9 Years of Shadows (and Retrogaming goodness) is Coming to the Nintendo Switch and PC!

Halberd Studios 9 Years of Shadow is coming next year! This beautiful pixel art game will certainly look gorgeous when done.

Halberd Studios9 Years of Shadows logo is a Mexico-based development team that emphasizes the power of the narrative in games and they have a beautiful looking product that’ll be available next year for the Nintendo Switch and PC (Steam). 9 Years of Shadows promises to bring retrogaming goodness and a style to those who love the anime Saint Seiya, and much more. It’s a side scrolling videogame with a pixel art landscape looks absolutely radient, and it’s been tested at events like PAX and Steam Next Fest.

“We have gotten some immensely valuable feedback and really excited sentiments”, said Miguel Hasson, Creative Director of Halberd Studios. He also added, “We want to make sure we live up to those expectations and over-deliver on the Metroidvania experience. We thank you all for the support.”

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[Fantasia 2020] More Than Just a Sneak Peak at José Luis Saturno’s La Melodía Torrencial

José Luis Saturno’s La Melodía Torrencial is more than just a fairy tale, and we got to interview this filmmaker about it’s deeper meaning.

José Luis SaturnoMonsters and and Humans Shorts
July 23 at 9:00 PM at the Cinéma du Musée

In Fantasia’s 2022 list of animated shorts, not only did José Luis Saturno’s poster for La Melodía Torrencial catch my attention for its artistic design but also the trailer looked fabulous! The art design had a touch of Tim Burton’s design aesthetic which I adored, and I had to know more. I mentioned this film in my top animated picks list, and got a chance to see this short film ahead of its premiere.

This story about a rainmaker going by the name of Fluvio has a lot of layers tucked into its narrative. When a township sought him out to bring them rain to their arid community, what they get–some may say–was their just desserts. But there’s a lot more going on in Saturno’s latest work than meets the eye.

This filmmaker studied Film Animation at Concordia University in Montreal and started producing even before finishing his degree. He didn’t submit for film festivals until his third year in school, and instead of working for the big studios, he decided going independent was the way to go.

Thus, Enjambre Hexagonal was born. A few of their works can be found on YouTube, but to see them as they’re intended, on the big screen, is a must so the detail can be appreciated. He hires freelance artists as part of the staff to do this work, and the people on call include Yann Ben Alluch who does the storyboards and helps animate (“El mimo y la mariposa negra”). Robin Servant handles all the music and is the talent behind the sounds in La Melodía Torrencial. 

He said, “I never felt compelled to work in the industry from the bottom in the hopes of one day being hired as a director. I simply wanted to make films as quickly as possible.”

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Catching a Costume for Nicolas, A Movie Review

As long as Nicolas believes in the fantasy, that’s all we need to know. When he puts on a costume made by his grandma (pirate, spaceman, a dragon or whatever), he feels empowered and can take on anything!

NicolasBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

North American Premiere

A Costume For Nicholas is a wild and fancy free animation for all to enjoy. It’s not only a delightful and heartfelt adaptation of the children’s book Pablo y El Baúl by Jaime Mijares but also no prior knowledge is needed! The titular protagonist has Down’s syndrome. He lost his mother just minutes into the film (it’s easy to surmise because his grandparents take him in). Thankfully, adapting to life in an unfamiliar environment is hardly difficult at all.

David is his cousin, older by a couple of years, and though the two initially struggle to get along, it will take a magical adventure to see them bond. The tween has nightmares and they manifest strongly enough for Nick to see and he offers to help. However, before he involves David, he chases after the beast by himself and finds himself in another world via an old clothes trunk. Thankfully, the dangers he faces alone are not as dangerous as The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

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Finding Meaning from Halloween to Mexico’s Day of the Dead…

Dia de Muertos PosterHalloween is not over yet. Other cultures have their own variant. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a significant two day fiesta spent celebrating the life and legacy of loved ones who passed on. The first day of November is dedicated to the young who sadly passed before they had their time in the sun and the second day for adults. That is, the Día de los Inocentes (“Day of the Innocents”) precedes Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”).

The entertainment industry can dwell on the complexities of what this event means or go full on horror. I prefer the happier context and only a handful of works exists.

El Universal reported Dia de Muertos, a new animated work directed by Carlos Gutiérrez Medrano, is coming this month! It’s anglicized title is Salma’s Big Wish. As for whether this will get any North American screenings, is Shout! Factory listening?

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Celebrate the Book of Life, Western-Style

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Not many films truly acknowledge what another culture’s celebration is mainly about, and with The Book of Life, it does more than introduce to the world what the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is about. It’s known as a time for family and friends to gather together to honour and remember those who have passed, but there’s more; for some people, it is a time of introspection. This three-day celebration begins October 31st and not everyone considers the image of the skull frightening.

This time to celebrate is a communion to show that nobody, in close familial bonds or mutual companionship, is not forgotten. And that’s what makes this film enjoyable to follow. The story is centred upon the deep affection three close friends have for each other while growing up in the fictional Mexican town of San Ángel. In their childhood, Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoe Saldaña), and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) are inseparable even though the passion of the heart and following what their parents want for them to become as adults would insert daggers into their relationship. After Maria is taken away to learn how to grow up to be a proper lady, Manolo and Joaquin are groomed to be, respectively, the world’s greatest bull fighter and soldier for their little town.

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