The world premiere of Making Coco: The Grant Fuhr Story, directed by Don Metz, will screen on September 29, as the Closing Gala film 0f the Calgary International Film Festival. Called the greatest goaltender in hockey history by Wayne Gretzky, Fuhr also struggled with cocaine and had well-known conflicts with the League. Making Coco is the story of his life, both on and off the ice.
The Calgary International Film Festival also announced 11 more films today, all gripping stories of hurdles overcome. This selection includes features, shorts and documentaries from countries including Lebanon, Germany, England and Canada.
“Films give us the opportunity to see into people’s lives that are totally different from our own, to understand and to empathize,” said Stephen Schroeder, Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival. “These films all depict a life lived on the edge: stories of obstacles, loss, and pain, but also triumph, hope, and strength when we need it the most.”
ALIVE directed by Rob Grant
A severely injured man (Thomas Cocquerel) and woman (Camille Stopps) awake in an abandoned hospital to discover they are being held hostage by a sadistic caretaker (Angus Macfadyen, BRAVEHART, SAW 3 & 4). As the two decide to find a way out, they realize their caretaker is the only one with answers to their real identity. Vancouver Director Rob Grant (FAKE BLOOD, Calgary Film 2017), produced and shot this film in the Calgary area, using a mostly local crew.
ALL ABOUT NINA directed Eva Vives
Nina Geld (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a blisteringly provocative stand-up comedian whose career is taking off, but whose personal life is a near-complete disaster. In this narrative feature, Nina flees to Los Angeles where she meets Rafe (Common), who challenges almost every preconception she has – including those around her own troubled past.
ANTHROPOCENE directed by Jennifer Baichwal
Four years in the making, this documentary feature is a stunning and sobering reflection on the human capacity for transforming the planet for our purposes, chronicling the work of an international team of scientists who have spent a decade researching the profound geological change caused by human endeavour.
CAPERNAUM directed by Nadine Labaki
Winner of the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes, this narrative feature from Lebanon tells the story of an extraordinary trial: 12-year old Zain is suing his parents for giving him life, and launches his lawsuit against his parents while serving a prison sentence. The film takes us on an emotionally charged journey through the streets of Beirut and shows us the gritty life that Zain and his siblings had to face while uncovering the decisions made by his parents.
LETTER FROM MASANJIA directed by Leon Lee
When a woman from Oregon finds an SOS note written by a Chinese prisoner stashed in a box of Halloween decorations from Kmart, she never imagined it would eventually lead to the closure of all of China’s labour camps. This nail-biting documentary shows the actions of a few good citizens can truly thwart those of a totalitarian regime.
MAKING COCO: THE GRANT FUHR STORY directed by Don Metz
At 19, Grant ‘Coco’ Fuhr became starting goalie for the Oilers. In his mid-30’s, he played 79 games in an 82-game season to set a league record, then played 73 the following season on a completely rebuilt knee. He backstopped five Stanley Cup champions and two Canada Cup winners. He also got himself demoted to the minors for calling the hometown fans jerks, announced his retirement at the age of 26 in an attempt to renegotiate a long-term contract and was suspended for an entire NHL season for cocaine use, only to return and redeem himself as one of the game’s true greats. Fuhr was the first black superstar in hockey, winning 403 regular season NHL games. He’s a member of the 2003 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
MAN RUNNING directed by Gary Burns
In this Alberta feature, a young doctor runs in a grueling 24-hour, 200-kilometer ultra-marathon over rugged mountain terrain as he avoids a police investigation into a recent incident involving his medical practice. Veteran Calgary-based director, Gary Burns (WAYDOWNTOWN, PROBLEM WITH FEAR, RADIANT CITY), once again crafts an innovative story that pushes boundaries and challenges audiences.
PRINCE’S TALE directed by Jamie Miller
This Canadian short portrays the life of Prince Amponsah, a young actor who survived a near-fatal fire in 2012, and the journey of mental recovery that brought him back on stage.
THE GREAT DARKENED DAYS directed by Maxime Giroux
In this Canadian narrative feature, Philippe, a draft-dodger from Quebec, takes refuge from a world war in the American West, surviving by competing in Charlie Chaplin impersonation contests. As Philippe makes his long journey home, he encounters various characters under the sway of a destructive madness. His voyage, both violent and fascinating, is a hallucinatory initiation to the darker side of the American dream.
THE HEAT: A KITCHEN (R)EVOLUTION directed by Maya Gallus
In restaurant kitchens, tight quarters, high pressure and hot tempers combine to create toxic conditions that make it difficult for anyone to survive, let alone climb the ladder to head chef. For women, the situation is even worse. From New York City’s star chefs Anita Lo and Amanda Cohen to the queen of French cuisine Anne-Sophie Pic, seven chefs share their struggles and inspirations in this Canadian documentary feature.
THUNDER ROAD directed by Jim Cummings
A jaw-dropping performance filled with bursts of offbeat humor and unexpected pathos as a small-town police officer struggling to process the death of his mother, an impending divorce, and his own unrecognized cluelessness. This is a Canadian premiere for this independent American feature.
TWO PUDDLES directed by Timothy Keeling
Embarking on a woodland retreat to ease straining family relations, a mother, father and their teenage daughter encounter two connected puddles forcing them to decide whether to sacrifice themselves for another, or risk waiting for help to arrive in time. A short from the UK.