CIFF putting the spotlight back on Alberta films ahead of next month's festival

Aug 3 2022, 8:41 pm

The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is going to have a major Alberta focus when the annual festival gets going on September 22nd.

CIFF organizers announced the Alberta Spotlight for this year’s festival, citing how the province’s film industry continues to thrive.

CIFF Lead Programmer Brenda Lieberman says there is something for everyone from a wide range of talents.

‚ÄúThis year’s Alberta lineup is as diverse as ever and we’re excited to showcase the variety of talented home-grown filmmakers, cast, and crew. The stories vary in genre from coming of age to horror, thriller, documentary, and post-apocalyptic! Featuring Alberta locations and local cast and crew, these films all highlight the strength of our industry and our storytellers,‚ÄĚ

Some of the films announced so far include:

BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND, Directed by Trevor Anderson

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

Based in the ’80s, this film’s main character has her new classmates wondering if Robin is a boy or girl. While Robin is more focused on “What kind of person am I?”

DARK NATURE, Directed by Berkley Brady

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

Metis director Berkly Brady’s film with an all-female cast that tackles domestic violence in a backwoods thriller.

FATHER OF NATIONS, Directed by Aleisha Anderson

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

Aleisha Anderson’s first feature film turned Hild and Brooks into a post-apocalyptic universe with an all-Alberta cast and crew.

FRANCHESKA: PRAIRIE QUEEN, Directed by Laura Lynn O’Grady 

This documentary follows Filipino care worker Francis (Kiko) Yutrago, as he tries to achieve drag star superstardom while still financially supporting his family back in the Philippines while living in a deeply religious part of Alberta.

INSANITY, Directed by Wendy Marie Hill-Tout

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

This documentary looks at how society has transitioned from the asylums of old to the “asylums” of the streets and jail cells. Despite experiencing suicidal ideation and being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Hill-Tout’s brother, Bruce, was released from the hospital and never seen again.


COLD TEA, Directed by Asim Overstands & Alim Sabir

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

A former couple unexpectedly reunites on a night out. They experience a mix of emotions as they attempt to gain closure on their relationship.

PIITA AAPASSKAAN, Directed by Brock Davis Mitchell

The winner of Best Canadian Short at CUFF, this short follows Kyle Young Pine who grew up skateboarding in Mohkinstsis (Calgary), Alberta. The community and the freedom he found there removed him from the substance use that was happening at home, a result of pervasive generational trauma. He was never taught the Blackfoot ways, his urban upbringing far from the Blood Tribe lands, which challenged Kyle to find his true identity. When skateboarding wasn’t enough, Kyle turned to other means of coping, until he was introduced to Fancy Feather Dancing at a local powwow. Now Kyle uses the art form to express himself and educate others on the power of Blackfoot traditions.

SAVJ, Directed by Tank Standing Buffalo 

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

Tank, the eldest of eight siblings, grapples with the memory of the moment his family was torn apart.

Other shorts titles included in the Alberta Shorts Spotlight:

NOT THAT DEEP, Directed by Misha Maseka
AYOUNGMAN, Directed by Holly Fortier and Larry Day
GATHERING STORM, Directed by Jeff Khounthavong 
QUINN, Directed by Eva Colmers 
FOUL, Directed by Ted Stenson 
HEARTH OF THE LION, Directed by Vicki Van Chau 
KIKINO KIDS, Directed by Barry Bilinksy
REBECCA’S ROOM, Directed by Gillian McKercher

There are more announcements expected from CIFF this month and tickets are available now!

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)

When: September 22 РOctober 2
Where: Various theatres around the city and at-home options
Cost: Bundles start at $35

Peter KleinPeter Klein

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