Calgary Film Correspondence #1: Opening Gala


Calgary’s best, and brightest came out to shine last night to inaugurate the 19th annual Calgary Film Festival at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. The red carpet was laid out to welcome some local celebrities, political dignitaries, and  key figures who helped bring the festival together. The film chosen to open the festivities was the acclaimed western “The Sisters Brothers”, adapted from the novel of the same name by Canadian author Patrick DeWitt. The film is the English language debut by Cannes Palm D’Ore winning director Jacques Audiard (“Dheepan”)  and stars John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jake Gyllenhaal.  While it did receive its Canadian premier a few weeks ago at TIFF, this was the first time it was shown in Alberta.

Among the honored guests walking the red carpet of the evening were Calgary’s district legislative member of Assembly Sandra Jansen, two of the festivals key programmers Brenda Lieberman and Brennan Tilly, as well as Loose Moose alumni Andrew Phung who currently stars on the hit CBC sitcom “Kim’s convenience”. Other attendees included artists and filmmakers who worked on some of the films that will make their debut at the festival. The director Gillian McKercher appeared with her cast of the film “Circle of Steel” , a satire about life in the oil and gas industry. There was also representation of the short film “Painkillers” with director Matt Embry and producer Holly Dupej. Producer Paul Zimic was also on hand in support of his film, the documentary “The Woman who Loves Giraffes”.

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The night was glamorous with the lobby of The Jack Singer Concert Hall decked out in wonderful decorum and everyone in their best dressed to celebrate #Calgaryfilm. For the next 12 days, Calgary will be the epicenter for the best in films around the world. Regular festival showings will begin tonight with four features debuting at The Globe theatre, including the Andrew Garfield vehicle “Under the Silver Lake” and the genre busting horror/comedy “Assassination Nation”. Showtimes and tickets are available at Special events are scheduled throughout the festival’s run as well. There is definitely plenty to soak up for any film lover in Calgary.

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