Festival coordinator notes this year’s Alberta films are amongst the strongest in history
For the first time in its history, The Calgary International Film Festival is featuring its local spotlight on five Alberta produced films: “A Legend of Whitey,” “Lloyd the Conqueror,” “Below Zero,” “Theo Fleury,“Playing with Fire” and “Wolves Unleashed.”
“We get quite a few Alberta submissions each year; however this year we had a significantly higher number of incredibly strong, diverse and interesting films -- something for everyone,” said Brenda Lieberman, festival co-ordinator. “It definitely felt like the right year to do a spotlight on Alberta talent.”
This year, fans of the hit film “Fubar 2” featured at last year’s festival can expect a new and exciting directorial debut by well-known producer David Lawrence.
According to Lawrence, “A Legend of Whitey” is a uniquely satiric western comedy set for unveiling at this year’s festivities. The storyline is that of two half-brothers on the run from a sacred white buffalo. Shot in Longview, Alta., this film captures a talented cast amongst luscious scenery, giving viewers a different twist in comedic style.
“I have always enjoyed westerns as a kid — there is just something about horses, guns, and cowboy hats,” Lawrence stated. “I remember the bad guys were always depicted as really, really bad. Turning this kind of story into a western comedy was what we wanted to create; it is satiric fun.”
In terms of local talent, Lawrence added it will be obvious to film goers there has been a steady climb in Alberta’s diverse film industry. He said he believes the push for film production is coming from Albertans themselves and not necessarily from government grants or major changes in the industry.
“We have a lot of talent and individuals who are the driving forces of their own films,” Lawrence said.
Calgarians from all walks of life are gearing up for the upcoming film festival.
Mount Royal University criminology student Bronson Ha said, “I am excited to participate in this year’s film festival as it is very exciting to hear the spotlight is on Alberta films. It gives me a sense of pride that we are able to support our local talent through the festival.”
The festival runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 at various venues. Further information about the film festival can be found at calgaryfilm.com