Calgary International Film FestivalThe Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) announced that Midnight’s Children directed by Deepa Mehta, and based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie, will be featured at CIFF’s Red Carpet Opening Night Gala. CIFF also announced new partnerships with Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Alberta Film and Enbridge for the opening night event. CIFF launches its 2012 festival with a Red Carpet Opening Night Gala on Thursday, September 20th at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium that will be hosted by Alberta Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk.  The festival will continue over an 11-day period where 150 multi-genre films will be screened.

CIFF is thrilled to kick off the 2012 Festival with a Red Carpet Opening Night Gala for Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children,” said Stephen Schroeder, Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival.  “We’re delighted to share this major Canadian film event with the Calgary audience, celebrating together with a who’s who from Alberta’s political and business communities, film sector, and of course this great Canadian filmmaker.

Midnight’s Children follows the lives of two children who are born following India’s independence from Britain. Throughout their journey, it becomes apparent that their lives are connected and linked to India’s journey of highs and lows as it adjusts to being autonomous.

“The Calgary International Film Festival is an opportunity to showcase Canada and Alberta’s thriving film industry to the rest of the world and to demonstrate how the private and public sectors can work together to promote culture, connecting us to new opportunities, our imaginations and the rest of the world,” said the Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Alberta Culture responsible for Alberta’s film, television and digital media industry.

“On behalf of all Calgarians, I am honoured that our city can host CIFF and the western premiere of Midnight’s Children, a film that showcases the incredible talent of Canadian director Deepa Mehta,” said Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary. “CIFF presents our very best in film beside amazing work from around Canada and the world, and it will be a thrill to have Ms. Mehta join us this year.”

I’m thrilled to have Midnight’s Children open the Calgary International Film Festival,” said Deepa Mehta, Director of Midnight’s Children. “My goal with this film is for the audience to be taken on an epic journey to a place of love, laughter, political bite and hopeful triumph. And perhaps reach out for a wad of kleenex at the end!

“Telefilm is proud to be associated with CIFF, since the success of Canada’s film industry is our primary purpose,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada.  “We want more Canadians to have the opportunity to experience great Canadian films like Midnight’s Children. We are all working together to make sure Canadian films are in the spotlight, both here at home and internationally.”

“The Canada Media Fund takes great pride in knowing that Canada is recognized as a leader in showcasing digital content,” said Valerie Creighton, CMF President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Midnight’s Children is an example of Canadian content that, as feature film, will also have a network broadcast and be available to audiences through more than one platform.  We are delighted to be one of the partners in this event which demonstrates how great collaboration ensures that Canada maintains its strong creative reputation on the world stage.”

CIFF’s Red Carpet Opening Night Gala for Midnight’s Children kicks off the 11-day festival which begins Thursday, September 20th and runs to Sunday, September 30th. See more at www.calgaryfilm.com

Tickets for the September 20th Red Carpet Opening Night Gala are $75.00 each and go on sale at 10:00 am on August 16th. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.ca or charge by phone 1-855-985-2787.