Artwork by J.D. Lees
Archive: G-FEST XXII
G-FEST is the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world. Held each summer, it typically attracts more than 1000 attendees, but has seen a gradual increase in attendance over the past few years. G-FEST 2014 was the most successful convention to date, bringing in about 3000 Japanese science fiction and fantasy film fans!
G-FEST is a family-oriented convention which caters to a wide variety of interests within the kaiju genre. G-FEST features presentations and Q & A sessions by actors and crew from the Japanese Godzilla films, fan presentations on topics of interest, contests and gaming, new and classic kaiju movies, the western world’s largest kaiju-oriented dealers room, and lots of fun and camaraderie.
The 2015 Convention
G-FEST XXII was held from July 10th to July 12th, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare.
Our guest of honor this year was Millennium Series Godzilla director Masaaki Tezuka. Additional special guests included actors Noboru Kaneko and Robert Scott Field, composer Kow Otani, as well as film historian and author August Ragone. See the Special Guests page for the full details.
The G-FEST double double feature returned with two different themes. “Big Bug Afternoon” featured Them! and The Deadly Mantis. “Gamera 50th Anniversary” paired up Gamera vs. Jiger and Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. These four films were shown on Thursday, July 9th, one pair in the afternoon and one pair in the evening. Godzilla vs. Biollante was the Friday feature on July 10th, and Godzilla X Megaguirus played on Saturday, July 11th. See all the details on the Movies page.
Coinciding with G-FEST XXII was Symphonic Fury! The Music of Japanese Monsters concert at the Pickwick Theatre on Friday, July 10th at 8:00 PM. Conducting the performance once again was John DeSentis with an orchestra of exceptionally talented freelance musicians from the Chicago area.
This year featured the first ever North American live performance of composer Akira Ifukube’s concert work Symphonic Fantasia, a three movement piece, featuring the best of his work from the Godzilla series, as well as other Toho sci-fi films such as Atragon, The Mysterians, and War of the Gargantuas. The first portion of the concert focused on the incredible music of Kow Otani, the composer of the Heisei Gamera series during the 1990s, as well as Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack from 2001.