This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


Fantastic Fest Unveils Main Lineup of Fantastic Arcade Programming

Fantastic Fest Unveils Main Lineup of Fantastic Arcade Programming (photo)

Posted by on

Sure, you can sample lots of the most intriguing and fun indie games today simply by inputting a URL into your browser’s address field. But, no amount of typing will allow you to meet the code geniuses responsible for making them in person. Unless, of course, you’re savvy enough to be going to Fantastic Arcade.

The video game portion of the Fantastic Fest indie cinema event will be showing off more than 25 indie games, many of them accompanied by the to Among the other games showing up in Austin will be the awesomely haunting “Limbo,” the hilarious “Enviro-Bear 2000” and the controversial “Super Columbine Massacre RPG.”

Organized by curators Mike Plante, Eddo Stern and Roger Erik Tinch, the programming basically assembles damn near every indie game that been’s worth playing or talking about in the last few years into one room. What’s even better is that the games will be playable on either custom-made arcade stations or on top-of-the-line Alienware laptops.

Some of the attending game designers will be showing off newer work, too, as part of the Fantastic Arcade Spotlight. The Spotlight pits cutting-edge titles like Mark Essen’s trippy 8-bit actioner “Nidhogg,” Jakub Dvorsky’s beautifully intricate “Machinaruium” and Paolo Pedercini’s “Every Day the Same Dream.”

The games that will be on display blur the line between entertainment, commentary and art so it’ll be worth checking them out in the company of the folks who dreamt them up. Think of Fantastic Arcade as your chance to tell designer Jonathan Blow in person how much you love the iconic indie classic “Braid.” If you’re nice enough, he might even tell you what his next project is.

Fantastic Fest happens in Austin from September 23 to 30. See below for the full press release and more details on Fantastic Arcade.

Fantastic Arcade Competition announces indie game titles

Twenty-eight independent game designers featured at new games fest

Austin, TX–Wednesday, August 11, 2010–Fantastic Arcade, the new independent games festival presented by America’s largest genre film festival Fantastic Fest, today announced their principal line-up of twenty-nine indie game titles to be featured at this year’s debut independent games event.

Mike Plante, Arcade Curator for Fantastic Arcade, revealed the twenty-nine game titles selected for the festival by himself and fellow curators Eddo Stern and Roger Erik Tinch. The titles are comprised of eight spotlight titles, vying for honors and recognition at Fantastic Arcade, while the other twenty-one indie game titles are previously-released games chosen to be showcased on the basis of their ingenuity, style and attitude fitting within the Fantastic Fest world. Games will be available for free play on eight custom-built arcade-style gameplay stations and twenty-two brand new Alienware notebooks, featuring the Alienware M15x and Alienware M17x gaming notebooks.

The Fantastic Arcade Spotlight competition entries include eight PC game titles Enviro-Bear 2000 from game designer Justin Smith in Vancouver; Every Day the Same Dream from Carnegie-Mellon professor Paolo Pedercini; Feist, by game developers Florian Faller and Adrian Stutz of Zurich; Machinarium from Jakub Dvorský, game designer and visual artist from the Czech Republic; Monaco, from San Diego-based game designer Andy Schatz, Nidhogg, from L.A.-based experimental game designer Mark Essen; Norrland from freeware game designer Cactus in Sweden; and Ulitsa Dimitrova from German game designers Gerard Delmas and Lea Schönfelder.

The Fantastic Arcade Showcase features the following twenty-one game titles: Braid (from game designer: Jonathan Blow); Canabalt (Adam Atomic), which will be featured in a special Fantastic Arcade game tournament; The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile (Ska Studios); Dustforce! (Hitbox); Flotilla (Blendo Games); Garden Gnome Carnage (Daniel Remar); Gravity Bone (Blendo Games); Human Centipede The Game! (I-Mockery); Inside a Dead Skyscraper (Molle Industria); Limbo (Playdead); McDonald’s The Videogame (Molle Industria); Oiligarchy (Molle Industria); Operation: Pedopriest (Molle Industria); Overgrowth (Wolfire Games); The Path (Tale of Tales); Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style); Super Columbine Massacre RPG (Danny Ledonne); Sword & Sworcery EP (Superbrothers, Capy & Jim Guthrie); Tiny and Big: Up That Mountain (Black Pants Studio); Trine (Frozenbyte); and Zeno Clash (ACE Team).

Plante offers, “One of the goals of Fantastic Arcade is to provide a modest but fun venue for independently-made video games that fit within the genre and attitudes that the Fantastic Fest film festival already thrives on. We picked some games with an experimental style in their design and others are so filmic it looks like Terry Gilliam made them. A few have social commentary powerful enough to write your college thesis about. Mostly, the Fantastic Arcade is going to be kick-ass fun.”

The winning Fantastic Arcade Spotlight Competition designer receives a Dell Inspiron M501R notebook. The second place designer receives an ATI graphics card ($500 value). Competition semi-finalists and winners will be announced live at the Fantastic Arcade Awards Show at 7 pm on Sunday, September 26 at the HighBall Ballroom, followed immediately by the Fantastic Arcade closing night party.

The indie game designers will show off their new titles to an audience mix of Fantastic Fest attendees and game fans. More than 4,000 attendees are expected to visit Fantastic Arcade over four days for hands-on gameplay action in a fun, high octane environment at top Austin entertainment venue, the HighBall. Fantastic Arcade sponsors and partners include Alienware, Dell’s premiere high end PC division, along with AMD, Dell, G4, 101X, Austin Chronicle, CW Austin, Arcade UFO, GameOver Games and The Guildhall at SMU.

Attendees at Fantastic Arcade will have a choice of a single day pass for $20, with access to all Fantastic Arcade films, panels, parties, happy hour and game demos for one day, or a basic $10 pass that provides access to the game demos and arcade for a single day. The VIP Fantastic Arcade Pass for $60 provides access to everything for all four festival days, plus a limited edition Fantastic Arcade T-shirt. Fantastic Arcade tickets can be purchased online now here.

Watch More

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

Watch More

Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

Watch More

G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….


IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.


IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

Watch More