‘Panic’ is Coming to a Town Near You

By  · Published on September 26th, 2009

There are many things the FSR Death Squad disagree on regarding what’s happened on and off the screen so far at this year’s Fantastic Fest (btw, Rob, we’re still not talking until you apologize for making me climb the ladder to film the attic of FSR HQ), but it seems the one thing we’ve come to a consensus on is that A Town Called Panic is one of the fest’s most entertaining and delightful surprises. I’m completely on board with Cole’s dead-on praise, and the film is a joyfully absurd experience that taps into a very whimsical sense of humor without itself ever coming across as childish. I’ve never heard my buddies quote a movie in French and laugh hysterically at themselves until now (or, for that matter, imitate the hilarious act of eating toast).

Well, good news came at last night’s screening: A Town Called Panic has been picked up for US distribution by the New York-based Zeitgeist Films, a specialty distribution company with a history of bringing fascinating foreign films and documentaries to American movie screens and DVD shelves that might never have been seen commercially otherwise. They have a release date for A Town Called Panic slated for December 14 at NYC’s famous Film Forum – and what better way to spend the holidays than to see a great animated Belgian comedy-adventure film about toys, waffles, and playing piano with hooves? We’ll keep you updated as we get wind of when A Town Called Panic will be expanding to other cities, but in the meantime check out Zeitgeist’s page devoted to the film.

UPDATED: We got official word directly from Nancy Gerstman over at Zeitgeist, and she had these glowing words to say:

In the final days of screenings and meetings (and burnout) of Cannes I met my friend, the Toronto distributor Ron Mann of Films We Like. He enthusiastically rallied my failing spirits to watch A TOWN CALLED PANIC, a film that was playing for distributors in one of the more obscure screening rooms in the Palais du Cinema. I had been speaking to PANIC’s sales agent about another one of their films but Ron assured me that “this is the one you’re going to love.” From the moment the credit sequence began I knew he was right.

After showing it to my business partner and our team at Zeitgeist we were biding our time (but never forgetting this wonderful, crazy movie) until we were able to acquire it. The rest (we hope, and expect) is history!

At Zeitgeist we love to mix it up. We do everything we feel fervently about: whether it’s an almost-3 hour almost-silent film about life in a French monastery; a vertiginous documentary about being in the eye of Hurricane Katrina; a tender love story from Kazakhstan about a woman who’s never seen; the incredible animations by the Brothers Quay; the astounding visions of Jan Svankmajer; and approximately 150 other extraordinary and diverse features and documentaries.

We can’t wait for A TOWN CALLED PANIC to open in December and we hope that, eventually, every town in the U.S. will welcome PANIC!

What do you think?