FestivalScreen

Doc on Edmonton Oilers Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr the Closing Gala flick for the Calgary International Film Festival

As we inch towards 40 degrees, of course you’re thinking about … hockey?

Well, you should be now, as the crew at the Calgary International Film Festival have just announced the flick that will grace the screen for their Closing Gala on Saturday, Sept. 29.

It’s the doc about former Edmonton Oilers and, yes, Calgary Flames goalkeeper Grant Fuhr titled Making Coco: The Grant Fuhr Story.

The film traces the life of the hockey Hall of Famer, from signing with the Oil at the age of 19 through his many trials and tribulations that included Stanley Cups, suspensions for drug use, demotions and record-setting endeavours.

Tickets for the Closing Gala, which will screen at the Eau Claire Cinema, as well as the official after-party, which will take place at a soon-to-be-announced venue, go on sale today from calgaryfilm.com.

It’s one of several films organizers announced for this year’s fest, which takes place in the city from Sept. 19-30.

“Films give us the opportunity to see into people’s lives that are totally different from our own, to understand and to empathize,” said Stephen Schroeder, executive director of Calgary Film. “These films all depict a life lived on the edge: stories of obstacles, loss, and pain, but also triumph, hope, and strength when we need it the most.”

Here are the rest of the announced films as well as their descriptions courtesy Calgary Film:

• Alive directed by Rob Grant: A severely injured man (Thomas Cocquerel) and woman (Camille Stopps) awake in an abandoned hospital to discover they are being held hostage by a sadistic caretaker (Angus Macfadyen, Braveheart, Saw 3 & 4). As the two decide to find a way out, they realize their caretaker is the only one with answers to their real identity. Vancouver Director Rob Grant (Fake Blood, Calgary Film 2017), produced and shot this film in the Calgary area, using a mostly local crew.

• All About Nina directed Eva Vives: Nina Geld (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a blisteringly provocative stand-up comedian whose career is taking off, but whose personal life is a near-complete disaster. In this narrative feature, Nina flees to Los Angeles where she meets Rafe (Common), who challenges almost every preconception she has – including those around her own troubled past.

• Anthropocene directed by Jennifer Baichwal: Four years in the making, this documentary feature is a stunning and sobering reflection on the human capacity for transforming the planet for our purposes, chronicling the work of an international team of scientists who have spent a decade researching the profound geological change caused by human endeavour.

• Capernaum directed by Nadine Labaki: Winner of the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes, this narrative feature from Lebanon tells the story of an extraordinary trial: 12-year old Zain is suing his parents for giving him life, and launches his lawsuit against his parents while serving a prison sentence. The film takes us on an emotionally charged journey through the streets of Beirut and shows us the gritty life that Zain and his siblings had to face while uncovering the decisions made by his parents.

• Letter from Masanjia directed by Leon Lee: When a woman from Oregon finds an SOS note written by a Chinese prisoner stashed in a box of Halloween decorations from Kmart, she never imagined it would eventually lead to the closure of all of China’s labour camps. This nail-biting documentary shows the actions of a few good citizens can truly thwart those of a totalitarian regime.

• Man Running directed by Gary Burns: In this Alberta feature, a young doctor runs in a grueling 24-hour, 200-kilometre ultra-marathon over rugged mountain terrain as he avoids a police investigation into a recent incident involving his medical practice. Veteran Calgary-based director, Gary Burns (Waydowntown, Problem with Fear, Radiant Cit), once again crafts an innovative story that pushes boundaries and challenges audiences.

• Prince’s Tale directed by Jamie Miller: This Canadian short portrays the life of Prince Amponsah, a young actor who survived a near-fatal fire in 2012, and the journey of mental recovery that brought him back on stage.

• The Great Darkened Days directed by Maxime Giroux: In this Canadian narrative feature, Philippe, a draft-dodger from Quebec, takes refuge from a world war in the American West, surviving by competing in Charlie Chaplin impersonation contests. As Philippe makes his long journey home, he encounters various characters under the sway of a destructive madness. His voyage, both violent and fascinating, is a hallucinatory initiation to the darker side of the American dream.

• The Heat: A Kitchen (R)Evolution directed by Maya Gallus: In restaurant kitchens, tight quarters, high pressure and hot tempers combine to create toxic conditions that make it difficult for anyone to survive, let alone climb the ladder to head chef. For women, the situation is even worse. From New York City’s star chefs Anita Lo and Amanda Cohen to the queen of French cuisine Anne-Sophie Pic, seven chefs share their struggles and inspirations in this Canadian documentary feature.

• Thunder Road directed by Jim Cummings: A jaw-dropping performance filled with bursts of offbeat humour and unexpected pathos as a small-town police officer struggling to process the death of his mother, an impending divorce, and his own unrecognized cluelessness. This is a Canadian premiere for this independent American feature.

• Two Puddles directed by Timothy Keeling: Embarking on a woodland retreat to ease straining family relations, a mother, father and their teenage daughter encounter two connected puddles forcing them to decide whether to sacrifice themselves for another, or risk waiting for help to arrive in time. A short from the UK.

These films join previously announced music-themed films, including documentaries on Joan Jett and Canadian rock icon Randy Bachman.

Early bird Calgary Film passes and ticket packages are on sale now from calgaryfilm.com 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.

Check back next Wednesday, when more films will be announced.

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