On Sunday, for the first time since 2006 (as far as I can tell), Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children will be screened in a theater—an actual theater.
The polarizing film, which continued the story of Cloud and his angsty buddies after they defeated Sephiroth way back in the 90s, will be shown at the Newport Beach Film Festival (just outside of Los Angeles) on Sunday at 8pm PT. Some of the original cast and crew will be there, too—Quinton Flynn (Reno), Steve Staley (Kadaj), Beau Billingslea (Barrett), and Seth Thompson (environment lead).
What’s unusual about this showing is that Advent Children has only been shown in U.S. theaters once before—when it first came out, in April of 2006, also at a theater in Los Angeles. Most people could only watch Advent Children online or via DVD. (It was also released as a PSP movie—remember those?)
Dan Svec, who organized this project for the festival, told me in an e-mail that it took seven months worth of cajoling and bugging both Square Enix and Sony for this to happen.
“I am a massive fan of Final Fantasy VII, but as a programmer for the festival, I don’t let my personal appreciations affect my judgement in recruiting/reviewing films,” he said. “But after spending months of watching films, Final Fantasy: Advent Children kept coming up and a focal point. I looked past the film FOUR separate times because I wanted to convince myself that I wasn’t being objective, but I couldn’t escape the fact that this film is DAMN good! Ten years ago, it was ahead of its time, even now when you watch it, you can’t help but be amazed of the level of talent that was put into making it.”