Now in it's 8th year, Fantastic Planet is Sydney, Australia's premier fantastic genre film festival, and remains dedicated to the promotion and exhibition of independent fantastic cinema.
Founded by the team behind Australia's leading horror film event - A Night of Horror International Film Festival - Fantastic Planet showcases the latest in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and cult cinema, and hosts a number of parties, forums, and special events.
Unlike many festivals, Fantastic Planet pledges to program the majority of its lineup from cold submissions (i.e. films submitted by you - the independent filmmaker - through our open submission process). We never have, and never will, program the majority of the festival's line-up with films sourced from sales agents, distributors, or other festivals. This helps ensure that you - the independent submitting filmmaker - have a far better chance of screening at Fantastic Planet: Sydney Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festival, than at many festivals that also accept cold submissions, but them turn around and program the majority of their line-up each year from films that they source from elsewhere.
In 2017, Fantastic Planet Film Festival will again be taking place in conjunction with A Night of Horror Film Festival. Together the festivals provide Australia's leading showcase of independent genre specific cinema. Combined, the fests screened over 100 films in 2016. Both festivals retain independent programs and their own specific award categories. The festival prides itself in presenting the work of independent filmmakers not only to enthusiastic audiences but also to media and leading industry professionals.
FilmInk Magazine says: "A Night of Horror and Fantastic Planet team up... to bring genre buffs and film fans a fistful of the most original, innovative and thrilling independent pics you’ll see all year."
Past juries of the festival have included:
Antony I. Ginnane (SPAA, IFM World Releasing)
Brian Trenchard-Smith (Director: BMX Bandits, The Man From Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot)
Simon Foster (Sunday Night at the Movies, 2UE, SBS)
Oscar Hillerstrom (SCI FI channel)
Jon Hewitt (Director: Acolytes, Darklovestory, Redball)
Jack Sargeant (Film Writer, Programmer: Revelation Perth International Film Festival)
Claire Absolum (Producer: Insight, SBS TV)
Steven Kastrissios (Director/writer: The Horseman)
Doug Turner (Director/writer: I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer)
Nicholas Costa (Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time): "If you are looking for a great opportunity to find your sci-fi audience, look no further. The best decision we made during our entire festival campaign was having the international premiere of our film, Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time, at Fantastic Planet Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. As a producer, FPFF is exactly what you're looking for in a film festival. Not only was the festival Director Dean Bertram a wonderful, gracious, and accommodating host, but he and his team continued to push and support our film long after the festival shut its doors for the season. More to the point, Dean Bertram was instrumental in helping us lock down international distribution shortly after our Fantastic Planet screening. As a result, we are now officially on our way to the world stage!"
Kevin A. McCarthy (Fury: The Tales of Ronan Pierce) - "I can't say enough great things about Sydney Australia's "A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet International Film Festival". Set in the heart of the bohemian village area of Newtown (Sydney), this festival has it all; filmmakers and actors presenting their bad-ass genre films, a beautiful venue, awesome parties, tons of new lifelong industry connections, and a festival staff that truly cares about hospitality. Unlike many other festivals that simply source their program from other festival lineups, "A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet International Film Festival" truly wishes to unearth new talent. They are constantly looking for undiscovered films from around the planet, and I know for sure that they watch all the bundles of submissions that come their way. In fact, they relish the idea of finding undiscovered films worthy of a world premiere. I know this to be true because they gave our crazy little film a chance when it seemed no one else would. It has opened all the right doors for our film, and I owe a major thanks to Dean Bertram and his wonderful staff for giving us the opportunity to world premiere our film at his kick-ass festival in Sydney. Seriously...can't freaking wait to go back!!"
Kurando Mitsutake (Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf / Gun Woman) - "Fantastic Planet: Sydney Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Festival is destined to become one of the most important genre film festivals in the world. The festival directors' vision, selections, and commitment to launch independent filmmakers' careers are immensely impressive. Their love and conviction for the genre picture is so real. This festival was the best film festival I've ever attended. Fantastic Planet rocks!"
Megan Riakos (Crushed) - "It was such a pleasure to screen my mystery thriller feature CRUSHED at the Fantastic Planet Film Festival. Dean Bertram and the festival team make it their duty to go above and beyond to program interesting and worthy films, covering an array of styles within the genre world. They take the lead in discovering rising talent rather than just following the trends and are genre lovers who draw passionate audiences to the festival. Fantastic Planet brings the party from the cinema to the events afterwards too and as a filmmaker, being able to meet audience members and socialise with them during festival is the cherry on the top. Nothing beats a passionate discussion about films and filmmaking at 2am in the morning!"
Nathan Christoffel and Adrian Kristofferson (Eraser Children) - "We're so stoked with the entire experience at Fantastic Planet - you guys put in so much work and it all payed off with a fantastic festival. Having Eraser Children for the opening night film was a big deal for us - it reassured us that there's a audience that will get behind our film in this country. We are extremely impressed with how much time and energy your team gave to us and other filmmakers, everything ran so smoothly from start to finish - Dean and Lisa are the perfect festival directors! We're both really looking forward to seeing you again, next year's festival will no doubt be something to behold!"
James Naylor (A Dark Matter) - "Fantastic Planet Film Festival along with Dr. Dean Bertram and his crew soared beyond my expectations. The Dendy is a fantastic venue with a fantastic staff. Sydney is a city full of life that craves fantastic film. The screenings were well attended and the Q&A was professional and well thought out. I have nothing but applause for this growing festival I was so lucky to be part of. A DARK MATTER will be remembered because of Fantastic Planet!"
Steven Christopher Wallace (Vengeance De Los Muertos) - "Out of towners being treated well on the festival circuit is generally the norm, however Fantastic Planet really sets the gold standard when it comes to hospitality. From the moment I set foot in Sydney I felt like one of the family. Dean introduced me to all the staff and I felt right at home. Not only that, they had a killer programme and the after parties were really great too. Finally, I’ve made numerous relationships I expect to collaborate with in the near future. Fantastic Planet has been a wonderful experience and I cannot begin to express my gratitude. They get my highest recommendation."
Nay Htat (The Drawing) - "Fantastic Planet Film Festival is a marvel! I had an amazing experience at the festival, and I was very honoured to be part of it. It is so huge and very well organized with excellent programming. And very welcoming and supportive to the filmmakers. So I personally think that it is one of the best filmmaker friendly festivals. I definitely look forward to entering my next film."
Lucas Till (All Superheroes Must Die) - "A festival rife with talent, paralleled only by its hosts' hospitality."
Jason Trost (Wet and Reckless) - "A two week long vacation into the insanity of film with the world's best host as your tour guide.