Alberta film and television industry in focus during second wave of announcements for 2017’s Calgary International Film Festival

Alberta will certainly be in focus during this year’s Calgary International Film Festival.

On Thursday, organizers announced the second wave of offerings for the 2017 event, which runs Sept. 20 to Oct. 1 in the city, and it is a heaping helping of homegrown talent that they’re excited to showcase.

“One of the biggest goals of our festival is to celebrate local filmmaking talent,” said executive director Steve Schroeder at the announcement Thursday evening at the Big Rock Brewery.

“This year, the opportunities to do so were more abundant than ever. Approximately 25 per cent of our programmed Canadian feature content is Albertan, representing seven per cent of our overall lineup. We want to showcase as much local content as possible.”

Several of those productions will be given red carpet treatment, including Suck It Up — a Calgary-funded feature shot in Invermere and in this city, with plenty of local cast and crew contributing — which will be the closing gala film at Theatre Junction Grand on Saturday night, Sept. 30, as opposed to the traditional Sunday evening.

There will also be added elements to the closing gala — a three-course dinner before the film and an after-party taking place at Workshop Kitchen + Culture in the same building.

Saturday afternoon of Calgary Film will also be notable on the appropriately named Showcase Alberta series, which will feature an afternoon Q&A panel at Cineplex Eau Claire with the cast and crew of locally produced cult fave TV series Wynonna Earp, including stars Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon and Katherine Barrels, as well as show runner Emily Andras.

Another special event with a local connection is a Wednesday, Sept. 27 screening of the documentary No Roads In at Studio Bell, the East Village home of the National Music Centre, which will be followed by a concert by Blake Reid and the Blake Reid Band, the subjects of the flick.

More films and TV screenings announced in the second, Alberta-heavy wave include: Calgary screenwriter Jason Filiatrault’s black comedy about family secrets Entanglement, which takes a man to the hometown of Nickelback, Hanna; National Film Board of Canada animated feature The Wall, about living by the border between Palestine and Israel, made by local director Cam Christiansen and Sir David Hare; a showing of an episode of Tin Star, the area-filmed production starring Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks; a coming-of-age tale set in Fort McMurray and shot pre-fire, called Gregoire; and Buckout Road, the feature-length directorial debut of former Calgary actor and musician Matthew Currie Holmes.

The list of films of second wave Albertacentric films is rounded out by Everfall, Ice Blue, Made In Vietnam and Tragedy Girls.

“It amazes me how many local productions there are for us to consider,” said Brenda Lieberman, programming manager of Calgary Film. “This year the genre diversity stands out, as well as the number of films not only by Albertans who live and work here, but also by those who have moved away, who still have solid roots in Calgary. We’re really proud of this year’s lineup.”

The announcements continue next week, with the reveal of the short films that will be screened at the fest, and then on Aug. 20, at a free screening of the horror film Feast at the Ship and Anchor, organizers will unveil their Late Shows Series.

For tickets to the special events and galas, and for more information on the 2017 Calgary International Film Festival, please go to

The Calgary International Film Festival runs Sept. 20 to Oct. 1 at various venues in the city.