After seeing twenty films in eight days, I can confirm that Movie Maker got it right. The 15th Calgary International Film Festival was definitely an crowd pleaser. Featuring World, North American and Canadian premieres (in the case of The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, pictured above – both the 2D and 3D North American premieres), as well as films with huge awards buzz (like Whiplash and Foxcatcher), and an emphasis on Canadian and Albertan films, CIFF’s programmers put together a selection that genuinely had something for everyone.
The CIFF screening of God Help the Girl was the Canadian Premiere – it won the Special Jury Prize, world cinema at Sundance earlier this year. It’s the story a girl recovering from an eating disorder who runs away from a psychiatric hospital and forms a pop band with two new friends. It’s the first directorial effort by Belle and Sebastien’s Stuart Murdoch and it’s been called twee (approximately: too precious; too cute to live, or something like that), it’s so far beyond that that twee isn’t even a blip in your rearview mirror. Oddly enough, it works.
I am about to do something crazy – over the course of eleven days, between September 18th and 28th, I am going to try to see way too many movies from around the world and tell you about them.
Why? Because the Calgary International Film Festival is about to begin – and because, although it may not have the cachet of the Toronto International Film Festival, it has, over fourteen editions, provided a host of noteworthy films that have gone on to win awards, rack up critical acclaim and achieve hit or cult status everywhere. More following the jump.