Joan Jett, Randy Bachman docs among Music On Screen offerings in first wave of 2018 Calgary International Film Festival announcements

Roll ’em.

The Calgary International Film Festival has begun to slowly lift the curtain on the lineup for their 19th annual event, which takes place this year from Sept. 19 to 30.

And the first wave of films organizers have unveiled are — fittingly, considering the season we’re in — those with a musical bent, predominantly in the Music On Screen series.

“Films with musical themes have always been tremendously popular with our audiences,” said Stephen Schroeder, executive director of the Calgary Film, in the announcement.

“This year we have a bounty of films in which music plays a key element. And with Calgary’s growing brand as a music city, we are excited to partner with the National Music Centre once again, both for screenings and live music.”

Some of the highlights that will run throughout the fest, including those in the aforementioned doc-heavy series, as well as an entry in the New American series, and multiple short films, are: a doc from director Kevin Kerslake about the career of pioneering Runaways rocker Joan Jett called Bad Reputation; the Finnish comedy Heavy Trip, which is about the fictional metal act Impaled Rektum; another documentary, this one about Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman from John Barnard titled simply Bachman; director Suzi Yoonessi’s intimate dramatic musical Unlovable starring Charlene deGuzman and John Hawkes, who also composed the music; Calgary native Laura Marie Wayne’s NFB chronicling of a young, gay artist who was attacked and left paralyzed below the waist; and Magic Piano and the Chopin Shorts which is a collection of shorts accompanied by live piano.

Tickets for the last film-and-music experience, which is a collaboration with Honens International Piano Competition and Calgary Opera, are available now from

Early bird Calgary Film passes and ticket packages are on sale now from at a discounted price until Aug. 26.

Single tickets for all of the films at the festival will go on sale online Aug. 28, when the complete lineup will be announced.

On Wednesday, Aug. 8 the fest will announce which film will have the honour of screening during the Closing Gala.