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Science fiction film shot at ComicCon to premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival

Norm Coyne, producer Barker Street Cinema

The filmmakers behind the short film Conquest are set to beam into their world premiere at one of North America’s most prestigious genre festivals next month. 

The science fiction film shot entirely at a live comic convention pairing local filmmakers with their industry leader counterparts is set to premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival on August 8 as part of the short film collection Perilous Ports: Towers of Norse Terror 2023. 

Conquest writer, producer Norm Coyne points to the premiere as a huge accomplishment for the British Columbia based team of Barker Street Cinema. 

“Fantasia is a huge champion of promoting new voices in genre cinema.” said Coyne, “It is the perfect place to premiere a story like Conquest and is an absolutely massive opportunity for our team. ”  

Hailed by Variety magazine as Canada’s hottest festival, Fantasia has become a hugely popular genre film event attracting an average of 110 000 festival-goers each year to Montreal to spend 3 weeks being amazed by sensational celluloid from all over the world. The festival’s long list of alumni who have premiered at the festival includes names like Kevin Smith, Guillermo Del Toro, James Gunn and Quentin Tarantino who called Fantasia “the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent.” 

Conquest director Kate Kroll is no stranger to the impact Fantasia International Film Festival can have on emerging talent having been a past alumni in the Frontieres market with her horror comedy “Red Wings”.

“Fantasia has a spirit of empowerment that echoes the message on and off screen of Conquest,” said Kroll “We are unbelievably proud to be premiering the film at Fantasia.”

With Kroll’s guidance, Conquest was filmed with a unique mentorship model. Celebrity filmmaker guests of the Northern FanCon convention where it was shot were paired with their local counterparts during pre-production and production. Filming spanned the course of the 3 days of the event in the city of Prince George while the convention was actually happening.

Guests who were paired with crew included Tina Teoli, former head of make-up department for The Flash and The Good Doctor, Allisa Swanson, costume designer for The 100 and Firefly Lane, Evil Ted Smith, art department for The Fifth Element, prop builder Aaron Harrison from Lost in Space and Marc Bernardin, Writer’s Guild award winner for Castle Rock and supervising producer of Picard. Stars included Mark Meer of the blockbuster video game series Mass Effect and Ming Chen of AMC’s Comic Book Men. The result of the initiative was both a significant learning opportunity and the chance for the local filmmakers to work alongside talent of a particular pedigree.

“Fantasia has a significant history of building up visionaries while celebrating legacy filmmakers and actors.” said Coyne, “We are really looking forward to enjoying films and connecting with groundbreakers.” 

From July 20-August 9, the festival will feature more than 120 feature films and 200 short films plus special events. One of this year’s tributes will include iconic actor Nicolas Cage who will be awarded the Cheval Noir award for creating some of the most compelling characters in some of the best films in cinematic history.

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