Announcing CIFF’s Galas: a Hank Williams biopic, Paul Gross, the smalls and more

Posted on August 18, 2015

The Calgary International Film Festival is thrilled to announce the five gala films that will dot the 12-day festival this year. Gala screenings are followed by a party where filmmakers and other guests are in attendance giving fans the chance to rub shoulders with them. Gala Tickets are $35 and are now on sale.

Opening Gala (Wed, Sept 23): I SAW THE LIGHT Dir. Marc Abraham
A biopic about country music icon Hank Williams, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his struggles with substance abuse and ultimately, his untimely death. The film boasts a star-studded cast with Tom Hiddleston playing the lead role of the troubled but talented Williams, Elizabeth Olsen as the country star's wife (and mother to Hank Williams Jr.), David Krumholtz as journalist James Dolan, and Bradley Whitford as music publisher and songwriter Fred Rose.

Hyena Road Gala (Thurs, Sept 24): HYENA ROAD Dir. Paul Gross **Paul Gross in attendance**
The latest war film by Canadian actor/director/writer Paul Gross takes on modern warfare in Afghanistan. Telling three unique stories set in a land torn apart by conflict, HYENA ROAD stars Gross as an intelligence officer, along with Rossif Sutherland, Allan Hawco and Christine Horne as Canadian military personnel.

Green Carpet Gala (Tues, Sept 29): LANDFILL HARMONIC Dir. Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley
The remarkable story of the Recycled Orchestra, a group of children from Paraguay who play instruments made entirely from garbage. A testament to both the power of music and the opportunities that come from the most unexpected places, LANDFILL HARMONIC is an uplifting documentary that explores one of the most innovative uses of reclaimed garbage while highlighting two vital issues: poverty and waste pollution.

Black Carpet Gala (Thurs, Oct 1): A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY Dir. Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban and Brett Sullivan
When a teenaged virgin is possessed by a ghost, an evil spirit inhabits the body of a young boy, and a long-haired Santa must use an ax to fight off his elves who have suddenly become flesh-eating living dead: it must be a Christmas Horror Story! Myths of all sorts come to life is this festive take on anthology horror by the directors of the cult horror classic GINGER SNAPS films. With eggnog and a bottle of hard liquor in hand, William Shatner takes over the airwaves of the town weaving the events of the evening together until we reach the terrifying conclusion.

Closing Gala (Sun, Oct 4): THE SMALLS: FOREVER IS A LONG TIME Dir. Trevor Smith
When the smalls, a band with a surprising blend of rock, country and metal, formed during 1989 in Edmonton nobody knew they would take the Western Canadian music scene by storm. Thirteen years later they suddenly disbanded for reasons unknown and weren’t seen together again until a surprise reunion tour last year. This Kickstarter-funded feature-length music documentary by Alberta filmmakers Trevor Smith and John Kerr chronicles that tour, explores their influence and examines the impact their absence has had on their legions of adoring fans.

Gala tickets, ticket packages and passes for CIFF 2015 are now on sale. Full festival line-up will be announced on Sept. 9. More information at: www.calgaryfilm.com

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