Posted on August 1, 2018

CALGARY, AB - The 19th annual Calgary International Film Festival is in the final stages of film selection for this year’s festival, running from September 19 to September 30. One of the first series to be finalized this year is the ever-popular Music On Screen. From Joan Jett to Randy Bachman, from an indie record label’s influence to the composer of multiple memorable television show scores, the series showcases a broad spectrum of musical talent.

“Films with musical themes have always been tremendously popular with our audiences,” said Stephen Schroeder, Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival. “This year we have a bounty of films in which music plays a key element. And with Calgary’s growing brand as a music city, we are excited to partner with the National Music Centre once again, both for screenings and live music.”

The film festival is increasing the amount of screenings at NMC Studio Bell from one in the previous two years to three in 2018. All screenings will be paired with live music at the King Eddy.

On September 28, following MAGIC PIANO/CHOPIN SHORTS at NMC, audience members can head across the street for “Opera at the Eddy.”

Here are the films in Music On Screen:

BACHMAN, directed by John Barnard

The story of Bachman Turner Overdrive founder Randy Bachman, from his early days of The Guess Who and hits like American Woman to today. Bachman’s singularly focused goal of music has taken him from spectacular highs to crushing lows.

BAD REPUTATION, directed by Kevin Kerslake

A raucous journey through Joan Jett's life and career, from her early years as founder of "The Runaways,” her first collaborations with Kenny Laguna, and ultimately, to her status as rock and roll icon.

HEAVY TRIP, directed by Jukka Vidgreen and Juuso Laatio

In this offbeat comedy from Finland, Turo is stuck in a small village where the best thing in his life is being the lead vocalist for the amateur metal band Impaled Rektum. 


The two music fanatics who started Wax Trax! moved their store to Chicago, then created their own label, with bands like Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Revolting Cocks, and Front 242.

SATAN AND ADAM, directed by V. Scott Balcerek.

Against the backdrop of racial violence in 1968 Harlem, Adam Gussow, a young white Jewish harmonica player, and Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee, an older black Mississippi bluesman, joined forces to blaze a new musical trail. Shot over 30 years, the film also features U2's THE EDGE.

UP TO SNUFF, directed by Mark Maxey

American musician and composer W.G. Snuffy Walden overcame the excesses of rock and roll to find success as one of the most beloved composers in television history. The film features luminaries including Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen, Tom Arnold, Timothy Busfield, Fred Savage, Marshall Herskovitz, Steve Lukather, Chaka Khan and Eric Burdon, and scenes from The West Wing, Wonder Years, and thirtysomething.

This year, our collection of films featuring music also includes titles in other series: a New American feature, a documentary feature and a short film.

UNLOVABLE, directed by Suzi Yoonessi,

A musical comedy that could be considered anti-score. Actor John Hawkes (seen in SMALL TOWN CRIME in last year’s festival) composed the music, an essential part of the plot.

LOVE, SCOTT, directed by Laura Marie Wayne

The raw tale of a gay musician who is attacked and paralyzed, set against a stunning score by Sigur Rós. Director Laura Marie Wayne originally hails from Calgary.

THREE PAGES, directed by Roger Gariepy

In this Canadian short film, Matin, an unassuming middle-aged accountant, learns he has only weeks to live. He is determined to learn the three pages of a Bach adagio for piano he’d abandoned as a child.


This collaboration with Calgary Opera and Honens features several short films accompanied by live piano. Audience members are invited to “Opera at the Eddy” afterward. Tickets for this performance are already available at


The waves of announcements keep coming, all through August. Next Wednesday we will reveal the film screening at this year’s Closing Gala.


The Calgary International Film Festival will announce the full lineup of films on August 28, 2018. Single tickets to all films will go on sale online at this time, with the Eau Claire Box Office opening on September 14. Meanwhile, early bird festival passes and ticket packages are on sale now at, with special pricing in effect until August 26. This year’s festival runs from September 19 – September 30.

For more information or to book interviews contact:
Nadine bibi, Marketing Director, The Calgary International Film Festival

About the Calgary International Film Festival

The Calgary International Film Festival (Calgary Film) is a 12-day showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 40 other countries. The festival hosts gala events, screenings, special presentations, and a Behind the Screen series that emphasizes unique and exciting ways for filmmakers and fans to interact.

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