Arts | Arts

Calgary International Film Festival

11 days, nearly 200 movies! Be the first to see the most compelling and innovative films of the year, every year in September at Calgary International Film Fest.

Our Story

Why We Exist

The first Calgary International Film Festival was held in 2000 for six days, and was attended by 8,000 people. Within three years, attendance had more than doubled to over 20,000 for the expanded 10-day festival.

Today, the Calgary International Film Festival is an 11-day showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 50 other countries. The festival hosts gala events, screenings, special presentations, and a Behind the Screen series that emphasizes unique and exciting ways for filmmakers and fans to interact.

With steady growth over the past years, in 2017 CIFF set a record attendance for the 12-day festival, hitting over 40,000 attendees, double what the attendance was in 2013. Film Submissions have more than tripled over the past five years, to over 3,100 in 2020.

The Calgary International Film Festival is now the largest film festival in Alberta and is the sixth largest in Canada. It is also an Oscar-qualifying festival for short films and was named one of “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in 2016, 2017, and 2019 by MovieMaker Magazine.

Audiences are responding – In our 2019 post-festival survey, 99% of respondents stated “I had fun attending”, and virtually everyone who attended says the festival either met or exceeded their expectations.

In addition to the festival, we present other film events year-round, including Top Docs: a six-month screening series of award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary films; MoS Docs: a monthly documentary series dedicated to showcasing the year’s most talked about and compelling music documentaries; and Global Perspectives: a contemporary world cinema series that navigates the corners of the world bringing compelling stories and experiences for Calgarians to enjoy.

Our Impact

What We Do

We screen films of every genre, selected from our backyard and around the world. Passion for film cuts across virtually every culture and demographic, making the Calgary International Film Festival an exceptional opportunity for a truly inclusive artistic celebration.

The artistic and social value of a film festival is to celebrate visual storytelling in its most ideal context: cinematically on the big screen, in a way that brings together the artists and the audience in a lively atmosphere. No other form of film watching carries with it the celebration, shared experience and creation of community passionately engaged around the love of film.

This Festival’s programming emphasizes discovery. We are proud to include a large number of first-time feature filmmakers in each year’s festival. By showing their work alongside that of established contemporaries from around the world, we celebrate the new energy and ideas they bring to the future of the art form, highlight how they contribute to the global culture of film, and make them an integral part of the exciting milieu of the festival.

As the largest film festival in the province, we are uniquely positioned as a leading champion for Alberta film. A meaningful share of the program is from Calgary, and we devote at least one gala each year to an Alberta feature. For short film, our Alberta Spirit program celebrates the province’s best of the year, and is a flagship event each year for audience and filmmakers.

Our Programs

How We Do It

The Calgary International Film Festival’s mission is “to entertain and engage audiences by curating the most innovative and compelling films, and creating remarkable festival experiences.”

Achieving our mission includes hosting a large number of participating filmmakers – both locally and from abroad – and connecting them with the audience through interactive post-screening question and answer periods, networking at our events, and through panels and film talks open to the general public.
We aim to be a place where filmmakers and fans can find each other, discuss and appreciate films, and discover not only new talent and audiences, but new ways to connect over their love of film, and get one-of-a-kind interactive viewing experiences that go beyond the screen.

We seek the most compelling, innovative, and noteworthy films, and present them in a festival format that is interesting, distinctive, and unique. Each year’s line-up is presented in series that group The Festival’s offerings into easily identifiable categories – Canadian, American, World Cinema, Documentaries, Music on Screen, Late Shows, and Shorts. We present a number of awards to outstanding films selected by our audiences and esteemed juries.

The festival is an experience that takes place outside the theater as well as in it, and we are constantly implementing new ideas to do that. From the Opening Gala to the final weekend with its Closing Gala, we have something for everyone – and whether you’ve attended before or you’re brand new to The Festival, we invite you to take part.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

DONATE!

Did you know that the Calgary International Film Festival Society is both a registered charity and not-for-profit arts and culture organization operating 365 days of the year?

The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is not just an amazing 11-day film festival. We are also a year-round arts and culture organization devoted to supporting our local filmmakers, youth, and enriching the Calgary audience through film. The festival believes in celebrating achievements in filmmaking and having a direct impact on the future of film. If you believe in celebrating achievements in filmmaking and want to have a direct impact on the future of film, we invite you to make a donation today! Your investment will go towards the development of vital initiatives at the Calgary International Film Festival that promote filmmakers from Alberta and beyond by helping us connect our audiences with the fantastic local film industry as well as filmmakers from around the world.

To make an immediate, secure and private tax deductible donation to the Festival please CLICK HERE!

Donations of all levels are welcome, however if you are planning to give $1,500 or more, consider joining our Film Circle by contacting Katarina Galic at [email protected] or by calling 403-209-4958.

You can also call our office direct to make a donation over the phone: 403-209-4958 or mail a cheque (made out to the Calgary International Film Festival Society) to:

Calgary International Film Festival | Attn: Lucia Juliao, Donor Relations | #260, 999 8th Street SW, Calgary AB T2R 1J5

For more information please email [email protected].

Videos

Contact

Lucia Juliao

Development Coordinator

403-209-4958

Charitable Number: 864856927RR0001

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