All The Film Events to Attend This November

From social justice to animation and science to magic, November is flooded with fantastic film options.

Just because Calgary's largest film festival took place in September doesn't mean you aren't spoiled for options this November. Photograph by Michael Grondin, provided by Calgary Film.

If you don’t follow Calgary’s local film community, you’ll be excused for not knowing that November is perhaps the best month of the year to attend film events in the city. Sure, September has the marquee Calgary International Film Festival and April has the awesome Calgary Underground Film Festival. But November has the highest volume of community film events of any month, including eight local festivals, two local features, a smattering of highbrow presenter series and more.

 

Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just want to live vicariously through those that are, the expansive programming at the Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival will have something for you. If you can’t make it out of town or were hoping to see a sold-out show, keep an eye out for the festival’s World Tour program coming to Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary in January.

Dates: October 26 to November 3, 2019

Times: Various times

Cost: Prices vary

The Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., Banff, 403-762-6100, banffcentre.ca

 

Red Letter Day

Filmmaker Cameron Macgowan (Avenue Top 40 Under 40 class of 2012) is enjoying a local theatrical run for his feature-length film Red Letter Day following its Canadian premiere at CUFF 2019. Like the lovechild of a Twilight Zone episode and screwball slasher film, the film transforms the quiet community of Aspen Ridge into a blood-spattered hotbed of paranoia where neighbours become convinced they are all out to murder one another.

Dates: Until November 3, 2019

Times: Various times

Cost: Standard admission rates apply

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, globecinema.ca

 

This is HK Film Festival: Christmas at the Royal Hotel

Though most of this festival’s weekly screenings take place in October, you can catch the holiday-themed finale on November 2 at The Plaza Theatre. Set in 1941 Hong Kong, a Canadian soldier’s Christmas plans are thrown violently out of order when an attack is staged by Japanese soldiers. The film will be shown in English with Chinese language subtitles.

Dates: November 2, 2019

Times: 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 general, $7 student

The Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-283-2222, thisishkfilm.com

 

Calgary European Film Festival

The Calgary European Film Festival (CEFF) has expanded its roster this year to include films from a total of 22 European nations, selected in consultation with local cultural groups specific to the regions. Some highlights this year include Austria’s Wild Mouse (Golden Bear nominee at Berlin 2017), Greece’s Her Job (Discovery Award nominee at TIFF at 2018) and five official Oscar submissions for Best International Feature Film: Latvia’s The Mover, Spain’s Champions, Croatia’s The Eighth Commissioner, The Netherlands’ The Resistance Banker and Bulgaria’s Glory.

Dates: November 2 to 10, 2019

Times: Various times

Cost: Full-festival pass $150; five-movie bundle $50; ten-ticket bundle $90; individual tickets $12

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, calgaryeuropeanfilmfestival.ca

Beth Tzedec Calgary Jewish Film Festival

This festival celebrates stories of the Jewish people in both documentary and narrative feature format. Highlights for its 19th annual edition include documentaries You Only Die Twice (a suspense-laden detective story about stolen identity) and Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit (about one woman’s quest to create a cross-stitch of the entire Torah), and two musical-focused films: Golda’s Balcony, the Movie (the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history, filmed live) and Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (a look at the origins and legacy of the iconic show). All screenings are held at the Beth Tzedec Congregation near the Rockyview General Hospital.

Dates: Saturdays and Sundays during the first three weekends of November — Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, 2019

Times: Various times

Cost: Prices vary

Beth Tzedec Congregation, 1325 Glenmore Trail S.W., 403-255-8688, bethtzedec.ca

 

Ekipa

A Serbian film is coming to Calgary! No, not A Serbian Film, it’s the 2019 film Ekipa. Few English-language details are available about the film’s plot, but organizers Studio011 say it’s a crime-comedy about the love of football (what we in North America call soccer) and everlasting rivalry. It will screen at the Evergreen Community Spaces with English subtitles on November 3.

Dates: November 3, 2019

Times: 8 p.m.

Cost: $20

Evergreen Community Spaces, 2, 1709 8 Ave. N.E., 403-228-1384, ecspaces.com

 

Calgary Cinematheque

Calgary’s premier presenter of essential works of cinema art runs screenings each year from October to April. This year’s series are Masters: Abbas Kiarostami, Focus: Sexuality, and Spotlight: Taiwanese New Wave, plus the yearly Contemporary World Cinema and Library Screening Series. There will also be a handful of special presentations. This November, we’re especially looking forward to Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us (November 3 at the Contemporary Calgary) and Japan’s Asako & I (November 14 at Globe Cinema). Sign up for a free Cinematheque membership to save on admission.

Dates: October 2019 to April 2020 — Nov. 3, 14 and 21

Times: Various times

Cost: Regular screenings $12 or $10 for members, students and seniors; members-only five-film pass $40

Multiple venues, calgarycinema.org

Gotta Minute Film Festival

Here’s an event you may attend without even realizing it. Gotta Minute Film Festival is a program of one-minute silent films from across the globe. It screens at all CTrain stations on the electronic screens, at the Calgary Airport (Albertan-made film program) and on demand at gottaminutefilmfestival.com.

Dates: November 4 to 10, 2019

Times: One film plays every five minutes

Cost: Free, some stations require transit fare to access platform

 

Doc Soup: The Cave

The Calgary International Film Festival’s Doc Soup has proven so popular that it is expanding from one to two screens for its latest season. The next installment is Syrian film The Cave which took home the People’s Choice Documentary Award at TIFF this year. The film documents an underground hospital treating victims of the humanitarian crisis taking place in the country with a particular focus on female doctors who work as equals alongside male doctors — something inconceivable within the patriarchal norms of above-ground Syria. Doc Soup runs monthly from November, 2019 to April, 2020.

Dates: November 6, 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Doc Soup subscriptions are sold out; individual tickets $15 general, $13 student and senior

Cineplex Eau Claire, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., 403-283-1490, calgaryfilm.com

 

A Typical Heart

According to the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, “Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in Canada, claiming a life every 20 minutes.” That’s why it is presenting a free screening of A Typical Heart on November 7 on the Foothills Medical Centre campus. The doc covers the disparities between male and female heart disease, a topic that will be discussed by a panel of experts upon the film’s conclusion.

Dates: November 7, 2019

Times: 6 p.m.

Cost: Free with RSVP

Libin Lecture Theatre, Health Science Centre, 3330 Hospital Dr. N.W., eventbrite.ca

 

Femme Wave

Calgary’s multi-disciplinary feminist arts festival will feature two film screenings and a panel during its 2019 run. On Thursday, November 7 at Dickens Pub, a film panel will take place at 7 p.m. with an animated shorts package screening following at 8 p.m. That event will also include performance art and live music, with tickets available for $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Then, on Saturday, November 9, a package of dramatic and comedic shorts will screen during a two-floor party at The Palomino which features Vancouver rock heavyweights The Pack A.D., a reunion of local act The Shematomas, drag king Duke Carson and others. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Dates: Femme Wave runs November 7 to 10, 2019, screenings take place on November 7 and 9, 2019

Times: Various times

Cost: Prices vary

Dickens Pub, 1000 9 Ave. S.W., 403-233-7550; The Palomino Smokehouse, 109 7 Ave. S.W., 403-532-1911, femmewave.com

 

Espresso Kino

Espresso Kino is a year-round series of cutting-edge cinema broken down into themes or spotlights each month. This November’s program title is “No Such Thing as a Society / UK Cinema vs. Thatcher” and it will feature rebellious British films made during Margaret Thatcher’s reign throughout the ’80s. Be sure to buy a coffee and a snack to show your support for these free screenings.

Dates: Every Thursday — Nov. 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2019

Times: 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Roasterie, 314 10 Ave. N.W., 403-270-3304, espressokino.ca

 

Dinner and a Movie: The Breakfast Club

Heritage Park’s Dinner and a Movie series pairs a film-inspired meal at the Selkirk Grille with a classic movie. For the first of its two November events, Heritage Park is showing the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club. If you’ve never seen this one, correct your mistake as soon as humanly possible by attending. If you prefer to just get the film and not the food, deeply discounted tickets are available.

Dates: November 12, 2019

Times: Dinner seatings 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., film begins 7:45 p.m.

Cost: $44.95 dinner and movie, $8 movie only

Heritage Park (Selkirk Grille and Gasoline Alley Museum), 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., 403-268-8607, heritagepark.ca

 

Monograph: Tondal’s Vision

Monograph, Calgary’s avant-garde, experimental media presentation series, will host filmmaker Stephen Broomer for a screening of his feature Tondal’s Vision at Contemporary Calgary on November 12. Captured on 16mm film before being converted to video, Tondal’s Vision is an extrapolation on a 12th Century text that ruminates on heaven, purgatory and hell.

Dates: November 12

Times: 6 p.m.

Cost: By donation

Contemporary Calgary, 701 11 Ave. S.W., 403-770-1350, monograph-cinema.com

 

Marda Loop Justice Film Festival

Justice-centric films from around the world descend on Calgary for six days in November. Featuring subjects such as human rights, social justice and environmental concerns, each screening at the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival is free to attend and features a guest speaker. Films will screen at the Central Library on November 12 and 14, at The Plaza Theatre on November 14 and the River Park Church Auditorium on November 15, 16 and 17. We are particularly excited for a slew of National Film Board titles included in the lineup: Assholes: A Theory, Because We Are Girls, Conviction, Standing on the Line and The Whale + The Raven.

Dates: November 12 to 17, 2019

Times: Various times

Cost: Free

Central Library, 800 3 St. S.E., 403-260-2600; The Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-283-2222; River Park Church, 3818 14a St. S.W. 403-243-2247; justicefilmfestival.ca

Global Perspectives: Atlantics

The Calgary International Film Festival has aaded a third stream of year-round programming (in addition to Doc Soup and MoS Docs) with Global Perspectives, a series of films showcasing the best in contemporary global cinema. The first film to be showcased is Senegal’s Atlantics, the winner of the 2019 Cannes Grand Prix and the country’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film award at the upcoming Oscars. Featuring a score by acclaimed electronic composer Fatima Al Qadiri, Atlantics follows the surreal, dystopian series of events surrounding star-crossed lovers Ada and Suleiman. Global Perspectives runs monthly from November, 2019 to April, 2020.

Dates: November 13, 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Global Perspectives passports (six films) $68; individual tickets $15 general, $13 student and senior

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, calgaryfilm.com

 

Trafficked

The film Trafficked will screen thrice in Calgary to help raise awareness around human trafficking and funds for the RESET Society of Calgary. Based on the true stories contained in the book Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara, the plot of the film follows three enslaved girls and their quest for freedom. The screenings will be made all the more special with guests including producer Conroy Kanter (all three screenings) and star Patrick Duffy of Dallas (Nov. 14th and 15th only).

Dates: November 13 to 15, 2019

Times: 6:30 p.m. on November 13 and 14, 1 p.m. on November 15

Cost: $15 adult, youth aged 15 to 18 admitted free

Each of the three screenings take place at a different venue. Head to the organizer’s Eventbrite for details. 

 

The Warden

Independent distributor and presenter Phoenix Cultural Centre is showing an epic Iranian film for just one night at the Globe Cinema. The Warden follows an ambitious prison warden during the move of an entire prisoner population from one institution to another. When one notorious prisoner is left unaccounted for, the warden must race against the clock to hunt him down or suffer the consequences.

Dates: November 14, 2019

Times: 9 p.m.

Cost: $15

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, eventbrite.ca

 

CSIF Members’ Screening

The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) presents a showcase of 11 new works by its members at November 15 at cSpace King Edward. Keep an eye on the Facebook event for program details.

Dates: November 15, 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: $10 general, $5 CSIF member

cSpace King Edward, 1721 29 Ave. S.W., 403-205-4747, facebook.com

 

New York Dog Film Festival and New York Cat Film Festival

Obsessive pet owners take note: the Globe is hosting the touring New York Dog Film Festival and New York Cat Film Festival this month. Each program is a mix of narrative and documentary shorts celebrating the love shared between people and their furry friends.

Dates: November 15 (dogs) and 16 (cats), 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Standard admission rates apply

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, globecinema.ca

 

Begonia

The Alberta premiere of Begonia will take place at the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers’ headquarters in Sunalta. Created by Saskatoon’s Dynamic Video Imaging Corporation, Begonia is a lean, 63-minute feature that centres on two young women stuck in an isolated room and the tensions that arise during their confinement.

Dates: November 16, 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: By donation

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, 100, 1725 10 Ave. S.W., 403-205-4747, csif.org

 

Becoming Nobody

This one-night-only screening of Becoming Nobody is presented by Love Serve Remember Foundation and Google Empathy LabBecoming Nobody is a feature-length documentary about the life and work of spiritual teacher, psychologist and all-around enigma Ram Dass. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Dates: November 21, 2019

Times: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $16

The Grand, 608 1 St. S.W., 403-205-2922, thegrandyyc.ca

GIRAF

If you don’t already know that Calgary is an amazing animation hub, you need to attend the 15th annual Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF). Held by local artist-run centre Quickdraw Animation Society, highlights this year includes the opening night screening of shadow-puppet animation by visiting artists Sonya Reynolds and Lauren Hortie and a screening of the Mad God trilogy by stop-motion animator and artist Phil Tippet (Star Wars, Jurassic Park). Opening night also sees the publication launch for On LGBTQ2S+ Animation, a collection of comics and essays exploring queer themes in animation. (Full disclosure, the author of this blog wrote an item included in On LGBTQ2S+ Animation.)

Dates: November 21 to 24, 2019

Times: Times vary

Cost: All screening admissions are pay what you can, with a suggestion of $10 or more per person.

Various locations, giraffest.ca

 

Nightmare Before Christmas Spooktacular Screening

The Rotary Performing Arts Centre will be transformed into Halloweentown’s Town Hall from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas for this special event in Okotoks. In addition to the screening of said film, expect hot chocolate, a treat-filled popcorn bar and optional treat-bag add-ons.

Dates: November 23, 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Prices vary

Rotary Performing Arts Centre, 3 Elma St. E., Okotoks, eventbrite.ca

 

Warren Miller’s Timeless

While the world lost iconic winter adventure filmmaker Warren Miller last year after a six-decade film career, the entertainment company he founded makes sure his legacy lives on. Its latest, Warren Miller’s Timeless, is presented by Volkswagen and will put you in the mood for ski-and-snowboard season on November 23 at the Globe.

Dates: November 23, 2019

Times: 6 p.m.

Cost: $18.50

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, eventbrite.ca

 

Dinner and a Movie: The Untouchables

Brian De Palma’s gangster opus The Untouchables is the second of two Dinner and a Movie events taking place at Heritage Park in November. The menu for the evening will be revealed closer to the event date.

Dates: November 26, 2019

Times: Dinner seating 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.; film begins 7:45 p.m.

Cost: $44.95 dinner and movie, $8 movie only

Heritage Park (Selkirk Grille and Gasoline Alley Museum), 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., 403-268-8607, heritagepark.ca

 

Science in the Cinema: The King’s Speech

What’s better than a free movie screening? A free movie screening with real-life scientists in attendance who can answer your burning questions. For this edition, members of the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (which studies neurodevelopmental disorders and child mental health) will host a screening of The King’s Speech and lead a discussion with their expertise.

Dates: November 27, 2019

Times: 6 p.m. doors; 6:30 p.m. showtime

Cost: Free

The Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-283-2222, go.ucalgary.ca

 

CUFF.Docs

If you can only see one film at the Calgary Underground Film Festival’s documentary fest this year, make it festival opener The Amazing Johnathan Documentary. Famous — and famously unpredictable — magician The Amazing Johnathan invites a documentary film crew to capture what are supposed to be his final days, but when “magic, meth and mayhem” ensue, both the crew and viewer are left wondering where the line is between reality and The Amazing Johnathan’s illusions. Other highlights across the lineup include J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius (about the legacy of an absurdist parody religion), Los Reyes (a film as much for dog lovers as it for skateboarders) and local feature The Secret Marathon (the journey of two Albertans to compete in the rebellious Marathon of Afghanistan).

Dates: November 27 to December 1, 2019

Times: Screening times announced Oct. 30 at calgaryundergroundfilm.org

Cost: Prices vary

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, calgaryundergroundfilm.org

 

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

This documentary about the tragic death of Colten Boushie, racism and the justice system received a special jury prize when it made its Albertan premiere at this year’s Calgary International Film Festival. Now, the film is going into a theatrical run beginning November 29 at the Globe.

Dates: November 29, 2019

Times: TBA — keep an eye on the Globe’s calendar

Cost: Standard admission rates apply

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309, globecinema.ca

 

Stinger Awards

While not a screening, this is the second annual edition of an awards ceremony honouring Southern Albertan filmmakers from all career levels held by the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF). Use this event to celebrate friends and family in the industry or just check things out to broaden your knowledge on our local film industry.

Dates: November 30, 2019

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20

Festival Hall, 1215 10 Ave. S.E., 403-233-0904, csif.org

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