Above: William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet; Right: Midgets vs. Mascots; Lower right: It Might Get Loud.

It’s that time of year again; the leaves are changing colour, hockey’s back on the tube, and filmmakers and movie buffs are taking over downtown.

The Edmonton International Film Festival returns for its 23rd year from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3. at Empire City Centre 9 Cinemas. Fifty-one feature films and documentaries will be screened, along with 95 short films.

This year’s festival focuses on bringing back the most popular film streams and events including Edge of Night (films featuring vampires and fist-fighting midgets), the 24/One filmmaking competition, and In Our Own Backyard (a full-day salute to Alberta filmmakers).

“We have been doing new things every year, and sometimes it’s good to sit back and not do something new,” said Kerrie Long, the festival’s producer.

The EIFF award-winners were announced yesterday – a week earlier than ever before – which might help choosing which flicks to catch a bit easier.

The award for best feature documentary went to Ben Steinbauer’s Winnebago Man, a film about tracking down a reclusive Winnebago salesman who became an unwitting YouTube star after cursing his way through a sales video.

David Lee Miller’s My Suicide snagged the award for best dramatic feature. It chronicles a 17-year-old media geek’s rise to popularity after he announces he’s going to kill himself on-camera for a school project.

As for star sightings, Long said to not expect any. She said EIFF won’t sacrifice screening 15 independent films for one big name to show up.

“Let Toronto do that,” Long said.

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