daily affirmation & multiplayer coffin bobsledding journey into the afterlife from Arcane Kids, the creators of Zineth, Perfect Stride, Bubsy 3D: Bubsy visits the James Turrell Retrospective & the Sonic Dreams Collection.


Risky Bison (Justin Smith)

Risky Bison is a game about managing the financial affairs of a herd of buffalo, created by “the game developer’s game developer” Justin Smith, best known as the designer behind Enviro Bear 2000 and Desert Golfing.

Alea (Paloma Dawkins, Cale Bradbury, Caila Thompson-Hannant)

Co-created by Cale Bradbury, Caila Thompson-Hannant, and Paloma Dawkins, the latter best known as the artist behind KO-OP Mode’s Gardenarium, Alea is a hiking simulator & experience of infinity, and a reminder of the endless light and dark currently occurring in all directions, at all times. Just don’t die and you should be okay.

In addition, ten Arcade Spotlight titles will be highlighted from this year’s nearly 250 game submissions during Fantastic Fest. The 2015 Fantastic Arcade Spotlight selection consists of:

Secret Legend (Andrew Shouldice)

An homage to classic games with undeniable polish and style, an accompanying illustrated instruction booklet describes it as ” …an adventuresome TRIANGLE-SEEK set in that place just beyond the farthest you’ve ever been. To avoid damaging your saved game, remember to hold the RESET button when turning the power off.”

Beglitched (Alec Thomson, Jenny Jiao Hsia)

Beglitched is a game about insecurity, in our computers and ourselves. In a pastel world of networks where nobody truly knows what they’re doing, hacking is a magical art and the notorious Glitch Witch is the most premium archmagi of the net. By random circumstance, YOU are her new apprentice.


GNOG is about exploring giant monsters and their inner worlds. Each head is part of an interconnected world filled with tantalizing secrets. Created by Montreal’s experimental game collective, KO-OP Mode.

Strawberry Cubes (Loren Schmidt)

Strawberry Cubes is an experiential open-world game which uses a cryptic set of glitches and magical transformations to abstractly evoke the feeling of losing a family member to alzheimer’s disease.

A Good Snowman is Hard to Build  (Alan Hazelden)

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is an adorable puzzle game about being a monster and making snowmen.

Hot Date (George Batchelor)

A romantic evening of speed dating. With pugs.

Versnoof (Kyle Reimergartin)

Fantastic Arcade award-winning developer Kyle Reimergartin and The Floor is Jelly creator Ian Snyder return with a game Reimergartin describes as “PARASITIC SYMBIOSIS AND PROPAGATION THROUGH PRE EXISTING AMBULATORY MECHANISM”. We describe it as an experiment that will create shimmering mnemonic architecture in your mind, as you navigate a labyrinth using only your sonar-like extra senses.

Froggy (Nathalie Lawhead)

In this ‘no holes barred froggame’ you frog as FROGGY, a seasoned frog veteran with a strong inner-voice but no moral conviction, surviving one day at a time on Armageddon Highway.

Shelter 2 (Bastian Leonhardt Strube)

In Shelter 2, you play the life of a mother lynx, pregnant at first, giving birth and continuing in to a journey of parenthood where nurturing her four cubs is paramount for their survival.


The TAMPERDROME COLLECTION is a suite of procedural generation experiments which allows you to create random dogs, islands, ghosts, cats, and other strange things.

Dozens more additional games will be announced as part of the full Fantastic Arcade lineup in the coming weeks, alongside special nightly tournaments – an annual fan-favorite tradition – exposition plays, panel discussions, and developer talks.

For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Arcade Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for the Fantastic Arcade mailing list.



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