Posted on September 28, 2021

Let’s Get Digital, CIFF fans! The festival has moved entirely online today, giving everyone a chance to enjoy our carefully curated film selection from the comfort of their own homes. We're back at Globe Cinema on Wednesday, September 23, but for today, let's celebrate all things virtual!

We know you’ve been streaming all kinds of new releases over the course of the pandemic, but you’d do well to remember, this isn’t any old movie streaming experience, this is still The Calgary International Film Festival! Don’t just get comfortable, GET DIGITAL! We’ve put together a list of steps you can take to elevate your at-home viewing experience and give yourself a night in that rivals any night out.



The first step to an exceptional night in is a change of scenery. How are you supposed to do that while staying home, you ask? Well, a home theatre, of course! 

When you think of a home theatre, it’s easy to imagine a gregarious mansion with a decked-out basement theatre that puts your local cinema to shame. However, it’s not money that gives home theatres their magic, it’s the novelty. Part of what makes a theatre trip so exciting is the feeling of leaving your daily space. So take your film out of your living room, carve out a different space, any space and make it your own with a few, budget-friendly flourishes. 

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Mini projectors have become all the rage lately and for good reason! All you need is a blank wall or a well-ironed blanket and you’re on your way to replicating the in-theatre experience. A far cry from the sad glow of a television or laptop screen, a projector makes for a much larger picture, which, really helps to create that all-encompassing visual that places you directly in the film for as low as $60. 

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Blanket Fort:

Cruelly forgotten by most people over the age of 10, blanket forts have been transporting children of all ages since their inception. There is a simple joy to be found in hunting for stray blankets and finding innovative ways to use your walls and furniture to create a home within a home. Whether you have kids or not, the experience of making a blanket fort is both a fantastic team-building exercise and a great way to put yourself in a good mood before watching a film.



Getting dressed up to go to the theatre has been a favourite activity of audiences since before movies were invented. Audiences have always known that a good outfit, or even just the act of getting dressed to go somewhere, can really affect your confidence and mood. However, watching from home eliminates the spectator, meaning that whatever you wear,  or don’t wear, is for you and only you!

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Matching Onesies: 

For those of you who miss the rush of turning a look and having a reason to get dressed up, may we recommend matching onesies? Usually, people avoid matching clothes. But we would argue that, in the home setting, away from judging eyes, matching PJs are an entirely acceptable, fun and comfortable way to feel dressed up, without having to sit around at home in your ‘real’ clothes. That is, arguably, way sillier than PJs. 


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Choose Your Own Adventure: 

As we’ve mentioned, staying home ironically comes with a lot of freedom in terms of what outfits you can get away with. This is where the silliness begins. Do you have an old graduation/wedding/quinceañera dress/suit you felt amazing in but can never wear? Now is your time! Any old Halloween costumes you paid way too much money for but only wore once? Suit up, Jack Sparrow! Get your money’s worth and pull those outfits out of your closet.



Let’s be honest, you can whine about movie theatre snacks being too expensive all you want, but you know you’ve sat through a movie or two where the best part was the bag of popcorn you picked up at concession. CIFF takes it one step further, offering alcoholic beverages at all of its venues! To give you the full CIFF experience we’ve created perfect cocktail+movie pairings and a list of fun, unconventional popcorn recipes for all personalities.




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JONESIN', White Russian

The Dude’s favourite drink goes great with JONESIN's BIG LEBOWSKI-like shenanigans.

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlúa
  • 1 splash heavy cream

Add the vodka and Kahlúa to a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with heavy cream and stir.


JULIA, Upside-Down Martini

Experience Julia Child’s impeccable taste with her favourite cocktail!

  • 5 parts Extra Dry Vermouth
  • 1 part Dry Gin
  • Thick Slice of Lemon Peel

 Add the vermouth and gin to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel. 


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A-HA: THE MOVIE, Blue Lagoon

Just like A-ha, this drink was big in the ’80s.

  • 1-ounce vodka
  • 1-ounce blue curaçao
  • 4 ounces lemonade
  • lemon wheel
  • maraschino cherry

 Add the vodka, blue curaçao and lemonade to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a hurricane glass over crushed ice and garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry.

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Capture the spirit of the roaring ‘20s with this classic!

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 to 3 dashes ​bitters
  • 2 oz. ​whiskey
  • Orange peel

Place sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass and saturate with bitters, muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange peel.


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Enjoy a distinctly Spanish film with this traditional Spanish cocktail!

  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup red wine, any red wine, although preferably something from Spain
  • 1/2 cup lightly sweetened carbonated lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite or 7-Up
  • Slice of lemon (optional)

Toss a few ice cubes into a tall glass. Pour in the red wine and then add the soda. Toss in the lemon slice, if desired. Sip leisurely.



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Kettle Corn:

You love the classics and you don’t care who knows it

Mix 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a few popcorn kernels in 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until one pops. Add 3/4 cup popcorn kernels and cover. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally until the popcorn starts rapidly popping. Crack the lid open and pour in the sugar mixture. Cover and cook, shaking the pot until the popping subsides.


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Your obsession with ranch is a personality trait

Melt 4 tablespoons butter with a 1-ounce packet ranch seasoning mix; toss with 16 cups hot popcorn and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Season with salt.


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Cookies and Cream:

You’re not a regular mom, you’re a cool mom

Warm 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat; drizzle over 12 cups of hot popcorn. Toss with 4 cups lightly crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos).


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You’re a regular mom

Melt 6 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons each brown sugar and honey over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes; drizzle over 12 cups hot popcorn. Toss with 4 cups granola and 2 cups yogurt-covered raisins. Season with salt.




You’re a little basic but you’ve got the right spirit

Melt 4 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce and 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder; drizzle over 16 cups hot popcorn. Toss with 2 cups corn nuts. Season with salt.


Whether you follow just one or all three of these steps, you can now consider your movie night, elevated! Let's Get Digital brings the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our impressive streaming lineup and catch films you missed in theatres. There are new films available to stream online every day, but keep in mind that streaming windows do close, so don't wait, stream your faves today!


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