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Okotoks Film Festival to screen a whopping 81 films

The eighth annual festival will feature screenings, workshops, parties and the 48-Hour Filmmaking Challenge.
SCENE-Katie Fournell BWC 9855 web
Katie Fournell is director of the annual Okotoks Film Festival, happening from June 5 to 9.

Okotoks' very own international film festival is returning this week.

The eighth annual Okotoks Film Festival, happening from June 5 to 9, is set to be a blockbuster event.

Through the festival's five-day run, a whopping 81 films will be screened at Okotoks Cinemas, with an impressive amount of local and international films.

"We literally have every continent but Antarctica represented at our festival at some point in the international portion," said festival director Katie Fournell. 

This year's festival will feature more local films than it ever has, with 17 films from Alberta, including eight from the Foothills, being screened.

One of the festival’s most popular events is the 48-Hour Filmmaking Challenge, which consists of new and experienced filmmakers creating an entire project from scratch in 48 hours, with the screening of their films happening on June 9. 

This year will highlight Japan, with Japanese film screenings, musicians, artists, snacks and more at the festival.

The annual festival hosted by the Okotoks Film Society also features workshops with industry professionals and filmmakers, social gatherings along with new events such as a trivia night about Alberta’s vibrant film industry.

"Each day is completely different," said Fournell.

This year's festival is also set to be a star-studded affair as renowned Canadian comedian Darrell Dennis will be appearing on June 8 for the screening of his film The Great Salish Heist.

New to the festival this year are a collection of films with a justice theme.

“The topic we've chosen this year is refugees and how the status of refugee comes to be,” said Fournell. “We’re partnered with the Calgary Justice Film Festival and they're providing a talk on the topic that we choose and then we show a few films that are surrounding that topic.”

The Okotoks Film Society hosts other events throughout the year, including Oscar Nominated Shorts and the Okotoks Festive Film Festival. 

For more information, visit

Amir Said

About the Author: Amir Said

Amir Said is a reporter and photographer with the Western Wheel covering local news in Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips or questions about his articles, Amir can be reached at [email protected].
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