This month is looking like an amazing one for catching independent animation here in Calgary. And not just because of our GIRAF festival at the end of the month (I mean, definitely because of that, too). Here’s what not to miss in November:


Opening November 21 at the Globe Cinema

Some of you might’ve caught this at the Calgary International Film Festival in September. I missed it, and I’m pretty stoked that there’s still a chance to see it on the big screen. From CIFF’s website: On August 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas clock tower and began to shoot, holding the campus hostage for 96 terrifying minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand how this could happen. Combining original archival footage with rotoscopic animation in a dynamic, never-before-seen way, TOWER reveals the action-packed untold stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. Winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature, TOWER is a uniquely-presented story of a day that became infamous in American history.


Opening November 18 at the Globe Cinema

I had a chance to see this one last year, and it’s a real beaut of a sort that’s rarely seen in animation. A period adventure set in the late 19th century and starring a driven, independent female character who is determined to defy expectations and forge her own path to the Arctic. The artwork is darned lovely too, using flat colours without black edges to emulate the style of old travel posters. A few tense moments, but this one’s friendly enough to bring the kids to, and sophisticated enough to watch it without ’em, too. From the trailer page: 1882, Saint Petersburg. Sasha, a young Russian artistocrat, has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her grandfather Olukine. A renowned explorer, he designed a magnificent artic ship, the Davai, but he hasn’t returned from his last expedition to conquer the North Pole. Sasha decides to set out for the Great North to follow her grandfather’s trail in order to find the famous ship.

GIRAF12: The Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival

November 24-27, 2016 at the Globe Cinema, Emmedia Screening Room and Quickdraw studios Of course, this one’s near and dear for us. The best of the best of this year’s independent animated features and shorts, an artist talk and workshop with the one and only Amy Lockheart, two retrospective screenings, and other goodies to celebrate the world of artful, independent, adult-focused animation. Head to GIRAFFEST.CA to check out the lineup and get your tickets. It’ll be a doozy.

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