By Sheroog Kubur, September 7 2022—
Just ahead of the most joyous time of the year, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) has announced their full lineup. This year’s iteration brings together diverse films from around the world and the province, curating a festival that can’t be missed this year.
This year continues the hybrid model with select titles being available online while others are screening in person at Cineplex Eau Claire, the Globe Cinema, Contemporary Calgary and the National Music Centre. Each venue offers a range of diverse and eclectic films that anyone will enjoy, including a series of panel discussions from filmmakers as part of the annual Industry Week.
Films by directors that have been making strides will be playing this year. Fans of international horror will be delighted to find Park Chan-Wook’s newest film, Decision To Leave — a film following a police officer trying to understand the psyche of a recent widow that is not grieving. For those who want to enjoy a good old-fashioned zombie story weaving together humour and horror, Michel Hazanavicius’ Final Cut will be something that will satiate all viewers.
This year’s festival features a slew of films highlighting and empowering women of all ages. From films like Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut Emily — a biographical film about Emily Bronte and how she wrote Wuthering Heights — to Maïmouna Doucouré’s Hawa — the story of a 15-year old girl’s quest to meet Michelle Obama — the lineup has no shortages of films by women to help their characters find their voices.
CIFF will also be translating music to the silver screen with films telling the story behind musicians. Buffy Saint-Marie: Carry It On will be making its Alberta premiere, documenting the life and legacy of the one and only. Ever Deadly will also be premiering — telling the story of Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, including concert footage and aesthetic cinematography of Nunavut. One wild card is Rita Baghdadi’s Sirens, the story of a young Lebanese girl struggling with her identity and sexuality while maintaining her thrash-metal band.
The festival would not be complete without an extensive lineup of Alberta filmmakers. This year includes six feature films and a multitude of short films exploring different aspects of self discovery and fantastical journeys into the minds of these filmmakers. Albertan filmmakers like Laura O’Grady, director of Francheska: Prairie Queen and Gillian McKerscher, director of Rebecca’s Room will be reappearing in this year’s festival, but there are also some new names to keep an eye out for, namely Aleisha Anderson’s feature film debut with Father of Nations.
The selection of films this year is vast and holds something for every type of viewer — whether it be seasoned film buffs or casual watchers. The full lineup can be found through the CIFF website, which includes information about the films, Industry Week and how the festival will run this year. Ticket bundles can be purchased on their website, and single tickets will be available for online purchase starting tomorrow Sept. 8 at 10 a.m..