Calgary International Film Fest ready for 13th screening
MRU grad plays a part in local movie
While the state of independent cinemas in Calgary is up in the air, that doesn’t mean there is no place for non-Hollywood cinema here.
The Calgary International Film Festival, or CIFF as it is affectionately known, is celebrating its 13th birthday this year, starting on Sept. 20. Taking place at the Globe Cinema and Eau Claire theatres, Calgarians will be treated to over 200 films coming from more than 100 countries.
While the majority of films are coming from afar, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some homegrown talent. Nearly one quarter of the films are of Canadian origin, and YYC has some entries itself.
“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet but I know that when it does I am going to be terrified,” said Josh Symonds, a Mount Royal University theatre graduate, of his starring role in CIFF film Cody Fitz, written and produced by Calgarian Kurtis Harder.
The film marks the finished product of a lot of years of hard work for Symonds, Harder and the rest of the crew. While the road to the screen wasn’t paved for them, the team stuck together with their end goal in mind and Harder at the helm.
“A lot went wrong, sometimes people didn’t show up, and we would run behind on schedule a lot and Kurt would always bring everyone together and get the job done,” Symonds said. “It really makes you have some hope for young artists in Canada.”
While Harder is making his debut into the professional world of film, many of the other films have been making their rounds at other festivals and have finally arrived in town.
Two of the bigger names on the lineup will open and close the festival. Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children kicks things off on Sept. 20 at a special event at the Jubilee. Eight days later, Brandon Cronenberg’s piece Antiviral will send CIFF off on a high note.
Another film that isn’t a headliner but is going to be grabbing attention will be The Standbys, which focuses on those both talented and patient enough to be the standbys on Broadway.
If you’re looking for a film to take someone cute from your new class to, Canadian films Date Night and My Awkward Sexual Adventure are the films you won’t regret seeing.
Students are able to see films for only $11 with a student ID at the box office, which is a bargain considering the quality of films you’ll be seeing. For those interested in catching more than just one film, ticket packages are available.
Check out www.calgaryfilm.com to see the options as well as read up on the rest of the films on the schedule.
While CIFF is by no means TIFF (Toronto International Film Fest) or any major film fest, this year marks another steady notch on the progression the festival has been taking.
It is no stretch to assume that by its 15th anniversary, CIFF will be an event you’ll have circled on your calendar long before the reels start spinning.