The Okotoks Film Festival is hosting its annual Festive Festival this Saturday, December 9.

There is a holiday theme to the festival that ties all the films together.

"First up, we have a collection of holiday short films. That's about a two-hour screening of films from around the world that are all holiday-themed in some way. But that's really the only through line," says Katie Fournell, Festival Director with the Okotoks Film Festival and Society. "But most of all, it's just a bunch of fun movies from around the world that are made by independent filmmakers," Fournell adds.

The genres of these short films range from comedy to horror.

How to Ruin the Holidays, created by Alberta-born filmmakers Kevin Gillese and Arlen Konopaki, will be the inaugural feature film at this year's Festive Film Festival. It stars Colin Mochrie and Amber Nash.

"It's a hallmark-y type feel, just with an Archer twist. Those who know Archer, will know that it's kind of raunchy comedy. This movie goes the same way," explains Fournell. "I joke that it puts the 13 in PG-13."

The festival is PG-13 and intended for older audiences.

Although other film festivals may have holiday elements to them, this Festive Film Festival is special.

"What we didn't realize when we created it back in 2020, is it's unique! We're the only specifically Christmas or Holiday Film Festival that happens in Canada," explains Fournell. In fact, it's one of the few in the world with a dedicated holiday film festival. 

After the short films screening, there will be an intermission where people will have the opportunity to have their photos taken with Santa Claus on the red carpet. There will be a photographer onsite to capture the fun moments with Santa.

There will also be holiday treats provided by Bretzelking. 

The short films will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the feature will begin at 8. Photos with Santa and snacks will begin at 7:30.

Tickets start at $10, and more information can be found on the Okotoks Film Festival website.

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