How to CIFF - A Guide to the Calgary International Film Festival

How to CIFF - A Guide to the Calgary International Film Festival

by Mr. Fab

On the heels of the famed Toronto International Film Festival, Calgary will soon be getting its turn to shine.

Beginning Thursday, September 19th, Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) will kick off their 11 day event, featuring an array of award winning films, directors and actors.

But what truly sets CIFF apart from the rest of the country’s film festivals is its galas.

Sure, other cities have these types of events... But getting an invite is often more difficult than pulling out a straight flush in a hand of poker.

CIFF invites all patrons and lovers of the arts to attend all of the events surrounding the festival, and if you feel so inclined, the ability to strut your stuff on a variety of coloured carpets.

CIFF Red Carpet

This year’s CIFF will see 3 unique coloured carpet galas throughout the 11 days, so it’s time to pick the right one for you.

Typically the Red Carpet Gala is a more of a formal affair; the chance to dazzle. Don a velvet bowtie or that sparkly dress you’ve been stashing away since last Christmas, it’s time to shine!

The 2013 Red Carpet Gala on September 19th will screen The Grand Seduction ($75). 

Now the Green Carpet is a little earthier, but this doesn’t mean dreads and patchouli. It’s all about the environment, so pull out your earth conscious linens, it’s time to float across the carpet.

The 2013 Green Carpet Gala on September 23rd will screen The Last Ocean ($25).

Lastly, the Black Carpet sets the tone for your outfit of choice. Think high fashion or even just black Levis and a leather jacket; it’s all about looking sleek and dangerous.

The 2013 Black Carpet Gala on September 27th will screen eega (Housefly) ($25).

And you’ll make a statement after the show as well because all 3 galas also include a post screening reception for you to mix and mingle with other film goers.

CIFF is the only film festival that places the entire community on a level playing field.

Now the opportunity to attend 3 galas might feel intimidating, and you’re probably going to tell me you’ve got nothing to wear. Trust me, I’ve been through that before... But I’ve just returned from NYC Fashion Week, and while I was there I received some of the best advice about appropriate style from a very fashionable ‘Real Housewife.’

“What’s in style is whatever looks good on you!” - Jill Zarin (pictured with myself below)

Mr. Fab with Jill Zarin

And that’s just it, with so many different personalities in Calgary, just show up feeling fabulous and you’ll be sure to shine - and fit right in!

If galas aren’t the right fit for you, and sitting in the quiet of the theatre is more your style, then you’ll be excited to know that a long list of the films' Actors and Directors will also be visiting Calgary throughout the festival. They’ll be attending the public screenings and offering the opportunity to interact with them during a post screening Q&A. Approximately 25 of the 97 feature films will have someone from the film in attendance. 

CIFF Red Carpet Interview

This is certainly one of the most interactive years CIFF has even seen!

And with a variety of ticket bundles and passes available for purchase, CIFF is offering added value to see more! As Bruce Fletcher, Director of Programing shared with me: “There is a huge opportunity to explore all the films. Go treasure hunting!”

Including the shorts (my favourite way to see a large collection of diverse and interesting films in a short period), the festival will screen 200+ films over the 11 day fest.

So whether you’re gussy-ing up for the galas, or slipping into a pair of comfy pants to enjoy a day of film-going, have fun enjoying the culture of CIFF for the next 11 days.

See you there!


Ryan aka Mr. Fab from I'm Mr. Fabulous For Ryan Massel aka Mr.Fab, the personality behind the award-winning blog, the idea was simple: Live a fabulous life attending lavish parties and events all while sharing the unique experiences with his readers. 

"Some people aspire to be Doctors & Lawyers, Mothers & Fathers. I find joy living in the moment, sipping champagne and sharing happiness with everyone I meet!" 

He believes that no matter who you are, where you're from or what you have, we all deserve a moment to feel fabulous! 

He's just returned from NYC, where he attended a number of prestigious runway shows and coveted events during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  

Now back in beautiful Calgary, the city he loves to call home, he'll help plan your guide to experience all the best CIFF 2013 has to offer!

To view Ryan Massel's blog, immrfabulous, click here.