A Little Background About the Festival

The Okotoks Film Festival Society is a not for profit group with the goal of bringing inspiring and fun new film to Okotoks. The festival is a three-day annual international film festival offering programing for all ages. During the festival we will have multiple screenings, workshops, and galas. This international professional festival will be a joy for audience and filmmakers alike.

The Okotoks Film Society was formed March 2016.

Festival Staff

Katie Fournell

Festival Director: Katie Fournell

Katie is our bouncy, fun-loving face of the festival. Katie is a film-maker herself with a few films under her belt, such as “I Got You a Balloon” and “Be the Hero”. An avid film lover, she was really into the festival scene in Edmonton. When she moved to Okotoks and realized we didn't already have a festival in place she knew she was going to have to do something about that.

Questions about what the festival is? Want to Sponsor or Donate? Have a film you want to know how to submit? E-mail Katie:

General Manager: Elisa Friesen

Elisa is our General Manager. She is a film-maker as well, working in partnership with her husband Chris Friesen under the banner Shotlist Films. They enjoy all genres but especially horror/comedy, and their short films "Hungry Hippos", "How's Your Chicken", and "The Little Things" are loaded with gore and jokes.

After attending the fantastic inaugural 2017 Okotoks Film Festival, Elisa was eager to find ways to get more involved with the festival, and is very excited about being the new GM!

Questions about what the festival is? Want to Sponsor, Donate, or Volunteer? Have a film you want to know how to submit? E-mail Elisa:

Elisa Friesen

Board of Directors

President – Katie Fournell
Vice-President – Brendan Rose
Secretary – Ashley White
Treasurer – Ian Rose
Director – James Lozinsky
Director – Scott Lepp

Programmers

Katie Fournell
Ashley White
Shanika Abeysinghe

Past Festivals - 2017

Our inagural Festival was a great success, showcasing over 50 films from around the world, including some great local talent, 3 film-making workshops, and parties to open and close the festivities.

Award Winners

A Whole World for a Little World

Best Picture

A Whole World for a Little World

Award sponsored by Sprung Structures
Nominees: How Hipolito Vaszquez Found Magic Where He Never Expected, Cuerdas
Jury: Allan Boss, Cheryl Taylor, Lorna James, Joanne Klein, Scott Lepp

Taking the Plunge

Audience Choice

Taking the Plunge

Award sponsored by the Okotoks Arts Council

Dreams on Sale

Best Cinematography

Alexandru Pavel (Dreams on Sale)

Nominees: Douglas Munro csc (The Caravan Film), Hampus Linden (Memory of You)
Jury: Chase Gardiner, Nick Thomas, Craige Wrobleski

Mr. Dentonn

Best Overall Sound

Cristina Amore (Mr. Dentonn)

Nominees: Geoff Manchester (I Phub You), Beau Shiminsky (It’s All In Your Head)
Jury: Franke Laratta, Mitch Lee, James Fonnyadt

The Barber's Cut

Best Editing

James Gilmore (The Barber’s Cut)

Nominees: Tomas Esteras (Mr. Dennton), Nicolas Manfredi (Taking the Plunge)
Jury: Ken Filewych, Neshe Delici

Mongoose

Best Art Direction

Chantal Beaulne (Mongoose)

Nominees: Elisabeth Mainy, Lina D. Mena, Vegard Holter, Andrea Sorestrand (Hope), Michael Chen (LOST)
Jury: Kjirsten Gallagher, Trevor Smith

Best Screenplay

Matthieu Boivineau (Les Fruits Du Temps)

Nominees: Lidia Milette and Ramon Lazaro (Director’s Cut), Sergi Marti (Blue Division)
Jury: Christopher Craddock, Jason Long, Kevin Doree

Memory of You

Best Performer

Emil Jonsson (Memory of You)

Nominees: Hannah Jane Zirke (LOST), Henry Douthwaite (CATCH)
Jury: Gigi Saul Guerrero, Ronda Fisekci


48 Hour Challenge Winners

Best Picture

Dr. Schemely

Award sponsored by Dawgs Baseball
Team: Damfinos

Audience Choice

Dr. Schemely

Team: Damfinos

Best Use of Prop

C.A.T.

Team: Black Diamond Crew

Best Use of Line

A.R.I.

Team: A Second Sun

Best Use of Genre

Dr. Schemely

Team: Damfinos


GeneralReels

The Caravan Film

The Caravan Film

Millarville

This year's feature film offered an inside look aboard The Caravan where adventurers young and old grapple with route-finding, mother nature and group dynamics in an epic horse-drawn experience across America.

The Caravan film follows the exploits of an eclectic group of international carriage drivers and horse riders as they journey across the American south from California to Florida over 5 months and 2,500 miles.

Leading this group of relative strangers is Gerard Paagman with his team of elegant Friesian horses fresh off filming The Hunger Games - Catching Fire. Challenging the limits of disability is Michael Muir, Great Grandson of the visionary John Muir, Father of the National Parks and co-founder the Sierra Club, a conservation movement in the U.S..

This epic journey weaves it’s way through iconic landscapes, up and over mountains, through vast deserts, under tall pine forests, to bayous and down the backroads of America. The film explores the complexities of group dynamics, the relationship we share with our horses in this modern world and the surprising connections made along the route.

Everyone came to The Caravan laden with their individual expectations but united by their love of the horse, what happened on the journey was something they will never forget.

My Father Says the Stupidest Things

My Father Says the Stupidest Things

France

The supermarket is about to close. As Adrien, a young cashier, sees different generations of love as the shoppers pass, he cannot take his eyes off the beautiful blue-eyed brunette standing at the end of the line. Maybe a chance to follow his heart..

How Hipolito Vaszquez Found Magic Where He Never Expected

How Hipolito Vaszquez Found Magic Where He Never Expected

Argentina

Director: Matias Rubio
Nomination: Best Picture

Hipólito Vázquez is an old talent's scout, that, among his loyal partner Cholo, is looking for a little child whose supposed to "do magic with the football".

One, One Thousand

One, One Thousand

Alberta

Director: Justin Brunelle

In the 1890's, a photographer and his assistant scaled one of the Canadian Rockies most daunting mountains to take one of the regions first summit photographs in history.

The Cherry Tree

The Cherry Tree

France

Director: Matthieu Boivineau
Nomination: Best Screenplay - Matthieu Boivineau

A large cherry tree in a garden. A family, memories, moments of life and time passes, tirelessly. Through the four seasons, the cherry tree evolves and this family also. Like a poem about passing time and an ode to nature.

Blue Division

Blue Division

Spain

Director: Hila Mutayn
Nomination: Best Screenplay - Sergi Marti

Leningrad, summer 1943. German attempts to conquer the strategic location of Leningrad have failed miserably. Hitler, desperate, will need his best men… He will need the Spanish soldiers of the… BLUE DIVISION.

Wild Man

Wild Man

Israel

Director: Hila Mutayn

Little and helpless man facing giant animal, in its most wild and threatening figure.

The United Guys Network

The United Guys Network

Vancouver

Director: Tabatha Golat

Loving newlywed husband Paul Seger is making the other guys in the neighbourhood look bad. Time for The United Guys Network to step in and teach him how to be a 'real' husband.

Fearless Norman

Black Diamond

Director: Zoe Slusar

This uniquely animated short film captures a fantastic character and reveals his words of wisdom through moving pictures and words.

Memory of You

Memory of You

Sweden

Director: Nils Janlert
Nominations: Best Cinematography - Hampus Linden
Winner: Best Performance - Emil Jonsson

Adam is going to dinner with his wife, when he is disrupted by something from his past. A story about a love that never was, shot in one single take.

Stephan Hair in Passion

Stephan Hair in Passion

Calgary

Director: Justin Krul

This film is a look into the mind of Stephen Hair as he describes his love for his career of acting and why this is so important to him.

Catch

Catch

United Kingdom

Director: Paul Cooke and Dominic Rees-Roberts
Nomination: Best Performer - Henry Douthwaite

In a near future where all antibiotics have failed, Tom and his young daughter, Amy, are quarantined in their home during a lethal pandemic.

Dreams on Sale

Dreams on Sale

Romania

Director: Vlad Buzaianu
Winner: Best Cinematography - Alexandru Pavel

In a world where people are able to record, buy and sell dreams, many are starting to lose the ability of dreaming.

LOST

LOST

Nanaimo

Director: Michael Chen
Nomination: Best Performer - Hannah Jane Zirke, and Best Art Direction

A little girl finds a stuffed rabbit and tries to reunite it with it's owner.

Ant Apartment

Ant Apartment

Iraq

Director: Tofigh Amani

This story is about a threesome family that live in the ant’s apartment in one of the deserts of Iraq after the war. One day a strange thing happens that changes their…

Unseen

Unseen

Netherlands

Director: Justin Krul

A young ballet dancer is struggling with here choices about her future as a dancer.

Wolves

Wolves

Andorra

Director: Alvaro Rodriguez Areny

World War II. Arthur, British Royal Air Force pilot, flees cross-country after his plain crashes. He begins a fight for survival in which he will encounter more than German enemies.

Shadowbox

Shadowbox

Okotoks

Director: Shawna Koski

A journey through a world of shadows and music.

A Whole World for a Little World

A Whole World for a Little World

France

Director: Fabrice Bracq
Winner: Best Picture

A woman tells a great story to her baby. In a tale with princes and princesses, she passes her story on her daughter.


KinderReels

Love Song of the Drone

Love Song of the Drone

United States

Director: Brian J. Larson

An animated music video about the life (and love) cycles of a drone bee

I Phub You

I Phub You

Edmonton

Director: Shannon Hunt
Nomination: Best Sound Design - Geoff Manchester

After an incident that leaves the world around him silent, Kurtis discovers what it means to communicate in a technologically consumed society.

About Want and Need

About Want and Need

Germany

Director: Sarah Heinrich

Will projects his fears onto the helpless bird that just doesn't seem to be open for this kind of mental training.

Raven Steals the Light

Raven Steals the Light

Edmonton

Director: Daniel Foreman

Raven is the craftiest of all creatures. Be transported into a magical animated world where Raven is flying blindly in the endless night. The story is adapted from an ancient Haida (North Pacific Coast First Nations) myth.

The Tea Party

The Tea Party

Calgary

Director: Nolan Briggs

A young girl takes matters into her own hands when her tea party is disrupted.

Charlie's Buck Teeth

Charlie's Buck Teeth

France

Director: Esther Lalanne, Xing Yao, Valentin Sabin, Camille Verninas, and Chao-Hao Yang

Charlie, a little boy with ridiculous big teeth, always hides behind his scarf to avoid the teasing from his classmates.

Change

Edmonton

Director: Tom Robinson

An animated change purse separated from its lady at the laundromat must find a way back to her.

I Want It!

I Want It!

Argentina

Director: Nicolás Conte

On his usual way back from school Juancito, a lonely country boy, meets a little horse which seems to be abandoned.

Walk Don't Wait

Walk Don't Wait

Edmonton

Director: John Osborne

A short animated film in which a crosswalk sign comes to life.

Save the Earth

Save the Earth

Ukraine

Director: Ruslan Bokach

Shadow Dancers show the actions of humans have consequences.

Taking the Plunge

Taking the Plunge

United States

Director: Nicholas Manfredi, Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, Thaddaeus Andreades, and Marie Raoult
Winner: Audience Choice

When a young mans marriage proposal is put in jeopardy he is forced to dive into unknown waters to salvage his plans.

Booba

Booba. Biology Class

Russia

Director: Leonid Rakhmanin

He is only 70 cm tall, he is naughty and curious as a child. We don't know where he comes from, but his clumsy movements and his desire to explore the world sometimes lead to real chaos!

Slipping Away

Okotoks

Director: Brooklyn Reiter and Sierra Slough

Sometimes it is hard being a girl and no one should be bullies. Zooom 2016 festival Winner!!

It's All in Your Head

It's All in Your Head

Calgary

Director: Greg Jeffs
Nomination: Best Sound Design - Beau Shiminsky

A bedtime story about the monster in the closet

Mongoose

Mongoose

Vancouver

Director: Chantal Beaulne
Winner: Best Art Direction

An old woman confronts her childhood imaginary friend, who has taken up residence in the walls of her home.

1-0

1-0

Iran

Director: Saman Hosseinuor

The barber started cutting the boys hair while watching a football game on Tv.

Hoblio: The Path to Freedom

Hoblio: The Path to Freedom

Italy

Director: Piero Tonin

A pilgrim carrying a heavy burden travels through a dark forest to a radiant valley.

Surf Anywhere

Surf Anywhere

Calgary

Director: Desiree Bilton

You can surf anywhere – even 1500m above sea level and 1000km away from the nearest ocean, on the Kananaskis River.

The Double Cross

The Double Cross

United Kingdom

Director: Mark Brocking

Our hero is a young waiter for hire who gets caught up in a murder plot during a party and eventually rescues the damsel in distress.

Evil Teddy Bear

Okotoks

Director: Chantal Kapiniak

A girl accidentally brings her teddy bear to life not knowing it would become evil.

Cuerdas

Cuerdas

Spain

Director: Pedro Solís García
Nomination: Best Picture

María’s routine at school is altered by the arrival of a very special child. Soon, they become close friends.


TwistedReels

Director’s Cut

Director’s Cut

Spain

Director: Pol Diggler
Nomination: Best Writing - Lidia Milette and Ramon Lazaro

An indie filmmaking crew shoots the first snuff movie with a plot.

Anxiety #5

Anxiety #5

Okotoks

Director: Jesse Foster

Within the confines of a Brooklyn tenement-housing bathroom, a man’s fate is sealed.

Flies

Flies

Greece

Director: Nadia Zygouri and Aris Pavlidis

Two people are feasting. They are discommoded by flies. Time draws to a close. The rude awakening occurs when they realize where they are currently standing.

Drunk Zombies

Drunk Zombies

United States

Director: Alex Napiwocki

Two recovering alcoholics, escaping zombie apocalypse, find refuge in a bar. They soon learn zombies don't attack the drunk.

Like

Like

Italy

Director: Giulio Manicardi

A mysterious serial killer hosts a macabre show, where he tries and executes his victims in live streaming., leaving the final verdict in the hands of the Net public, which can decide to kill or spare the victim with simples " Like ".

Bedlamite

Bedlamite

United Kingdom

Director: Jamie Cooper

A brother and sister looking to recapture their youth, decide to explore an abandoned WW1 bunker deep in the heart of the British countryside. The pair stumble across a girl nailed to a chair, beaten, gagged and barely alive. When the captor returns to finish the job the three must frantically try to navigate the many bunker tunnels to escape.

Patata Day

Patata Day

Germany

Director: Peter Böving

Five people in a diner who spin a yarn about potato dishes.

Skinner

Skinner

Calgary

Director: Rob Jacobsen

Every year a small town sends to people to the abandoned factory to see if The Skinner has returned to demand the sacrifice of a mother.

Hungry Hippos Trailer

Hungry Hippos Trailer

Okotoks

Director: Chris Friesen

A fake movie trailer for a childhood game in the style of Michael Bay.

Mr. Dentonn

Mr. Dentonn

Spain

Director: Ivan Villamel Sanchez
Winner: Best Overall Sound

On a cold winter night, Laura reads herbrother David the story of a strange creature that attacks children. Suddenly, a shiver runs Laura's body, feeling a strange presence in the house. It’s him.

The Barber's Cut

The Barber's Cut

United Kingdom

Director: Mark Brocking
Winner: Best Editing - James Gilmore

Two cut off but living heads wake up in a fridge and manage to escape while trying to avoid a psycho barber.

Echo

Echo

Vancouver

Director: Oliver Robertson

When two naive film students go deep into the forest to record sound effects, they overhear someone getting murdered.

Black Reflection

Black Reflection

Iran

Director: Soudabeh Kamrani

The young man was pouring coffee for himself, he see' s himself in the coffee, Drinks the whole cup, puts it on the saucer upside down & starts to turn the pages of a book that suddenly the cup starts to tremble ....

Dark Dreamer

Dark Dreamer

Germany

Director: Max Ponischowski

Marcus wakes up in the middle of the night and gets a visit from a strange creature with unnatural powers. The man calls himself a Nighthob and opens up about the fact, that Marcus doesn't know what life he has lived so far in secret . The adventure begins.

Werewolf's Greated Hit

Werewolf's Greated Hit

Australia

Director: Jim and Nick Zounis

A brief tale of a werewolf and his strong obsession with the full moon.

Hope

Hope

Norway

Director: Adam A. Losurdo
Nomination: Best Art Direction

A senseless wandering ghoul roaming through a world of the hunger-less undead and accepting yet resentful humans will soon discover a craving that leaves him completely and utterly without hope.

Plight: A Comic Book Rock Opera

Plight: A Comic Book Rock Opera

Edmonton

Director: Randy Brososky

Daniel Plight, a security guard, develops superpowers after he is wounded with a mystical knife. Along with Michelle Striker, a scientist with enhanced fighting abilities, Daniel must discover the secret behind his new powers, and learn the difference between feeling special and being special.

Bitch, Popcorn and Blood

Bitch, Popcorn and Blood

France

Director: Fabio Soares

At Salt’ n Sugar, a popcorn bar in the middle of nowhere, LILY a bored waitress, is going to turn her life around when two fishy strangers show up in the bar.