News / Calgary

All-celluloid film festival exposes medium to Calgary movie buffs

Celebrating all that is celluloid, organizers with Calgary’s $100 Film Festival say the event has evolved drastically since its inception 23 years ago.

While the festival's focus has shifted from movies with a $100 budget to the more niche genre of experimental film, festival director Nicola Waugh says its mandate of highlighting movies produced on small format film has not wavered.

Waugh, who is also the programming director at the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, the group that organizes the festival, explained that working with celluloid film is important to a director’s development.

“A lot of instructors that teach this sort of thing, and even instructors that focus on digital, they always try to get their students on film, just because digital mimics what film does,” she said.

“If you’ve got a really good grasp on that, you’re going to end up being a lot better of a filmmaker,” Waugh explained. “It’s just a really great foundation to have.”

Receiving 100 entries, this year’s event will feature 30 films from global directors alongside local indie filmmakers from here in Calgary.

She noted that, while there is “always that conversation, ‘Is film dead?’", she’s seen public interest spike during her time with the festival.

“We’re seeing a really big resurgence of people working on film and I think the content is starting to change a lot,” she said.

“You don’t get as many people working on narrative films using film, but you’re getting a lot of people who are interested in experimental filmmaking, so they have a lot more focus on the process.”

Whether it's scratching a frame or working with double exposures, Waugh explained the festival provides an opportunity to showcase the potential—and importance—of celluloid film to the public.

“You’re going to see a lot of things that push the boundaries of … what people expect out of a film,” she said. “It’s really important for people to see what the potential is for working on that medium.”

The third and final night of the $100 Film Festival starts Saturday at 7 p.m. and will take place at the Engineered Air Theatre.

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