Going into its 23rd year, the 11-day Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) has grown to be the biggest film festival in Alberta and the sixth-largest in Canada. CIFF showcases 200+ short and feature-length multi-genre films, from Canada and around the world.
With Academy Award® accreditation and juried cash prizes, CIFF is a world-class celebration of cinema’s best and brightest.
2022 FESTIVAL JURY AWARDS & WINNERS
$10,000 CAD RBC Emerging Canadian Artist
This juried award is given to the Canadian director who creates the best first or second narrative feature film.
"For creating a universe that instantly transports us back to being in high school and reminding us of how being a teenager is fun, awkward and oftentimes painful - and for accurately representing the complicated relationships we have with our peers and parents, but more importantly, with ourselves. The jury has chosen to give the RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Award and the $10,000 cash prize to Chandler Levack, for her debut feature."
$5,000 CAD DGC Canadian Documentary Feature
This juried award is given to the Canadian director who creates the best documentary in the section. Presented by Directors Guild Canada.
"A Perfect Story crafts an engaging and honest look at journalism’s balance of race and gender dynamics with the relationship between Canadian journalist Michelle Shephard and Ismael, a young Somali boy. A Perfect Story serves as a compassionate look at the complex world of storytelling. Shepard sets her reputation on the line to lead with empathy in a film that is pure to form in the documentary genre."
$1,000 CAD International Narrative Feature
This juried award is given to the international director who creates the best narrative cinema from around the globe (U.S. & International).
“Visually captivating. A challenging exploration of gender and sexuality. With a unique voice, one can see the filmmakers’ background as a visual artist in the mise en scene.”
Honourable Mention: VIKING
$1,000 CAD International Documentary Feature
This juried award is given to the international director who creates the most compelling non-fiction cinema from around the globe (U.S. & International).
"A nostalgic love letter to the beloved PBS series “Reading Rainbow," a reminder of the power of storytelling and the real impact that public programming like PBS can provide audiences. We’re honoured to present the grand jury prize to Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb’s heartwarming documentary BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY."
Shorts in Competition
$2,500 CAD Short Film Grand Jury Prize
This juried award is given to the best overall short film at the festival and also qualifies the winner for consideration in the appropriate category of the Academy Awards®, without the standard theatrical run that a film typically needs to qualify for an Oscar® nomination.
"This was a unanimous decision that came quickly. We hope everyone sees CENSOR OF DREAMS and we are so grateful for the sharp filmmaking, twisty screenplay and fantastic casting and performances."
$1,000 CAD Alberta Short Film Devon Bolton Memorial Award + $10,000 Gift Card from William F. White International, Inc. toward the winner's next project
Provincial competition for films under 40 minutes. The winner also receives a $10,000 Gift Card from William F. White International, Inc. for the winner’s next project.
"We were struck by the urgency, power and injustice of this story. We have deep admiration and gratitude to the filmmakers and the Ayoungman family for sharing their grief and power with us. AYOUNGMAN represents so much about our Alberta community, the good and the bad."
$500 CAD Youth by Youth Canada Short Film + up to $18,000 scholarship to Vancouver Film School + $2,500 Gift Card from William F. White International, Inc. toward the winner's next project
High-school or under-18 student competition for films under 30 minutes.
"IS THIS THE PLACE? provides a contemplative and patient film that never rushes. The cinematography is very deliberate and the shots are beautifully composed; each one feels necessary and well thought out without being obvious. The emphasis remains on the character and not the plot, allowing the audience to make their own conclusions about the details of what is in the coffee canister and why it’s a difficult decision to figure out where to open it. That can be a risky choice as a filmmaker, but it pays off here with an interesting and understated film."
$1,000 CAD Live Action Short Film
International competition for Live-Action narrative films under 40 minutes.
"This dreamy, surreal and beautiful film was a favourite at our table. We loved the story about striking out as an individual in the face of familial pressure, the acting performances and the technical acuity of the filmmakers."
$1,000 CAD Animated Short Film
International competition for Animated films under 40 minutes.
"We are thrilled to honour two legendary local filmmakers with this award. We were taken by the multiple animation styles, whimsy and grandeur of Flying Sailor. The choice was unanimous and we are all grateful to have seen it and shared in it."
$1,000 CAD Documentary Short Film
International competition for Documentary films under 40 minutes.
"To the jury, Freedom Swimmer represented a timely and powerful story that stood out among so many fantastic short docs. We all felt that after our reviews of all the films, this one stuck with us the most, inspiring strong emotion and conversation about the brave individuals the film focuses on."
Honourable Mention: MY DUDUS
$1,000 CAD Student Short Film
Post-Secondary Student competition for films under 40 minutes.
"We were so impressed with the calibre of Hollywood, especially in the acting performances and screenplay. The central tension of the film, living a creative life and pursuing passion while also feeling the need to find a “square” job was one everyone on the jury had experienced at one point in their lives."
2022 CIFF AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS - PRESENTED BY TELUS
The best of the fest as decided by the fans themselves! Most films at the festival are eligible for our Audience Awards and are based on the collective score of the audience ballots collected at each screening online and in-cinema.
Audience Choice Award Alberta Feature
Director: Laura O'Grady
Audience Choice Award Canadian Narrative Feature
Director: Chandler Levack
Audience Choice Award Canadian Documentary Feature
Director: Babak Payami
Audience Choice International Narrative Feature
Director: Phyllis Nagy
Audience Choice Award International Documentary Feature
Directors: Bryan Storkel, Amy Bandlien Storkel
Audience Choice Award Late Shift
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Audience Choice Award Generation Next
Directors: Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
Audience Choice Award Music on Screen
Director: Madison Thomas
Audience Choice Award Special Presentations
Director: Sarah Polley
Audience Choice Award Alberta Short
Director: Brock Davis Mitchell
Audience Choice Award Narrative Short
Director: Eirik Tveiten
Audience Choice Award Animated Short
Director: Sean McCarron
Audience Choice Award Documentary Short
Director: Olivia Martin-McGuire
Top 10 Narrative Features are (alphabetical order):
- BONES OF CROWS
- CALL JANE
- FATHER OF NATIONS
- I LIKE MOVIES
- THE BLUE CAFTAN
- THE MAIDEN
- WOMEN TALKING
CIFF’s Top 10 Documentary Features (alphabetical order)
- 752 IS NOT A NUMBER
- BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: CARRY IT ON
- BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY
- FRANCHESKA: PRAIRIE QUEEN
- ICE BREAKER: THE 1972 SUMMIT SERIES
- IT AIN'T OVER
- TAKE ME TO THE RIVER: NEW ORLEANS
- THE PEZ OUTLAW
- THE RETURN OF TANYA TUCKER: FEATURING BRANDI CARLILE
Top 10 Short Films
- FREEDOM SWIMMER
- HARD LABOUR
- KIKINO KIDS
- MY NEIGHBOUR IS A BEAR
- NIGHT RIDE
- PIITA AAPASSKAAN
- THE DIAMOND
Alberta Short Film Devon Bolton Memorial Award
Devon Bolton, along with his filmmaking and business partner sibling Kirsten, won Best Alberta Short at CIFF 15 years ago this year for their short film Shipwrecked. After CIFF, Shipwrecked would go on to be an official selection at over 25 international film festivals around the world, winning Best Short at five, including a BAFTA. It was also screened at MOMA in New York and The National Gallery in Washington D.C.
The siblings went on to another award-winning short and were in development on four feature films in addition to their careers in commercials, videos, and branding. Devon was a self-taught filmmaker, respected creative marketing lead, and director, who was also skilled in cinematography, editing, visual effects, and colour grading. He was known and admired by colleagues, crew, and partners as a visionary talent and would often attract the same crews, agencies, and clients to work with him time and again. He was also known, however, to give newcomers some of their first opportunities in the industry – from actors to composers to animators. He loved to mentor.
In December 2019, after a long battle with mental health issues, Devon took his own life at the age of 47. It caught many by surprise. This award is being founded in his honour to help motivate local filmmakers to continue to pursue their dreams, shine a light on mental health in the creative communities, and celebrate the importance of mentorship.