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Directed byGary Burns
Produced byGary Burns
Shirley Vercruysse
Written byGary Burns
James Martin
Music byJohn Abram
Distributed byUnited States:
Lot 47 Films
Odeon Films
Alliance Atlantis
Telefilm Canada
Madman Entertainment
Release date
September 10, 2000
Running time
87 min.
Budget$700,000 CAD (estimated)

waydowntown is a 2002 film directed by Gary Burns and starring Fab Filippo, Don McKellar, Marya Delver and Michelle Beaudoin. The film is a dark comedy that explores office culture and its effects and often uses surrealism to achieve its thematic goals.

The film is set in Calgary, Alberta, where many downtown buildings are connected by the Plus 15, an extensive network of indoor skywalks. Because of this network, the hustle and bustle of the traditional "main street" has been replaced by recirculated air, food courts, and fluorescent lights. The result is a bleak and often humorous dark comedy about Canadian corporate culture.


The film centres on a group of office colleagues in downtown Calgary, Alberta, who bet a month's salary on who can last the longest without going outside by using the system of covered walkways that connect the buildings. The film takes place over one lunch hour on day 28 of the month-long competition. Things start to become complicated as the office prepares for the company founder's retirement party.

The film's title is derived from a particular form of suicide where one smashes the (non-openable) window of one's high-rise office and then jumps through. In the movie, one of the characters has accumulated a 2-litre pop bottle full of marbles in the hopes of breaking his window. The dark joke for this is referenced in the film as: "a 15 bus takes you downtown, [but] a bottle of marbles takes you way downtown."



The majority of the film was shot in TD Square, the Calgary Eaton Centre, and Bankers Hall. The company's offices are situated in the TD Canada Trust Tower. The low-budget film was shot on digital and later transferred to 35 mm.


The film as of May 1, 2009, has a 70% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics praise the satirical elements, casting, and plot. Others find the film to be humourless and incomplete, and the plot to be too nonsensical and uninteresting.[1] The film was showed at the Calgary International Film Festival on September 19, 2019, to celebrate its 20th anniversary.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Waydowntown Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes
  2. ^ "Calgary International Film Festival - WAYDOWNTOWN". Retrieved November 14, 2019.

External links[edit]