Posted on January 24, 2017

Early this morning the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced. As expected, films which played the Calgary International Film Festival back in September received Academy love, as well as others with some interesting CIFF connections. 

LA LA LAND receives 14 nominations  
The musical LA LA LAND ties ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) and TITANIC (1997) for the most number of nominations ever received. Director Damien Chazelle, who received a nomination in the Best Director category, attended the Calgary International Film Festival in 2009 with his first film GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH, which was one of 10 finalists in CIFF's Mavericks Series. CIFF also played his second feature WHIPLASH in 2014. Canadian actor Ryan Gosling has received a nomination and is considered the front-runner in the Best Actor category along with Casey Affleck (MACHESTER BY THE SEA), as they each won Golden Globes for their performances this year.  

MOONLIGHT challenges "Oscars So White"
Receiving eight nominations, MOONLIGHT is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year. It was a late addition to the Calgary International Film Festival and is considered by many critics to be the year's best. Not only does MOONLIGHT have more of an indie flavour than is usually recognized at the Oscars, but it also showcases that the Academy is moving past the "Oscars So White" stigma, which received lots of backlash last year. Barry Jenkins is the 4th black filmmaker to earn a Best Director nod, and both Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris received nominations in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress categories. 

Directed by French-Canadian Denis Villeneuve, the sci-fi linguist film ARRIVAL received eight nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography. One of the most popular films of CIFF 2016, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA received six nods, including Michelle Williams' 4th nomination for Best Actress. 

CIFF Selections recognized in the Best Foreign Language Category 
THE SALESMAN (Iran) and TONI ERDMANN (Germany) were both nominated in the Foreign Language category. THE SALESMAN was the most in-demand film of the festival with three sell-out shows. ELLE (also a CIFF selection), which won the Golden Globe was not nominated, but Isabelle Huppert did get a nod in the Best Actress category. 

Other CIFF connections 
CIFF short film selections TIMECODE and ENEMIES WITHIN (ENNEMIS INTÉRIEURS) received nominations in the Best Short Film Live Action sategory. THE LOBSTER, which CIFF showed back in 2015, received a nomination for Original Screenplay. "The Empty Chair" from Doc Soup Selection JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY was nominated for Best Original Song. 

Celebrate the Oscars® with us on February 26 
What's the best way to watch the Oscars®? Join the Calgary International Film Festival for our 2nd fundraiser and Oscar party on Sunday, February 26 at The Palace Theatre (formerly Flames Central). Dress to the nines and walk the red carpet as Calgary's cinephiles, film industry, and movie fans come together to celebrate the most successful films of the year. Enjoy live entertainment, food and drink, a silent auction, raffle, door prizes, an Oscar® ballot, and, of course, a live screening of the 89th Academy Awards. Tickets range from $60-$100 and are available here.

See the full list of Academy Award nominees here.

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