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Meet a Fantastic Fest First Timer – Kevin MacDonald

Kevin MacDonald - First Timer at FF
by Jason Whyte

“I'm a 33 year old movie fan from Scotland and work as a call centre advisor for British Telecom. I was born in Inverness which is the most northern city in the United Kingdom but have lived for most of my years in a small coastal town called Thurso which is over a hundred miles north of Inverness…which was where my 'local' cinema was situated up until a month or so ago!” Kevin MacDonald, film fan who is attending Fantastic Fest for the first time.

Do you attend any other film festivals around the year? If so what are your favorite things about those festivals?

I have never attended any film festival so this year's Fantastic Fest is new territory for me!

What made you decide to attend Fantastic Fest this year?

I've been jealously reading online coverage on the festival for the past few years. The coverage from Aint It Cool and Film School Rejects during Fantastic Fest 2010 was the breaking point for me; it was just something I had to attend as soon as possible. Study commitments prevented me from attending in 2011 as I graduated in December from the Open University with a BSC in Physics. With my distance-learning obligations attended to, there was nothing standing in my way for this year's festival.

What are some of your favorite types of films? (And least favorite types of films if you are so bold)

I will watch pretty much anything although sci-fi and horror tend to dominate my viewing time. As for least favorite film types, I guess I don't go out of my way to see musicals. Do dubbed films count? Never do those!

What do you expect to see when you arrive in Austin for Fantastic Fest this year?

The main thing I'm anticipating/dreading is the heat. I tend to struggle in Twenty degree heat at home so the extra ten degrees or so when I cross the Atlantic are probably going to take most of my festival-attending time to get accustomed to. I'm hopeful of crossing paths with a lot of like-minded movie geeks. It's a bit strange when you follow a lot of American movie critics on Twitter from the UK, it seems like a very tightly-knit bunch so I'm a little concerned of still feeling like I'm on the outside looking in. And as well many, many awesome movies I'd never have otherwise heard of let alone seen!

Do you plan to see only movies at Fantastic Fest, or attend parties, or a little bit of both? What's your gameplan?

There are some events which sound interesting enough to check out such as the debates and the closing night party but mainly I'm there for the movies and the Alamo Drafthouse experience.

Are you planning to hit up any barbecue or any non-Fantastic Fest events during the festival?

I'd love the opportunity to hit up Franklin, The Salt Lick or any number of the other BBQ joints which come highly recommended - it seems like visiting Texas without sampling the best BBQ in the world would be a terrible oversight.

Overall, what are you looking forward to the MOST at Fantastic Fest 2012?

The Alamo Drafthouse has such a hugely impressive reputation so I'm looking forward to a movie-watching experience like nothing I've ever had before. In terms of what's on the schedule, I'm prepared to take advice from previous attendees and not to get too hung up on planning a strict schedule and going with the flow. Apart from SINISTER, that's the one movie I'd hate to miss during the week.

Finally, a question I ask everyone...what is your all time favorite motion picture, and why?

TAXI DRIVER. I think, beyond the violence and darker aspects of the story, it's a really moving piece about frustration and loneliness. Despite where the main character ends up by the end of the movie, it's clear this is someone who is really just crying out to be noticed, to be accepted, to be 'normal'. I feel it's one with whom I can easily identify; no need to be scared, my mohawk won't have grown in by the time Fantastic Fest comes around!

This is one of the many interviews featured for coverage at Fantastic Fest this year. For more information about the fest please feel free to check out

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @jasonwhyte for more up to date pictures, quick reviews and commentary, live from Austin, Texas!

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 09/25/12 08:42:05
last updated: 09/25/12 08:43:59
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