Artistic Director

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Artistic Director

Application deadline is June 11, 2018.

Our mission is to entertain and engage audiences by curating the most innovative and compelling films and creating remarkable festival experiences.

The first Calgary International Film Festival was held in 2000 for six days and was attended by 8,000 people. Within three years, attendance had more than doubled to over 20,000 for the expanded 10-day festival. Attendance hit a record last year with over 40,000 visitors. Film submissions have also more than tripled over the past four years, to over 2,750 in 2017.

Today, the Calgary International Film Festival is a 12-day showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 50 other countries. The festival hosts gala events, screenings, special presentations, and a Behind the Screen series that emphasizes unique and exciting ways for filmmakers and fans to interact.

The Calgary International Film Festival is the largest film festival in Alberta and sixth largest in Canada. It is also an Oscar-qualifying festival for short films and was named one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in both 2016 and 2017 by MovieMaker Magazine.

In addition to the festival, we present other film events year-round, including Doc Soup Calgary, a six-month screening series of award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary films presented in conjunction with the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival.

The Position

Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Artistic Director (AD) is part of the organization’s leadership team and has a key role in planning. The AD deepens and executes the organization’s artistic vision and designs a remarkable experience for all attendees of the festival and year-round events. As a leading voice in the Calgary area screen industry, the AD is a spokesperson who inspires and engages the public and stakeholders with the festival’s artistic vision.

Building on its established success and history, the new AD will ensure that Calgary Film continues to be one of the most important film festivals in Canada while enhancing its international profile.


Artistic Leadership          

  • Working with the ED, lead in setting the artistic vision of the Calgary Film with strong, inspirational, and high-profile leadership.
  • Ensure that the artistic vision is aligned with the festival’s audience-focused mission while also factoring in objectives such as increasing attendance, staying ahead of industry trends, and maintaining a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and collaboration.
  • Collaborate with the ED and senior team in business planning and long-term strategic goals.
  • Bring an artistic vision that delivers increased attendance, deepens audience engagement and attracts higher levels of sponsorship and donor support.
  • Bring innovative ideas to build upon and expand the audience experience, leaving memorable impressions on festival-goers who will want to return for more.
  • Oversee the film programming team, providing curatorial guidance and ensuring the program as a whole is compelling, diverse, and on-strategy.
  • Select Gala and Headliner films in consultation with the film programming team.
  • Bring an existing network of distinguished national and international filmmakers and industry luminaries.
  • Establish and nurture relationships with existing and prospective partners in Calgary, across Canada, and internationally with the goal of creating strategic partnerships.
  • Conduct an annual evaluation of the festival’s artistic program that is presented with findings and recommendations to the ED and the Board.
  • Balance artistic responsibilities and initiatives within the budget and timelines determined by the ED.
  • Maintain the highest level of awareness of global and national film and festival trends.
  • Travel nationally and internationally to other film festivals and industry events as required.


  • Five years or more of senior film programming experience, with proven ability to create exciting programming that grows and diversifies audiences.
  • Senior management experience in a film- or festival-related organization.
  • A proven track record in strategic artistic leadership and management.
  • Commitment to the highest level of artistic excellence in every area of the festival’s activity and work to the highest professional standards.
  • Able to articulate a clear and inspiring artistic vision for the festival that serves its goals.
  • Commitment to providing an outstanding experience to attending filmmakers and industry guests.
  • Advanced knowledge of film festival trends and practices nationally and internationally.
  • An in-depth awareness of film activity: locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • A commitment to celebrating our local and regional screen industry and its creative artists as a key part of the broader festival; brings large-scale ambition with a sensitivity to local culture.
  • The ability to envision and deliver a vibrant festival site.Experience and proven success in directing and producing live events.
  • A national and international network of high-level industry relationships and can attract filmmakers who are national and global leaders in their craft.
  • The ability to take risks in artistic programming, with proven success in setting artistic initiatives under well-made, feasible plans.
  • A strong track record of collaboration, leadership and strong team building, with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Experience managing a large and vibrant team of professional staff and volunteers.
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills, with significant media and public-speaking experience.
  • Excellent expressive and dynamic writing skills.
  • If not already a resident of Calgary, desire and ability to relocate to Calgary for full-time residence.
  • Undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.

Candidate Attributes:

  • A creative leader with a passion and belief in the importance of Calgary International Film Festival’s vision and values.
  • A high-energy visionary with business savvy, drive, and dedication to outstanding programming and audience engagement.
  • A love of film and a passion for fostering an audience’s experience of it.
  • A flair for fostering fan-filmmaker interaction.
  • A commitment to inclusivity and diversity in programming, including the active inclusion of women filmmakers, and fostering the meaningful participation of Indigenous artists.
  • A knack for initiating and developing meaningful artistic partnerships.
  • Resilience and responsiveness to changing industry trends. Politically astute.
  • Ability to deal confidently, sensitively and effectively with local and international filmmakers at all levels.
  • Persistent, engaging, yet flexible; able to collaborate, motivate, delegate, and negotiate.
  • A team player who works well with staff to create, plan, and put on a festival.
  • A firm decision-maker with a healthy sense of initiative, able to work within tight timeframes and occasionally challenging circumstances.
  • Capacity to work and thrive within the festival’s annual cycle, with the busiest season running from May to October (leading up to the September festival).
  • Impeccable attention to detail.
  • Distinctive imagination, with cultural and human inquisitiveness.
  • A commitment to contribute to the local community as a resident of Calgary.


An experienced-based compensation and benefits package will be provided.

To apply please submit your application by emailing your cover letter and resume no later than Monday, June 11, 2018, to

For more information about The Calgary International Film Festival, visit

Calgary International Film Festival is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to reflecting our country’s diversity. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

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