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Calgary International Film Festival brings eclectic line-up to local theatres

By Connor Sadler, September 18 2014 —

Showcasing foreign and local films, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) opens its 15th year on Sept. 18. For this year’s festival, CIFF features upwards of 200 new films over 10 days. With films ranging from light-hearted documentaries to dark comedies, odds are CIFF will have a movie to suit your tastes.

According to Schroeder, one the festival presents movies that would normally go under the radar for Calgary audiences.

“Calgary has a huge movie- going audience and I don’t just mean for mainstreams film,” says Schroeder. “A lot of these films will never have a theatrical run in Calgary and we feel that’s the way films are meant to be seen is on the big screen and to get together with people who are just as excited about film as you are.”

There is a certain atmosphere that permeates theatres during the festival, says Steve Schroeder, executive director of CIFF, adding there is more to the festival than just watching films.

“It’s really fun to stand in line, waiting to go in and comparing notes with other people there who are looking at the program with you,” says Schroeder. “It’s a more communal experience and a more fun social experience than going to the movies usually is.”

For those interested in learning more about the films, after many of the screenings the directors and actors will make take audience questions.  Schroeder believes bringing creators and audiences together is an important aspect of creating CIFF’s atmosphere.

“How often is it that when you go to the movies you can actually talk to the director after or have a beer with her?” says Schroeder. “It’s one of the things that makes it a festival as opposed to just going to the movies.”

Adding to the festive atmosphere, all screenings at the Globe Cinema after 6:00 p.m. will be licensed events so patrons can enjoy a drink along with the film.

While the festival promotes foreign artistic masterpieces, one of CIFF‘s main objectives is to promote and support local filmmakers.

“The films that are made and shot and produced by artists in our own backyard.

We’re one of the major champions for one of those kinds of work,” says Schroeder.  “If our festival isn’t championing Calgary and Alberta’s film voice, who will?”

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