15 Films you shouldn’t miss at the Golden Horse Fantastic Film Festival

These are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the Golden Horse Fantastic Film Festival which is taking place from April 7 – 16, 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan.

777 Charlie by Kiranraj K – India | 2022 – 164 minutes

777 Charlie is an Indian Kannada-language adventure comedy drama starring a Labrador dog in the titular role. The protagonist Dharma is stuck in a rut with his negative lifestyle and spends each day in the comfort of his loneliness. One day, puppy Charlie, named after the great maestro Chaplin, escapes from the house of a breeder where many dogs have been caged and tortured. He enters Dharma’s life and gives Dharma a new perspective towards it. (GHFFF 2023)


Animalia by Sofia Alaoui – France, Morocco, Qatar | 2023 – 91 minutes

Itto, a young woman from a modest rural background, is gradually adapting to the Moroccan privileged codes of her husband Amine’s family. But when supernatural events put the country in a mysterious state of emergency, Itto finds herself separated from her husband and the new family; meanwhile, increasingly ominous events and strange weather phenomena suggest a supernatural presence is nearing. Alone, pregnant and looking for her way back, Itto finds emancipation and the possibility of solace. (GHFFF 2023)


Anime Supremacy! by Kohei Yoshino – Japan | 2022 – 129 minutes

Hitomi Saito makes her directorial debut in the anime industry and competes for the title of “Haken” (supremacy) with the brilliant director of her dreams, Chiharu Oji. Chiharu, who previously produced many mega-hit films, is returning to the director’s chair for the first time in eight years. Hitomi’s goal is to match, and even surpass, his success and relevance. Their two programs are both scheduled to debut in the same primetime Saturday slot, and after Saito challenges Chiharu on stage at an anime convention, the two production teams set out to outdo one another! (GHFFF 2023)


Deadstream by Joseph Winter, Vanessa Winter – USA, UK | 2022 – 88 minutes

Six months after losing both his credibility and his sponsors, YouTuber Shawn Ruddy has a plan to win back his fame and followers: live-streaming by outfitting himself with all manner of camera and computer gear, and locking himself in the haunted Pratt House for one night. But he is not alone in this house… When Shawn accidentally unleashes a vengeful spirit, the comeback event becomes a real-time fight for his life. (GHFFF 2023)


La Pietà by Eduardo Casanova – Spain, Argentina | 2022- 86 minutes

Lili and Mateo are mother and son who have a profound relationship of mutual dependence. They indulge in their suffocating reality until one of them is diagnosed with a fatal illness. The mere thought of separation causes them to develop their darkest and most toxic version of themselves. In the meantime, a North Korean couple manages to flee the country. When they reach South Korea, however, they decide to return, affirming that the communist empire is the best place to live. (GHFFF 2023)


Mad Cats by Reiki Tsuno – Japan | 2023 – 87 minutes

Shiftless young man Taka sets off on a quest to find his missing brother Mune. Teaming up with a quirky new friend and an edgy, mysterious young girl along the way, Taka finds himself taking on a pack of vicious monster cats determined to execute unscrupulous pet shop owners. Why are the monster cats after him? Why was his brother captured? What is the purpose of this mysterious young girl? All these puzzles are about to be solved as the journey leads to a final showdown. (GHFFF 2023)


Narcosis by Martijn de Jong – Netherland | 2022 – 112 minutes

A close-knit family is disrupted when the father fails to resurface during a professional dive. No funeral, no goodbye, just a house full of memories. Burdened by the elusive loss, Merel evades her husband’s death and everything related to it. Her young children become entangled in their search for answers, eventually bringing the family to a grinding halt. Merel has no choice but to face the loss in her own unique way, to start a new life together. (GHFFF 2023)


Pearl by Ti West – USA, Canada, New Zealand | 2022 – 103 minutes

Trapped on her family’s isolated farm, Pearl must tend to her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother. Lusting for a glamorous life like she’s seen in the movies, Pearl finds her ambitions and temptations clash with the repressive environment she lives in. The director of The House of the Devil returns with the story behind the origins of the iconic villainess from X, in a prequel set in the year 1918. (GHFFF 2023)


Rebel by Adil El Arbi – Belgium, Luxemburg, France | 2022 – 135 minutes

When Kamal resolves to change his life for the better, he leaves Belgium to aid war victims in Syria. But unexpectedly he is forced to join a militia to work for the Islamic State and is left stranded in Raqqa. Back home, his younger brother Nassim quickly becomes easy prey for radical recruiters. Their mother Leila fights to protect the only thing she has left: her youngest son. Violent, lyrical, poetic, and urgent: this is a film rebelling with a cause and an intimate study of radicalization and extremism’s impact on the family. (GHFFF 2023)


Side by Side by Chihiro Ito – Japan | 2023 – 130 minutes

Mysterious young man Miyama has the ability to sense the thoughts of other people. These thoughts sometimes take the form of a spirit that haunts Miyama, but with this power, he can detect and heal people in pain. While locals accept him, the secrets of his background linger and it all comes out when he confronts the thoughts of Kusaka, his junior in high school. Miyama’s meeting with Kusaka reunites him with his ex-girlfriend Riko, a woman who is part of the past that he ran away from. (GHFFF 2023)


Sisu by Jalmari Helander – Finland | 2022 – 91 minutes

Set in 1945. After years of searching in vain, ex-soldier Aatami Korpi finally stumbles upon the treasure of his life, a generous haul of gold, in the N*zi-occupied deep wilderness of Finland. On his way into the city, brutal N*zi on a scorched-earth mission discovers his treasure trove. The relentless soldier must go through outrageous lengths to get his loot home, even if it means killing every last N*zi. (GHFFF 2023)


Smoking Causes Coughing by Quentin Dupieux – France | 2022 – 77 minutes

Like your favourite spandex-clad, helmeted childhood superheroes, the five-piece Tobacco Force fights extraterrestrial evil to save the world. However, after a devastating battle against a diabolical turtle, they are sent on a mandatory retreat to strengthen their decaying group cohesion. Their sojourn goes wonderfully well until Lézardin, Emperor of Evil, decides to annihilate planet Earth. From talking barracudas to murders at a villa, this bizarre comedy plays with the genre conventions of children’s television, swerving unexpectedly into tales of the macabre. (GHFFF 2023)


Summer Scars by Simon Rieth – France | 2022 – 104 minutes

Two brothers Tony and Noé pass the long, sweltering summer days playing games of chance and death, testing their bravery… until the accident that will change their lives forever and create a mysterious bond between them. Ten years later, now young adults and back in Royan, they cross paths with Cassandra, their childhood love. But even after all this time, the brothers are still hiding a secret… (GHFFF 2023)


Viking by Stéphane Lafleur – Canada | 2022 – 104 minutes

David, a high school gym teacher who seizes the opportunity to revive his dream of becoming an astronaut, endures an intensely granular personality test and becomes a part of a new initiative in which he and four others will mirror the behavior of astronauts on the first manned flight to Mars, so that organizers of the mission can predict problems before they become insurmountable – or dangerous. (GHFFF 2023)


Whisper of the Heart by Yuichiro Hirakawa – Japan | 2022 – 115 minutes

Shizuku meets Seiji in middle school. Initially, she does not have any fondness for him. However, her opinion of him changes when she sees him pursue his passion. Seiji discovers that she wants to become a novelist, and they both promise each other to pursue their dreams. Ten years later, Shizuku has given up on her dream and works as a children’s book editor. While she spends her days selling books, Seiji continues to chase his dreamabroad. The distance between them gradually grows… (GHFFF 2023)


For more information, about the festival please visit:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.