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Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley in My Salinger Year by Philippe Falardeau
Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley in My Salinger Year by Philippe Falardeau

With over 175 films and 40+ countries represented, Calgary International Film Festival announced the 2020 lineup of much of the year’s most groundbreaking and must-see movies. The hybrid festival rolls out with 90+ in-cinema feature films and shorts package screenings and 160+ films that you can watch online. This will be first time the festival will be accessible by audiences outside Calgary – with streaming available across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba from September 24 to October 4, 2020.

In addition to this year’s films, CIFF welcomes global audiences to tune into “Behind the Screen” events featuring live conversations with leading film industry members, including Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back), and Meg Kasdan (The Big Chill).

“I feel deeply connected to and excited about this lineup. The challenges we have faced this year have made us feel even more passionate about the films we are presenting. There are a lot of strong titles, and our mandate to showcase diversity behind and in front of the camera, is present in every section,” said Brian Owens, CIFF’s Artistic Director. “This year’s hybrid festival has given us the opportunity to grow in so many ways, there is an occasion for those who haven’t been able to join us in the past, especially with our virtual screening expansion into the rest of Alberta and into Saskatchewan and Manitoba.”


AMMONITE Directed by Francis Lee (United Kingdom)

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan star in this raw love story between a solitary paleontologist and a grieving wife in 19th-century Dorset. The film will have its world premiere at TIFF.

THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS Directed by Michael Dweck (Italy) / Documentary

Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare white Alba truffle – which has resisted modern science’s efforts at cultivation.

ANOTHER ROUND Directed by Thomas Vinterburg (Denmark)

Starring Mads Mikkelsen (HANNIBAL, CASINO ROYALE) four teachers decide to test the idea that their lives would be improved by maintaining a consistent level of low-grade drunkenness.

THE WOMAN WHO RAN Directed by Hong Sangsoo (South Korea)

This distilled and mildly contemplative talking-heads triptych by Hong Sang-soo stars his muse and sentimental partner Kim Minhee. With her husband gone on a business trip, Gamhee (Kim), for the first time away from him in five years, decides to reconnect with and visit over the course of three days three of her female friends. Winner of the Silver Bear for The Best Director, Berlinale 2020.

NADIA, BUTTERFLY Directed by Pascal Plante (Canada)

Two-time Olympian Katerine Savard began as a sports consultant for the script, but so naturally fell into the role as Nadia, with her real-life training partner, Ariane Mainville, cast as Marie-Pierre. The natural chemistry from the cast, and the style of film, lures you into their world of competitive sports.

DEATH OF A LADIES MAN Directed by Matthew Bissonnette (Canada/Ireland)

Directed by CIFF alumni Matt Bissonnette (CIFF 2019: PASSENGER SIDE), and from the producers of BROOKLYN (CIFF 2015), CHICAGO, a dramedy about life and love featuring songs by Canadian legend Leonard Cohen.

MY SALINGER YEAR Directed by Philippe Falardeau (Canada/Ireland) / Based on the book by Joanna Rakoff

In New York City in the late ‘90s, Joanna (Margaret Qualley) is a young aspiring writer who lands a day job at J.D. Salinger’s literary agency. While her eccentric, old-fashioned boss Margaret (Sigourney Weaver) assigns her to answer Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, Joanna struggles to find her own voice.


The transformation of a much-loved Toronto block through the stories of its community members who are forced to relocate when it is sold to a developer. The film chronicles the evolution of their lives as they reconcile their history with the future, all while facing the biggest housing crisis the country has ever seen.

THE FATHER Directed by Florian Zeller (United Kingdom/France)

A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind, and even the fabric of his reality. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams, and Imogen Poots, it had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020.

HAPPY PLACE Directed by Helen Shaver (Canada)

A group of women in an in-patient care facility have only one thing in common: they have all attempted suicide. Trying to lead them all to some form of healing is psychiatrist Louise (Tara Rosling), who holds the centre of this diverse and kinetic group. Some of the women will leave the safety of the clinic, for better or worse, and others will stay, hopefully learning to find a way to exist alongside their pain.

AKILLA’S ESCAPE Directed by Charles Officer (Canada)

AKILLA’S ESCAPE is a crime tale that follows 38-year-old narcotics trader Akilla Brown. When a routine drug deal lands him in the centre of a robbery, he captures 13-year-old Sheppard, a Jamaican gunman linked to the same multi-national crime organization he belonged to as a teenager.


DAVID Directed by Zachary Woods (United States)

Two Davids reveal their internal struggles during a psychology session and amateur wrestling meet. Both Davids need help. The directorial debut from Zachary Woods (THE OFFICE, SILICON VALLEY) that deftly handles issues of trauma and mental health in a dark comedy bundle. The fantastic acting by Will Ferrell and William Jackson Harper is a very pleasant bonus.

NIGHT SHIFTS Directed by Finn Wolfhard (Canada)

Two old friends reconnect in an unexpected encounter. The directorial debut from Finn Wolfhard (STRANGER THINGS) is quick, punchy, and brimming with personality. Join Finn and other CIFF 2020 short film directors at the Behind the Screen Young Filmmakers Panel.

IN THE STILL NIGHT Directed by Jean-Baptiste Braud (France)

Heartbroken, an American art curator, wanders daydreaming through a maze of artworks in his hotel in Tokyo. That is until he has a surreal encounter. Comedian Eric Wareheim (MASTER OF NONE, TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW GREAT JOB) stars in this beautifully shot film that deftly blends the dream world with reality.

FREEZE Directed by Maya Albanese (United States)

When Joy’s fairytale romance crashes and burns on the eve of her 35th birthday, the deafening tick-tock of her biological clock pushes her into a series of romantic misadventures and provokes wild hallucinations. With a star-studded cast featuring Nora Zehetner, Adrian Grenier, Kel Mitchell, Mindy Sterling, and Chris Parnell, Maya Albanese’s short film is sure to be a hit with audiences.

See complete 2020 Calgary International Film Festival film lineup

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