|Location||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
CIFF is the largest international film festival in Alberta and the sixth largest in Canada. The Festival's mission is "to entertain and engage audiences by curating the most innovative and compelling films, and creating remarkable festival experiences".
The festival began in 2000 with a screening of the locally produced film Waydowntown, and brought in an attendance of 8000 people over six days. Growing steadily over the years, in 2016, the festival welcomed 36,693 people to 211 films, shorts, and other industry events. Calgary Film celebrated its 18th edition, from September 20 to October 1, 2017 and welcomed over 40,000 people. In 2018, the Festival ran from September 19 to September 30, 2018. For its 20th anniversary the festival will showcase up to 200 multi-genre films from Canada as well as 50 other countries.
As of September 2016, Calgary International Film Festival films were screened at the following venues in Calgary. Most are located in the downtown core, with several others in nearby neighbourhoods:
On September 19, 2014, Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre), announced that the Government of Canada would fund CIFF with $55,000 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program.
In 2016, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences named the CIFF a qualifying festival for the Best Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film awards. CIFF Executive Director Steve Schroeder stated that the status was a “testament to the strength of CIFF’s short film section, and especially the talent of the filmmakers.”
In 2015, the Calgary International Film Festival announced that they would feature LGBTQ themed content, as well as guests within the LGBTQ community.
In 2017, CIFF made MovieMaker Magazine’s annual list of “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2017”, following their place on the list in 2016. The annually complied list provides a guide for indepdent filmmakers to inform them which festivals they should submit to and attend. CIFF also made the list in 2009.
In 2018, CIFF, in collaboration with the Calgary Board of Education and The Calgary Foundation and Rozsa Foundation, announced Generation Next. Generation Next is an innovative film program that aims to empower the youth perspective by working with high school students to select and watch films.
As is typical with film festivals, there are a number of different categories of films screened, with the films being grouped into series by genre or country of production. These are: Galas, Headliners, Canadian Cinema, New American Cinema, World, Documentaries, Late Shows (horror/sci-fi/thrillers), Music on Screen, Alberta Scene (focusing specifically on Alberta-made productions), and Short Films.
In 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences named the festival as an Oscar qualifier for short films. This means that the winner of the "Best of Shorts" award is eligible to be considered for an Academy Award.
The festival places strong importance on local Albertan filmmakers, and much of its content is curated from the province. New in 2016, the Alberta Scene series includes an event titled Showcase Alberta: in 2016, this was a screening of the 10th-season premiere of the CBC hit drama series Heartland. Hundreds of fans from all over the world visited Calgary for the event. In 2017, the festival did a Q&A with the cast and creator of the Alberta filmed show Wynonna Earp.
In addition to hosting the Film Festival in the fall, Calgary Film holds a monthly documentary series in partnership with Hot Docs from November to April called Doc Soup. The series screens one popular documentary per month, and is currently on its tenth season.
The Calgary International Film Festival holds Q&A sessions, as well as opportunities to meet the film creators, in addition to the regular film screenings.
Activities at...CIFF include film screenings, question and answer sessions with local filmmakers, and post-screening events with live performances by local musicians and dancers.
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