The 23rd annual Calgary International Film Festival came to a close on Sunday, and the ballots for this year’s crowd pleasing films are in.
Film goers cast their votes throughout the festival for their favourite films, documentaries, and shorts.
Among the festival’s top award winners this year were Francheska: Prairie Queen, which garnered the Audience Choice Award for Alberta Feature, and I Like Movies, which took the Audience Choice Award for Canadian Narrative Feature.
“The audience clearly responded to the diverse selections of films – from the witty and clever to the timely and challenging,” said Brian Owens, CIFF’s artistic director.”
“It’s also great to see that over half of the feature Audience Choice Awards went to women filmmakers.”
Owens thanked audiences for making this year’s film festival a successful one.
Documentary 752 Is Not a Number, directed by Babak Payami, won the Canadian Documentary Feature award. Call Jane, directed by Phyllis Nagy, was chosen for the International Narrative Feature award. And The Pez Outlaw, directed by Bryan Storkel and Amy Bandlien Storkel, won the International Documentary Feature award.
Piita Aapasskaan, directed by Brock Davis Mitchell took the award for Alberta Short. Night Ride, directed by Eirik Tveiten, garnered the award for Narrative Short. And Corvine, directed by Sean McCarron, won the Animated Short award.
Tegan and Sara brought TIFF crowd-pleasing High School to the CIFF red carpet
Tegan and Sara did their Calgary premier of their new Amazon series High School on the CIFF red Carpet during the festival.
The well attended event was a love letter back to their hometown, Calgary, said the pair.
“Forget about Tegan and Sara, this is about Calgary.”
The series was filmed at their old high school of Crescent Heights, and at various other locations across the city like North Hill Mall, and the former Sears location.
“It’s a real love letter to the 90s, so Calgarians will love the show,” said Tegan.
The pair recounted how a shot at the former Sears that was shown during their TIFF presentation garnered a huge reaction from the crowd.
“When the shot happens with Sears the entire audience hundreds of people gasps laughed at the same,” said Tegan.
“I was sitting next to Cobie Smulders in the in the in the screening, and Cobie went ‘Oh!,'” said Sara.
They called their journey from living in northeast Calgary to being internationally recognized stars, with a TV show premiere, surreal.
“I can’t believe we figured out how to get out of Northeast Calgary, we were such dirtbags. And to now have this TV show that depicts not only our life, but I think a really true, honest, vulnerable, raw look at what it’s like to be a teenager and come out. It’s such an honour,” Tegan said.
“We’re so proud that Amazon partnered with us, and so grateful to have so many people watching.”