5 Local Directors Show Us What They Think Of Calgary
Sometimes, it takes a city to direct a film. In “Whatcha Got, Calgary?” different filmmakers show their perspectives of Calgary
Photo by Joel Dryden
Do you ever wonder what other Calgarians think of this city? Andrew Cormier and Joel Dryden did, and their film Whatcha Got Calgary? is the result. The film brings together 20 local directors to tackle different aspects of the city in 20 short films, which are all laced together into one giant movie. The film premieres Friday, September 5.
We asked 5 of the directors how they perceive Calgary and asked them what their experience filming was like.
Filmmakers capture the very best of Calgary
Jaimie Stewart is the founder of Beautiful World Media, and is the director of both his own section of the film as well as the small, connecting vignettes that tie it together. Stewart had been working on a project documenting the best views and vistas in Maui when he was approached by Cormier and Dryden, and so decided on a similar project for Calgary by documenting the “Best of Calgary” though he prefers the title “Beautiful Calgary” as a matter of fairness to the other sections.
See Calgary’s gender equality
Yiorgos Bouduris is the founder of Acts of Greatness, a non-profit that offers post-secondary awards to students in the LGBTQ community. The theme for his section is “Gender and Equality,” and his goal was to highlight parts of the LGBT community that we don’t often get to hear. Shot in a documentary style, the piece interviews three members of the LGBTQ community in Calgary, asking them to reflect on their experiences here. “In all three cases, there’s an essence of positivity and a sense of optimism that I think is really amazing,” says Bouduris.
Admire Calgary’s prairies
Sarah Howden‘s contribution to Whatcha Got, Calgary? originated as a poem she had written for a class at Mount Royal University, where she’s completing an degree in English. Her assigned theme was “prairies” and her title is a little unintuitive: “My project is called Sneaking In, but it’s about sneaking out,” says Howden. This project was her first foray into filmmaking, and she hopes it will get people to appreciate the value of remembering their experiences when they were younger.
What sports mean in YYC
Matt Watterworth, a transplant form Edmonton, is one half of Full Swing Productions and the man behind the “Sports” section of the film. When it came time to choose topics, he says, his brain immediately rejected the category, which to him, was all the more reason to take it on. “I’ve never been a sports guy, but I do envy the sense of community it creates, because you’re automatically in this club.”
What love means in Calgary
Scott Westby, the other half of Full Swing Productions, tackles the theme of love in his contribution to the project. “I think everyone has such a different perspective about love – there are so many different takes on it – and it’s something that you want to treat with respect, but still bring your own voice to.” He compares his piece to a couple having an argument in a coffee shop, but instead of jilted lovers, Westby has the City and the river air their grievances about the flood.
Whatcha Got, Calgary? plays at 8 p.m. on September 5.
(Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 201studios.com)