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nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up Honoured at Hot Docs, image,
Image from the Edmonton Journal, supplied by the National Film Board.


by Staff

(August 30, 2019 -Toronto, ON) When the 2019 Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) kicks off on September 18 Canada’s national filmmaker, the National Film Board, will be well represented with some of the best films, features and shorts, on the schedule.

If you were at Hot Docs in Toronto earlier this year then you already know how important the award-winning film nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is. It’s been playing to packed houses across Canada as part of its national theatrical release, but will make its debut in Calgary at the festival. We had a chance to talk with Edmonton filmmaker Tasha Hubbard and can easily recommend this film if you’re attending CIFF 2019.

The festival is also presenting the Western Canadian premiere of Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. It is legendary director Alanis Obomsawin’s 53rd film and will screen in the Masters program at the Toronto International Film Festival before heading west. Northernstars deemed it to be a Must See film at TIFF.

Look for Alexandra Lazarowich’s 5-minute film Lake. Filmed on location in Joussard, Alberta, this is a contemporary, innovative portrait of Métis fisherwomen in Northern Alberta.
Calgary born-and-raised Olympian Anastasia Bucsis is featured in Vancouver filmmaker Paul Émile d’Entremont’s 80-minute feature Standing on the Line, which looks at LGBTQ2+ athletes fighting prejudice in sports. Few dare to come out for fear of being stigmatized, and for many, the pressure to perform is compounded by a further strain: whether or not to affirm their sexual identity. Breaking the code of silence that prevails on the field, on the ice and in the locker room, d’Entremont takes a fresh and often moving look at some of our gay athletes, who share their experiences with the camera. They’ve set out to overcome prejudice in the hopes of changing things for the athletes of tomorrow.

Hot Docs, image,
Still image from Assholes: A Theory courtesy of Hot Docs.

John Walker is one of our favourite directors and yes, we’re allowed to have favourites. His entertaining and oh-so-timely feature Assholes: A Theory screened at Hot Docs earlier this year. Based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same title by author, Aaron James, John Cleese was the perfect choice to provide commentary for Walker’s film. He is a multi-award-winning documentarian and all of his work fits easily within the definition of “must see” films.
Three more powerful NFB shorts will make their Western Canadian premieres at CIFF: Jason Young’s Gun Killers, Chris Dainty’s loving multimedia elegy Shannon Amen, and The Procession, a collaboration between illustrator and graphic novel writer Pascal Blanchet and animator and filmmaker Rodolphe Saint-Gelais.

There is more information online. Click here to find a link to the Calgary International Film Festival and other September 2019 film festivals.