Calgary International Film Festival lineup
Film fans need to check out the Calgary International Film Festival | Photo: Courtesy of Calgary Film

Calgary International Film Festival

This local favourite is the perfect time to make a scene

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $300
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Film lovers rejoice—September is your time to shine with the return of the Calgary International Film Festival.

A 12-day showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and 53 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.

Now the largest film festival in Alberta and the sixth largest in Canada, this year’s festival also boasts the fact that at least 40 of the films screening at the festival will be accompanied by the filmmakers.

“Our festival offers more than just the opportunity to see films before they are widely released, it’s also the chance to interact with filmmakers themselves,” says Steve Schroeder, Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival, in a statement. “Getting to actually meet and talk with the fascinating artists who make these films is a true hallmark of the film festival experience.”

And, new this year, the festival will be presenting the Calgary Film Fan of the Year award—a contest that celebrates the festival goer who sees the most films over the 12-day run.

So, what’s on our must-see list? Here are our top picks for this year’s Calgary International Film Festival:

Buckout Road

September 22, 2017, 10:15pm & September 24, 2017, 12:45pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW) & Cineplex Eau Claire (200 Barclay Parade SW)
$13 – $15

The Late Shows Series is a must for lovers of strange and unusual films, and Buckout Road is a standout in the group this year. Home to an inordinate amount of terrifying urban legends, Buckout Road is considered by many to be the most haunted road in America and is the setting for Calgarian Matthew Currie Holmes’ first feature. A fun and shocking thriller that pays homage to the midnight movies of the 80s while freshening up its genre, it stars Evan Ross, Danny Glover, and Wynonna Earp’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley.

Made In Vietnam

September 24, 2017, 6:30pm & September 28, 2017, 5:15pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW) & Cineplex Eau Claire (200 Barclay Parade SW)
$10 – $15

Part of the Alberta Scene Series, follow along with Vietnamese-Calgarian director Thi Vo as he tries to track down his father, left behind long ago in Asia. A world premiere, director Thi Vo, director of photography Aaron Bernakevitch, assistant director Yvonne Cheng, and cast members Kaleb Tekeste, Dan Nguyen, and Lai Nguyen will be at both screenings.

Indian Horse

September 24, 2017, 7:00pm & September 30, 2017, 11:30am
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$13 – $15

Based on the award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese, this film tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, an Ojibway boy stolen from his parents to be raised in a residential school in the 1950s. Part of the Headliners Series and one of the most buzzworthy films of the festival, director Stephen Campanelli and cast members Sladen Peltier, Forrest Goodluck, Ajuawak Kapashesit, and Edna Manitowabi will be at the September 24 screening.

Women Behind the Lens

September 29, 5:30pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
Free, RSVP recommended

Part of the Behind the Screen Series, this free panel showcases the women who are kicking butt and taking names as they pursue their careers. Hosted by local producer Amy Darling, join Emily Andras, Simone Smith, Sandi Somers, and Sarah Thomas Moffat as they share their industry experiences.

Suck It Up

September 30, 2017, 7:30pm
Theatre Junction GRAND (608 1st St. SW)
$35 – $85

Galas are always a hoot and with this Alberta-made gem closing out the festival, it’s a no-brainer. A light-hearted look at the debaucherous bonds of friendship, Ronnie and Faye head to Invermere to heal after the death of a loved one. Starring two Alberta-raised leads and shot with a Calgary-based crew, the second feature from Jordan Canning won Canada’s Women In the Director’s Chair Feature Film Award and had its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival.

Best of Shorts

October 1, 2017, 6:15pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$13 – $15

We love the Shorts Series and you can catch the best of the best at this Calgary Film staple. See the top films vying for cash prizes and Academy Award consideration thanks to the festival being Oscar-accredited for short films in the Animated and Narrative categories.

The Calgary International Film Festival runs September 20 to October 1, 2017 and the full schedule can be found at