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Archive: G-FEST XXV Schedule

General events and times for G-FEST XXV are listed below. Interviews and sessions with our special guests can be easily found with the G-Guest icon:

Download a partial PDF version of the official Program Guide with session details and times, hotel site map, daily event grids, and more.

Thursday, July 12th

Special double double-bill at the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, IL

  • 1:00 PM: The Valley of Gwangi
  • 3:00 PM: Dinosaurus!
  • 7:00 PM: The Mighty Peking Man
  • 9:00 PM: Pacific Rim: Uprising
Hedorah

Artwork by Modstoon

Friday, July 13th

G-FEST Orientation

(11:00 AM, Ballroom 1) - As an aid to maximizing their G-FEST experience, fans could drop by this session and get answers to any questions from the convention organizers.

Zilla’s 20th Birthday

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - Twenty years ago, Godzilla headlined an American-made film for the first time, and fans were mostly left wanting. Does time heal all wounds? This panel discussion looked back at the film, its reception, and its legacy. With Jeff Horne, Tristan Domay, Miguel Barroso, Brian Scherschel, and Scrooge Jones.

The Kaiju Kingdom Podcast: Spotlight on Matt Frank

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - Podcast co-hosts Jessica Tseang and Chris Eaton were excited to have a Matt Frank exclusive interview debut at G-FEST XXV. They picked the brain of one of the most well-known Godzilla artists, and discuss the future of kaiju films.

When Kaiju Meet Samurai

(12:00 PM, Kennedy) - Most kaiju fans can tell the difference between the Showa and Heisei eras, but what about all of the movies that take place before that? Jomon era, Heian era, Muromachi… which monsters lived when? A crash course in Japanese history, only with more giant toads, eight-headed dragons, and giant stone warriors than you’d ever get in school! With Kevin Derendorf.

Interview: Keizo Murase

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 5)

Ogon Bat

(1:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - “Where is it that you come from Ogon Bat? A question that only the bats would know!” Andrew Battaglia explored the history of the first Japanese superhero and possibly the world’s first modern superhero, Ogon Bat!

G-Pardy Adult Game 1

(1:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - The famed kaiju quiz game returned under the expert guidance of Skip Peel. (For players 13 years and up)

Godzilla: A Paleontologist’s Take

(1:00 PM, Kennedy) - Godzilla has been classified as a dinosaur, a reptile, and even a plant. But what is he really? This session used paleontological methods to determine what the King truly is. With Denny Roth.

Godzilla at Marvel Comics

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - In the mid-1970s, during a nine-year gap in the Godzilla films, Marvel Comics introduced our favorite kaiju into the Marvel Universe, where he fought other monsters, alien invasions, dinosaurs, giant robots, and of course, lots of superheroes. This panel offered a critical overview of the two year series, along with some perspective on how comics were different from what we see today. With Martin Arlt.

G-Pardy Adult Game 2

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - With Skip Peel. (For players 13 years and up)

H-Man: 60 Years

(2:00 PM, Kennedy) - Kyle Byrd and Matt Parmley of the Kaiju Transmissions Podcast discussed sixty years of The H-Man, including historical background, production history, and different versions of the film!

Top Ten Sci-fi Prehistoric Monsters

(3:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - Which are the greatest ‘prehistoric’ monsters of science fiction? This panel of experts came up with a listing of the top ten of-all-time! With Allen Debus, Greg Noneman, Jason Croghan, and Samuel Iler.

Horror in Kaiju Films

(3:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - It’s not always about city smashing fun. Sometimes monsters can be scary! This session celebrated Friday the 13th as it dug into kaiju history to look at the darker side of favorite monster movies! Wih Tristan Domay, Scott Witherall, Bryan Clark, and Casey LeBleu.

Kaijuvision Radio: Godzilla and the Japanese National Spirit

(3:00 PM, Kennedy) - Fans joined Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand, who’ve analyzed the Godzilla franchise in 37 episodes of their podcast, Kaijuvision Radio, as they illustrated how G-films have expressed Japanese thoughts and feelings on various contemporary issues over the decades.

50th Anniversary of Destroy All Monsters

(4:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski commemorated the 50th anniversary of Honda’s classic Destroy All Monsters, taking you behind the scenes to share the origins of the production, rare production art, making anecdotes, and personal memories of the 1968 film.

G-Pardy 2018 Kid Championship

(4:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - By popular demand, one grand game of the kaiju quiz was designed for kids (age 12 and under) and crowned a 2018 Kids’ Champion, awarding a mini trophy the winner could keep! With Skip Peel.

Attack of the Kaiju Anthology

(4:00 PM, Kennedy) - Attack of the Kaiju is a collaboration of new writers with established authors. Fans learned how the two groups combined their efforts to promote the growth of quality kaiju fiction. With Neil Riebe, and Christopher Nigro.

Opening Ceremonies

(7:00 PM, Ballrooms 1 & 2) - The official opening of G-FEST XXV introduced our special guests, as well as members of the committee that produce the convention.

Young Fan Costume Parade

(Approx. 7:30 PM, Ballrooms 1 & 2) - Due to ever-increasing participation, G-FEST again offered two costume parades. Friday night featured young fans displaying their (and their parents’) handiwork.

Radioactive Karaoke

(Following Young Fan Costume Parade, Ballroom 2)

Rampage

(10:30 PM, the Pickwick Theatre)

Godzilla

Artwork by Chris Scalf

Saturday, July 14th

Japan Update with M-11

(9:00 AM, Ballroom 1) - Robert Scott Field brought us the latest trends and (kaiju-related) cultural happenings from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Advancing Your Kaiju Filmmaking Skills

(9:00 AM, Ballroom 2) - Fans creating their own kaiju short films are a big part of the kaiju community. Jake DeNunzio hosted an instructional panel that gave plenty of in-depth tips on bringing your home-made kaiju visions to life, as well as a live demonstration of creating some simple special effects that can enhance your movies immensely!

Shigeru Mizuki: Gegege no Kitaro

(9:00 AM, Kennedy) - A celebration and retrospective of the work of yokai master Shigeru Mizuki on the 50th anniversary of the original Gegege no Kitaro series. With Joyce Boss.

The Other Side of Ishiro Honda

(10:00 AM, Ballroom 1) - Ed Godziszewski and Steve Ryfle, authors of the biography Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa, showed clips from and discussed the legendary director’s non-genre work.

Celebrating Destroy All Monsters

(10:00 AM, Ballroom 2) - It had been 50 years since the Kilaaks took control of all Earth’s monsters. Fans relived the invasion through the memories of this illustrious panel. With Martin Arlt, Danny Tokarz, Colin McMahon, Kevin Horn, Jeff Horne, Mike Sutton, and Miguel Barroso.

Godzilla Stories

(10:00 AM, Kennedy) - An interactive session where fans shared their stories inspired by and about Godzilla. With Stephen Schilling and Nathan Marchand.

Summit Kaiku Creative Contest

(11:00 AM, Ballroom 1) - The Summit Kaiju panel unveiled an animated short film featuring a new CGI kaiju and revealed the winners of the Online Creative Photo Contest. With Jeremy Soles, Rich Eso, Kyle Yount, Jessica Tseang, Christine Chapin, David Eric Dopko, Jon D. Bumpus, Jessica Etchells, Leslie Chambers, John Ruffin, and David Galindo.

Interview: Kenpachiro Satsuma

(11:00 AM, Ballroom 2) - The man in the Heisei G-suit returned for his third visit to discuss his life and times, and Godzilla. With Kyle Yount.

Drawing with Matt: 25th G-FEST Edition

(11:00 AM, Kennedy) - Comic artist Matt Frank (Godzilla Rulers of Earth) did a Q & A as he drew a big special anniversary Gfantis sketch!

Fresh Vinyl Live!

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - Discussions on the latest toy releases from Japan from X-Plus, Bandai, S.H. Monster Arts and more for 2018! With Richard Eso, David Eric Dopko, and Jon Bumpus.

Interview: Megumi Odaka

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - Ms. Odaka played psychic Miki Saegusa in six G-films, the longest-running continuing character (other than the Big G himself) in Godzilla history. Back at G-FEST for the first time since 2000, she relived her experiences in the Heisei G Series.

Gamera vs. Viras at 50

(12:00 PM, Kennedy) - The year was 1968, and boyscouts were helping a giant turtle save the world with the aid of a yellow submarine. It had been half a century since Gamera thwarted his first alien invasion, and fans were there to celebrate! With Tristan Domay and Mike Sutton.

Tokyo S.O.S.: 15 Years

(1:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - Celebrating the 15th anniversary of what many fans consider the best film of the Millenium series, featuring the most impressive Mothra yet seen in battle with the Big G and MechaG. With Archie Waugh, Ira Taborn, Miguel Barroso, and Matt Parmley.

Interview: Gene Rizzardi

(1:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - Gene is the sculptor of G-FEST’s coveted Mangled Skyscraper Award, but his resume holds other massive achievements, including head of the model crew on such films as Titanic and Godzilla (‘98). His memories of working on the latter film were a part of the “grilling” conducted by Stan Hyde.

The Art of Kaiju Writing

(1:00 PM, Kennedy) - Fans joined Skip Peel (Rex Summeral), Neil Riebe (Attack of the Kaiju), John LeMay (The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies, The Lost Films), and Nathan Marchand (Destroyer) for a discussion on writing kaiju fiction. They covered all aspects of fiction writing.

Pacific Rim 2

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - This spring, the long-anticipated sequel to Pacific Rim hit theaters, with more kaiju, more Jaegers, and more urban destruction. This panel discussed the pros and cons of this latest giant monster movie. With Jeff Horne, Ira Taborn, Miguel Barroso, Scrooge Jones, and Nathan Marchand.

Women of Godzilla Fandom

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - For as long as Godzilla fandom has existed, both those within the community and outsiders would be quick to assume that it is a “boys interest” area. Here to dispel this myth were women who have long loved Toho’s greatest creation, providing fresh new perspective on frequently asked questions. Moderated by Jessica Tseang.

Kaijunomics: Economic Simulations of Giant Monster Destruction

(2:00 PM, Kennedy) - Like any good multi-stage monster, Giant Monsters by the Numbers had mutated into something new and terrifying… Kaijunomics. This panel took a new angle into some of your favorite giant monster attacks, starting with the event, then estimating how the world would react to such destruction. Giant Monsters plus economics! With Keith Foster.

Interview: Keizo Murase

(2:30 PM, Ballroom 5)

Remembering Haruo Nakajima

(3:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - A look back at Nakajima’s life on film and through the eyes of his fans. Stories from experiences of meeting the man inside the suit. With Rich Eso, Ed Godziszewski, Jessica Etchells, Christine Chapin.

Varan: 60 Years

(3:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - What made Varan so unbelievable at 60 years old? Fans joined Kevin Horn as he took you back to the beginning with one of Toho’s earliest kaiju.

How to Kill a Kaiju: Schemes to “Off” Godzilla

(3:00 PM, Kennedy) - In a period of time spanning over 60 years and 32 movies, people have always asked one question when facing the might of Godzilla: How do you kill this guy? Ira Taborn reviewed and analyzed the many attempts to kill the big G!

G-FEST Memories

(4:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - After 25 years, there were plenty of G-FEST memories to sift through. J.D. Lees, Stan Hyde, and others associated with the world’s most successful kaiju convention conducted a tour down memory lane.

Kaiju Music Videos

(4:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - The best of fan-made “tune and kaiju” combos. With Andy Steele.

Giant Robot Movies

(4:00 PM, Kennedy) - Giant robot flicks have been around for the whole history of the kaiju genre. With hot new releases like BraveStorm and Pacific Rim Uprising capturing the world’s attention, it’s never been a better time to be a mecha fan. This retrospective covered the highlights of the often-overlooked giant robot movie subgenre. With Kevin Derendorf.

G-Pardy Championship

(7:00 PM, Ballrooms 1 & 2) - With Skip Peel.

Award Ceremony

(7:30 PM, Ballrooms 1 & 2)

Adult Costume Parade

(8:00 PM, Ballrooms 1 & 2)

Amateur Kaiju Videos

(9:00 PM, Ballrooms 1 & 2)

Godzilla vs. Mothra

(10:30 PM, the Pickwick Theatre)

Titanosaurus

Artwork by Chris Scalf

Sunday, July 15th

The All-New Sonorama Panel with Kamishibai

(10:00 AM, Ballroom 1) - Fans joined Stan Hyde and Len Medlock for a celebration of classic kaiju art and artists. They saw the stories of their favourite kaiju that have been carefully guarded secrets until now, and there was some classic kaiju story-telling as well.

Kaiju Krazy Moments

(10:00 AM, Ballroom 2) - What. The. Heck. A celebration of the movie moments that made you rewind and watch that scene again just to make sure you saw it right. A discussion of favorite moments in kaiju film history. Afterwards, the audience decided which moment was the best. With Scrooge Jones.

Alternate Cut Preservation Society

(10:00 AM, Kennedy) - The Godzilla series and other kaiju films have never been more readily available in the U.S., but are the versions originally screened outside of Japan in danger of disappearing? Fans learned all about the status of these alternate cuts, and what G-fans can do to help preserve them! With Will Offutt and Michael Callari.

Interview: Don Frye

(11:00 AM, Ballroom 1) - The star of Godzilla: Final Wars looked back on the penultimate G-film, working with Ryuhei Kitamura and the Toho stars, and also talked about his amazing fighting career and how it led to a role in a Godzilla movie.

The Lost Films: New Discoveries

(11:00 AM, Ballroom 2) - In the year since John LeMay wrote his lost films book, he made a multitude of new discoveries relating not only to giant monsters, but also unmade sequels for human sized Toho monsters like Mizuno, the Human Vapor. Titles discussed included “Frankenstein vs. the Human Vapor,” the real story behind Yoshimitsu Banno’s “Godzilla vs. Hedorah 2,” unmade Daimajin remakes, and more surprises!

Godzilla: Planet of Monsters

(11:00 AM, Kennedy) - Part one of the Godzilla Planet trilogy was released in English on Netflix in early 2018. Panelists Chris Little, Ira Taborn, Miguel Barroso, and Scrooge Jones discussed this first installment.

Awards Ceremony for Contest Winners

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 1)

Japan’s Green Monsters

(12:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - Japan’s Green Monsters, a recent book from Sean Rhoads and Brooke McCorkle, provides a new interpretation of Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera, and other kaiju. Analyzing Japanese history, society, and film, the authors showed the ways in which monster cinema takes on environmental and ecological issues, from nuclear power and industrial pollution to biodiversity and climate change. With Sean Rhoads.

Kaiju in Speculative Poetry

(12:00 PM, Kennedy) - Beyond the screens, Godzilla and other kaiju have also inspired numerous books of poetry over the decades. Fans joined Bryan Thao Worra, president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, and the author of the chapbook The Kaiju and I, for a lively reading and discussion of where we might go next with Godzilla poetry!

Godzilla and Japanese Nationalism

(1:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - From Godzilla (1954) to Shin Godzilla, the complex subject of Japan’s postwar identity and its relations with the U.S. and the world have periodically arisen in the kaiju eiga. Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski discussed this fascinating subject that helps illuminate the genre.

Giant Monsters Attack NYC: A History

(1:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - Ever wonder why King Kong, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and Godzilla love NYC so much? Fans learned about the cinematic destruction of New York City at the claws of some well-known (and not so well-known) giant movie monsters. This event encouraged discussion, audience questions, and featured the interactive New York City Giant Monster Attack Map. Mark Bailey showed why the Big Apple is so ripe for destruction when it comes to giant monsters.

American Characters in Godzilla Films

(1:00 PM, Kennedy) - In 1954, Toho created one of the greatest Japanese film franchises: Godzilla! So one must ask, why do these old white guys keep showing up? Ira Taborn reviewed the fascinating history of American characters in Toho Godzilla films.

Objectively the Best Godzilla Movie EVER. Period.

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - Every person has a favorite Godzilla movie, but we’ve all still wondered, “Which one is really the best?” In this light-hearted debate, expert panelists settled, for once and for all, which Godzilla movie is king of the movie monsters. With Colin McMahon, Kym Taborn, Jessica Tseang, and John LeMay.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2: 25 Years

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - It had been 25 years since G-Force built a robotic version of Godzilla in order to defeat him once and for all. A panel of expert fans shared their views on (arguably) the most popular of the Heisei Godzilla films. With Jeff Horne, Danny Tokarz, Kevin Horn, Ira Taborn, and Miguel Barroso.

Creating Original Kaiju

(2:00 PM, Kennedy) - When a genre is ruled by a 100-meter tall, fire breathing monster, how do creators go about making all new kaiju for fans to enjoy? Author Dane G. Kroll (Realm of Goryo) and creators from the Kaiju Assault Card Game discussed their processes in developing new kaiju for their books and games.

G-FAN, G-FEST, and G-TOUR

(3:00 PM , Ballroom 1) - Any fans curious about the history, inner workings of, or future plans for the “Three G’s” got to ask questions and make suggestions. With J.D. Lees.

Godzilla YouTubers

(3:00 PM , Ballroom 2) - This panel featured members of the Godzilla YouTube community, who spoke about themselves, how they got started on YouTube, the positives and the negatives, as well as how it has affected them in the way they connect with others. With Miguel Barroso, Raphael Cosme (KAIJUZILLA621), and Richard Manzo (Gojira5400).

The Most Monsterous Non-Godzilla Godzilla Games

(3:00 PM, Kennedy) - Godzilla has stomped his way through many a video game console, but what if a particular game publisher couldn’t afford the Toho License? Enter titles like Rampage, King of the Monsters, and the Earth Defense Force series! Matt McMuscles broke down the pretenders, wannabes, and even the serious competitors to Godzilla’s throne! With Matt Kowalewski.

Kaiju Konfessions

(4:00 PM, Ballroom 2) - It was time to pack up G-FEST for another year. Fans joined the celebration of kaiju song and dance! With Stan Hyde.