Sept. 19, 2023

Lights, camera, action: Celebrate Calgary International Film Festival with UCalgary

2 faculty members set to premiere works during CIFF
Calgary International Film Festival Crowd
Calgary international Film Festival

The 2023 edition of the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) kicks off Sept. 21. This year, there is no shortage of University of Calgary involvement during the festival, including screenings of works by two faculty members.

Now celebrating its 24th year, CIFF is an 11-day showcase of more than 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and around the world. It is the largest film festival in Alberta and the sixth largest in Canada.

As a proud partner of CIFF, UCalgary is thrilled to support and showcase the two UCalgary community members set to premiere their respective films as well as offer discount codes to attend the screenings.

Without Leaving Anyone Behind: Exploring Our Way to an Energy Future

In 2021, Dr. Harrie Vredenburg, PhD, of the Haskayne School of Business began work on an innovative documentary, engaging his diverse network built during his 30 years of research in energy evolution — from policy-makers, entrepreneurs, environmental activists and scientists — in a thoughtful conversation on this hot-button issue.

The resulting 80-minute documentary, Without Leaving Anyone Behind: Exploring our Way to an Energy Future, showcases Vredenburg’s view on the global energy picture including renewable energy generation, carbon-capture technologies and nuclear energy.

“Film is such a powerful medium to inspire change. Pivoting from a book to film to communicate my 30 years of research was one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of my career. We hope to break down polarization and chart an exciting path forward. Showcasing this film in Calgary the heart of the energy industry is significant. It is starting an important conversation,” says Vredenburg, professor of strategy and sustainability.

The film’s CIFF screening is sponsored by UCalgary’s Office of Sustainability. Director Sylvester Ndumbi, an award-winning filmmaker, will join Vredenburg after the film for a discussion with the audience.

“The Office of Sustainability is delighted to partner with Calgary International Film Festival on the screening of Without Leaving Anyone Behind through the Mobilizing Alberta initiative, which seeks to increase engagement on climate change in southern Alberta.” says Rachelle Haddock, MEDes’10, sustainability manager, partnerships and engagement.

“We are excited about both the important conversations and meaningful action that this film will inspire.”

Learn more about the documentary and showtimes during the festival. Enter discount code UCalgarySustainabilityxCIFF.

The Haskayne School of Business is hosting an exclusive screening of the film through its Enbridge Research in Action Seminar Series on Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. Purchase tickets for this event.

How to Fail as a Popstar

What happens when a star isn’t born? An adaptation of UCalgary Faculty of Arts associate professor Vivek Shraya’s hit play and subsequent book, the CBC Gem original series How to Fail as a Popstar answers this question with hilarity, vulnerability, a healthy dose of imagination and, of course, music.

The series tracks the journey of Shraya growing up in Edmonton trying to achieve pop stardom. Shraya explores what went right and wrong along the way, from the perspective of the now 40-something trans-feminine multidisciplinary artist.

“The partnership between the Faculty of Arts and the Calgary International Film Festival for the world premiere of Vivek Shraya's How to Fail at Being a Popstar underscores the unifying influence of art,” says Dr. Aoife Mac Namara, dean of the Faculty of Arts.

“The Faculty of Arts is proud to celebrate Shraya's remarkable ability to engage imaginations, build connection, and foster creativity across genders and generations.”

In addition to the world premiere screening of the first three episodes of the series, a live Q-and-A hosted by Chris dela Torre of CBC Radio’s The Homestretch will be held, as well as a musical performance by Shraya.

Learn more about the documentary and showtimes during the festival. Enter discount code CIFFxUCArts2023.

If you can’t make it to the CIFF premiere, all episodes of How to Fail as a Popstar will be available to stream for free in Canada beginning Friday, Oct. 13, exclusively on CBC Gem.

Learn more about the Calgary International Film Festival and see the full list of screenings.

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