Movie Nights Across Canada teams with Calgary International Film Festival for gala screening

When They Awake, an uplifting kaleidoscope of Indigenous music features artists including trip-hop sensation IsKwé and PowWow Step DJ Shub

Calgary, September 13, 2017 – On Wednesday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m., at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons in Calgary, actors Michelle Thrush and Melissa O’Neil will serve as talent ambassadors and emcees for a combined Movie Nights Across Canada and Calgary International Film Festival celebration screening of the exciting new music documentary When They Awake.

Co-directed and written by P.J. Marcellino and co-directed by Hermon Farahi, When They Awake screens as part of a cross-country celebration of Canadian screen-based talent and content, highlighting the successes of the film, television, and digital artists who tell our stories and contribute to Alberta’s thriving cultural and creative industries.

When They Awake is a vibrant celebration of established and emerging Indigenous Canadian talents at a moment of cultural and political renaissance, with thrilling music performances, some of which were filmed in Calgary.

“We are tremendously excited to open the festival with such an inspiring documentary, and host so many of the musicians featured in it for their Alberta festival premiere,” said Stephen Schroeder, Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival. “We feel so strongly about this film’s incredible message that we want to share it in as many ways as possible. We have partnered with the Cultural Access Program to donate 150 tickets to new Canadians, and we are also donating Opening Gala tickets to Indigenous youth. It will be our biggest Opening Gala party ever, with musical guests from the film performing after the screening, including IsKwé, DJ Shub, Logan Staats and JB the First Lady. It’s going to be an incredible night.”

Acting as talent ambassadors for the evening are two outstanding Calgary-born performers: singer-actor Melissa O’Neil, star of Space/Syfy series Dark Matter; and film, stage and television actor Michelle Thrush of Blackstone, North of 60 and Arctic Air.

Walking the red carpet for the screening, along with co-directors P.J. Marcellino and Hermon Farahi and our talent ambassadors, will be singer-songwriter IsKwé, Juno nominee Don Amero , Indigenous Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement singer-songwriter Louie Goose, country singer Leanne Goose, and emerging singer-songwriter Logan Staats, as well as DJ Shub, known for his powwow step beats, Vancouver hip hop star JB the First Lady, and renown guitarist Vince Fontaine (Eagle & Hawk).

For tickets, please visit

About Movie Nights Across Canada
Movie Nights Across Canada started more than a decade ago in Ottawa as Movie Night on the Hill. Touching down in eight cities, Movie Nights Across Canada events are where decision-makers, local film fans, industry supporters, private and public broadcasters, and the country’s top talent converge to experience the wealth of creativity, unique storytelling, entrepreneurship and passion that resides in the hearts and minds of Canadian filmmakers. The roadshow also travels to Vancouver. In each city, Movie Nights Across Canada is partnering with regional film festivals and cultural agencies.

About Calgary Film Festival 
Called one of 50 film festivals worth the entry fee by MovieMaker Magazine, The Calgary International Film Festival is a 12-day showcase of multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 50 other countries. The sixth largest festival in Canada, it hosts gala events, screenings, special presentations, and a Behind the Screen series that emphasizes unique and exciting ways for filmmakers and fans to interact.


Media enquiries:
Tiffany Burns, Publicist, Calgary International Film Festival

Andrea Archibald, Telefilm Canada
(514) 283-0838 ext. 2047 or 1-800-567-0890

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