Golden Arm directed by Maureen Bharoocha
Golden Arm directed by Maureen Bharoocha

Calgary Underground Film Festival announced the full lineup of films and live events playing the upcoming festival taking place online from April 23 – May 2. Films are available to stream from anywhere in Alberta, Canada.

The 18th annual festival will open with the Canadian premiere of GOLDEN ARM, an offbeat comedy about a small-town baker who, with the help of her best friend, trains for the Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship. The film’s director Maureen Bharoocha and lead actress Betsy Sodaro will participate in a Live Q&A following the film.

“This film was so much fun to watch! We all felt right away while watching it, that it had the perfect blend of quirkiness and comedy and was the most fun film to kick off the festival with,” said Festival Director and Lead Programmer Brenda Lieberman.

Highlights of the 2021 Festival include:

Five International Premieres include BAD ATTITUDE: THE ART OF SPAIN RODRIGUEZ (Directed by Susan Stern) about the controversial art and life of the legendary underground cartoonist; END OF THE LINE: THE WOMEN OF STANDING ROCK (Directed by Shannon Kring), which follows a group of Indigenous women who risk their lives to stop the oil pipeline construction; and the Sundance crime-comedy FIRST DATE (Directed by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp)

16 Canadian premieres including CRYPTOZOO from world-renowned animator Dash Shaw, the breakout New Zealand horror COMING HOME IN THE DARK (Directed by James Ashcroft) and the Sundance-hit comedy TOGETHER TOGETHER (Directed by Nikole Beckwith) starring Ed Helms, Patti Harrison and Tig Notaro.

9 Alberta-shorts including the TIFF-selected RKLSS from Calgary Indigenous animator Tank Standing Buffalo. This is in addition to the previously announced Alberta features BLOODTHIRSTY (Directed by Amelia Moses) and RANGE ROADS (Directed by Kyle Thomas).

The Canadian short film JOE BUFFALO (Directed by Amar Chebib) about the Indigenous skateboard legend, which recently won the Audience Award for Best Short at SXSW.

A free panel on Puppetry and Stop-Motion Animation at 11am on Saturday, April 24 featuring the animators of the CUFF Selections THE OLD MAN MOVIE (Directors Oskar Lehemaa and Mikk Mägi), a stop-motion comedy from Estonia, and the horror-puppet flick FRANK & ZED (Director Jesse Blanchard).

Just prior to Opening Night, on April 21, CUFF will once again participate in National Canadian Film Day (NCFD), hosting a free online presentation of the Canadian cult-classic HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. An initiative of Reel Canada, this is CUFF’s seventh year hosting one of the country’s flagship NCFD events.

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