Calgary Film picks up heavyweights for international festival

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Films from around the world, including Brazil, Spain, New Zealand and South Africa, will be screened at this year’s Calgary International Film Festival.


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The full lineup of over 175 films from over 40 countries was announced this week and today CIFF added a number of special screenings, including a live score of The Kid by Chad VanGaalen, and the premiere of a new movie never seen before. episodes of Jann, season 3 and Tribal, season 2.

Sadly, one of the biggest events has been postponed until next year. The live In Conversation with Isabella Rossellini was scheduled to take place on September 29 but was postponed to January 2022 at the Telus Spark Science Center, a suitable venue as the iconic actress is also a science filmmaker. She is the narrator of Spark Science Centre’s new digital immersion gallery experience, Every Second, which explores the math that makes up our lives.


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To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, The Kid, Chad VanGaalen – as Black Mold – will perform a live score of the film when it is screened at Contemporary Calgary.

The premieres of Jann and Tribal will be followed by conversations with their stars, creators and producers, including Jann Arden and Ron E. Scott.

Some of the 12 feature films announced at this year’s film festival are:

Julia, who reunites co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen (RVB) for a film about another extraordinary woman. This time, they are focusing on famous cookbook author Julia Child.

Drinkwater, a quirky Canadian coming-of-age tale about friendship and survival in high school.

Flee, who won the World Cinema Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of an Afghan refugee persecuted through an animation to protect his identity.


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The Electric Life of Louis Wain with Benedict Cumberbatch as the eccentric British artist whose playful, sometimes even psychedelic imagery helped transform the public perception of cats forever.

The Official Competition brings together more star power in Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz in a satire on filmmaking.

“There is a general sense of optimism and re-emergence in this year’s lineup, which is very refreshing and exciting,” said Brian Owens, artistic director of CIFF. “After what we’ve been through globally over the past two years, it’s been a big inspiration to the coming-of-age story and brought to the fore the energy and programming of youth. There are a lot of strong titles and themes and our mandate to showcase diversity is at an all time high this year, not only with the countries represented, but also in the diversity of the story and the filmmakers creating these films.

There are also dozens of short films, which can be viewed on the CIFF website at

Members of the public in the covered rooms of the CIFF will be required to either show proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 or proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous 48 hours. Additionally, masks are mandatory to enter all CIFF festival venues and can only be removed while seated.

The Calgary International Film Festival runs from September 23 to October 3 at various venues. See for more details.



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Darcy J. Skinner

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