Emily Mody - Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF) 2018 Review

Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 02:00 PM

(CANIFFF's Katrina Olson-Mottahed | photo by Eluvier Acosta)

Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF) 2018 Review

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

This past weekend in Calgary opened and closed out the third annual Canadian International Fashion Film Festival also known as CANIFFF. I look forward to this festival every year and this year certainly did not disappoint. There is an elegance to this film festival that is unmatched across the city. The founders of CANIFFF include Katrina Olson-Mottahed, Rania Al Naimi, and Zai Mamdani, three of the most hard working, dedicated, and kind women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Now, I realize you may be asking yourself, what is fashion film? In order to answer this question I will paraphrase the definition that fashion filmmaker/lovely human being, Josh Brandao, provided during his masterclass on Saturday morning. Fashion film is any film that utilizes fashion to move the story action forward. A fashion film is not limited by genre. It can include horror, comedy, action, etc. Fashion film can be a free form and can allow for very powerful creative expression outside of the production pressure that commercial filmmakers and photographers typically have to work around.


(The Gospel According To Andre Screening | photo by Eluvier Acosta)

The weekend started early on Thursday evening with a private screening of The Gospel According to Andre directed by Kate Novack at La Maison Simons. We enjoyed the film after the store closed. We sat in a quiet back corner surrounded by beautiful designer clothing. I can think of no better venue for this exclusive gathering. Just prior to the screening, I had the pleasure of meeting Jemeela Ghann of Alora boutique and designer of the very special CANIFFF bracelets. And then there was Andre. Andre Leon Talley is a former American editor of Vogue magazine, he has worked with every luxury fashion designer under the sun, and he is essentially a fashion god, to put it frankly. He is boisterous and flamboyant while also maintaining laser-like focus when it comes to his career. The documentary follows his life story and the political climate of American life leading up to the Trump presidential inauguration. Andre is funny, raw, sincere, honest, and so enjoyable to watch. This film won best feature length fashion film at this year’s festival and will be in theatres May 25, 2018.

On Friday, I was invited to an intimate dinner that took place at Charbar to kick off the festival and welcome many of the filmmakers that had arrived in the city. I had the pleasure of meeting Nicolai Kornum of BlitzWerk Studio London at this dinner. He and Josh Brandao had three of their films screened at the festival and they won best concept for their fashion film entitled, Robots. I was very impressed with Robots. It is both beautiful and innovative in it’s exploration of technology and the impacts it has on our lives.

On Saturday, the festival took place at the Glenbow Museum Theatre. It started in the morning with a screening of the Official Selection Films. The films screened come from all over the world and it is always so wonderful to see the level of talent that this festival showcases. This screening was followed up by a talk on The Aesthetics of Fashion Film presented by Josh Brandao and Nicolai Kornum. I had the pleasure of meeting Josh Brandao prior to the talk. After lunch there was another talk presented by Luca Finotti on Creating Content that Matters in Fashion Film. I also had the pleasure of meeting him at the after party that took place at Hotel Le Germain. At 2pm the Official Nomination Screening took place, which screened all of the films that were nominated for awards at the festival.


(Hadi Moussally winning Best Edit in a fashion film for his film "Positive" | photo by Eluvier Acosta)

Most notable films for me included Aramine directed by Ilaria Vecchio. Aramine was nominated for best styling in a fashion film. I also enjoyed Positive directed by Hadi Moussally which won for best edit in a fashion film. 11 minutes directed by Mounia Akl won both, best cinematography in a fashion film and best fashion film. It was lovely to see and meet so many talented people from all over the world. The international guests included Niccolo Montanari, Luca Finotti, Josh Brandao and Nicolai Kornum, Hadi Moussally, Carlo Santolini, Cristian Velasco, and Victor Claramunt. CANIFFF is truly a festival unlike any other in Calgary and if you have an interest in film and fashion or both, it is not one to be missed.

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(Josh Brandao and Nicolai Kornum winning Best Concept in a fashion film for "Robots" | photo by Eluvier Acosta)

(CANIFFF 2018 | photo by Eluvier Acosta)


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.