About us…

CINEMAFANTASTIQUE is an annual international genre film festival in Vancouver, BC. We focus on independent films of the fantastique from all over the world! The wilder the better! We have always operated as a non-profit organization; and have programmed over 75 shorts and 45 feature films from independent genre film artists from all over the world, including Italy, France, Australia, Russia, Norway, Columbia, U.S.A, England, Spain, Mexico, and Canada! Since 2015, some of our generous and amazing guests have included Ryan LaPlante (Holy Hell), Benjamin and Rachel Moody (Last Girl Standing), Jimmie Gonzalez (The Red Man) Luchagore Productions (El Gigante, Bestia), Richard and Samantha Lukacs (Hell Haunt), Drew Marvick (Pool Part Massacre), Ariel Hansen (Ready to Burst), Jono Freedrix (Bloody Mary, Bun in the Oven), Nadine L’Esperance (Out of My Skin), and Lloyd Kaufman from the world-famous Troma Entertainment! (Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High aka Vol. 2). In addition, CINEMAFANTASTIQUE has also partnered with like-minded community sponsors including Vancouver Women in Film and Television (VWIFT), the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), and the Vancouver Short Film Festival (VSFF).

In 2017, Cinemafantastique’s organizers Vince D’Amato and Nicole D’Amato launched an international genre film distribution company, DARKSIDE RELEASING, which in now synchronized with the annual CINEMAFANTASTIQUE INTERNATIONAL GENRE FILM FEST — any film submitted through the Film Freeway platform here can also be considered for international marketing and sales. This has also brought the attention of other digital-platform distributors to the Cinemafantastique screenings in 2017.

In 2017 the annual CINEMAFANTASTIQUE INTERNATIONAL GENRE FILM FESTIVAL made a move from their previous 2-year home at UBC’s “NORM” THEATRE to Vancouver’s more audience-friendly downtown-core VANCITY THEATRE (aka the Vancouver International Film Centre).

CINEMAFANTASTIQUE 4 will be held August 25, 2018 once again at the Vancity Theatre at 1181 Seymour St. Vancouver. This is a 19+ event, as alcohol will be served and films have not yet been rated.

You can get in touch with Cinemafantastique’s organizers, Vince or  Nicole, through the CONTACT PAGE

The Mandate…

The Cinemafantastique International Genre Film Festival (or just Cinemafantastique for short) has a passion for genre cinema, and in turn we are dedicated to screening, exposing, and celebrating International independent cinema artists with passions of their own for the horrific, the erotic, the surreal, and the unusual.

Cinemafantastique is a not-for-profit film organization.

The HISTORY – from the SHIVERS FILM SOCIETY (in London, UK):

In the beginning (2011-2012)… Well, it all started in London, England, at a pub called The Crown on the edge of the financial district, over a couple of pints with my friend Justin, who runs the Filmbar ’70 film society. I was asking him about screening films in general, and he asked me: “What is it you want to do, exactly?” “I want to show our film” meaning, our latest feature film from Creepy Six Films, The Hard Cut Double Feature. So, Justin said to me, “Bring me five Canadian films. We’ll do an all-day Canadian film festival!”. That was back in the fall of 2011, and by 2012 we’d programmed, and, purely by happenstance, were launching the first SHIVERS film festival in London. In May of 2012, we started it all with the all-day programme: “The Influence of the Canadian Tax Shelter Films”, which was really just what it sounded like – films influenced by the plethora of  killer Canadian genre features that came from the Telefilm tax shelter of the 1970s to the early ’90s. Moving back to Vancouver in 2012, we decided to register the Shivers Film Society as an official non-profit film society, both provincially and federally, to showcase independent and classic genre/cult Canadian features and shorts. We launched the first Canadadrome all-day fest in Vancouver with the continuing (and very much appreciated) support of the First Weekend Club, The Pacific Cinematheque, The Georgia Straight, UBC, VIFF, Canuxploitation, Criterion Pictures (Canada), The Classic Horror Campaign & Rue Morgue(UK), and the dozens of film fans who would continue to show up to our screenings throughout 2012-2013.

2014… After organizing event screenings in Vancouver for 2 years, the Shivers Film Society partnered with The Cinematheque and the Vancity Theatre (aka the Vancouver International Film Centre) in Vancouver and produced two back-to-back genre events in the fall of 2014 (October-November) — The Cinematheque co-production was up first, a four-day programming event titled Two-Lane Blacktops: A Retrospective of the 1970s American Road Movie, which featured key influential films from that era, followed by the four-day The Canadian Horror Show with the Vancity Theatre which featured leading horror films from Canada’s “Tex Shelter” heydey, with support from Synapse Films (Prom Night), Morgan Creek Entertainment (Clive Barker’s  Nightbreed – The Director’s Cut), and director Brett Sullivan, who lent out his pristine 35mm print of Ginger Snaps 2, which was just one of the highlights of this Canadian horror retrospective.

2015… Programmer/director Vince D’Amato became interested in expanding the mandate of the Shivers Film Society to include international genre films, and conceived of the Cinemafantastique film festival after reading a typo in Jason Zimmerman’s genre cinema book “Shock Value”, when the author had inadvertently misspelled the title of “CineFantastique” magazine within the first few pages. In the summer of 2015, Shivers Film Society’s Cinemafantastique became a contained four-day film festival with the help of Turner Stewart and Dionne Copland from the UBC Film Society, which mixed cult-classic genre films with new, unreleased genre films from independent filmmakers; the program included Dario Argento’s Three Mothers Trilogy, Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, TimeCrimes, Glass, Cemetery Man, and several other independent genre feature films along with two separate short film programs.

In 2016, Cinemafantastique 2 was focused more clearly on the independent genre films from around the globe, featuring Last Girl Standing, Holy Hell, The Love Witch (making its Canadian premier at our festival), The Red Man, Harvest Lake, and Bigfoot Ate My Boyfriend. Shortly after Cinemafantastique 2 wrapped up, the Shivers Film Society was dissolved. Following this, Nicole D’Amato came on board to help with the next year’s festival planning as the key creative co-director and shortly thereafter, she began to co-programme the 2017 event with Vince D’Amato.

2017- The Cinemafantastique Film Fest became an incorporated non-profit film society, and moved forward with Cinemafantastique 3; and the now-annual event became even more focused and condensed in showcasing exciting, sexy (and bloody) independent genre films from around the world in a kinetic single-day marathon screening. In fact, the 2017 progamme only included 100% independently-made genre films. In the spring of 2017, Turner Stewart and Dionne Copland quit the film society to begin production on their own films. The summer that Cinemafantastique 3 took place, Vince and Nicole simultaneously launched the international distribution company DARKSIDE RELEASING.

2018 – The Cinemafantastique International Genre Film Festival and Darkside Releasing will continue to harmonize and hone synchronizations between the two film companies while keeping the passions for genre films and Cinemafantastique’s mandate firmly in place; and while constantly creating new opportunities and outlets for equally passionate genre filmmakers around the world.

Creative Director,
Cinemafantastique International Genre Film Festival.

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