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Hot Date: Our Picks for CIFF This Weekend

The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) kicks off tonight with a gala screening of Deepa Mehta’s film Midnight’s Children at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. The festival runs September 20 to 30 and includes a curated collection of Canadian and international features, a variety of shorts programs, a youth cinema competition and much more. With every genre covered and several gala events, there’s a lot to see. This weekend, Where recommends: 

Friday, September 21 This is the first year that CIFF will feature 3D films. The Battle of Warsaw: 1920 is both a military epic and Poland’s first 3D film. The story follows a couple torn apart by the war to keep the Soviet Army at bay. 7:15 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex, 200 Barclay Parade.

Meet The Fokkens. Photo: Courtesy of CIFF.

Meet the Fokkens (Ouwehoeren) might sound like a Dutch version of a Ben Stiller comedy, but it’s actually a documentary about two elderly twins who have been working in Amsterdam’s red light district for over 50 years. See it to believe it! 9 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

Saturday, September 22 The Youth by Youth Cinema competition includes shorts by student filmmakers. This year’s roster is a long one, but it’s big on emerging talent. An awards ceremony will be held at the Old Spaghetti Factory following the screening. 12 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

Revisit Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning epic western Unforgiven. This film was shot in southern Alberta and was responsible for kick-starting the province’s film industry, which has remained strong ever since (other noted productions shot in Alberta include The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Brokeback Mountain and currently, the AMC television series Hell on Wheels). Members of the production team will be available for a question and answer session after the screening. An after-party will be held at the Palomino Smokehouse with live music and barbeque. Tickets for this gala event are $25. 4:15 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

Apartment in Athens has won several accolades at various festivals this year. The Greek film is a study of wartime oppression and follows a family struggling to cope with a Nazi general who moves into their apartment. 4:45 pm at The Globe, 617 Eighth Avenue SW.

The Voorman Problem. Photo: Courtesy of CIFF.

The Mayan calendar ends at 2012, and what better way to go out than sitting in a darkened theatre? The End of Days shorts collection includes a series of short films based on the end of the world, including The Voorman Problem, a comical short about a man who believes he is God, starring UK actors Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander. 4:45 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

Sunday, September 23 Crime fans will want to catch Crime Wave Shorts, a collection of six international shorts, including Pitch Black Heist. The UK film features Michael Fassbender (Shame, Prometheus) as a criminal breaking into a light sensitive vault. 4:45 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

European arthouse fans will rejoice, before breaking into tears. Celebrated Austrian director Michael Haneke’s latest film, Amour won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year and will be screening at CIFF. The story follows an elderly couple living in a small Parisian apartment. Haneke’s previous film, The White Ribbon, was equally heavy and also won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2009. 6:30 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

Rust and Bone. Photo: Courtesy CIFF.

One of the most talked about films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is Rust and Bone. This French film stars Oscar-winner Marion Cottillard (La Vie En Rose, Inception) as a performer at an aquatic park who suffers a tragic accident that shatters her life. Cotillard delivers a critically praised performance. 9:15 pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex.

Get your tickets:

  • Tickets can be purchased at the door, and the venue box office opens an hour in advance of the film, though it’s possible tickets will sell out.
  • Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the festival’s box office located in Eau Claire Market, open daily until September 30 from 11 am to 7 pm.
  • Prices for regular screenings (not galas) are $13 in advance, $14 at the door, $11 for seniors and students.

– Adele Brunnhofer

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