Posted on October 2, 2016

Well, here we are, rolling into the final hours of CIFF 2016. It's truly been an experience for everyone on staff, for our volunteers, and for every filmmaker who came along to show some love for their entries.

Saturday, October 1 started with a bang - or, more accurately, with shredding guitars, as THE AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS rocked Globe Cinema at 11 AM. Downstairs, A MIRACLE ON CHRISTMAS LAKE played to yet another amazing crowd, while a sold-out screening of BURN YOUR MAPS, among others, invaded Eau Claire. As if that didn't make your morning exciting enough, we also hosted the BravoFACT Pitch Contest at the Glenbow Museum, where five teams of filmmakers vied to win $50,000 in funding from BravoFACT. What a morning!

As the afternoon progressed, avid fans chose between the encore screenings of faves like A NEW MOON OVER TOHOKU, BARAKAH MEETS BARAKAH, JULIETA, and I, DANIEL BLAKE, as well as one of the monster hits of the entire festival, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Filmmakers Chris Martin and Tom Brown stuck around for another fantastic Q&A after their film PUSHING DEAD (a film that took 17 years to make!), while Jesse Klein of WE'RE STILL TOGETHER took the stage at Globe Cinema to start the evening off right.

We even had some visitors sneak off to drop in at the Ship & Anchor, where HIRED GUN's Liberty DeVitto showed 'em how it's done behind the drum kit:

But the biggest news of the day - and one of the biggest events of the whole festival - happened down at Flames Central yesterday evening, when the cast and crew of the hit Canadian TV show HEARTLAND pulled up, dusted off their boots and walked the red carpet for the season 10 premiere. Hundreds of fans turned out from places like Ontario, North Carolina, Finland, and Australia, despite the chill in the air, and cheered on Amber Marshall, Graham Wardle, and all the rest before heading in for a special Q&A and screening! (Even Spartan the horse made some time in his busy schedule to trot on over.) And afterward, singer Jenn Grant picked up her guitar and entertained the packed house at Flames Central.

Hanging out with Spartan & Erin at #calgaryfilm #Heartland gala!

A photo posted by Terry Rock (@rockster) on

HEARTLAND fans! Thank you so, so much for your support, and for making this inaugural Showcase Alberta event a huge success!

We'll give you just enough time to recover before we start it all over again today, kicking off the last day of this year's festival. Whether you're taking in our FX In The City trip to Solid Green as part of our Behind the Scenes series, catching one of our Audience Selected Encores, listening to the Great Sexy Debate, or watching any one of the many films playing all throughout the afternoon, we hope you enjoy the last evening of CIFF as much as we enjoyed putting it all together. For those of you lucky enough to have tickets to our incredible Closing Gala showing of CHOKESLAM, directed by Calgary's very own Robert Cuffley, we'll see you at Theatre Junction GRAND for a party that you won't want to miss. 

Stop by the site tomorrow for a full recap of today's events, and don't forget to hit us up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@calgaryfilm/#calgaryfilm) for photo albums, live streams, connections with fellow fans, and to remember all the great times from this year and from festivals past. Now get out there and watch some movies!

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