Mount Royal journalism alumni set to premiere film anthology showcasing the city

WhatChaGotCalgaryJoel Dryden, a graduate of Mount Royal University's journalism program in spring, is ready to take the Calgary film world by storm, along with his partner Andrew Cormier, with the Sept. 5 premiere of their film Whatcha Got Calgary? at the Globe Theatre.

The project, which originally started off as a what-if idea, has catapulted into a film anthology that can be described along the lines of Paris, I Love You (a 2006 anthology film) with a twist.

"I knew a bunch of filmmakers in Calgary who wanted to start making stuff," says Dryden. "They were saying that they couldn't find people to watch their stuff.

"I went with the idea and started contacting local directors asking them if they wanted to get involved.It evolved into this thing and now we've got 20 shorts and the theatre's booked."

The anthology features the work of 20 directors represented in three-minute clips – ranging from animation, documentaries, experimental films and more – that focus on a variety of topics that impact Calgarians on a day-to-day basis.

Dryden says the purpose of the anthology is to showcase Calgary talent, what the city's art scene has to offer, as well as raise money for the Calgary Women's Shelter.

"I think a lot of people get down on Calgary's art scene," says Dryden. "If you give people a place to show off their stuff and a reason to make stuff they are going to do it."

When Dryden initially put out the call on his website 201studios.com, that he needed directors for his film anthology, he received more submissions than he expected. GirlDoorA screenshot from Hussein Juma's short that is featured in the Whatcha Got Calgary? film anthology that is produced by Mount Royal journalism alumni Joel Dryden.  The film will premiere on Sept. 5 at the Globe Theatre. 

Photo by Hussein Juma

Dryden and Cormier kept it simple: they chose the first 20 submissions they received.

"We had close to 35 (directors) who wanted to get involved," says Dryden. "We wished we could get everybody in.

"Maybe next year if we do it again we'll get a whole new bunch of directors."

Dryden hopes Calgarians who see the film anthology will take away the fact that the local art scene is thriving and it has a lot of remarkable talent.

"When people come to this, I hope they realize that the arts scene in Calgary is very important," he says. "I think there's a lot of talent that sometimes gets overlooked.

"I know there's a lot of great arts development going on in Calgary right now but I hope that trend will continue to give artists a place to make their art happen."

Twenty directors and 20 short films that comprise Whatcha Got Calgary?:
• James Berry – Leisure
• Matt Watterworth – Sports
• Nicolas Cupelli and Mitchell George - Summer
• Tyler Longmire – Friendship
• Nick Taylor - Dating
• Kevin Kirkpatrick – Being a Minority
• Ryan Drescher – Winter
• Alex Mitchell – Social Justice
• Untitled Productions – Calgary Festivals
• Eric Hayes – Work
• Scott Westby – Love
• Hussein Juma – Calgary at Night
• Jaimie Stewart – Best of Calgary
• Sarah Howden – Prairies
• Share Munoz – School
• Yiorgos Boudouris – Gender and Equality
• Ashley White – Culture and History
• Julia Gunst – Music Scene
• Clare Miglionico – Solitude
• Mike Petersen – TBA

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