Fantastika examines the many innovative ways filmmakers have utilised fairytales, folktales and fables in their work over the past sixty years. The series is international in scope, focusing on works that innovate in the sensual, visual and aural elements of cinema.

Short Films 20th Sep · 15:00 (55 mins)

Folk Legends

This shorts programme looks at filmmakers cinematically adapting folkloric legends from their own cultures. Busójáráskor is an ethnographic documentary on the Hungarian celebration of Busójárás, in which people dress as horned monsters with carved wooden masks. Nigerien filmmaker Moustapha Alassane's The Ring of King Koda adapts a Zarma legend in which a king tests the loyalty of a fisherman. Nana Tchitchoua's Impressions from Rustaveli melds the Georgian medieval poet's writings with the cinematic language of Sergei Parajanov and Jack Smith.

Short Films 20th Sep · 22:00 (95 mins)

Un rêve plus long que la nuit + Hatsukoi

This adults-only screening pairs two erotic fairytales by women artists. Niki de Saint Phalle's rarely-screened 1976 feature Un rêve plus long que la nuit is a fairytale trip through the female erotic psyche. Young Camelia, searching for the meaning of life, death and love, finds herself transported to such unpredictable settings as a dreamlike orgy or a raging battlefield. Mari Terashima's 1989 short Hatsukoi is a silent, gestural film of gothic symbolism, a story of first love that never comes true.

Feature film 21st Sep · 19:45 (106 mins)

Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari

Aleksey Fedorchenko

The Meadow Mari are a Finno-Urgic ethnic group living on the left bank of the Volga River in central Russia, sometimes called 'the last authentic pagans in Europe'. Across twenty-three short chapters, Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari presents a catalogue of Mari fairytales and folklore, depicting in painterly tableaux a culture driven by ritualistic appreciation for female beauty and feminine sexuality. Vibrant colours, breathtaking cinematography and a gentle sensibility strike a harmony between scenes variously tender and grotesque.

Feature film 22nd Sep · 11:45 (100 mins)

When the Cat Comes

Vojtěch Jasný

Magician Oliva arrives in a small town with the beautiful artiste Diana and a magical tomcat. When the cat’s sunglasses are removed, it unveils the true characters of the adult humans around him: liars become tinged with purple, the unfaithful turn yellow, thieves turn grey and the love-struck turn red.

Short Films 22nd Sep · 14:30 (43 mins)

Fairytale Shorts

Fairytales and fables form the fulcrum of these short films. Zlatko Bourek's psychedelic-era animation The Cat is a day-glo adaptation of Aesop's 'Venus and the Cat', in which a man falls in love with a cat-turned-woman.