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Photo of clip from The Electrical Life of Louis Wain // courtesy Calgary International Film Festival

CIFF 2021: Lineup announcement

By Ava Zardynezhad, September 17 2021—

The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) will return to theatres and home screens later this month. The festival’s full lineup was announced yesterday and includes a multitude of local and international entries. 

Spending a second year under COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, this year’s festival will include a mixture of in-cinema and online screenings. However, an addition to this year’s festival is Industry Week. 

“We’ve got a new Industry Week, which is new this year, that’s going to [happen during] the first half of the festival and that is also a mixture of in-cinema and online events,” said Brenda Lieberman, CIFF’s lead programmer. 

Industry Week will include a number of panel discussions around various aspects of filmmaking. 

“We’ve got some [panels] that are partnered with the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). So we’ve got some DGC visionary [panels] on documentary filmmaking, Indigenous filmmaking and other work. There’s going to be a really good variety of content to dive into and listen to [led by] industry professionals and experts on various different topics,” said Lieberman. More information about Industry Week events is available on the festival’s website.  

This year’s lineup includes many exciting titles. Many Albertan, Canadian and international films will be featured. 

“It’s really an amazing collection of films. We’ve got about 110 features and probably just shy of 100 short,” said Lieberman on this year’s lineup. “The lineup is just made up of some incredible independent films, films from around the world and tons of new films from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival. To me, this is probably one of my favourite lineups in a long time. I really hope the audience comes out for this year’s lineup.” 

Lieberman named a few favourites from the lineup. These included Catch the Fair One, an American drama centred around a boxing champion who sets out to rescue her sister from her abductors, the Norwegian coming-of-age film, NinjaBaby as well as the Canadian film, Stanley Bill

Many of the films on this year’s festival lineup were featured and won awards at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. These films include Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or-winner, Titan, which will be screened in-cinema only on Sept. 25 and 27. Cannes Grand Prix winner, Compartment no. 6 will be available online and in-cinema. You can catch Renate Reinsve’s award-winning performance in The Worst Person in the World in-cinema on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. Cannes’ Best Screenplay award was claimed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe for Drive My Car, which will be available in-cinema on Sept. 26 and Oct. 2. Memoria, starring Tilda Swinton, is another award-winning title featured at Cannes, which will be available at CIFF, in-cinema only, on Sept. 27 and 29. 

Other popular titles include The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy, which will be available in-cinema on Sept. 24–25. Mothering Sunday starring Olivia Coleman and Colin Firth will be available online and in-cinema. 

Many Albertan and Canadian films will also be featured at the festival, which include Here & After, Don’t Say Its Name, Jonesin’, Hands That Bind, All My Puny Sorrows, Peace by Chocolate and more. 

There are also many Canadian, international and Oscar-nominated shorts that will be featured at this year’s festival. These shorts are grouped by themes and are available in packages. 

This year’s festival also features film selections by Canadian youth through Generation Next, as well as short film selections from Youth By Youth. The Generation Next program allows local youth to hand-pick a list of their favourite films, relating to their generation. This year’s titles include Fighter, Spaceboy, Raise the Bar, Masha, Alone and Wake Up on Mars. Youth By Youth selections include short films made by Canadian youth between eight and 18 years of age. 

Tickets for the festival are now on sale and the full lineup can be found here. You can catch all these films and more during CIFF online, from the comfort of your home, or in-cinema at Eau Claire Cinemas, Globe Cinema and Contemporary Calgary. 

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