In its 10th year, the Calgary International Film Festival is celebrating its anniversary with the same growing pains any adolescent has. Though coordinators admit to suffering several financial setbacks over the past year, the festivities will go on with a few exciting changes to lift spirits.
As an added draw, the festival will introduce the Maverick Filmmaker award, designed to honour those who demonstrate the qualities such a word brings to mind.
"The participants display independence and boldness," says CIFF lead programmer Brenda Leberman. "All 10 films are very different, some stand out because of cinematography, and some are artistic. You can expect a diverse range of material."
The category promises to enthral and astound with a mish mash of films which, at first glance, seem to have little in common. Directors from as far as Korea and as near as the United States will be attending the festival for the western Canadian debut of their films.
Like the films it honours, the award category was created to distinguish CIFF from other Canadian festival equivalents. Coordinators hope that in the years to come this new award category will serve to make CIFF a destination festival.
"The Maverick Award was created to help CIFF stand out among other Canadian film festivals," states Leberman. "It will help attract more international involvement, but at the same time blends a very familiar Albertan ideal with independent film."
Additionally, festival coordinators hope to bring moviegoers in on the celebration by giving them 10 ways to celebrate the last decade; suggesting they create a film club, become a "friend of the festival," visit the new box office location on Stephen Avenue and more.
Film enthusiasts are encouraged to take part in the festivities, with the chance of winning a VIP pass sweetening the deal.
In its 10th year, Calgarian movie aficionados can expect this year's film festival to top anything they have experienced before.