He Knows Kung Fu

Keanu Reeves to premiere directorial debut film at Fantastic Fest 2013

Keanu Reeves to premiere directorial debut film at Fantastic Fest

Keanu Reeves in Man of Tai Chi film premiering at Fantastic Fest
Keanu Reeves directs and stars in Man of Tai Chi, which will premiere at Fantastic Fest 2013. Courtesy of Courtesy of Radius
Fantastic Fest 2013 poster by artist Johnny Sampson
Fantastic Fest 2013 poster by Johnny Sampson. Courtesy of Courtesy of Fantastic Fest
Keanu Reeves in Man of Tai Chi film premiering at Fantastic Fest
Fantastic Fest 2013 poster by artist Johnny Sampson

Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in sci-fi, horror, fantasy and everything in between. The festival has released its first wave of programming for the 2013 event, which will take place at Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline from September 19 - 26.

The first major headliner of the lineup is a film whose U.S. premiere will take place at the festival, Man of Tai Chi. The film marks the directorial debut of the man who was able to download kung fu into his brain, Keanu Reeves. The Hollywood actor, who also stars in the feature film, will make an in-person appearance at the festival for the film’s premiere.

Man of Tai Chi is a multilingual film inspired by Reeves’ real-life friend, stuntman Tiger Chen. The movie follows the journey of a young martial artist with an unequaled gift in the art of Tai Chi, which lands him in an underground fight club that forces him to a fight for survival as the battles escalate.

The kung fu genre is just the tip of the eclectic iceberg as evidenced by the other films revealed in the first lineup announcement. The first wave includes horror films, revenge flicks, dark comedies and even a violent, Bollywood-inspired Indian action movie. Fantastic Fest will feature some of the world and U.S. premieres of genre films made in countries ranging from the U.S. to Argentina to Sweden.

The potpourri of demented movies is the calling card of Fantastic Fest. Founder and Creative Director Tim League states in a press release, “This first incredible selection of films gives a small taste of the fun, but I can assure you there are lots of surprises yet to come. 2013 should be remembered a vintage year for Fantastic Fest."

Fantastic Fest's opening night feature will be the world premiere of the new Robert Rodriguez film, Machete Kills, the sequel to his action-packed, grindhouse film Machete. A red carpet extravaganza will include Rodriguez and actors Danny Trejo and Alexa Vega.

This year the festival will be located at the brand new Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline. Submissions for Fantastic Arcade 2013 are open until July 31. Indie video game developers can submit their creations for the arcade that runs from September 19 - 22.