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Feature: Fantastic Film Festival Australia

From the shadows of the unconventional to the spotlight of Melbourne and Sydney cinema screens, Fantastic Film Festival Australia returns with its fifth edition, promising a spectacle of the weird, wonderful, and wholly unexpected.

Running from 17 April to 10 May 2024, FFFA is set to captivate curious audiences with its panoramic celebration of new and provocative films that dare to venture beyond the cinematic norm.

Daring and cutting-edge cinema makes its highly anticipated return, bringing with it a treasure trove of films that challenge, amuse, and provoke. This year, FFFA 2024 presents an eclectic program of 24 feature length films as well as a program of 14 short films from Australia and around the world, promising a kaleidoscopic showcase of the world’s most exciting voices in cult, genre, arthouse, and alternative cinema.

Artistic Director Hudson Sowada said, “This year, we’re proud to present 24 premieres, from the thrilling to the surreal, each film has been chosen for its unique ability to transport, to provoke thought, and to entertain. Our 2024 selection of films is a testament to the festival’s commitment to showcasing films that are not only visually striking but also challenge our audience’s expectations.”

The festival returns to Ritz Cinemas in Sydney and Lido Cinemas in Melbourne, and for the first time a selection of FFFA titles will screen in Melbourne’s north at a new satellite venue, the Thornbury Picture House.

The festival will open with a bang with the Australian premiere of Sting, directed by Sydney’s own horror maverick Kiah Roache-Turner (Wyrmwood). This old school monster movie brings an eight-legged nightmare to life, featuring a stellar Aussie cast (Ryan Corr, Alyla Browne, Noni Hazelhurst, Penelope Mitchell, Silvia Colloca) and promising to leave audiences on the edge of their seats. The opening night includes drinks, a DJ, and a Q&A with Roache-Turner himself.

Other highlights include the audacious Dogman by Luc Besson, one of the most outrageous films of the year and described as a delightfully dark mix of Taxi DriverBeethoven and Home Alone. The 4K restoration of the action-packed classic The Raid, promising to deliver every punch, kick, and grapple in stunning detail, and Cannibal Mukbang, a deranged love story that blends romance with gore in a way only FFFA could celebrate. The festival also celebrates anniversaries with special screenings and Q&As such as the 30th anniversary of Metal Skin with a breathtaking new 2K restoration and in-person Q&A with director Geoffrey Wright (Romper Stomper).

Based on A.K. Tolstoy’s classic gothic novella, The Vourdalak delves into gothic horror with a tale of a family entangled with a vampiric patriarch, echoing the classic vibes of 70s horror. Written and directed by Eddie Alcazar, produced by Steven Soderbergh (Solaris) and shot on 16mm black and white reversal film, Divinity offers a dystopian vision where the quest for immortality leads to unforeseen darkness. Meanwhile, hot off its Sundance premiere, Krazy House stars Nick Frost and Alicia Silverstone in a darkly comedic dissection of the American dream.

The festival’s commitment to pushing boundaries is matched by its diverse array of special events, including the much-loved nude screening, this year featuring the iconic and aptly-named comedy The Naked Gun.

Closing the festival is the 15th anniversary screening of Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void, accompanied by an original live score from Sydney-based electronic artist Corin. This immersive experience promises to elevate Noé’s psychedelic exploration of life after death to a new sensory level, marrying the film’s visually stunning journey through the neon-lit streets of Tokyo with Corin’s captivating soundscapes.

With a line-up that spans the gamut from Lynchian surrealism and experimental narratives to horror, sci-fi, black comedies, and arthouse gems, FFFA’s 2024 program is a bold invitation to explore cinema’s outer edges.

Tickets are on sale now at

2024 Fantastic Film Festival Australia
Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn (18 April – 9 May)
Thornbury Picture House, Thornbury (25 – 30 April)

Ritz Cinemas, Randwick (17 April – 10 May)

Tickets:  General Admission $25, Concession $19.50, Member $18.50
Festival Passes:
5 film pass: $85
10 film pass: $155
VIP pass: $255 (1 ticket to every session. incl. special events)

Website: (click to access) (click to access)
Instagram: @FantasticFilmFestAus
Letterboxd: (click to access)

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