The Okotoks Film Festival will be returning for their eighth year this June.

From June 5th to 9th, Okotoks Cinemas will be the home of the Okotoks Film Festival.

"We had over 909 films that were submitted," explains the Okotoks Film Festival Director Katie Fournell. "So, we had to go through and watch all of those, which was a task, and decide on which ones were the very best. And this year, because we had a such wide range of films, the very best are spectacular. I'm really excited to show these films."

One of the films at the festival this year is directed by Harry Holland, and stars Tom Holland and Lindsay Duncan.

Of the 81 films they will be showing this year, 18 were filmmakers from the film festival's 48-hour challenge that happened over the May Long weekend.

"Anybody who finishes the challenge does get screened. So, they're all making films between 3 and 6 minutes, and they have 48 hours to do it," says Fournell. "We think, if you can make a film in 48 hours, we're going to show it. 'Cause, that's impossible."

Those films will be played during the closing screening of the Festival on June 9th at 7 p.m.

"It's huge. We use both theatres at the Cinema to screen at the same time, which creates some great comedy as we have a live feed from one theatre into the other theatre," Fournell says.

After that screening, the festival will be hosting a wrap party.

There will be a barbeque, Retro Oasis will be handing out game tokens for their games, and there will be a magician.

As Fournell says, the warp party will be like a ten-year-old's dream birthday party.

The films screened at this festival are from filmmakers from around the world, with roughly 20 of them made by Albertan filmmakers. 

"A lot of returning filmmakers that we worked with from Calgary and also some returning filmmakers from Okotoks. And some filmmakers that we've not seen in Okotoks before as well, which is exciting to get to work with some new filmmakers here in Town. We have our youth screening, which is all local kids that made the films for that, and that's on the Thursday night," Fournell explains.

The other local films will be scattered throughout the festival, so there is a good chance that people will see the local films and have the filmmaker in attendance.

Tickets for the screenings can be purchased online at the Film Festival's website, or the day of at the theatre's ticket counter.

They are selling individual screening tickets or a full Festival pass, which gives the pass holder access to everything at the festival.

"Of course, you get, with the Festival Pass, everything that's actually included with the tickets. 'Cause some of our screenings have a little bit extra, other than just the ticket. The opening, the youth, and the 48-hour all include a party in your ticket, and you can come to those parties."

They also have what they call their 'Lunch Break Shorts.'

Those will take place at noon on Friday, June 7th, and people will have the opportunity to watch a series of short comedy films for an hour and they will provide you with a light lunch.

"So, basically you come at noon to the Cinema, you have your lunch, you watch some movies and then you can get back to work before your lunch hour is out."

On the Saturday of the festival, they will be doing a Country Highlight screening of all Japanese films in the festival and there will be Japanese entertainment onsite.

As part of this festival, the filmmakers are all eligible to be considered for top place in a few different categories.

Once the festival programmers have selected which movies they intend to show during the festival, they watch the shows again to determine which films deserve award nominations.

After they have nominated three films for each of the awards, they have a jury of peers to determine which of those three will win the award.

The award categories are Best Animation, Performance, Overall Sound, Art Direction, Screenplay, Special and Visual Effects, Editing, Documentary, Picture, Cinematography, Youth, and Audience Choice.

For the audience choice award, everyone who attends the festival will be asked to rate how much they enjoyed the film they just watched.

The one with the highest enjoyment rating will be crowned the Audience Choice.

Other than the Audience Choice and the Youth award, all other award winners will be announced at the opening night party.

Fournell says they are different than other Festivals, because they announce the winners ahead of time in order to make sure people know they are watching an award-winning film when they are watching it.

Both the audience choice award and the 48-hour award winners will be announced after the films on the final day of the festival.

The award winners will receive a variety of different prizes.

To buy tickets and to learn more about the film festival, click here.