Record audience for CIFF 2015. Award-winning films announced.

Posted on October 7, 2015

Calgary, AB—The 16th Annual Calgary International Film Festival concluded on Sunday night with a sold-out Closing Gala. The festival, which ran from September 23 to October 4, featured over 200 films from 39 different countries.

“Wow—what a festival,” exclaimed Steve Schroeder, executive director of the Calgary International Film Festival. “CIFF 2015 was a resounding success. In addition to our audience growth we hosted 178 filmmakers in Calgary. Over 300 volunteers collectively contributed a total of over 6,700 hours to help put the festival on. That’s what I call passion.”

The 2015 edition of the Festival had a record crowd of 35,000 pack over 200 screenings, up from 29,000 attendees last year and 20,000 in 2013. Over 1,800 films were submitted for consideration to the festival, representing a 40 per cent increase over last year and a tripling of submissions since 2012.

“People often ask me what’s driving the increase in attendance and submissions. Well, it starts with the programming of exceptional films of every type, genre, and from as many parts of the world as possible,” explained Schroeder. “By relentlessly pursuing our mission of curating the most innovative and compelling films and creating remarkable festival experiences, our annual celebration becomes one that more and more audience and filmmakers want to be be part of.”

After each screening, patrons were asked to rate the films. Over 27,000 votes were cast representing a 15 per cent increase over 2014 and a new record for the festival. These votes were used to determine the winning films in two categories. The Discovery Awards recognize the best first feature film and celebrate an emerging fillmmaker’s natural talent and hard work. The Audience Awards are a recognition of the reaction of the audience to a film.

The 2015 Audience Choice winners are:
Discovery Award Best Documentary: MADE IN JAPAN (Dir. Josh Bishop)
Discovery Award Best Narrative: KEEP IN TOUCH (Dir. Sam Kretchmar)
Audience Award Best Narrative **TIE**: REMEMBER (Dir. Atom Egoyan) & ROOM (Dir. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson)
Audience Award Best Documentary: GUANTANAMO'S CHILD (Dir. Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard)
Audience Award Best Animation Short: BEAR STORY (Dir. Gabriel Osorio)
Audience Award Best Live Action or Documentary: THE HOUSE IS INNOCENT (Dir. Nicholas Coles)

All those Calgary film lovers don’t need to wait long to be entertained and engaged by the innovative and compelling films that CIFF curates. Doc Soup, the monthly off-season documentary film series in collaboration with the Hot Docs International Film Festival, starts on November 4 with the highly anticipated RACING EXTINCTION. Single tickets and subscriptions to Doc Soup are now on sale.

The 17th Annual Calgary International Film Festival will run from September 21 to October 2, 2016.

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