The Galas Are Coming: CIFF Announces All-Canadian Lineup

Posted on August 17, 2016

CALGARY – Today the Calgary International Film Festival revealed the Fourth Wave of films screening at the 2016 festival: five Gala Films that will attract some of the festival’s most exciting guests and red-carpet action. A black carpet and a green carpet will also see filmmaker traffic.

“The festival’s gala series shines CIFF’s brightest spotlight on the year’s highest accomplishments in filmmaking,” said Steve Schroeder, Executive Director, Calgary International Film Festival. “These marquee screenings, together with their special guests, red carpets and post-screening parties, embody CIFF’s spirit of celebration. Everyone is welcome!”

Starting with our Opening Gala at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on September 21 and wrapping with our Closing Gala at Theatre Junction GRAND on October 2, each of these marquee films will be followed with a party for the audience and guests in attendance. Directors, actors and producers will walk the red carpet and be on hand for special Q&As. 

“Festivals are the perfect place for us to show off the amount of diversity, boundary pushing and quality work coming out of our country,” said Brenda Lieberman, Programming Manager, Calgary International Film Festival. “I’m always excited to have the opportunity to further promote and celebrate Canadian and local productions.”

Opening Gala: MAUDIE (Dir. Aisling Walsh)
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Wednesday, September 21, 7:30 pm  
Join CIFF for the big kickoff! The Opening Gala is the largest and most high profile event of the festival. Tickets range from $45 - $100 and include an after-party at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Gold-level tickets include prime seating and tickets to the VIP pre-reception. Revel in the red carpet experience and mingle with friends prior to the screening. Director Aisling Walsh and Cast Members Kari Matchett & Gabrielle Rose in attendance.

This romance biopic celebrates the life and career of Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis. Based on a true story, MAUDIE charts the unlikely romance between Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, BLUE JASMINE) and the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke, BEFORE MIDNIGHT, TRAINING DAY). Residing in Nova Scotia, Maudie rose to fame in the 1960s, becoming an internationally celebrated artist while living with crippling juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. 


Canadian Gala: TWO LOVERS AND A BEAR (Dir. Kim Nguyen)
Theatre Junction GRAND, Thursday, September 22, 7:00 pm
New to CIFF this year, the Canadian Gala is a celebration of all the things that make our country great – from sea, to sea, to sea. See one of Canada’s most inspiring, diverse and promising films to hit the festival circuit this year. Tickets are $35 and include an after-party at Workshop Kitchen + Culture, the GRAND’s in-house restaurant.

This romance set in the remote Arctic stars ORPHAN BLACK’S Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan (THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES). Near the North Pole, in a modern Nunavut town of 200 souls, minus-50 weather is the norm and the roads lead to nowhere but the endless white. With the remote "Great White" as the eerie and visually stunning backdrop, Lucy and Roman, two young tormented souls, fall in love. Written and directed by Academy Award®-nominated Kim Nguyen (REBELLE/WAR WITCH), the hauntingly beautiful TWO LOVERS AND A BEAR stars the spectacular landscape of Canada’s north as a character in itself, and shares this amazing story about young lovers living in the contemporary Arctic.


Green Carpet Gala: BUGS ON THE MENU (Dir. Ian Toews)
Globe Cinema, Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 pm
Highlighting an acclaimed environmental film, the Green Carpet Gala celebrates sustainability. Join us early to see Director Ian Toews & Producer Mark Bradley walk the – you guessed it – green carpet. Tickets cost $25 and include the after-party across the street from the Globe, at Paper Street. 

The sound of crickets isn’t always a good thing, but to the entrepreneurs of Entomo Farms, it’s the sound of their rapidly growing business. The Goldin brothers raise cricket protein for human consumption, and they’ve seen their farm grow tenfold in two years. The surge of interest has been sparked by a 200-page UN report outlining the health and environmental benefits of insect protein that has been downloaded 7 million times. BUGS ON THE MENU follows startup companies, such as Entomo Farms, Chapul and Six Foods, and highlights how these and other restaurateurs, cricket farmers, scholars and scientists are part of a movement to normalize insect eating in the West as an alternative to traditional, resource-intensive meat. 


Black Carpet Gala: VAN HELSING (Produced by Chad Oakes and Michael Frislev, of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures; Dir. Michael Nankin) 

Globe Cinema, Thursday, September 29, 7:00 pm
Always a CIFF favourite, the Black Carpet gala features a high-profile genre film (horror, fantasy or thriller) and is followed by one of the best and most unusual parties of the festival. Tickets cost $25 and include the post-screening party, just up the street from the Globe, at State & Main. In a festival first, this year the Black Carpet Gala will screen the first two episodes of a television show, before they premiere in Canada. Four lead stars – including Kelly Overton (TRUE BLOOD), Jonathan Scarfe (RAISING THE BAR), Christopher Heyerdahl (HELL ON WHEELS, TWILLIGHT) and David Cubitt (MEDIUM) – have already confirmed they will be in Calgary to walk the black carpet. 

VAN HELSING is produced locally by the award-winning Nomadic Pictures. Based in Calgary, Nomadic has previously offered fan favourites like FARGO and HELL ON WHEELS. In the near future, vampires have risen up against humanity and a war rages between the two factions. Having lost nearly everything, the humans are pushed underground and to the edges of survival – until a new hero emerges in Vanessa Helsing (Kelly Overton, TRUE BLOOD), a distant relative to her vampire-hunting ancestor. With modern twists on the steampunk original, it's a gory and action-packed offering for this year's Black Carpet Gala.


Closing Gala: CHOKESLAM (Dir. Robert Cuffley) 

Theatre Junction GRAND, Sunday, October 2, 6:30 pm
The 2016 Calgary International Film Festival wraps with another red carpet, a hilarious Alberta film and one final blow-out bash. Tickets are $35 and include an after-party at Workshop Kitchen + Culture, the restaurant at the GRAND. Director Robert Cuffley, Cast Member Michael Eklund, Producer Carolyn McMaster and Screenwriter Jason Long have all confirmed attendance.

Corey Swanson (Chris Marquette ) has problems. He's almost 30, still lives in his mom’s basement, doesn’t date, and his career amounts to slicing meat in an archaic deli that no one ever comes to – unless they want to rob it. After a chance encounter with popular former classmate Luke (Michael Eklund), Corey learns that that his high school crush turned pro wrestler Sheena Halliday (Amanda Crew) will soon be in town for their 10-year reunion. Shot in Saskatchewan and including a role played by WWE wrestler Mick Foley, the latest feature film from Calgary Director Robert Cuffley is a comedic tale of reconnecting with your high school crush, and the perils of dating a female wrestler with a bad temper.


The Calgary International Film Festival will announce the full lineup of films on September 7, 2016. Single tickets to all films will go on sale at this time. Meanwhile, gala tickets and early bird festival passes and ticket packages are on sale now.

For more information or to book interviews contact:
Nadine bibi, Marketing Director, The Calgary International Film Festival

About the Calgary International Film Festival

The Calgary International Film Festival (Calgary Film) is a 12-day showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 40 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.

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