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Saturday Night's Alright (For Watching Movies)

It's been a whirlwind weekend here at CIFF, and we're rolling into Sunday hot on the heels of some of the biggest events of the whole festival. 

Fresh off our opening and closing gala feature films, and after the great turnout we had for Friday's movies, on Saturday, September 24 we focused on some of the short films screening this year. First, we held one of our annual events, Youth by Youth Cinema: a celebration of some of the best shorts created by tomorrow's filmmakers, age 8-18. We gathered at the Telus SPARK to show this year's selections and to hand out awards in five different categories - you can find the winners on our website at the link above.

Later in the evening was the Best of Shorts competition, highlighting the Best Documentary and Best Overall shorts. This includes a cash prize, bragging rights and - for the Best Overall winner - a chance at Oscar glory! Our two winners this year were BROKEN: THE WOMEN'S PRISON OF HOHENECK by Alexander Lahl & Volker Schlecht (Best Doc), and BALCONY by Toby Fell-Holden (Best Overall). Congratulations to all of the Best of Shorts Finalists!

Also at Globe Cinemas, the cast and crew of A MIRACLE ON CHRISTMAS LAKE - a film shot and produced locally - showed up for an engaging Q&A at their sold-out screening:

Meanwhile, over at Eau Claire, lines formed throughout the day as some of the biggest movies of the festival screened. Much-anticipated films like THE SALESMAN, ROAD TO LA PAZ and ICE GUARDIANS were among the films playing, and guests showed up for photo ops and Q&A sessions:

That's still not all! We also had two Behind the Screens events: first a field trip to the Calgary Film Centre and then a visit with some of Calgary's own wolf trainers in the film industry! It was a great way to peek behind the camera and see how movie and TV magic is made.

Toured the Calgary Film Centre today w/ @calgaryfilm!

A photo posted by Shaelee Crazybull (@z0mbieee) on

And that was all just in one day. But today is a brand new day and we've got plenty to keep you busy until this evening. Some of this year's hottest films will be playing today, and if you want to see them be sure to show up for the rush line as the advance tickets are already sold out: MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, DANCER, ADULT LIFE SKILLS, and ELLE . Our programmer picks for today include MOTHER (an "Estonian FARGO", as we put it; actress Tiina Mälberg attending), SIDEMEN: LONG ROAD TO GLORY (director Scott Rosenbaum attending), MEAN DREAMS, SLASH, and SHORTS PROGRAMME 4

Our big event today is the Alberta Spirit awards - our showcase of the top 10 Alberta-made short films this year. There are some serious contenders in the running this year, and the winner will be presented with a $2,500 cash prize! It all goes down at Theatre Junction Grand at 5:30, with an after-party at Workshop Kitchen + Culture.

If you want to see more Behind the Screen action, you can swing by the Eau Claire lobby at noon for an interactive discussion of the art of makeup in film. Then head over to Cafe Blanca at 2:30 for a talk about careers in film and television and how you can break into the industry!

You can find a full list of everything going on today, as well as our recommendations and special notes, over at the calgaryfilm.com. May your popcorn be plentiful and your snacks be delicious!

(PS - don't forget to tag us @calgaryfilm on Instagram and Twitter, or use the hashtag #calgaryfilm!)