10 Films to Check Out at Calgary International Film Festival 2023

CIFF is back with more than 200 films you can watch from September 21 to October 1.

Don't Come In... Yet. Photo courtesy of Isaac Elliot.
Don't Come In... Yet. Photo courtesy of Isaac Elliot.

Movie lovers, rejoice: the 24th annual Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is back. Running from September 21 to October 1, this year’s lineup includes stellar feature films, documentaries and short films from around the world. There are also special activations like the BarCode XR lounge at Eau Claire Market where you and your fellow moviegoers can relax and play video games before your movie.

There are more than 200 films to choose from this year, but here are 10 titles you may want to check out.

 

Dumb Money

When: September 21

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Remember when GameStop flipped the script on everything we knew about stock trading in 2021? Experience how it all began and how it changed the lives of everyone involved in this star-studded comedy featuring Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman and more. Dumb Money is an adaptation of the book The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich and is directed by Craig Gillespie.

 

Shorts: Tiny

When: September 21

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

In this film that’s part of the Shorts: A Better Tomorrow package, you’ll learn about ‘Nakwaxda’xw Elder Colleen Hemphill and how growing up in a float-house in the Pacific Northwest compares to her life now, touching on the harmonies across her life. Catch this at Cineplex Eau Claire or online.

 

Monster

When: September 22, 24 and 28

Where to watch: Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W. (September 22); Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W. (September 24 and 28)

In Monster, a mom suspects her son has been abused by a teacher when he starts behaving strangely, and the film explores the truth of the situation. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda and composed by the late Ryuichi Sakamoto, this hard-hitting drama is a must-watch.

 

The Lebanese Burger Mafia

When: September 23 and 26

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Burger Baron is an Alberta restaurant “chain” run by families within the Lebanese community. Every Burger Baron is different though, with similar (yet different) logos and menus. Drawing on his own personal experience as the son of Burger Baron owners, filmmaker Omar Mouallem travels to the other Burger Barons across the province to speak with the owners and discovers a genuine Albertan immigrant experience at the heart of it all.

 

In Flames

When: September 23 and 30

Where to watch: Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W. (September 23); Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W. (September 30)

This supernatural horror film is directed and written by Zarrar Kahn. After her grandfather passes away, Mariam’s mental state spirals out of control as her mom’s naive foolishness, an unexpected relationship with her fellow student and the societal murkiness of Pakistan’s patriarchal system consume her.

 

Robot Dreams

When: September 23 and October 1

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Set to a soundtrack reminiscent of 1980s New York, this fun and energetic story of a dog and a robot looks at the highs and lows of close friendships, especially when Dog is forced to abandon Robot at the beach. This love letter to New York and friendships says so much, even if the characters don’t say anything at all.

 

Shorts: Don’t Come In… Yet

When: September 24

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Jake is a young man who requires a wheelchair. On a night when he’s finally left alone and away from his overbearing dad, Jake plans to have sex with his best friend June, but his dad and a spider complicate that. A charming coming-of-age short that’s part of the After Laughter Comes Tears package, this film explores the experiences of people with disabilities.

 

Solo

When: September 25 and 28

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Simon, a rising star in Montreal’s drag scene, is torn between two unrequited loves. On one side is Olivier, the newest recruit at the bar Simon performs at. On the other side is Simon’s mother, Claire, a famous opera singer. As a love letter to drag, Sophie Dupuis’s latest film is an emotionally stunning show that slays with its incredible presentation and heart-wrenching story.

 

My Animal

When: September 29 and October 1

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Jacqueline Castel’s My Animal is sure to delight genre film fans, as this coming-of-age romance with a distinctly 1980s visual aesthetic tells the story of Heather, an outcast teenage goalie cursed to turn into a full wolf under a full moon. She meets Jonny, an alluring but tormented figure skater, and together, the two disrupt the peace within Heather’s small community while discovering themselves.

 

Telling Our Story (Ep. 1 & 2; Ep. 3 & 4)

When: September 30

Where to watch: Cineplex Eau Claire, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.

Meet the Abenaki, Anishnabe, Atikamekw, Cree of Eeyou Istchee, Innu, Inuit, Mi’kmaq, Kanyen’kehà:ka (Mohawk), Naskapi, Wendat, and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) peoples as you’ve never seen them before. In this four-part double feature split into two films, learn about their worldviews, connection to the world within them and the world around them, spirituality, values, history and the wounds, struggles, victories and hopes that drive them. The films are directed by Kim O’Bomsawin, the winner of the DGC Grand Jury Prize for Best Canadian Documentary at CIFF 2020. Episodes one and two start at 4:30 p.m. and episodes three and four start at 7 p.m.

 

Visit the CIFF website for more information on show times and screening options.

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