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Friday's Fantastic Films & Fabulous Fans

We're in the home stretch! It's been quite the journey, but here we are, barrelling at full speed into the last weekend of CIFF 2016. 

Friday - the 10th day of the festival - was one of the busiest days so far, and the festivities continued long into the night. Kitschy horror fans were treated to another showing of THE GREASY STRANGLER, while documentary lovers packed in for GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM. Meanwhile, over at Cafe Blanca, Johnny Ma (director of OLD STONE) and Linda Ohama (director of A NEW MOON OVER TOHOKU) talked about shooting films abroad and some of the differences the crews have to account for. All before 6 PM!

After that we hunkered down for a crazy night of premieres, filmmaker Q&As, photo ops, and after parties! All four screenings at Globe Cinema yesterday evening had guests in attendance, and the crowds welcomed them to Calgary by turning out in droves. Director Fran Strine and musician Liberty DiVetto (drummer for Billy Joel!) of HIRED GUN kicked things off, followed shortly by Bruce McDonald's black-and-white, small-town homage film WEIRDOS:

The night was capped off by Ed Gass-Donnelly's LAVENDER, and this year's ode to magnificently cheesy '80s horror films, BEYOND THE GATES with director Jackson Stewart:

Many film fans also headed for the theatres at Eau Claire, where there were tough decisions to be made. Right as Jim Jarmusch's PATERSON started, the sold-out world premiere of Linda Ohama's A NEW MOON OVER TOHOKU, a doc about the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, was filling the theatre. Director Marc Lahore was in town for the first showing of his latest film THE OPEN, and PUSHING DEAD director Tom Brown and producer Chris Martin answered questions and got a great audience reaction when the credits rolled.

The movies wrapped with another showing of TONI ERDMANN, already hailed as one of the year's (and century's!) best films, JACQUELINE (ARGENTINE), and ORDINARY WORLD. Afterwards, many of the filmmakers and staff mingled at Barcelona on Stephen Ave, where we had a classic YYC welcome ready for them!

So how will we top that? Well, we've been planning for that since the beginning!

Today, Saturday October 1, is bursting with all kinds of goodies for film fans of all genres to enjoy. The day starts with not only the BravoFACT Pitch Contest at the Glenbow, but also the second screenings of audience mega-favourites BURN YOUR MAPS and THE AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS, followed just minutes later with CHEER UP (director Christy Garland present) and A MIRACLE ON CHRISTMAS LAKE (director John Kissack and producers Sandra Quinn and Jayson Therrien attending). Hitting the afternoon, you can catch the second showings of A NEW MOON OVER TOHOKU (with Linda Ohama), BARAKAH MEETS BARAKAH, or JULIETA, as well as PUSHING DEAD (director Tom Brown and producer Chris Martin attending), I, DANIEL BLAKE, or AND PUNCHING THE CLOWN. And if you're a music geek, pop by our partners at the Ship & Anchor around 3 PM to catch an open jam with drummer Liberty DiVetto from HIRED GUN. Whew!

Later today, the smash MANCHESTER BY THE SEA is holding its second screening, which sold out once more (but don't worry, we've added a third encore screening tomorrow at 10:45 AM). Rounding out the afternoon are ELLE, ROSA CHUMBE (with director Jonatan Relayze in town), TOWER, DONALD CRIED, and THE HANDMAIDEN, as well as BELOW HER MOUTH and ABATTOIR (both with guests in attendance).

Of course, our huge event today is the season 10 premiere of HEARTLAND, held at Flames Central. Fans of the show will be able to see cast & crew walk the red carpet, ask questions about the production, and take photos of Spartan the horse all before catching a special sneak peek of the first episode of the upcoming season. Advance tickets are sold out, but there will be a limited amount available in the rush line. We hope to see all you avid HEARTLAND fans down there!

Keep up with all the latest festival fun by following us @calgaryfilm or using #calgaryfilm on Instagram and Twitter. We'll be back tomorrow for a recap of today's schedule, but until then, let the popcorn binge begin!