Calgary International Film Festival to host Academy Award winners, Hollywood royalty and local stars

Decision to Leave, directed by Park Chan-Wook, is one of the special presentations at the 2022 Calgary International Film Festival. COURTESY CIFF

From prominent Oscar winners to celebrated international directors, to beloved local musicians Tegan and Sara, CIFF 2022 aims to have something for every audience this year.

CIFF opens on September 22 with a screening of The Lost King, directed by Oscar-nominated director Stephen Frears, known for The Queen and High Fidelity, and starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan.

The films and shorts Riceboy Sleeps, directed by Anthony Shim, Viking, directed by Stéphane Lafleur, and The Flying Sailor directed by Oscar winners Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, are among the must-see Canadian films presented this year.

The festival also announced its lineup of special experiences on September 7. It includes a screening, Q&A session, and acoustic performance with Tegan and Sara Quin for their Amazon and Plan B produced series, High School.

Other special festival experiences include the CIFF Digital Media Hub with virtual reality and games, a classic video library experience via the CIFF Video Palace, and social media-ready interactive art installations.

“Films are at the heart of CIFF,” said CIFF Executive Director Steve Schroeder.

“Not limited by name, this year we are thrilled to punctuate the wider lineup of films with special experiences ranging from crossover musical events, to interactive digital media, to original art installations that bring the festival site to life.”

Hollywood royalty and jumping in your seat is scary

The festival also features Hollywood royalty in the form of Destry Allyn Spielberg’s Let Me Go (The Right Way), which stars Hopper Penn.

“His movie premiered in Tribeca in June, and I saw it there and I thought, ‘this will be a great addition to our festival,'” said Adam Keresztes, shorts programmer for the CIFF.

“It’s actually a really fantastic, dark and comedic thriller, and kind of a psychological movie.”

Keresztes said audiences would be surprised at the quality of the film if they planned to attend based on name recognition alone.

“Seeing the names on paper is like ‘oh, I know who these people are,’ but seeing the movie you wouldn’t be like ‘that’s Sean Penn’s son,'” he said. declared.

The film plays as part of CIFF’s Champage Chronic Nightcap, which is a mix of thriller, horror and comedy films.

“There are some good scares, and you’ll jump in your seat a bit, but there are also some really surreal, audibly funny movies,” Keresztes said.

The world’s best directors at CIFF

Another must-see this year is Decision to Leave, directed by Park Chan-Wook. The film arrives at CIFF after being nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and where Park received the Best Director award.

Park also directed the cult 2003 film Oldboy and the award-winning 2016 film The Handmaiden.

“I think Park Chan-Wook’s presence at the festival is amazing,” Keresztes said.

He said it would be an opportunity for casual world cinema viewers to reconnect with South Korean cinema, after Parasite won Best Picture and Bong Joon-ho won Best Director at the Oscars. in 2020.

“Parasite winning a few years ago definitely put global film and South Korean film on the map with a lot of more casual viewers,” Keresztes said.

“So bringing in someone like Park Chan-Wook, who is a legend, but maybe people haven’t seen his movies, will be kind of like an introduction.”

Keresztes said having well-known and established international directors would likely be a draw for audiences and the festival experience would give them something extra by allowing them to see these films on the big screen.

“Watching it in the cinema with a full group of people, especially at a film festival, where it’s with like-minded people, people are there for the same reason that they’re really interested in these movies, you get such an atmosphere and such an environment from that,” he said.

“Whether it’s laughing, crying, or being shocked by things, just seeing how that reaction plays out with those around you is an important part of the movie experience.”

The Calgary Oscar Winners

Keresztes said audiences will have the chance to chat with Calgary’s Oscar-winning duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis during the presentation of their short film The Flying Sailor.

The directors will be doing a question-and-answer session with the public about their comedic, suspenseful and philosophical film.

“We watched The Flying Sailor and absolutely loved it. Then, as we were watching it, we realized, ‘It’s Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, and oh they’re award-winning filmmakers and they’re from Calgary,'” said Keresztes.

“It’s always such an exciting thing to see your local talent go out and be successful somewhere and then come back and still show that love and respect to the film industry and the moviegoing audience in Calgary.”

Programming of films and special festival experiences

The full lineup of films and experiences is now available on the CIFF website at

Ticket packages can be purchased online and individual ticket sales begin September 8.

This year’s opening film is The Lost King, which will be screened on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Eau Claire. The festival closes with Brother, directed by Clément Virgo, on October 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Eau Claire.

Feature films this year include Butterfly in the Sky (US), Emily (UK), End of Sex (Canada), Final Cut (France), Hawa (France) and Viking (Canada).

Special presentations include Broker (South Korea), Dead for a Dollar (USA/Canada), Decision to Leave (South Korea), Good Night Oppy (USA) and Triangle of Sadness (Germany, France, United -United).

Short selections this year include The Flying Sailor (Canada), Let Me Go (USA), The Sentence of Michael Thompson (USA) and FOREIGNERZ’s Spirits on Fire Package which includes CIA-BER (Egypt), Face Recognition (Estonia) , F^¢K ‘€MR!GHT [email protected]¢K (USA), Sandstorm (Pakistan), Tank Fairy (Taiwan) and Tigress (Canada).

CIFF will also host a variety of virtual reality and gaming experiences this year, at the Eau Claire Market.

Among these experiences is Gorn, from Free Lives/Devolver Digital, which will allow participants to participate as a gladiator, battling an infinite number of comically animated opponents with all sorts of weapons. Other experiences are Jordan Jones Dies in Space, The Orchid and the Bee, Tentacular, and this is Not a Ceremony.

The Cluckening, Cult of the Lamb, Insurgency: Sandstorm and Townscaper video games will also be available.


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