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Calgary International Film Festival to open with Blindness

The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is proud to announce the festival will open with Fernando Meirelles and Don McKellar’s Blindness at the American Express Opening Gala on September 18, 2008.

Blindness was nominated for the Golden Palm and was the opening film at Cannes in 2008. Directed by Academy Award® nominated Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener, City of God), and adapted from Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago's masterwork, Blindness is a harrowing tale about the fragility of mankind. The screenplay was written by notable Canadian film star Don McKellar (Tony Award® winning writer of The Drowsy Chaperone). This evocative film is going to be the highlight of the 2008 festival.

“We’re very proud to present the Alberta Premiere of Blindness, a film with huge international cachet,” said CIFF”s executive director, Jacqueline Dupuis. “The Calgary International Film Festival prides itself on creating cultural events for all Calgarians, highlighting the diversity of filmmaking. By showcasing a film like Blindness we are able to bring our audience a rich cinematic experience.”

A Canada/Japan/Brazil co-production, Blindness stars an ensemble cast including: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Sandra Oh, Danny Glover and Alice Braga. The film delves into the lives of a number of individuals whose city has been ravaged by an epidemic of instant “white blindness.”

“We're extremely excited to have Blindness chosen as the opening night film of the Calgary International Film Festival,” said producer Niv Fichman. “The Festival's reputation as a world class event increases every year, as does the cinematic sophistication of its audiences. After screening our film in Cannes and Toronto, we look forward to showing it in Calgary, and especially to experiencing it from the Calgary perspective.”

Featuring cinematography by Academy Award® nominated César Charlone, ASC ( City of God) and edited by Academy Award® nominated Daniel Rezende ( City of God), Blindness is produced by Niv Fichman, Andrea Barta Ribeiro and Sonoko Sakai, and co-produced by Bel Berlinck and Sari Friedland. Executive producers are Gail Egan, Simon Channing Williams, Tom Yoda, Akira Ishii and Victor Loewy. B lindness will screen at the American Express Opening Night Gala on Thursday, September 18 at the Globe Theatre starting at 7:00 p.m. The Gala reception will follow at the Belgo Brasserie.

The complete 2008 CIFF line-up, as well as festival tickets and passes, are available online at www.calgaryfilm.com from August 25, 2008. The Fido Box Office opens at Eau Claire Market and the CIFF Souvenir Program Guide goes on sale at all Calgary Starbucks locations on September 5, 2008.

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