Posted on December 1, 2021

The holiday season is finally upon us and we're playing Cinematic Santa by giving the gift of CIFF! Find the perfect gift for the film lover in your life and support Calgary's arts community with our official 2021 Gift Guide.

Buying Christmas gifts is a daunting task. To avoid the embarrassment of giving a bum gift on the jolliest day of the year, you have to make sure you know your loved ones and their interests very well. But fear not, family and friends of film buffs! If you've got a friend that talked about DUNE for three days straight or can wax poetic about Nancy Meyer's pristine kitchens, we can help you pick a gift that'll have them saying "You like me! You really like me!"

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We're giving CIFF fans the opportunity to experience the magic of our 2022 festival for the lowest prices of the year with our Holiday Bundles. Bringing hundreds of the best films from all around the world, our 11-day entertainment extravaganza is a can't miss event for cinephiles across the prairies. Available in 3-ticket for $34 (15% savings), 8-ticket for $89 (15% savings), 12-ticket for $128 (15% savings) and 20-ticket for $200 (17% savings). Holiday bundle pricing is available from December 1, 2021 - January 3, 2022.


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If your giftee is a seasoned festival vet, give them a chance to show off their love of CIFF with some comfy and stylish CIFF apparel. Offering short-sleeve and long-sleeve options (perfect for winter!), CIFF shirts make great standalone gifts or pair perfectly with our ticket bundles!


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Our Friends With Benefits Memberships and our Film Circle Program provide extra-special CIFF perks and deals.  Gift a Friends With Benefits membership, and the recipient will receive sweet perks such as discounts on Festival and year-round ticket products, access to a 48-hour presale window, discounts at RAMADA Plaza Calgary Downtown Hotel, discounts on merch and even an exclusive CIFF merch item only given to members!


Give the show-stopping gift in the form of a Film Circle membership. Benefits of our Silver Level membership include 2 passes for CIFF 2022, a 48-hour presale window,  invitations to exclusive CIFF events including filmmaker happy hours, advance lineup announcements VIP festival receptions and more! The perfect gift for giving that special someone the VIP treatment.


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Conveniently located on 8th ave SW in vibrant, Downtown Calgary, this classic movie house is dedicated to bringing Calgarians quality movies of all varieties. Proudly niche, Globe plays host to many of the city's most exciting screenings and festivals. Far from your average movie theatre experience, a gift card to this theatre promises the best of independent and art-house entertainment.


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As any movie fan worth their salt will tell you, a score can make or break a movie. What would Star Wars be without John Williams?  How could anyone get through the Breakfast Club without the promise of hearing ("Don't You) Forget About Me"? Saturday Night Fever would be a Saturday Night Bummer without "Stayin' Alive". Christmas and music go together like two turtle doves and picking up an iconic soundtrack is sure to have your loved one up and dancing by the tree.

Soundtracks from our friends at Blackbyrd Myoozik

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Support independent bookstores and take your friends behind the scenes of their favourite films. There are many great books about films so let us narrow it down with a few special picks. Firstly, Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli by Mark Seal tells the story of the making of The Godfather, which is just as dramatic, operatic, and entertaining as the film itself. For a more technical read, The Art and Soul of Dune uncovers the incredible creative journey that brought Frank Herbert’s iconic novel to the big screen. Lastly, the beautiful illustration in Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away Journal make this book a knockout gift for Ghibli fans.

All of these and more are available at great, independent Calgary bookstores like Owl's Nest Books, Pages Books and Shelf Life Books



For your friends who kick ass at Scene-It? and yawn at TimePlay, gift them a real challenge with a trivia game on Cinema with a capital C. Cinephile the card game, is both beautifully designed and versatile with both expert and entry-level questions. Y'know, to give other people at the game night a chance. If you'd like to get more niche, Turner Classic Movies, the film buff's favourite network, has created Ultimate Movie Trivia Challenge, a card game with a whopping 400 questions spanning from the silent era through modern times.

Once again, you can find these games at independent Calgary bookstores like Owl's Nest Books, Pages Books and Shelf Life Books

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The holidays are about family and unity but mostly, they're about stuffing your face. For the filmgoer, there is only one food that reigns supreme. Nothing goes better with a mandatory, family screening of HOME ALONE on Christmas morning than a snack that is both buttery and shareable, so pick up a bag (or ten) of delicious, specialty flavoured popcorn from the Calgary-based poppers at Poko Popcorn. 


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You can and probably will get scented candles from literally anyone; your neighbour, your mother's sister's best friend, even your least favourite co-worker. Spice up the generic candle gift with these sensationally seasonal offerings from this local purveyor of hilarious prayer candles. If your gift recipient has a sense of humour and a penchant for holiday films, we can't imagine a better, or brighter, gift. 


We hope we helped you find something for the special people in your life with this charmingly local gift guide. If not, feel free to pick up a pair of impersonal socks or, heaven forbid, bake something to give your loved ones.

At the end of the day, it's not really about the gifts. The holidays are about fighting over what to watch with the people you love, it's about arguing about whether or not DIE HARD is a Christmas movie (it's not, dad), it's about Tim Allen falling off the roof and slowly morphing into Santa Claus himself.

From your friends at CIFF, we wish you all a great start to the holiday season!

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