Calgary International Film Festival announces Brian Owens as first artistic director

We’re exactly one week away from the opening gala of the Calgary International Film Festival — a highly anticipated Wednesday, Sept. 19 screening of The Sisters Brothers at the Jack Singer, which will kick off 12 days of cinematic delight in the city.

Film lovers are scanning their programs, circling their favourites and planning for what’s to come this month.

Calgary Film organizers?

They’re planning much further down the road.

On Wednesday, they announced that Brian Owens will take the newly created role of artistic director beginning the job immediately after this year’s event and help in the planning of the 20th anniversary of the festival.

“The creation of the new artistic director role is a key part of our strategic plan, and we’ve been planning this exciting addition to our team for the past two years,” Stephen Schroeder, executive director of Calgary Film, said in a release.

“In keeping with our mission of curating the most innovative and compelling films and creating remarkable festival experiences … Brian Owens will bring increased focus and creativity to the entire festival. We are thrilled to have him join us.”

Owens has two decades working in the film festival world. He’s coming to the local fest after a decade-long tenure in the same position at the Nashville Film Festival. According to the Calgary Film release, “the audience of that festival doubled” during his time.

In 2004, Owens also founded and was the executive director of the Indianapolis International Film Festival.

“I am looking forward to my new role at Calgary Film,” said Owens, who will be in town for the 2018 event, getting the lay of the land. “One of my goals will be to help grow the festival, not just in audience numbers, but in impact and influence on the city’s culture and film industry.”

The Calgary International Film Festival runs Sept. 19 to 30 at several locations around the city. For festival passes, tickets and the complete schedule of events please click here.