Calgary International Film Festival 2011Always one of the most celebrated announcements of the season, CIFF rolled out the carpet on September 6, 2011 at its brand new Lifestyle Lounge in Chinook Centre and announced its Opening and Closing Gala films to the anticipation of the gathered crowd. Donovan’s Echo will play its world premiere on opening night and Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz will close off the action.  In addition to revealing the two gala films, CIFF also announced tickets for its complete 2011 program are now available for purchase online.

Our galas bring a pinch of red carpet glamour to Calgary’s cinemas and not only shine the spotlight on great cinema, but always prove to be the scene to be seen for movie-lovers and party fans alike,” said Jacqueline Dupuis, executive director, Calgary International Film Festival.  “We’ll be announcing the details of our after-parties online within the week and we’re really excited about shaking things up this year,” she said, dropping a subtle hint of what’s to come.

OPENING GALA – World Premiere of Donovan’s Echo
September 22nd:  6PM – red carpet arrivals; 7PM – screening; 8:30PM – after party
In Donovan’s Echo, Danny Glover stars as Donovan Matheson, a brilliant mathematician and recovering alcoholic who returns to his hometown after a mysterious 30-year absence.  Donovan is still haunted by the accidental death of his wife and daughter and feels guilty about his past obsession with his profession – and his neglect of family and friends.  As he struggles to move on with his life, Donovan is plagued by horrible feelings of deja-vu.  His journey will force him to confront his own troubled past, as well as the nature of life itself: is there life after death?

Opening Gala is generously sponsored by Moet & Chandon (stay tuned for details on the after party – and yes it involves champagne!), Citytv and Fashion Magazine.

CLOSING GALA – Alberta Premiere of Take this Waltz
October 1st: 6PM – red carpet experience; 7PM – screening; 8:30pm – after party
Five years after winning over audiences worldwide with her directorial debut, Away from Her, Sarah Polley returns to the director’s chair with proof that her previous success was only the beginning. Her follow-up, Take This Waltz, is an unflinching look at all sides of modern love, one that is alternatively endearing, erotic, funny and heart-wrenching. Michelle Williams is Margot, a seemingly happily married woman who, after a chance encounter at an airport, finds herself torn between her rickshaw-driving neighbour, played by Luke Kirby, and her husband, played by Seth Rogan. As in real life, Polley’s script refuses to reduce the decision to something as simple as right and wrong. The film is packed with stellar performances (including Sarah Silverman in a supporting role) and full of character chemistry.

Closing Gala is presented by Stella Artois and Citytv.

About the Calgary International Film Festival
Founded in 1998, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization based in Alberta, Canada. CIFF entertains and enlightens audiences through the experience of film, showcasing the best-of-the-best in International cinema in a world-class forum. Building a legacy for the filmic art form for Calgarians and cinema-goers around the globe is a primary focus of the Festival. CIFF is held annually at the end of September, screening hundreds of films and hosting several gala events, awards and special presentations. The 12th Calgary International Film Festival runs September 23 – October 2, 2011. For more information visit www.calgaryfilm.com.