All The Film Events to Attend This November

From social justice to animation and science to French cinema from the Rive Gauche, 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 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 four film festivals, two high cinema presenters series, and scores of one-off local presentations.


Calgary Cinematheque

Calgary’s premier presenter of essential works of cinema art runs weekly screenings each year from October to April. This year’s series are Masters: Ken Russell, Focus: World Musicals and Spotlight: Isabelle Huppert. A misconception about capital-C cinema is that it needs to be difficult or enjoyed in an academic capacity — psychedelic thriller Altered States and Chinese musical Office prove otherwise. New for this year, Cinematheque will host free screenings at the New Central Library in addition to its regular season held at Globe Cinema and The Plaza Theatre.

Dates: October 2018 to April 2019 — Nov. 1, 8, 11, 15 and 22

Times: Thursdays 7 p.m.; Sunday screening 3 p.m.

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

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-3309; The Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-283-2222,


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 the University of Calgary in January.

Dates: October 27 to November 4, 2018

Times: Various Times

Cost: Various pricing

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


Beth Tzedec Calgary Jewish Film Festival

This festival celebrates (and mourns) the stories of the Jewish people in both documentary and narrative feature format. Highlights for its 18th annual edition include GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (a real-life correction to Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds), RBG (about the life of relentlessly vigilant U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg) and closing night film Who Will Write Our History (about the Jewish journalists who made it their mission to preserve the truth during the onset of the Holocaust). All screenings are held at the Beth Tzedec Congregation near the Rockyview General Hospital.

Dates: Nov. 1, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2018

Times: Various times

Cost: Festival passes $75 until Nov. 1, $85 after; Student festival passes, $20; Single session (a full afternoon or evening of screenings), $20


Espresso Kino

Espresso Kino is a year-round series of cutting-edge cinema broken down into themes each season. This November, the counter-cultural Rive Gauche era of French cinema is in focus, with all films shown directed by the provocative Agnès Varda. Be sure to buy a coffee and a snack to show your support for these free screenings.

Dates: Every Thursday — Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2018

Times: 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


La Cité des Rocheuses: En plein dans l’œil

Georges Méliès was considered to be the inventor of cinema but wound up dying in poverty, temporarily forgotten by the world. This “Cinéconcert” held by La Cité des Rocheuses will celebrate some Méliès silent works in conjunction with live music that will bring the films to life anew.

Dates: November 3

Times: 6 p.m.

Cost: $20; $15 for students and members

La Cité des Rocheuses, 4800 Richmond Rd. S.W., 403-249-1749,


Calgary European Film Festival

The Calgary European Film Festival (CEFF) has expanded its roster this year by adding two never-before-featured countries to its program totaling 20 European nations. Films from each country are selected in consultation with local cultural groups specific to the regions. Some highlights this year include Spain’s Summer 1993 (winner of Best First Feature and Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus at Berlin), France’s Sorry Angel (nominee for the Palme d’Or and Queer Palm at Cannes) and Albania’s Ice Mother (winner of Jury Award Best Screenplay for an International Narrative Feature at Tribeca).

Dates: November 3 to 11, 2018

Times: Various times

Cost: Festival pass $145; five-movie pass $50; individual tickets $12

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


Pulled Strings: A Celebration of Chinese Food, Film and Music

In Pulled Strings, local filmmaker Vicki Van Chau examines the threads between elements of Chinese culture, namely noodles and string instruments. At this multifaceted event, her short film will show, live music will be performed by members of the Calgary Chinese Orchestra and the Harmony Guzheng Ensemble and hand-pulled noodles will be made and served in the lobby. Both beef and vegetarian sauces are available for the noodles.

Dates: November 4, 2018

Times: 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $20

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

[Update: This event is sold out as of 1 p.m. on November 1, 2018]


Doc Soup: The Price of Everything

The second entry in this season of Doc Soup (the Calgary International Film Festival’s off-season documentary program) is The Price of Everything, a wry look into the world of art auctions and the commodification of the priceless. This film is more of a story about the quest for answers than an easy explanation — and it’s an especially timely film choice given the recent scandal surrounding a Banksy work that shredded itself upon sale at Sotheby’s.

Dates: November 7, 2018

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Doc Soup passports are sold out; individual tickets $15

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


Walk With Me

The word mindfulness comes up an awful lot lately. Familiarize yourself with it in a meaningful context with this screening at the Calgary Buddhist Temple. In addition to taking Walk With Me, a documentary about a Buddhist monastic community, you’ll be treated to a short pre-talk and meditation led by Plum Village dharma teacher Chan Huy. Don’t confuse this one for Fire Walk With Me, the similarly named David Lynch film.

Dates: November 8, 2018

Times: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Suggested donation of $10

Calgary Buddhist Temple, 658, 207 6 St. N.E., 403-263-5723,


On Location Fall 2018

The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) hosts its On Locations member showcase screening twice a year. For fall 2018, nine films from local filmmakers will screen with one highlight being a horror film created by participants in CSIF’s Summer Media Arts Camp. Tickets include a complimentary tasting of Common Crown Brewing Co. beers.

Dates: November 10, 2018

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: $5

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


Wine in the Movies

As if you need another reason to to enjoy wines from Co-op, its Crowfoot location plays host to an event where cinema and zinfandels collide this month. Film has long been fascinated with boozy grape juice and Co-op has selected a series of iconic clips from throughout the ages to pair with samples from its collection. You’ll be getting educated, so you deserve a glass or three to toast yourself for the effort.

Dates: November 10, 2018

Times: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: $25

Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, 39 Crowfoot Way N.W., 403-299-5341,


Dinner and a Movie: Mamma Mia!

Speaking of wine, why not have a little merlot with your Meryl at Heritage Park’s Dinner and a Movie series? The 2008 film adaptation of the 1999 musical (itself an adaptation of the music of ABBA) is a campy delight that always offers a few smiles or tears, depending on your disposition. If you prefer to just get the film and not the food, deeply discounted tickets are available.

Dates: November 13, 2018

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

Cost: $44 dinner and movie, $8 movie only

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


Marda Loop Justice Film Festival

Documentary and narrative 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. New for this year, the festival will host a “Peace Village” at Plowshare and a screening at the New Central Library. Most screenings take place at the River Park Auditorium (inside the River Park Church).

Dates: November 13 to 18, 2018

Times: Various times

Cost: Free

River Park Church, 3818 14a St. S.W.,


GDC Alberta South: Rams

Named after visionary product designer Dieter Rams, this documentary looks at the man who shaped many of the objects existing in the world today. The notoriously private Rams gives in-depth conversations on his inspirations, famous “Ten Principles of Good Design” and, surprisingly, a certain degree of regret at how products designed in good faith now pose dangers to our environment. This screening of Rams is held by the Graphic Designers of Canada Alberta South chapter.

Dates: November 15, 2018

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20; $15 GDC members; free student GDC student members

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


Femme Wave

Calgary’s multi-disciplinary feminist arts festival will feature two film screenings during its 2018 run. On Thursday, November 15 it will showcase eight locally-made shorts at the Femme Wave Kick-Off Cabaret at Dickens Pub. That event will also feature spoken word, comedy and live music, with tickets available for $15. The following night at the #1 Legion, catch the Calgary Queer Arts Society Youth Queer Media Program, created by gender- and sexually diverse youth. That screening is open to all ages and admission is collected on a pay-what-you-can basis. Note: these films deal with themes that may be uncomfortable for some minors.

Dates: Film screenings on November 15 and 16, other festival programming runs until November 18

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Passes $70; $15 November 15; pay-what-you-can November 16

Dickens Pub, 1000 9 Ave. S.W.; #1 Legion, 116 7 Ave. S.E.,


TONTO Week: Phantom of the Paradise

Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise was a complete and utter flop upon its release in 1974 — with two notable exceptions. It became massively popular with ironic-minded filmgoers in Winnipeg and Paris, two cities never before mentioned in the same sentence. It screens in the Studio Bell Performance Hall as part of TONTO week, chosen due to the heavy use of The Original New Timbral Orchestra (TONTO) synthesizer in the film’s score. Learn more about TONTO and TONTO Week events here.

Dates: November 17, 2018

Times: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $15; $10 NMC members

Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre, 850 4 Ave. S.E., 403-543-5115,


TONTO Week: I Dream of Wires

You don’t have an entire week of celebrations for a synthesizer unless it has a critical significance in culture. TONTO’s invention was a critical development in the building of obsessive modular synthesizer culture. This film compiles over 100 interviews with dedicated inventors, builders and worshippers of this endlessly customizable form of instrument. Admission is free so use the cash you’re saving on a Southern-inspired brunch.

Dates: November 18

Times: 11 a.m.

Cost: Free admission

King Eddy, 438 9 Ave. S.E., 403-476-1679,


Science in the Cinema: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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 Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute will host a screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and discuss the relationship between genetics and aging.

Dates: November 21, 2018

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

Cost: Free

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



If you don’t already know that Calgary is an amazing animation hub, you need to attend this year’s Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF). Held by local artist-run-centre QuickDraw Animation, highlights this year include the work of visiting artist Amanda Strong (who will also conduct a hands-on workshop), a retrospective of film by Suzan Pitt and critically-acclaimed features This Magnificent Cake!, Ruben Brant, Collector and Un Homme est Mort.

Dates: November 22 to 24, 2018

Times: Times vary

Cost: Festival passes $50; individual tickets $10; workshop pricing TBD

Various locations,


Agnes Martin: Gabriel

In conjunction with two exhibits focused on Agnes Martin at the Esker Foundation, the organization is hosting a free public screening of Martin’s only completed film work. Gabriel is a serene series of vignettes of a child playing in the outdoors in the American Southwest — more an art piece than a narrative feature in construction. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as demand often exceeds capacity at the Esker.

Dates: November 23, 2018

Times: 7 p.m.

Cost: Free admission with pre-registration

Esker Foundation, 1011 9 Ave. S.E., 403-930-2490,


Stinger Awards

While not a screening, this is the first 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 to out to broaden your knowledge on our local film economy.

Dates: November 24, 2018

Times: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: Ticket info will be announced at

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


Dinner and a Movie: Moulin Rouge

Voulez-vous mangez avec moi, ce soir? The Nicole Kidman-Ewan McGregor tragic romance Moulin Rouge is on screen at the second Heritage Park dinner and movie series to happen this month. The menu for the evening hasn’t been revealed yet but one can only expect that marmalade will be served.

Dates: November 27, 2018

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

Cost: $44 dinner and movie, $8 movie only

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


Monograph Cinema: These Ways I Transgress

An experimental documentary may at first sound like an oxymoron, but the tradition is a rich one in headier film circles. Utah-based filmmaker Jeremy Moss travelled Europe, Brazil and the United States to capture 16mm footage in exploration of his indoctrination into (and later abandonment of) the Mormon faith. This is Moss’s feature-length debut and is unlike any other film you’ll see this month.

Dates: November 28, 2018

Times: 8 p.m.

Cost: By donation

Emmedia, 2005 10 Ave. S.W., 403-263-2833,



The Calgary Underground Film Festival’s documentary fest brings the heat this year with highlights including opening night feature Mr. Fish (a portrait of the life of a political cartoonist in a world that shuns controversy), The Insufferable Groo (about a filmmaker of over 180 films who has never turned a profit) and Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. (a close-up on the outspoken titular pop star). Subjects vary across the human experience, but CUFF.Docs’ core constant is that it presents stories you could never otherwise imagine.

Dates: November 28 to December 2, 2018

Times: Screenings start at 7 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. on weekends

Cost: Festival passes $59; individual tickets $10 or $8 for members, students and seniors

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

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