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Top 5 Festival Picks from Erica Wiebe

We know, skimming through over 200 films can be fun but it can also be time consuming. That is why the Calgary International Film Festival has put a call out to our trusty community members, volunteers, and even a few local celebrities to develop their very own Top 10 "Must See" lists for the 2017 festival. Use these lists as a jumping off point for deciding on your own picks for the year, and hey - don't worry about cross-pollinating. Feel free to make your own top 10 lists from these top 10 lists, and more! 

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In this list, Canadian Freestyle Wrestler and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist, Erica Wiebe has offered her take on the 2017 festival lineup. She is drawn to some usual suspects in the realm of sports and competition (which is no surprise considering she spent over 600 hours training last year) but don't be fooled, Erica has a couple of tricks up her sleeve. And, when you throw into the mix a film about one Pakistani woman's journey from corporate life to that of an amateur wrestler supported of her amazing Mexican-American girlfriend/wrestling partner, this is a list that is anything but status quo. Match that with an animated take on the Palestine-Israel conflict and things really start to shake down. If you're looking for a kick-ass roster of films featuring some strong, contemplative, and inspiring people - look no further. 

Check out Erica Wiebes Top 5 Picks:

1. SIGNATURE MOVE 

Just like the finale from last year’s festival, we once again see professional wrestling as a trope for going against the norm and disrupting gender ideologies. SIGNATURE MOVE looks hopeful to takedown some complex topics such as cultural norms, generational shifts, lesbian identity, and hook-up culture in a fun, fresh, way! I cannot wait to watch these empowered women of colour be bold on the big screen. 

2. WORKER'S CUP

I always gravitate towards sports movies. It is my passion and my guilty pleasure. Initially, I wanted to put BORG-MCENROE on my list, however this film may be the alternative we may not want, but need. I’m hoping WORKER'S CUP will celebrate the deep global celebration of sport in us all while tackling the complex issues around sport, poverty, and global politics. 

3. A SKIN SO SOFT

Arnold Schwarzenegger's documentary, PUMPING IRON is one of my favourite movies. A SKIN SO SOFT examines a similar topic, but through a slightly different lens, to explore the natural beauty of masculinity. For anyone fascinated with the limits of the body or intrigued by the subcultural world of bodybuilding and the motivations of those involved (like myself), this looks to be an interesting one. 

4. A FANTASTIC WOMAN

Film festivals offer us the opportunity to watch films that Hollywood should! This strong female lead offers a character who embodies the complexity and diversity that exists in women in our real world. I am very happy to support Trans as Trans casting. 

5. WALL

Having recently read Calgary-born author Marcello Di Cintio’s work “Walls: Travels Along the Barricades,” I am intrigued to further explore this dividing barrier and delve deeper into the personal, political, social, and economic implications. It’s Canadian. It is animated. It is one not to miss. 

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Tickets to all of Erica's picks are available via the links above. See the full festival lineup here