“Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!” This quote has been ingrained in many Calgarian’s minds since they were children by Cool Runnings, a 1993 sports film classic. The movie depicts the story of the first Jamaican bobsled team, and their hardships and triumphs as they compete at the 1988 Olympic games in Calgary.
In true Calgarian spirit, the city will be hosting the 20th anniversary of this movie on Feb. 2 at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, located at Canada Olympic Park where both the movie was filmed and the 1988 Olympics took place. The evening will include cocktails, food, a screening of Cool Runnings and a meet and greet with cast members of the movie as well as members of the original Jamaican bobsled team. In attendance will be Leon Robinson, who played Dorice in the film, Doug E. Doug, who played Sanka in the film, Devin Harris, who was one of the original Jamaican bobsledders, and Pat Brown, the original coach played by the late John Candy in the movie.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, which opened in 2011, is an interactive museum featuring 95,000 artifacts in their archives from 60 different sports. Attendees will be able to explore the museum at their leisure, mingling with the athletes and actors while enjoying an open bar.
Since only 120 tickets will be sold at $100 each, this evening is meant to be an intimate and personal event, with all attendees having a chance to talk with the special guests. For those who are unable to attend this evening, there will also be a screening the next day at the Plaza Theatre followed by a question and answer period with the guests.
“This event is exciting because you’ll really have a chance to talk to the special guests and get to see how the real story is different from the movie,” says Cathy McKee, the organizer of the event and the director of the Reel Fun Film Festival. “In the end, you’ll come out with a cooler understanding of Cool Runnings.”
The event is helping to raise money for the Reel Fun Film Festival, a local festival in Calgary that shows movies meant for the whole family while teaching the many joys and opportunities of film making.
“This festival is really unique because it doesn’t only show good films that everyone can enjoy, but is interactive as well,” says McKee. “There is something for every family — whether your family is a frat house of college boys, or parents with young kids.”
The festival, which is in its seventh year, runs from Feb. 25 to March 3.
“It’s the best kept secret for film festivals in Calgary,” says McKee.