The 2016 edition of the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) proved to be the most successful on record, setting a new mark for attendance.

“We’ve been seeing the momentum grow for years with attendance,” explained Steve Schroeder, CIFF’s executive director. “As people tend to come to their first film festival and they see one film. Often it opens up their eyes to coming back and seeing multiple films at the festival."

Schroeder believes the increased number of quality local film submissions played a significant role in establishing the new attendance record of 36,693, bettering the previous record of 35,177 set in 2015.

“We had almost a record number of Alberta films this year, short and features, that really helped drive the numbers,” said Schroeder. “We saw a lot of attendance, and growing in fact, just the interest that the public has in films that are shot here, films that are made here.”

CIFF officials noticed an increase in sales of 10 and 20 ticket packs in 2016. “People are binging on the films which is great!”

During the 12 days of CIFF, 211 films were screened at seven different venues.

The Calgary International Film Festival will return in 2017 and is scheduled to run from September 20 to October 1.