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CIFF Day 1 Recap: Opening Gala

The Calgary International Film Festival has officially started. Tonight was the opening gala at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Guests were treated to the film The Song of Names, along with a discussion with director François Girard afterward.

Here’s a quick overview of what went down and what you can expect next!

Day 1: The Opening Gala

The film for the opening of the 20th anniversary of the Calgary International Film Festival was François Girard’s The Song of Names, with the director himself in attendance.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the opening night (the bad side of working for yourself) but the house looked packed and audiences got not only a chance to experience what I expect was a great film, but also got a chance to hear from the director himself.

Not only did attendees get a chance to experience The Song of Names, but they were also treated to complimentary True Büch kombucha, along with free samples from Eau Claire Distillery and Fiasco Gelato (#sadImissedout).

In addition to François Girard, and the obvious CIFF staff and board members, Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi made an appearance.

All-in-all it sounds like a great kickoff to the festival. Now that it’s started, you’re definitely going to want to start building your film schedule so you don’t miss out!

Since I wasn’t able to actually attend and grab my own awesome photos, I’ve decided to embed a few from the CIFF’s social media feeds. If you love them and want to see more, be sure to head over to Twitter and Instagram where you can follow them!

Two new films announced

CIFF also added two new films that both sound AMAZING. I highly recommend you add them to your festival schedule if you have a chance:

Troop Zero: Playing on September 29 at the Globe Cinema, Troop Zero is the story of “a spunky nine-year-old (Mckenna Grace) recruits a troop of Birdie Scouts, led by troop mama (Viola Davis) when a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record.” It sounds AMAZING and Grace will be in attendance which is pretty cool. Sadly, I won’t be at this one because I’ll be watching Blood Quantum, which is also playing at the globe that night, instead.

Waves: Playing on September 26 at Eau Claire, Waves is “the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. Featuring Sterling K. Brown and Lucas Hedges.” I am also unfortunately booked for this showing as I’ll be volunteering in a different cinema, but if you have the chance it sounds like a great one to check out!

What’s happening tomorrow?

Day two of the Calgary International Film Festival kicks off at The Globe where they’ll be playing four films. There is also the opportunity to flex your quiz skills at the BTS x Pub Quiz at Paperstreet.

Here’s what’s going on:

BTS x Pub Quiz5:30 to 6:30 pmPaper St.
630 8 Ave SW
Driveways6:30 to 8:23 pmGlobe Cinema
Waydowntown7:00 to 8:56 pmGlobe Cinema
Bacura9:15 to 11:33 pmGlobe Cinema
The Lodge10:00 to 11:47 pmGlobe Cinema

Not sure what you want to see? Here’s where I’ll be:


Driveways is playing September 19 at 6:30 pm at the Globe Theatre. This cute heartwarmer of a film is the first of the day and is kicking off a great collection of films showing.

Driveways, directed by Andrew Ahn, is about the unlikely friendship of a Korean War vet and his eight-year-old next-door neighbour. I anticipate this coming of age film to be a bit of a tear-jerker, so if you want to have your cold heart warmed up this is your guy. It might even help keep it warm during The Lodge!

One of the best things about checking out this film is that director Andrew Ahn and producer Joe Pirro are in attendance for this showing (and the one on the 21st if you can’t make it). They’ll be holding a Q&A after the film, so those interested will have the opportunity to hear what they have to say!

Interested? Get your tickets!

The Lodge

The Lodge is playing September 19 at 10 pm at the Globe Cinema. This is one film that I’m both excited and terrified to see because the trailer gave me the chills.

It follows the story of Grace who is left alone with her boyfriend’s kids over the Christmas season when a blizzard traps them at the creepy lodge where they’re spending the holiday. As a blizzard blows on, Grace’s past seems to be sneaking up on her.

This is a HORROR film, so if thrills and chills aren’t youu thing then this isn’t the film for you. But if you love horror and are looking for a thrilling tale, I would highly recommend catching the Lodge. I know I’ll be there.

Interested? Get your tickets!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap on day two any my recommendations for day three. I’ll also be tweeting my festival experience, come join me @taehaahr.

Tae H.

Tae H.

Tae loves all things Disney, pugs and entrepreneurship. She is a finance and travel writer and the founder of The Single Girl's Guide to Real Adulting. Naturally, she is single for life. She loves to write about anything that she thinks might help people live their best life on a reasonable budget. You can also catch her weekly on The Lady Dicks Podcast.

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