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Eh-Plus For These Canadian Films!

It's been quite a year for Canadian culture. Half the country raised their glasses to The Hip's final concert, we scored 22 medals at the Summer Olympics, and a slight change to the national anthem had people talking all over the country. But one thing we can all agree on is that the Canadian films screening at CIFF this year are better than homemade poutine!

With 17 films announced today along with four events in our new Behind the Screen Series, it's a great representation of what our country's artists are capable of. Here are some of the highlights:

BELOW HER MOUTH

This sizzling film follows the unlikely coupling of roofer Dallas and fashion editor Jasmine as they create an intense connection - and a complicated outcome. Uninhibited and bold, it is also one of the first films in Canada's history to have an all-female production staff. On Oct. 2 join BELOW HER MOUTH Director April Mullen for THE GREAT SEXY DEBATE, in which teams of filmmakers will debate how explicit sex scenes should get in film and television.


CONSIDERING LOVE AND OTHER MAGIC

This entry from Calgary filmmaker Dave Schultz follows Jessie, a troubled teenager who agrees to tutor 14-year-old Tommy for extra high school credits. But when Tommy insists that he hasn't left the house in more than 50 years - and that he is actually a work of fiction, conjured from the pages of a story - Jessie tries to convince him that he is actually real. At times dark and at others lighthearted, it's quite a ride as we get to know the characters. 

INCONTROL 


This dramatic sci-fi thriller filmed mostly in and around Calgary by rising young director/writer/producer Kurtis David Harder, looks at a group of university students who are in possession of a device that allows them to inhabit the minds of others. An exploration of how a technology such as this can quickly spiral into disaster.


IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD

Twelve years after leaving his hometown, writer Louis returns to his family - but he also brings news of his terminal diagnosis and imminent death. Named Grand Prize of the Jury award winner at Cannes 2016, this film is sure to tug at all the right heartstrings. 


KISS AND CRY

Carley is an aspiring figure skater who is looking forward to the Sochi Olympics, even though she is still in high school. While balancing practices, homework and a budding crush on classmate John, she is diagnosed with a rare cancer that will lead her on the path to making medical history. Based on a true story of Carley Allison.

A MIRACLE ON CHRISTMAS LAKE

Bobby Whiteside loses his best friend on Christmas Eve, and when he goes to visit the lake where they played winter hockey, he makes a shocking discovery: a perfect hockey rink that appears only at night, and only in his presence. Now he must rally the town to battle against developers who want to destroy the land, and play one last game at Christmas Lake. This film showcases the beauty of Canmore, Calgary and the surrounding area.


OPERATION AVALANCHE

Everyone has heard of the moon landing hoax conspiracy, but filmmaker Matt Johnson takes it a step further and couches that in the idea that the whole plan, all along, was a ruse to root out a Soviet spy in the NASA ranks. However, when the CIA agents sent to document the process realize that NASA is hiding a major secret about the Apollo missions, things take a very serious turn. 


UNLESS 

Based on the novel by Carol Shields, this is the story of a writer struggling with her daughter's decision to drop out of school and live on the streets, and a look at the unconditional love between a mother and her children - no matter the cost.


WEIRDOS

Small towns in Nova Scotia don't hold much allure for a bored teenager. That's why 16-year-old Kit and his girlfriend skip town and hitchhike the highway, looking for his absentee mother. Between meeting new friends and encountering the talking ghost of Andy Warhol, they end up learning a lot more than they ever thought.


WINDOW HORSES

Rosie just wants to write poetry in Paris, but when she is invited to a contest in Iran, she suddenly encounters the reality of her multicultural identity - and how it lends to her curiosity, creativity and love. Told with stellar animation, both the director, Ann Marie Fleming, and main voice actor Sandra Oh will be in attendance for this one!

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Take a look at our full list of Canadian films here. We're thrilled to announce that Kim Nguyen, director of our Canadian gala film TWO LOVERS AND A BEAR, will also be attending that screening too!

Other Behind the Screen events announced today include a tour of Calgary's new Film Centre – including a presentation about working with animals on set feat. Andrew Simpson, a wolf specialist (GAME OF THRONES, THE REVENANT) – and a Masterclass with WE CAN’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE Documentary Director Alanis Obomsawin.  

Pick up your multi-packs of tickets, as well as ones for our galas, over at www.calgaryfilm.com/ticket-packs. Be sure to check back next Wednesday, September 7, when we announce all the remaining films, the full schedule, and all tickets to individual screenings! It'll be even more fun than riding a moose through the snow for a new hockey stick.