Fantastic Fest 2012 kicks off their programming with Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’

Is it okay if I just pretend Comic-Con is already over and start focusing on Fantastic Fest instead?

With the announcement today that Fantastic Fest 2012 will kick off with their opening night premiere of Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” I think it’s time to officially start getting excited.  I’ve heard some of the other titles that are confirmed or rumored for this year’s line-up, and it’s looking like Fantastic Fest is packed this year.  There will be both big and small premieres, and the line-up could end up being one of the strongest since the festival began.

I’m amazed at the way Tim League and his programming team have turned Fantastic Fest into a major part of the film year.  League takes chances, and more often than not, they pay off.  At a time when the home video market is supposedly retracting, getting even smaller, League is just starting to build out a library of his own curated titles with the Drafthouse Films Blu-rays and DVDs.  He started a distribution company when no one else would step up and release “Four Lions,” and he’s already managed to help one foreign title, “Bullhead,” get an Oscar nomination while also helping coordinate the first title that Drafthouse Films has been involved in from start to finish.  During SXSW this year, we figured out that he was also opening four new businesses, and of course, he’s also juggling the pressures of new fatherhood.

Yet none of that takes away from his general focus, and he’s able to also spearhead this amazing event every year.  Here’s the official poster for this year’s festival:

And now, a press release about the opening night premiere of “Frankenweenie”:

Fantastic Fest is excited to announce Walt Disney Pictures” Frankenweenie will have its world premiere on September 20 as the opening night film for the 2012 festival, happening September 20-27 in Austin, Texas at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar.

“Tim Burton stands as a titan of modern genre cinema.  To world premiere the feature adaptation of his early beloved short is a huge honor for me personally and for the festival in general,” said Fantastic Fest Co-founder & Creative Director Tim League.

From creative genius Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas) comes Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor”s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

A stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D. The talented voice cast includes: Catherine O”Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder.

Presented by Disney, Frankenweenie is directed by Tim Burton, produced by Tim Burton and Allison Abbate, from a screenplay by John August, based on an original idea by Tim Burton. Frankenweenie releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012.

We’ll have more on the festival and its line-up as it gets closer to happening, but for now, it looks like they’ll kick things off in high style this year.