People like to complain about their hometown, but two local producers are casting a spotlight on what makes Calgary special — and they’re turning its citizens into the cast and crew.
Whatcha Got, Calgary? is a short film anthology made by Calgary, for Calgary. The film features 20 three-minute clips, each offering a theme within a larger story. The narrative is framed around 20 directors who must use their clips to convince two producers that Calgary is unique.
Andrew Cormier and Joel Dryden, the creative heads behind the idea, drew inspiration from Calgary’s sense of community and optimism.
“We wanted to represent the good parts of Calgary,” says Dryden. “You can’t do that without looking at the city through a bunch of different lenses. So we decided to look at that through 20 different lenses.”
The film’s website lists cowboys, summer, being a minority and women’s issues as themes. Striking a balance between lifestyle features and conversation-worthy issues is a deliberate choice, says Dryden.
“I don’t think you can tell the story of Calgary with a few themes. If you ask one person what makes Calgary special, they’re going to say one thing but then another person is going to say something else,” says Dryden.
“I know that there’s so much more to come in this city, so really the movie is all about harnessing that energy and putting something together — coming together as directors and as people who care about this city — and putting that movie into the community.”
The film will feature local actors, musicians and directors. People of all levels of experience are welcome to apply.
Directors who want to get involved can pitch or request a theme until June 15. Once a theme is approved, directors have until July 15 to complete their clip.
Whatcha Got, Calgary? will premiere at the end of Aug. Updates on the project will be posted to the film’s website. Proceeds from the show will be donated to a local charity.