The ninth edition of the Elche International Fantastic Film Festival – FANTAELX was held from November 25 to 27 in the Auditorium of the “Ciutat d’Elx” Congress Center, with free access until full capacity is reached, and without the need for a prior reservation of invitation.
The festival honored the retro culture of cinema, series, video games, etc., from the fantastic genre of the 80’s and 90’s. The illustrator Joan Martín Giménez designed the poster showing allusions to Donkey Kong or He-Man, marking the 40th anniversary of their corresponding premieres; Sonic, Street Fighter II or Terminator II, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary; or the video game Tetris, released for the first time 35 years ago, among other references.
In commemoration, the festival featured the screening of the documentary film Arcadeology (2021), directed by Mario-Paul Martínez, which travels towards the phenomenon of video games and arcade machines that roamed arcades several decades ago.
And among its activities, the IV International Congress of Fantastic Genre, Audiovisuals and New Technologies also took place, whose main thematic line was the retrofantastic. In addition, there were also short films screenings, where recognized works of science fiction, horror and fantasy were watched.
With the celebration of this new edition, Elche became once again a meeting point for fans of the fantastic genre.
20:00h: ALJUB SESSIONS.
During the days before the festival, and as a prelude, screenings of short films selected for this edition were screened on the Megascreen of Aljub shopping center (see map), the biggest interactive LED screen installed in a Spanish comercial area:
– Thursday 18 at 20:00h: Los patos, by Ángela Arregui (Spain). Dur: 6:56 min.
– Friday 19th at 20:00h: Sucesión, by Carlos Cobos Aroca and Martí Brussosa Ventura (Spain). Dur: 15:00 min.
– Saturday 20 at 20:00h: Leopoldo el del bar, by Diego Porral (Spain). Dur: 5:30 min.
– Monday 22 at 20:00h: Be Quiet, by Gary Davies (New Zealand). Dur: 4:11 min.
– Tuesday 23 at 20:00h: Las moscas solo viven un día, by Mauro Luis (Spain). Dur: 5:23 min.
– Wednesday 24 at 20:00h: Mira, by Hugo de la Riva (Spain). Dur: 7:29 min.
9:30h-21:00h: FIRST SESSION OF THE IV INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF FANTASTIC GENRE, AUDIOVISUALS AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES.
The objective of the congress is the diffusion of research studies within the different thematic lines of the Fantastic Genre, covering all its possible variants and platforms: cinema, television, theater, literature, comics, videogames, virtual reality, etc., whose main thematic line in this new edition is retrofantastic.
9:30h. WELCOME AND INAUGURATION.
9:40h. Invited presentation:
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock is Professor of English at Central Michigan University and an associate editor of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He is the author or editor of 26 books and almost 100 essays and book chapters that address the Gothic, American literature, cinema, and popular culture. Among his book publications are Pop Culture for Beginners (Broadview Press, 2022), Giving the Devil His Due: Satan and Cinema (co-edited with Regina Hansen; Fordham University Press, 2021), The Monster Theory Reader (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), The Cambridge Companion to the American Gothic (2018), The Age of Lovecraft (co-edited with Carl Sederholm; University of Minnesota Press, 2016), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Wallflower Press, 2007). Jeffrey is also the host of the long-running online goth/industrial radio show, DJ cypher’s Dark Nation Radio, recorded broadcasts of which can be streamed at http://www.mixcloud.com/cypheractive. Visit him at JeffreyAndrewWeinstock.com.
10:30h. Retrofuturism and steampunk in Hayao Miyazaki’s cinema. Dr. Raúl Fortes Guerrero (University of Valencia).
10:50h. The retrofantastic in the cinematography of Karel Zeman. Dr. Juan Agustín Mancebo Roca (University of Castilla-La Mancha).
11:10h. Methodology for mutilating the body. Sara Calvete Lorenzo (University of Santiago de Compostel).
11:30h. Nostalgia, irony and Copyright. Dr. Ezequiel Soriano Gómez (Open University of Catalonia).
11:50h. From Beast People to beasties: darwinism and genetics in retrofantastic imaginaries. Dra. Marta Piñol Lloret (University of Barcelona).
12:10h. Console et consolation: quand le retrogaming redonne l’innocence… Dra. Isabelle-Rachel Casta (Artois University, France).
12:30h. El tableau vivant huele a retrofuturism: Les Enfants Terribles, Innocents y 365 FRESH! Sílvia Catarina Pereira Diogo (ARTIS – University of Lisbon, Portugal).
12:50h. Stranger Things: nostalgia and retrofantastic within the mainstream. Dra. Anna Tarragó Mussons and Dr. Juan José Caballero Molina (University of Barcelona).
13:10h. Film Fantastique et Néo-retro: structuration d’une esthétique «techno-nostalgique» par l’incrustation scénographique. Olivia Dorado (Université Toulouse 2 – Jean Jaurès, France).
13:30h. The fantastic in Peter Hipnos. Dr. Julio Gracia Lana (University of La Rioja).
16:00h. Invited presentation:
Elizabeth Guffey is Professor of Art and Design History and head of the MA Program in Art History at the State University of New York, Purchase College. She is the author of Retro: The Culture of Revival (Reaktion, 2006) and Posters: A Global History (Reaktion, 2015). She is also co-editor of Making Disability Modern (with Bess Williamson, Bloomsbury, 2020), and author of Designing Disability (Bloomsbury, 2018). She is also the Founding Editor of the peer-review journal Design and Culture (Routledge). Her scholarly work has appeared in a variety of venues, including Design and Culture, Design Issues, and the Journal of Visual Culture. As part of her efforts to bring design and disability studies to broad publics, she has also authored essays in a number of range of publications, including The New York Times and The Nation.
16:40h. Beyond science fiction: parallels between cinematographic dystopias and critical authors’ analysis of capitalism. Dr. Lluís Català Oltra (University of Alicante).
17:00h. Images from the Future: Living Spaces in The Illustrated Man. Mónica Sánchez Tierraseca (University of Castilla-La Mancha).
17:20h. The combination of the retro concept and medieval steampunk in Final Fantasy IX: an approach from semiotics. Raúl Gisbert Cantó (University of Valencia).
17:40h. Fantasy to speak about reality, the cinema of Yorgos Lanthimos. Mikel Peña Sarrionandia (University of the Basque Country).
18:00h. La théorie du nouveau fantastique par Jean-Pierre Andrevon. Dra. Katarzyna Gadomska (University of Silesia, Poland).
18:20h. «Bless the Maker and His Water»: Relevance of Nonhuman Otherness and Animality in Science-Fiction. Olimpia Mailat (University of Valencia).
18:40h. Digital advances in animation, from traditional animation to digital animation. Dra. María Amor Díaz García (University of Salamanca).
19:00h. The reflection of society in the stereotypes of Fantasía: the counter-model of the genre in the work of Ana María Matute. Sandra García Rodríguez (University of Seville).
19:20h. Meddling with one’s own pre-conditions for existence as the ultimate fantasy of the retro-oriented eighties in Back to the Future. João Luís Nunes Serra de Almeida (School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, Portugal).
19.40h. Stories to be able to think. The retro as a tool for reflection on the present in Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s filmography. Dr. Germán Piqueras Arona (International University of Valencia).
20:00h. In search of the retrogaming of the future. Juan Pablo Montalvo Valencia (Game Lab – Salesian Polytechnic University, Ecuador).
20:20h. he medieval and Renaissance literary tradition as the basis of the fantastic in Donde los árboles cantan (Laura Gallego). Alberto Rodríguez Gómez (Sichuan University of International Studies, China).
20:40h. Dualities, doubles and mirrors: Agnosia by Eugenio Mira as an evocative and transforming metaphor of the nineteenth-century fantastic story. Dra. Marta Miquel-Baldellou (University of Lleida).
21:00h. CLOSING OF THE FIRST DAY.
16:30h-19:30h: SCREENING OF SHORT FILMS.
– From Walve Legado, by Luis A. R. Cofre (Chile, out of competition). Dur: 23:17 min.
Winner of VIII Festival Internacional de Cine de Terror de Valparaíso.
– Human Error, by Erica Kwok (Hong Kong). Dur: 11:49 min. (VOSI).
– Tranvía, by Carlos Baena (Spain). Dur: 8:39 min.
– Dora, by Joanne Delachair (France). Dur: 15:13 min. (VOSI).
– El sueño de los perros, by Dídac Gimeno (Spain). Dur: 14:27 min.
– G-Rail, by Javier Meroño (Spain). Dur: 9:42 min.
– Iskra, by Adrian Replanski (France). Dur: 11:26 min.
– Canibalismo, by Diego R. Aballe (Spain). Dur: 13:29 min.
– Heads Will Roll, by Pablo Riquelme (Alicante). Dur: 19:07 min.
– Os Abismos da Alma, by Guilherme Daniel (Portugal). Dur: 18:03 min.
– Stalag III-C, by Jason Rogan (Belarus). Dur: 11:50 min.
– En racha, by Ignacio Estaregui (Spain). Dur: 17:01 min.
– Carnívoro, by Lander Castro (Spain). Dur: 6:26 min.
Break from 19:30h to 20:00h.
20:00h: PREMIERE OF “OPERACIÓN CRUSOE: SEGMENTACIÓN” (2021), BY FRAN TREMIÑO. PILOT EPISODE OF THE SERIES.
Synopsis: A police deployment tries to capture a terrorist located on the Costa Blanca for his extradition to Rome, where he will be tried for his crimes. The operation concludes with a tragic arson that burns all traces of what happened, and the victims are counted by dozens. Only three survivors are witnesses to the origin of the scariest of events, which will be known as “Operación Crusoe”.
20:30h: COLLOQUIUM WITH FRAN TREMIÑO (DIRECTOR AND WRITER OF THE PILOT EPISODE), NATALIA RUIZ (PRODUCTION DIRECTOR), CRISTINA GALLEGO (FROM MALHÁBITO AUDIOVISUAL) AND PIERRE VIVES (ACTOR FROM THE PROJECT). CONDUCTED BY ASUNCIÓN MARHUENDA (ACTRESS AND DIRECTOR OF ASUMCREA).
9:30h-13:00h: SECOND SESSION OF THE IV INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF FANTASTIC GENRE, AUDIOVISUALS AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES.
10:00h. The retro video game as an object of study. Critical approaches to pixel art representation in fantasy genre videogames (1980-2021). Dr. José Luis Maravall Llagaria (Miguel Hernández University).
10:20h. Eduardo Casanova, the retro and the fantastic in his work. Marina Díaz-Caneja Alepuz (Polytechnic University of Valencia) and Dra. Amparo Alepuz Rostoll (Miguel Hernández University).
10:40h. Reminiscences of an improbable future: Premonitions following an evil deed. Daniel Pérez-Pamies (University of Girona).
11:00h. The (un)update of the fantastic video game: remake and demake processes in Final Fantasy VII. Dr. Juan Vela Bermejo (University of Alicante / IES Torrevigía, Torrevieja).
11:20h. No-future, nostalgia and New Wave. Coordinates to locate us in a cinematographic science fiction that no longer dares to look forward. Celia Cuenca García (Barreira Arte + Diseño – Official Center for Higher Studies).
11:40h. Fire begets snow: a study of the morphing effect in Willow. Dr. Sergio Luna Lozano (Miguel Hernández University).
12:00h. Negromundo magazine for the dissemination of plastic and visual arts. Christian Giner Leal, Sergio Lledó Ramírez and Toni López Pérez.
12:20h. Urban legends within the videogame culture. The case of Polybius, a cursed game. Dr. Francisco Cuéllar Santiago (Miguel Hernández University).
13.00h. CLOSING OF THE SECOND DAY.
16:30h-18:30h: SCREENING OF SHORT FILMS.
– Cuando corro, by Ana Luz Furth (Argentina). Dur: 13:40 min.
– Sprötch, by Xavier Seron (Belgium). Dur: 20:00 min.
– Yo, sirena, by Augusto Almoguera (Alicante). Dur: 8:56 min.
– B·52, by Flavio Nani (Italy). Dur: 7:42 min. (VOSI).
– Llengua amb tàperes, by David Mataró (Spain). Dur: 15:39 min.
– Safe and sound, by Ian Kammer (USA). Dur: 9:39 min.
– Mis nuevos amigos, by Óscar Girón (Alicante). Dur: 11:19 min.
– Kairós, el tiempo cualitativo, by Carlos Scasso (Spain). Dur: 16:36 min.
– Molaphone, by Daniel Padró (Spain). Dur: 14:32 min.
Break from 18:30h to 19:00h.
19:00h-21:00h: SCREENING OF SHORT FILMS.
– Fake Trailer for the subject of Digital Postproduction (CAUP), from the Miguel Hernández University, by Jose Antonio Amorós, Paula Campos, Ibai Echevarrieta, David Gozálvez, Inés Merouani, Luis Miguel Mora and Marina Polo. Dur: 2 min.
– Vidange, by Guillaume Chevalier (France). Dur: 17:22 min. (VOSI).
– M.O.M., by Patricia Huguet (Spain). Dur: 19:27 min.
– La guacha, by Pepe Puertas and David Cervera (Spain). Dur: 19:38 min.
– Cuore di strega, by Marco Baroni (Italy). Dur: 7:36 min.
– The repeater, by Grete Suarez (Spain). Dur: 18:24 min.
– Pasaia, by Xanti Rodríguez (Spain). Dur: 8:31 min.
– Sombra Do Mar, by Sergio Pereda (Spain). Dur: 15:16 min.
– Hilo, by Beatriz Abad (Spain). Dur: 14:13 min.
11:30h. SCREENING OF THE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM “ARCADEOLOGY” (2021), BY MARIO-PAUL MARTÍNEZ (IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES).
Synopsis: The 80’s and 90’s defined a “golden age” of the arcade in Spain, which we are now reliving in a multitude of events and activities around the classic video game. But who is in charge of preserving this cultural legacy in our country? Who is tackling this recovery work for arcade machines? Arcadeology follows in the footsteps of the Valencian association Arcade Vintage, a pioneer in the field of arcade restoration, and responsible, during the months of filming this documentary, for the creation of the first Video Game Museum in Spain (Ibi, Alicante).
13:30h. COLLOQUIUM WITH MARIO-PAUL MARTÍNEZ (DIRECTOR OF THE FILM), MARTA TRIVI (CULTURAL JOURNALIST SPECIALIZING IN VIDEO GAMES), DAVID FERRIZ (FOUNDER OF DEVILISH GAMES) AND JOSÉ MARÍA LITARTE (PRESIDENT OF ARCADE VINTAGE). CONDUCTED BY FRAN MATEU (FESTIVAL DIRECTOR).
16:30h-18:30h: SCREENING OF SHORT FILMS.
– Live, by Daniel Castillo, Raquel Millas, Giorgio Vittorio Queirolo and Stephanya Jiménez. Winning micro short film for the subject of Semiotics of Mass Communication (PyRRPP), at the University of Alicante.
– Intrusión, by Tata Sylla Coulibaly, Andrea Saura and Inés Cañadas. Finalist Micro short film for the subject of Semiotics of Mass Communication (PyRRPP), of the University of Alicante.
– Su rider, by Alberto Utrera (Spain). Dur: 12:32 min.
– La Luna, Tomasico y mi abuela, by Ángel Caparrós (Spain). Dur: 3:25 min.
– Re-Animal, by Rubén Garcerá (Spain). Dur: 13:03 min.
– Hamelin, by Silvia Conesa (Spain). Dur: 9:47 min.
– Mi condición, by Coke Arijo (Spain). Dur: 10:44 min.
– Goodnight Spa, by Emilio Gallego and Jesús Gallego (Alicante). Dur: 12:52 min.
– Survivers, by Carlos Gómez-Trigo (Spain). Dur: 6:29 min.
– Covid Love, by René Nuijens (Netherlands). Dur: 6:03 min.
– Spyglass, by Javi Prada (Spain). Dur: 8:08 min.
– La Luz, by Iago de Soto (Spain). Dur: 12:52 min.
– Space Frankie, by David Valero (Alicante). Dur: 17:26 min.
– Proceso de selección, by Carla Pereira (Spain). Dur: 3:30 min.
Break from 18:30h to 19:00h.
19:00h-21:00h: SCREENING OF SHORT FILMS + CLOSING/AWARDS .
– Wayback, by Carlos Salgado (Spain). Dur: 8:00 min.
– Good Night Mr. Ted, by Nicolas Solé (Spain). Dur: 10:45 min.
– Koreatown Ghost Story, by Minsun Park and Teddy Tenenbaum (USA). Dur: 14:52 min.
– Dar-Dar, by Paul Urkijo Alijo (Spain). Dur: 9:52 min.
– Dana, by Lucía Forner (Alicante). Dur: 18:44 min.
– La increíble vacuna del Dr. Dickinson, by Alex Rey (Alicante). Dur: 14:51 min.
– Best Short Film from Alicante: Gift + direct access to the festival Navidades Sangrientas – Weekend Horror Awards from Alicante.
– Best National Short Film: Gift + direct access to Festival de Cortometrajes de Terror y Fantástico 1000 Gritos de Buenos Aires (Argentina).
– Best International Short Film: Gift + direct access to Festival Internacional de Cine de Terror de Valparaíso (Chile).
* Short film screenings are not recommended for people under 18 years of age.
* All festival activities are free access until full capacity is reached, without the need for a prior invitation reservation.
* You can download the hand program in PDF from this link (in Spanish).
* You can access the photo gallery from this link.