2023 Calgary Underground Film Festival: Influencer (2022)

It’s easy to hate influencers. It’s simple to say social media has ruined everything. And yet, to look into oneself and the world and realize that these things just magnify how bad things are and therefore, it’s easy to blame the shiny and pretty people, because no society functions without a scapegoat.

Kurtis David Harder directed Spiral and this is worlds better than that film. Along with co-writer Tesh Gutti, he tells the story of Madison (Emily Tennant), a social influencer in Thailand who meets up with CW (Cassandra Naud), a woman with a huge birthmark on her face and creeping darkness in her soul. She brings Madison into her world, at first showing her how it’s more real than her reality to taking photos of every meal and every outfit. As Madison lies about how much she’s experiencing and pines for the end of her relationship to Ryan (Rory J. Saper), the man who got her into influencing in the first place, she’s kidnapped to CW’s special place on the island, a space that is as gorgeous as it is potentially deadly.

So yes, by all means, hate on influencers, but do not miss this film, which just plain works.

This movie is part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival, which for twenty years has been dedicated to elevating Calgary’s cultural landscape with the best in international independent cinema. Recently, CUFF was named one of the Best Horror Festivals in the World, 2022 by Dread Central, and one of the World’s 50 Best Genre Festivals and one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2021 by MovieMaker Magazine. CUFF continues to attract audiences with its programming of films that engage audiences and defy convention.

It’s running from now until April 30 and you can see the entire schedule here.

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