Charlotte Kirk’s 'The Reckoning' to Open Virtual Fantasia Fest

The Reckoning -  Highland Film Group - H 2019
The genre festival will also play SXSW titles like Natasha Kermani's 'Lucky' and Noah Hutton's 'Lapsis,' and Brea Grant's '12 Hour Shift,' originally to debut at Tribeca.

The Fantasia Film Festival is set to open its upcoming virtual edition with a special screening of Neil Marshall's The Reckoning, a horror movie that takes places during witch hunts in 17th century England. It stars Charlotte Kirk, Joe Anderson, Steven Waddington and Sean Pertwee.

Marshall's period drama is set against the backdrop of England's Great Plague and subsequent witch hunts. North America's largest genre film fest, which on Tuesday unveiled its first lineup titles, also announced online screenings of SXSW titles including Natasha Kermani's Lucky, starring Brea Grant, and Noah Hutton's Lapsis.

Grant will also be represented at the fest as a writer-director, with 12 Hour Shift, a hospital-set thriller that was set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival and will receive its international premiere at Fantasia. After the cancellation of SXSW and the postponement of the Tribeca Film Festival because of the coronavirus pandemic, a slew of indie features are screening at rival festivals online to lay the ground for distribution deals.

Fantasia is going online this year with a virtual screening event from Aug. 20 to Sept. 2 that aims to mirror, where possible, a traditional theatrical experience. The festival will schedule real-time virtual screenings, with firm start times and a limited number of tickets to be sold for each viewing. The number of tickets sold for each film will vary by title or the wishes of filmmakers and will likely fall between 600 and 1,200 per screening, similar to the seat capacities of Fantasia's in-person Montreal event.

The fest will also host the world bows of Chino Moya's Undergods; Thomas Robert Lee's occult horror pic The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw; Sidharth Srinivasan's Kriya; Mauro Iván Ojeda's debut feature, The Undertaker's Home; and Anthony Scott Burns' Come True, starring The Killing star Julia Sarah Stone.

Also debuting at Fantasia this year is Lloyd Kaufman's #Shakespearesshitsstorm; John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies' Unearth, starring Adrienne Barbeau, Marc Blucas and Allison McAtee; and Johan von Sydow's Tiny Tim: King for a Day, with "Weird Al" Yankovic performing Tim's inner voice.