Calgary Film 2017: Great Expectations

Posted on August 2, 2017

Today the Calgary International Film Festival (Calgary Film) announced the First Wave of Films playing at the 2017 festival. This selection includes some of our most highly anticipated titles – winners of major festival awards, special connections to the Calgary International Film Festival, and films that our programmers are extremely excited to bring to Calgary. The first 10 films announced include a movie with major global buzz and a sexy Canadian romp. BORG/MCENROE opens the Toronto International Film Festival just weeks before Calgary Film begins. Based on a true story, this film recounts the legendary 1980 Wimbledon match between fierce rivals Björn Borg and John McEnroe. Meanwhile, A SWINGERS WEEKEND is a comedy with an all-star Canadian cast. Still, in post-production, this film is truly “hot off the press.” 

“We’re always looking for standout films that are buzzing on the circuit, but we handpick for Calgary, with themes that do particularly well with our audiences,” said Brenda Lieberman, Programming Manager of the Calgary International Film Festival. “It’s one of the best parts of our job when we find the perfect combination of titles that excite our festival fans.”

Scroll down to see the full list of films announced this morning, and read on to discover more exciting 2017 festival highlights.


Calgary Film is partnering with Movie Nights Across Canada to begin this year’s festival with a patriotic party. "The 2017 Calgary International Film Festival promises to be better than ever," said Steve Schroeder, Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival. "And we'll be beginning it with our biggest party ever. I’m thrilled to announce that our Opening Night Gala is part of the Movie Nights Across Canada 150 Celebrations, an event that is touring major cities across the country.”

Presenting partner of the Calgary International Film Festival, ATB Financial wants you to create the ultimate fan video. Your 15-second film spoof could land on the big screen at the Opening Night Gala, not to mention winnings of $2,000 cash and additional prizes. Click this link for contest details.

On September 21 we're partnering with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for a presentation of the film LA LA LAND on the second night of the film festival. The score will be performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra – experience the whimsical, award-winning film in an incredibly unique way.

Head to to apply for media accreditation. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link. The deadline for application is September 6, 2017. 

A brief branding update! We have updated our logo, with red as our primary colour. We are no longer using CIFF as our shorthand – Calgary Film is more in keeping with our web address. A new framing bracket is our icon. And we’ve added a new tagline to capture the excitement of the festival energy: “What a Scene.”


BORG/MCENROE – Directed by Janus Metz
This highly-anticipated biopic about one of the world's greatest sports rivalries will have its world premiere as the Opening Night Film of the Toronto International Film Festival, mere weeks before it’s on screen in Calgary.

THE DIVINE ORDER – Directed by Petra Biondina Volpe
Even though this Swiss suffrage story takes place in the 1970s, it still feels relevant today. Lighthearted with a powerful message, women's voices are at the centre of the narrative and behind the lens.

A FANTASTIC WOMAN – Directed by Sebastián Lelio
When Marina’s much older boyfriend dies, she must confront the taboo of their relationship to his family and society. Just announced as part of TIFF's Galas & Special Presentations, this Spanish film was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear for Best Picture and took home the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival. 

FÉLICITÉ – Directed by Alain Gomis
With a mesmerizing soundtrack featuring the Kinshasa Symphonic Orchestra, the Congo-set film won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON – Directed by Jessica Thompson
A woman struggles to regain control of her life after being sexually assaulted. Audience Award Winner for at SXSW, this first-time feature filmmaker casts BROOKLYN NINE-NINE's Stephanie Beatriz in a revelatory performance.

LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA – Directed by AlanKrita Shrivastava
This narrative feature from India, packed with humour and plenty of heart, features four women united in their yearning for freedom from society’s restrictive framework.

NOBODY’S WATCHING – Directed by Julia Solomonoff
An Argentine actor’s failure to establish himself in New York City mirrors the struggle of many immigrants who stumble in their new setting. Star Guillermo Pfening won the Best Actor at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in the International Narrative Feature category. 

SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY – Directed by Matt Schrader
Some of Hollywood's greatest film score composers come together to give viewers an unparalleled, behind the scenes look at the creative process, resulting in this fascinating celebration of some of the most iconic scores of all time. 

SMALL TOWN CRIME – Directed by Ian Nelms
This critically-acclaimed, noir-ish thriller features a powerful cast, including Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes (WINTER'S BONE, DEADWOOD), Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer (THE HELP, HIDDEN FIGURES) and Academy Award Nominee Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN).

A SWINGERS WEEKEND – Directed by Jonathan Cohen
Packed with recognizable Canadian actors, including Erin Karpluk from Calgary and Jonas Chernick from previous Calgary Film Selections including MY AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE and HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN, this sex comedy explores the relationships and kinks of three couples, who are all swinging for different reasons. What could possibly go wrong?

The waves of announcements keep coming, all through August. Join us next Thursday night at Big Rock Brewery for a special reveal of Alberta feature films that will be playing at this year’s festival. 

The Calgary International Film Festival will announce the full lineup of films on August 30, 2017. Single tickets to all films will go on sale online at this time, with the Eau Claire Box Office opening on September 5. Meanwhile, early bird festival passes and ticket packages are on sale now, with special pricing in effect until August 25.

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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