10 Films to Check Out at Calgary International Film Festival 2022

With more than 200 films being screened from September 22 to October 2, there’s something for every type of cinephile.

Photograph courtesy of Calgary International Film Festival.

The 23rd annual Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) runs from September 22 to October 2 and is stacked with features and short films from around the world. Like in previous years, CIFF’s hybrid format allows viewers to stream a select number of films at home if they choose, while other productions are in-cinema only. Here are 10 titles to check out. 

 

The Lost King

When: September 22

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

CIFF’s opening night film stars Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, CIFF 2016) as amateur historian Philippa Langley in the real-life story of how Langley discovered the 500-year-old remains of King Richard III beneath a parking lot in 2012. Despite facing skepticism and doubt at home and in historical circles, middle-aged Langley pursued her hunch on the whereabouts of the remains and found her own voice in the process. Steve Coogan, who stars as Langley’s husband, also wrote the screenplay and produced this film.

 

Broker

When: September 23, October 2

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

In this drama, young mother So-young leaves her baby at a safe haven drop-off facility, but then has a change of heart. When she finds out that two men have already embarked on a journey to find a suitable home for the baby, she decides to join them on their quest. Audiences will be thrilled to see the return of actor Song Kang-ho, (Parasite, CIFF 2019) who plays a character named Sang-hyeon — a role that earned him a Best Actor award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

 

Adult Adoption

When: September 26, October 1

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

Adult Adoption, Karen Knox’s directorial debut, is a funny drama that turns the idea of adoption on its head in more ways than one. Rosy (played by screenwriter and actor Ellie Moon) is a 25-year-old former foster child who signs up for an online adult adoption service that connects older adults looking for adult surrogate children. She meets Jane (Calgary’s own Rebecca Northan), a high school teacher who is estranged from her own daughter, and the two form a complicated version of a mother-daughter relationship, exploring the idea of unconditional love.

 

Decision to Leave

When: September 26, October 1

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

Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden, CIFF 2016) just won a Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for Decision to Leave, a noir thriller/love story starring celebrated Chinese actor Tang Wei in the role of Seo-rae, a woman who falls in love with handsome detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) after her husband plummets to his death from a mountaintop.

 

Black Ice

When: September 26, October 1

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

Black Ice is a documentary from director Hubert Davis (the first Black Canadian Oscar-nominee) and executive producers LeBron James and Drake (no introductions necessary). The film explores the history of anti-Black racism in Canadian hockey, from the 19th-century segregated leagues to the players who are pushing for a more inclusive game today. Hockey fans can expect to see a variety of modern-day hockey players in the film, including Akim Aliu, Saroya Tinker, Sarah Nurse, P.K. Subban and more.

 

High School (Season 1)

When: September 29

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

Based on the 2019 New York Times bestselling memoir by Calgary-born musicians Tegan and Sara Quin,  High School stars TikTok personalities Railey and Seazynn Gilliland as teenage versions of the sister duo in this adolescent, coming-of-age series. The show explores Tegan and Sara’s childhood, teenage years and the early part of their musical journey. This CIFF screening, a western Canadian premiere, will show the first three episodes of season one and will be followed by a live Q&A and acoustic performance by Tegan and Sara themselves.

 

Bones of Crows

When: September 30

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

You’ll want to catch this one while it’s hot. From director Marie Clements comes a psychological drama that follows 100 years through the eyes of Aline Spears, a Cree matriarch who survives residential school and a lifetime of trauma. Bones of Crows stars Grace Dove (Monkey Beach, CIFF 2020) as protagonist Aline and Calgarian Phillip Lewitski (Wildhood, CIFF 2021) in a supporting role. If you miss this Alberta premiere, don’t despair: Bones of Crows will be expanded by CBC into a five-episode miniseries for 2023-24.

 

Shorts: Spirits on Fire

When: September 30

Where to watch: Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W.

A selection of eight short films about the human spirit, curated by Calgary’s very own art collective, FOREIGNERZ. Films originate from Canada, Egypt, Estonia, India, Pakistan, Taiwan and the United States.

 

Women Talking

When: October 1, October 2

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

Featuring an absolutely star-studded cast that includes Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Frances McDormand, Women Talking is directed by Sarah Polley, who returned behind the camera for this project after a 10-year absence. The film is an adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel about a group of women in an isolated religious colony who grapple with the foundations of their faith after a series of sexual assaults.

 

Brother

When: October 2

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

The Alberta premiere of Clement Virgo’s Brother — the film adaptation of David Chariandry’s award-winning 2017 novel of the same name — closes out CIFF this year. The coming-of-age story, set in 1990s Scarborough, ON, follows Francis and Michael, sons of Caribbean immigrants, as they navigate masculinity, identity and family during a mysterious event that changes their lives forever. Naturally, Brother is showing at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, too.

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

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