Are you ready for the Calgary International Film Festival?  Each year over 200 films are screened across the city at the end of September and thousands of people fill the seats to watch the new and exciting film creations.  Can you get through 200 movies in 10 days? Probably not, but here a few helpful tips to help you make the most of your CIFF 2014:

GET YOUR GALA ON

Don’t just watch a movie, make it an experience. There are four Gala films presented at CIFF and each comes with its own theme and experience. Get scary at the Black Carpet Gala, get glamorous at the Opening Gala, get environmental at the Green Carpet Gala and end it off with a bang at the Closing Gala. 

TRAVEL ACROSS THE WORLD

There are over 200 films screened at CIFF. There is a series dedicated to Canadian film and one dedicated to World cinema. One night you can be watching a film about a girl growing up in Saskatchewan and the next a foreign film with subtitles from Germany. I love to travel, but I also like sleeping in my own bed. This gives me the best of both worlds.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

As a fan of the big blockbuster films, I am always surprised that some of my favourite movies over the years at the festival have been in the documentary series. Doc features that may teach you about art, world issues, and subcultures you never knew existed. Fascinating doesn’t even begin to describe it.

SEE IT FIRST

Do you want to see a potential hit movie months before it is released? Film festivals all over the world screen movies before they are released widely to the public.  That hit movie that is coming out next March? The Oscar winner in February? You could see them here in September. 

You can start planning your CIFF schedule on Sept. 2, when the full schedule of films is released, until then, watch the trailers for the Gala films that have been announced. The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (Opening Gala), Teen Lust (Black Carpet Gala), Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (Green Carpet Gala) and Ally was Screaming (Closing Gala)

- Mike Morrison
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