Feature A & E Stories

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers brings local film, art, and music together at the $100 Film Festival

Local festival seeks to open minds and celebrate indie cinema

THUMB- -JohnWoods-RollOutOn Feb. 26 - 27, Calgary will host its 23rd annual $100 Film Festival, courtesy of the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers to celebrate the beautiful and often underestimated medium of 8-16mm film.

The festival will showcase work from local, national, and international filmmakers exclusively on 8mm and 16mm film. The festivals namesake pays tribute to the original budget cap for content submissions, which equals roughly the cost of four rolls of 8mm film. While this minimal budget has since been dropped, the weird and wonderful format remains at the core of the festival.

"I don't think anybody expected it to evolve into what it has become," says Nicola Waugh, the festival director. "Over the years we've dropped the budgetary confinements and opened it up to 16mm. There is always talk of adding digital but what is really so special and what has stuck with the festival over its pretty long run is the uniqueness of small format film."


CBC drama connects with wild horse lovers

Culling controversy recreated in recent Heartland episodes

THUMB D4S 0150On the wide-open plains of the Stoney reserve, the bustle of a television production is underway.

Two white horses dance with their trainer while cameras follow their every move.

Heather Conkie, head writer for CBC's Heartland, looks on as the crew runs back and forth with film equipment.

As Conkie works, she notices something that starkly contrasts with the frenzy of filming.

A dozen wild horses have emerged on a hill above her, standing as still as statues.

Strong and proud, each subtle flicker of their ears provides a brief glimpse into their spirited curiosity as they observe the busy production scene below.

The cast and crew pause to marvel at their presence, but with no camera capturing the moment, the memory of them is as unharnessed as the horses themselves.


“The DUFF” fails to impress

Modern references don't hide stale high school comedy's lack of substance

Thumbnail 68503-TD 09481In its opening narration, The DUFF pays homage to its legendary high school movie predecessor, The Breakfast Club. But where that film shines thanks to its poignant dialogue and timeless themes, all The DUFF's reference does is set an unattainably high bar for what turns out to be a vapid, predictable romantic comedy.

The movie is based on the 2010 debut novel by New York City-based author Kody Keplinger.

High school senior Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman) is devastated when she finds out that she's a DUFF — that's "Designated Ugly Fat Friend" for those of you who don't have time for a quick visit to Urban Dictionary.


A "tale as old as time" graces Calgary

The musical Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast does the movie justice, and then some

THUMB2cameron bond as gaston and the silly girls of disneys beauty and the beast. photo by matthew murphyThere were countless miniature gold Belle dresses and matching hair curls lolloping around the Southern Jubilee Auditorium for the opening night of Disney's adaptation of Beauty and the Beast the musical on Feb. 17.

But the younger audience members were not the only ones excited for the show. All ages were there to see the now-international tour, which is one of the longest running and most record-earning Broadway productions yet.

The production runs for two and a half hours and the movie runs for an hour and a half. The children sat with their heads resting on their folded arms on the seats in front of them absolutely mesmerized, and the standing ovation at the end proved the audience had no issue with the the length. It provided the extravagance and laughter of the beloved movie, and even added more detail to Belle and the Beast's blooming relationship.