FanTasia Film Fest Unveils Synapse’s ‘Small Gauge Trauma’

Coming to DVD July 25th from Synapse Films is Small Gauge Trauma, which is an extraordinary collection of 13 award-winning shorts from 8 countries that played at the FanTasia Film Fest in Montreal, Canada. Highlights include the Portuguese cinemascope zombie epic I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, the heart-stopping Macumba Voodoo fury of Brazil’s LOVE FROM MOTHER ONLY (hailed by fans and critics alike as one of the most terrifying films of 2003), the British Cronenbergian stop-motion masterpiece THE SEPARATION (winner of no less than 15 major awards), the Japanese suicide art poetry of L’ILYA, and the Argento-by-way-of-Brakhage Giallo reinventions of Belgium’s CHAMBRE JAUNE.. This one-of-a-kind collection represents some of the strongest and most eccentric highlights from the festival’s trailblazing history with the short film form and is a veritable must-have for lovers of the unusual, aficionados of the fantastic and anyone with an interest in world cinema. Read on for more details and the cover art…

Montreal’s legendary Fantasia International Film Festival is North America’s largest fantasy / horror film event and one of the most influential fantastic film festivals in the world. It is where Hideo Nakata’s RINGU was introduced to the West, where Jaume (DARKNESS) Balaguero first screened THE NAMELESS to an English speaking audience, where Nacho (AFTERMATH) Cerda attained worldwide fandom infamy and was the first festival in North America to show a film by Takashi (AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER) Miike. Since its inception in 1996, Fantasia has been hugely supportive of short films, with their most recent installment showcasing over 100 selections.

Hand-picked by Fantasia’s Mitch Davis, SMALL GAUGE TRAUMA is an extraordinary collection of 13 award-winning shorts from 8 countries. Highlights include the Portuguese cinemascope zombie epic I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, the heart-stopping Macumba Voodoo fury of Brazil’s LOVE FROM MOTHER ONLY (hailed by fans and critics alike as one of the most terrifying films of 2003), the British Cronenbergian stop-motion masterpiece THE SEPARATION (winner of no less than 15 major awards), the Japanese suicide art poetry of L’ILYA, and the Argento-by-way-of-Brakhage Giallo reinventions of Belgium’s CHAMBRE JAUNE.. This one-of-a-kind collection represents some of the strongest and most eccentric highlights from the festival’s trailblazing history with the short film form and is a veritable must-have for lovers of the unusual, aficionados of the fantastic and anyone with an interest in world cinema.

LIST OF SHORTS

ABUELITOS (Grandfathers) (Spain / / 1999 / 15 min) Dir: Paco Plaza
WINNER:Canal+ Award, Brussels Film Festival 2000

A moody, atmospheric tale of sinister happenings in an old person’s home, stunningly photographed and seeped in spiritual pain. ABUELITOS ranks among the strongest films to have emerged from the contemporary Spanish horror revival.

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CHAMBRE JAUNE (Yellow Room) (Belgium / 2002 / 8 min) Dir: Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani
WINNER: Jury Prize, Best fantastic Short, Sitges Film Festival 2002

The Giallo film reinvented as an experimental S&M-tinged fever dream, told through a combination of color-gelled cinematography and jump-cut still photographs, infused with dark sensuality and perverse cruelty. Stunning.

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FLAT – N – FLUFFY (Canada / 2001 / 7 min) Dir: Benoît Boucher
WINNER: Bronze Public’s Prize, Best Animated Short, Fantasia 2001

An acid-tripping pair of suburban revolutionaries accidentally shoot their war veteran neighbor’s dog to fluffy red pieces. What to do? Well, here’s what they probably *shouldn’t* do…

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GORGONAS (Gorgons) (Argentina / 2004 / 15 min) Dir: Salvador Sanz

A blood-chilling animated vision of apocalypse from Argentinean comic creator Salvador (‘Angela de la Morte’) Sanz, depicting a society nightmarishly turned to stone after the members of a superstar pop band reveal themselves to be gorgons. Eerie beyond words, sight or sound.

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I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (Portugal / 2004 / 20 min) Dir: Miguel Ángel Vivas
WINNER: Best Art Direction, Madrid Short Film Festival
Gold Public’s Prize, Fantasia Film Festival 2004
Best Soundtrack, Bedajoz Iberian Festival
Silver Grand Prize of European Fantasy Short Film, Fantasporto
International Fantasy Film Award, Fantasporto 2004
Grand Prize of European Fantasy Short Film in Gold, Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival 2004

The most expensive short ever produced in Portugal also happens to be a two-fisted cinemascope zombie epic that proved to be so popular it screened in front of EXORCIST THE BEGINNING’s Portuguese theatrical release!

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INFINI (Infinity) (Canada / 2002 / 9 min) Dir: Guillaume Fortin
WINNER: Best Editing / Best Young Director (short film), Montreal World Film Festival 2002

A shadowed man splices together super 8 filmstrips of an overdosed junkie’s memories, causing her life to flash fragmented before her eyes in this incredible experimental deathtrip that would have made Stan Brakhage proud.

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L’ILYA (Japan / 2000 / 39 min) Dir: Tomoya Sato
WINNER: Public’s Prize, Best short, Fantasia 2001
Jury Prize, Yubari Fantastic Film Festival, 2001

Meet L’ilya – a young video artist who documents peoples’ suicides and projects their final moments out of context in trendy clubs. A disturbing, haunting film that will linger in your memory long after the obituaries fade.

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LOVE FROM MOTHER ONLY (Brazil / 2003 / 21 min) Dir: Dennison Ramalho
WINNER: Silver Public’s Prize, best short, Fantasia 2003
Melhor Fotografia em Curta-metragem, ABC Brazil Awards 2004

Brace yourself for a demonic work of pure shrieking terror. Macumba voodoo, rage, lust and death tear through the screen in this nightmarish tour-de-force that proved to be more horrific than any feature produced in its year. It is also one of the few “devil films” in existence that feels unsettlingly genuine in its convictions, partially attributable to the fact that it was co-scripted by an actual Macumba priest… who is currently in prison.

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MISS GREENY (Japan / 1997 / .30 sec) Dir: Tenkwaku Naniwa

For those unfamiliar with Japanese underground artist Tenkwaku Naniwa’s prankster universe of the absurd…step right up!

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RUTA DESTROY! (Spain / 2002 / 15 min) Dir: Diego Abad
WINNER Best short, 2nd place, Cinemad Madrid 2002
Best Soundtrack, La boca del Lobo Fest 2002

Sex, drugs and awkward haircuts fuel this outrageous raver delinquent musical. Life is just a party waiting to end.

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THE SEPARATION (UK / 2003 / 10 min) Dir: Robert Morgan
WINNER Diploma of Honour: KROK Animation Festival, Ukraine 2003
Jury Prize: San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, Spain 2003
Critics Prize: Cinanima International Animation Festival, Portugal 2003
Grand Prix; Animated Dreams Film Festival, Estonia 2003.
Best Animation: Dresden Short Film Festival, Germany 2004
Audience Award, Malaga Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, Spain 2004
Young Jury Prize: Malaga Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, Spain 2004.
Special Mention: Cinema Jove Film Festival, Spain 2004
Welsh BAFTA: Best Short Film of 2004.
Best Animation: Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia 2004
Gold Audience Award: Fantasia Film Festival, Canada
2004
Special Jury Prize: Chiavari International Animation Festival, Italy
2004
Prize of the European Union: Badalona Film Festival, Spain 2004
Best Short Fantasy/Horror Film: Badalona Film Festival, Spain 2004
Best Animation: Celtic Film Festival 2005

The separation of conjoined twins and its shattering consequences are depicted in this Cronenbergian masterpiece of stop-motion animation that has won no fewer than 15 awards on the international festival circuit.

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SISTER LULU (UK / 2001 / 4 min) Dir: Phillip John
WINNER: Best B&W Short, 46th Cork Film Festival

A phenomenal, rosary-tight whirlwind of nunsploitation, premature burial and extreme exit strategies. Wow is the word, blessed be.

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TEA BREAK (UK / 2004 / 7 min) Dir: Sam Walker
WINNER Silver Melies Award, San Sebastian Film Festival 2004

A blood-stained worker systematically hacks through meat in a bizarre industrial abattoir in this darkly comic Grand Guignol depiction of numbed desensitization.
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Special Features include a video introduction by Brazilian horror icon Jose Mojica Marins (Coffin Joe), Filmmaker commentaries on most shorts, a deleted scene from THE SEPARATION, an outrageous music video for I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, the making of RUTA DESTROY and more!