CELEBRATING 20 YEARS
Sponsored by Creative BC British Columbiaâ€™s Creative Industry Catalyst creativebc.com
10 years of expanding creative horizons. 10 years of amplifying diverse voices. 10 years of discovering new dimensions. 10 years of pushing boundaries. And weâ€™re only getting started.
We acknowledge that we work, learn and play on the shared unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Lilwat7úl (Lil’wat) Nations.
MEET THE TEAM
We honour their language, culture and history.
FILMS AWARDS & JURIES
STARS TO WATCH
VIRTUAL OPENING FILM
FILMS FROM AWAY
MOUNTAIN CULTURE SHORTWORK
CANADIAN DOC BLOC SHORTWORK
SEA TO SKY SHORTWORK SHOWCASE
BOX OFFICE INFO
The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFF) is a charitable, non-profit organization (856677844RR001) incorporated under the British Columbia Society Act dedicated to advancing the art and business of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler . WFF fulfills its mission through producing: •
A highly respected and recognized international film festival (WFF) and Content Summit that draw industry, audiences and global exposure for Canadian talent; Supplemental year-round film and event programming that enriches community life beyond the festival; Market-driven, domestic talent development and promotion programs with proven impact; and Film and talent programming that nurtures gender parity, inclusivity and diversity.
• • •
What began in 2001 as a vision to put Canada’s premier mountain resort on the map for world-class arts and culture has evolved to advancing and connecting the art and business of film, and priming Canadian talent for global success. Known as ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’, the Whistler Film Festival was recently recognized as “one of the top seven film festivals in the world to attend” (Travel & Style) and “one of ten of the most amazing film festivals worth attending” in North America (USA Today), “one of 50 film fests worth the entry fee” (MovieMaker), and is one of Whistler’s signature cultural events. WFF’s continued ability to generate buzz is no doubt aided by its proximity to the prosperous entertainment industries of both Vancouver and LA, its timely scheduling on the cusp of awards season and ultimately, its smart, savvy programming and ‘edgy and cool’ vibe. 2020 marks the Whistler Film Festival’s 20th anniversary. In a year of unprecedented change, we will mark our 20th anniversary by doing what we do best – building bridges between great films and passionate audiences, celebrating the success of our alumni and supporting domestic talent to advance their work. Driven by our love for cinema and commitment to nurturing talent, we are curating this year’s festival with the same infinite passion and coolness that we’ve always brought to the task to bring the best of WFF to our audience wherever they are. From the hottest indies to award season fare, we remain committed to presenting a hotbed of discovery and talent, an essential destination for industry to connect, and a festive cinematic celebration for film fans and filmmakers alike. To celebrate this milestone in this unprecedented year, we will welcome film fans and filmmakers to our virtual Whistler home for 20 days from December 1 to 20 for a curated program of fresh films, talent talks, events and industry initiatives, all of which will be available to access until the end of the month. Whistler’s reputation as a champion of new voices in Canadian filmmaking can now be appreciated by enthusiastic audiences that would otherwise be unable to join us in person in Whistler. Highlights of WFF’s 2020 model feature a robust selection of 97 films, including 30 features and 67 shorts curated in ten programs, that will be available online throughout Canada with a 24-hour window in which to watch films once ordered and available to watch through the holiday season until December 31, providing an opportunity to purchase a unique film festival gift package for film buffs across the country. Some restrictions apply in Quebec on a film by film basis. Plus, 50% of all online net proceeds will be shared with the filmmakers or Canadian rights holders. Canada’s coolest film fest’ proudly will continue to support emerging, diverse and domestic talent with the inclusion of 18 first-time feature films, 13 feature films directed by women, and 71% of the program premiering Canadian content – more than any other Canadian film festival this year. Plus, 17 of WFF’s 30 feature films are either World or Canadian premieres. Over 100 filmmakers are confirmed to attend WFF’s online edition, with additional notable talent participating in Talent Talks or appearing in WFF’s Bonus Content recorded Q+A Sessions after each film. With more than double the number of film submissions over 2019, WFF’s virtual edition will expand the reach and audience for both the emerging and more established talents selected for this year’s Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature and Documentary competition in particular.
Films in competition will compete for 15 film awards and $38,500 in cash and prizes from juries composed of leading cinematic talent. ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’ continues to support emerging, diverse and domestic talent with the inclusion of 18 first-time feature films, 13 feature films directed by women, and 71% of the program premiering Canadian content – more than any other Canadian film festival this year. 17 of WFF’s 32 feature films are either World or Canadian premieres. Programming strands this year include Canadian Vanguard, Doc Bloc, Films From Away, Mountain Culture, New Voices, Special Presentations and ShortWork. In addition, to support filmmakers challenged by these unprecedented times, WFF has pledged to share net online proceeds on a 50/50 basis directly with the filmmakers or Canadian rights holders. Beyond the video-on-demand experience, WFF will celebrate as many films as possible through engaging, interactive conversations with the filmmakers and 10 honourees that include established actors and filmmakers and emerging actors, all featured in five Talent Talks. WFF will also welcome 20 celebrated filmmakers and actors, who are Alumni and returning with their latest films or on juries, some of who are graduates of our Talent Programs. WFF’s Content Summit industry programming will be also delivered virtually over the three week period to connect filmmakers with over 100 decision-makers and industry leaders, and the marketplace, and will feature 36 interactive information sessions, practical workshops, intimate conversations and masterclasses, virtual networking opportunities and one-on-one meetings. WFF’s Talent Programs include a slate of nine market-driven, domestic talent development and promotion programs for 56 Canadian screenwriters, producers, directors, actors and musicians, will also be delivered online. Two programs will roll out pre-fest starting in October to maximize the talent’s ability to participate fully in the festival and Content Summit, as well as build on best practises from the Producers and Screenwriters Labs, which began virtually in June. Designed to bring content creators to the ‘pinnacle of success’ in the film, television and online media space, WFF’s Talent Programs have become a cornerstone for independent Canadian storytellers seeking to expand their knowledge and make the important connections required to advance their projects and careers. WFF’s’ cultural strength, artistic calibre, industry value and impact are backed by key metrics and results that substantiate it’s an invaluable BC asset with significant annual recurring economic, cultural, social impact and growth potential. WFF remains a highlight on the annual calendar, and a major contributor to the economic and cultural success of Whistler and the province. This was validated by the 2018 Nordicity Report, which confirmed that WFF and our Talent Programs generated $24.6 million GDP, $6.2 million in tax revenue and 390 jobs. Our hope is that despite the economic setbacks that have affected us all, that we will continue to make an impact for the artists and community that we serve. For 20 years, the Whistler Film Festival has been proudly producing unique programs and experiences, and inspiring and connecting stories that matter. What our future holds remains to be seen. Here’s to the power of film, the moving image and the doors it opens, and the storytellers who make it happen! We remain hopeful that we will be able to gather again in Whistler in the new year!
IT TAKES A VILLAGE WFF is sincerely grateful to the following individuals and companies who have generously committed to our annual fundraising campaign which included a $100,000 matched donation, to support our 20th edition and programs throughout the year. Anonymous Angela Heck Ann Chiasson, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate Arni Freyr Haraldsson Avi Federgreen Brian Hockenstein Callum Roberts Carl Bessai Cathy Jewett Corus Entertainment Curtis Pringle Dana Friesen Smith Daniel Baxter Daniel Cruz, Liquid Media Group Darel Lee David Goguen
David Yau Ellie Irwin Emily Kane Erin Keam Evan Macalister Fiona Minton Gabriel Alden Hull Georgina Becker Germain Aoun Greg McDonnell Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh Hugh Saint-Jacques Ian Inniss Janet Nietvelt Jennifer Flexman Jennifer McNaughton Jeremy Neill Jesse Hiltz
Jordan Lowth Joseph Troppmann Julia Popp Julia Steindorff Justine Sproat Karen Tank Kim Robinson Kristyn Stilling Lindsay Namiache Louise Saint-Jacques Lynn Rounding Lynn Rounding Merle English Michelle Leroux Michelle Pascal Mitchell Palmer Moira-Ann Handford Moire-Ann Handford
Nacho Reinoso Nate Lyman Neal Clarence Nicole Segovia Nikkie Cordy Pamela Nielsen Paul Bennett Paul Gratton Pauline Francis PayPal Peter James Gaskell Roland Haebler Rory Riley-Gillespie Sandi Britt Sandy Belczyk Sara Terry Sarah Campbell SB Edwards
Sebastian Munoz Shauna Hardy Mishaw Shelly Quade Sue Brouse Suzanne Chappel Suzanne Lacey Theresa Walterhouse Tom Simons Tracey Friesen Tracey Napier Trish Dolman, Screen Siren Pictures Valerie Lees Vicki Tonner Vincent Roseberry
The Whistler Film Festival gratefully acknowledges our supporters! Major Supporters
We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia. Major Sponsors
1152 Mainland Street, Suite 430 Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V6B 4X2
Industry Program Partners
Preferred Accommodation Partner
Festival Accommodation Partners
WFF is grateful for the generous support of our Hospitality Partners over the past 20 years.
DINING 21 STEPS 4433 Sundial Place 604-966-2121
BASALT 13-4154 Village Green 604-962-9011
BEARFOOT BISTRO 4121 Village Green 604-932-3433
EARLS KITCHEN & BAR 4295 Blackcomb Way 604-935-3222
GRILL & VINE
(WESTIN RESORT & SPA)
4090 Whistler Way 604-935-4338
QUATTRO 4319 Main Street 604-905-4844
THE GRILL ROOM (FAIRMONT CHATEAU)
4599 Chateau Boulevard 604-938-8000
MONGOLIE GRILL 4295 Blackcomb Way 604-938-9416
CASUAL DINING & NIGHTLIFE BRICKWORKS PUBLIC HOUSE 4308 Main Street 604-962-2929
FIREROCK LOUNGE 4090 Whistler Way 604-905-5000
STONESEDGE 13â€“4122 Village Green 604-962-9292
BUFFALO BILLS BAR & GRILL
GARIBALDI LIFT COMPANY
4122 Village Green 604-932-6613
4165 Springs Lane 604-905-2220
DUBH LINN GATE
4295 Blackcomb Way 604-962-0601
4284 Mountain Square 604-932-5999
STARBUCKS COFFEE CO.
4329 Sundial Crescent 604-905-4047
4119 Golfers Approach 604-932-4011
4204 Village Square 604-932-6090
QUICK BITES ALL SEASONS GRILL 8-4314 Main Street 604-905-5090
BLENZ WHISTLER 101-4338 Main Street 604-905-5475
123-4295 Blackcomb Way 604-938-0611 120-4340 Lorimer Road 604-905-0833 10-4154 Village Green 604-905-5560
4205 Village Square 604-938-1990
CATERING THE COLLECTIVE KITCHEN 14-1209 Alpha Lake Road 604-698-8647
WHISTLER COOKS 4-1345 Alpha Lake Road 604-938-8835
2012 London Lane 604-848-4161
CELEBRATING FILM EVERYWHERE Weâ€™re finally back to the big screen, but we never stopped showing your favourite films along the way. We believe the magic of movies continues to inspire anywhere. Whether youâ€™re visiting us or watching from home, enjoy the unforgettable stories while they move you.
BOARD WELCOME CHAIR, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FOUNDERS Shauna Hardy Mishaw Kasi Lubin
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ann Chiasson (Chair) Daniel Cruz (Treasurer) Nathaniel Lyman Rob Larson Roger Soane (Vice-Chair) Shauna Hardy Mishaw Sue Brouse (Secretary) Sue Chappel
FORMER BOARD MEMBERS
Welcome to the 20th edition of the Whistler Film Festival.
Arthur Evrensel Bill Thumm Bryant Pike Carl Bessai Don Thompson Elizabeth Yake Harry Sutherland Jeff Young John Rae Kendrie Upton Lynne Stopkewich Morgan Gabareau Michael Ghent Neal Clarance Rob Egan Ron Hrynuik Saad Hasan Sacha McLean Shawn Williamson Slawko Klymkiw Terry Salman Trish Dolman Warren Franklin
As we celebrate this milestone in WFF’s history we recognize that the festival is taking place under extraordinary circumstances. It has been a year of tremendous change, and the screens in our homes have become a significant and often necessary part of our lives. It’s on these screens where we connect dayto-day and where our stories are told in increasingly diverse ways, to educate and entertain. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we sincerely thank the filmmakers, film fans, industry partners, supporters, sponsors, staff and volunteers who give so much to the experience at this Festival and year-round. Thank-you for continuing to share this journey with us. We also want to thank all of our Whistler supporters including the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler, our accommodation, hospitality and venue partners, our local suppliers and supporters, and the community for their continued support of the Festival. To those who contributed through donation campaigns, thank you. This year we were honoured with a substantial matching gift that strengthened the organization and moved us closer to our goal of forming an institute that offers year-round professional development for Canadian writers, actors, directors and producers and screen storytellers. The impact of your support on our programs can also be seen in the success stories featured at the fest this year. and we hope we can count on your continued support to ensure the long term success of WFF, our programs, and the artists that we serve. In closing, the board wishes to thank Shauna Hardy Mishaw, who’s extraordinary vision and 20 years of leadership has built a strong foundation for ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’, and to welcome Angela Heck as Managing Director. WFF is a highlight on the annual film calendar, and a major contributor to the economic and cultural success of Whistler, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2021. It truly takes a village to make WFF happen. Thank you for being part of ours.
Ann Chiasson Chair
GREETINGS MANAGING DIRECTOR
Welcome! From navigating the global pandemic to calls for social action along with policy changes in the Canadian media landscape, 2020 has proven to be an unprecedented and transformative year for the screen-based industry. It’s also a year where we embraced technology and innovation to design and deliver the 20th edition of the Whistler Film Festival + Content Summit and Talent Programs online.
And of course the films! WFFcontinues to fill a valuable role within the Canadian film ecosystem. Our amazing programming team curated a slate of 97 films selected from over 1,350 submissions that highlight Canadian content creators and distinct and emerging new voices. Embracing our new virtual platform, we shared these stories with audiences across Canada for 31 days.
WFF has a mandate to discover, develop and promote independent film and filmmakers, and we do this by taking a holistic approach to the industry. We nurture new voices through our Talent Programs, create opportunities for creative and business collaborations to flourish in our Content Summit, and showcase and promote the work of talented creators at the Whistler Film Festival and throughout the year.
There is no doubt that the moving image’s relevance is even more significant as this world changes and evolves. In this new reality, WFF remains committed to promoting a culture of inclusivity and diversity, cultivating experiences that unite people through cinema, and discovering, developing, and promoting Canadian talent. We will celebrate film as art, support it as an essential business and foster a vibrant and diverse community of film lovers.
From script to screen, this approach works, and you’ll see that here in 2020 as we welcome back alumni who have grown with us and who are featured here this year.
I’m tremendously honoured to be stepping into a new role supported by so many talented, energetic and dedicated professionals who have given their time, expertise, and strength of spirit in this most unusual year. It really does take a village.
We adapted our slate of nine market-driven, domestic talent development programs to be delivered online with increased mentorship, longer-term engagement and access to industry experts from across the country and around the globe. We supported 56 Canadian artists - writers, directors, producers, and actors - to advance their craft and projects. Our Content Summit featured 36 sessions over 18 days and welcomed over 100 industry insiders, storytellers, artists, and executives to discover, network, and explore the ideas and actions currently shaping media entertainment. We implemented new software to make it possible for people to meet 1+1 worldwide and expanded our timelines to adapt to the realities of engaging in this new space.
So on behalf of the team at the WFF, we look forward to seeing what creative collaborations flourish here in our 20th year, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Whistler in 2021 to share in the magic of movies. Let the festivities begin! Discover for yourself what makes WFF ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’.
Angela Heck Managing Director
GREETINGS DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING
Welcome to the twentieth anniversary of the Whistler Film Festival! And what a memorable occasion it is turning out to be! This year, for the first time, we are planning a robust national online presentation, with titles premiering every day for the first twenty days of the month of December, and continuing with all online titles available for streaming until December 31 at midnight. Wendy Morgan’s electrifying SUGAR DADDY will launch our exciting online presentations on Dec.1. Written by and starring Kelly McCormack, and featuring Colm Feore, this features a tour-de-force performance, set in the world of music, that announces the arrival of a major new cinematic talent. The Whistler Film Festival continues to consolidate its unique mandate within the Canadian film festival ecosystem, by focusing above all on Canadian content (70% of our titles, spanning the country from one ocean to the other), new and emerging talent (18 first-time feature filmmakers, or 56% of our online titles, with 47% directed by women) and mostly fresh product not seen at other Canadian film festivals (over two thirds of our feature titles are North American or Canadian premieres, including nine World Premieres).
But the most exciting opportunity that has been afforded by our necessary pivot to online screenings is that the new model allows us to offer unprecedented support to Canadian filmmakers or rights holders. This year, the Whistler Film Festival will be sharing 50% of all net proceeds with the creatives who supplied us with the films. That’s right! During this difficult time of delayed theatrical releases, and unfortunate theatre closings in many regions of the country, WFF will be sharing its revenues with the Canadian creative community that is under considerable duress during these very challenging times. On a final note, a personal heartfelt thanks to Shauna Hardy-Mishaw, our Executive Director who is stepping down after this year’s edition after twenty years of indefatigable efforts building up the Whistler Film Festival to what it is today. There would not be a Whistler Film Festival without her, and on behalf of the entire Canadian film community, I wish to thank her.
Paul Gratton Director of Film Programming
GREETINGS PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA
MINISTER OF CANADIAN HERITAGE
Welcome to the 2020 Whistler Film Festival.
I am pleased to extend my warmest greetings to everyone attending the 2020 Whistler Film Festival.
Like Whistler itself, this festival has lived up to its distinctly cool reputation! Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, this yearâ€™s event will be unlike any other, but film fans can still enjoy the best films from across Canada and the world.
This event offers a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers, industry professionals and fans to share their passion for movies and storytelling. I am certain that everyone in attendance will be entertained and inspired by the films being presented this year. I would like to congratulate the artists participating in this festival for their efforts to bring their talent and creativity to the screen. I would also like to commend the organizers for their commitment to supporting and promoting Canadian cinema. Your hard work ensures that the Whistler Film Festival is a resounding success, year after year. Please accept my best wishes for a memorable event.
The pandemic has forced cultural events, like this one, to lean on their creativity and ensure that the show will go on. More than just a treat for film buffs, the Whistler festival is where film industry professionals gather, where deals get done and creativity flourishes. That is why weâ€™re proud to support this landmark event. As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I congratulate everyone involved with this event on two decades of excellence and thank you for your perseverance this year. Enjoy the shows!
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Rt. Hon. Justin P.J. Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada
GREETINGS PREMIER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
MAYOR, RESORT MUNICIPALITY OF WHISTLER
As Premier of the Province of British Columbia, it gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone to the beautiful community of Whistler for the 18th edition of the acclaimed Whistler Film Festival.
On behalf of the Resort Municipality of Whistler I am honoured to welcome back the Whistler Film Festival. For twenty years this festival has been providing cultural value and entertainment to our community. I understand this year will not disappoint and will feature over 60 films from across Canada and around the world. I commend the filmmakers who have contributed to this festival and to the arts and thank you for your incredible creations.
This brilliant event brings together the very best that our province has to offer in celebration of new and innovative films. This powerful medium has the capacity to provide a mirror to better understand ourselves and our communities. The Whistler Film Festival continues to play a vital role in cultivating diverse cultural experiences, connecting not only the people of British Columbia, but those all over the world, while promoting British ColumbiaĂs thriving film industry in the process.
I could not be more proud and excited to have this event return to our community for the twentieth time. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers, organizers, and patrons of the festival. Sincerely,
I would like to commend the Whistler Film Festival Society and all those involved in organizing this epic event. The time, energy, dedication, and hard work that goes into planning something of this magnitude is admirable and the contribution it makes to BCĂs entertainment, business, and tourism industries is to be applauded. Please enjoy all of the fresh films, special guests, epic events, and programs this festival has to offer. Have a wonderful festival!
Mayor Jack Crompton Resort Municipality of Whistler
Honourable John Horgam Premier of British Columbia
GREETINGS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TELEFILM CANADA
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CREATIVE BC
Telefilm Canada is proud to continue its support of the Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit especially now as we navigate these extraordinary circumstances. In these new frontiers of digital participation, we must all work together to continue to discover, watch, and celebrate Canadian content creators and the distinct voices that they bring to our screens.
Creative BC is proud to celebrate Whistler Film Festival’s 20th anniversary! We are thrilled to partner with Canada’s coolest film festival as it adapts to deliver works from a fantastic lineup of domestic and international storytellers.
Canadian filmmakers share a remarkable range of stories and characters that surprise, touch and entertain us all, as well as make us laugh and think. Their stories resonate worldwide. Telefilm Canada remains committed to creating opportunities for Canadian talent to connect and collaborate with their peers, both at home and abroad. As a partner of choice, Telefilm Canada is increasing its commitment to diversity and inclusion, so that the stories being told on screen reflect who we are as a nation. On behalf of Telefilm Canada, I want to congratulate the Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit for its resilience and creativity in finding new and exciting ways to showcase and celebrate Canadian talent. And to all Canadians who continue to demonstrate your appetite and support for our filmmakers and their work, you have our heartfelt thanks. Continue watching Canadian films wherever they are available and tell others to do the same!
As we unite and champion B.C.‘s diverse and distinctive creative industries, inclusion, participation and visibility for under-represented groups both in front of and behind the camera is core to our work. We are proud to support Whistler Film Festival’s leadership role in curating and initiating targeted equity programming through mentorship, labs and events, strengthening the diverse talent and community in B.C. Whistler Film Festival is also a vital part of our creative ecosystem in B.C., showcasing new, vibrant local storytellers, and catalyzing industry connections. The festival has always created a uniquely inspiring event and space in which audiences and creators alike can come together each year. And they’re doing it again – in new, healthy, virtual and relevant ways. Our sincerest congratulations to the team and volunteers at Whistler Film Festival! Thank you for your fearless commitment to us in B.C. and beyond, and for re-imagining the festival to extend your possibilities and reach. Resilient and dedicated, we see your great work coming together this year. Once again you will bring B.C. together with the world to experience the best in domestic and international film in 2020. Here’s to another great event, and the resilience, courage and experimentation that brings WFF to our personal screens this year!
Christa Dickenson Executive Director, Telefilm Canada
Prem Gill CEO, Creative BC
MEET TEAM WFF
TALENT PROGRAMS FACULTY Screenwriters Lab Faculty: Patricia Gruben (Co-Facilitator), Ruth Atkinson (Co-Facilitator & Mentor), Dennis Foon (Mentor), Patrick Whistler (Mentor)
Managing Director Since 2008-2009, 2019
Shauna Hardy Mishaw
Development Director Since Oct. Executive Director 2001-2020
Director of Programming Since 2012
Producers Lab Faculty: John Galway (Facilitator), Jason James (Mentor), Lauren Grant (Mentor), Damon D'Oliveira (Mentor) Doc Lab Facilitator: Deborah Wainwright Power Pitch Facilitator: Carole Kirschner Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship Facilitator: Camille Beaudoin
Senior Sponsorship Manager Since 2008
Kristen Robinson Festival Producer Since 2020
Finance & Executive Coordinator Since 2018
Women in Focus Mentors: Emily Alden, Maureen Levitt, Kathleen Meek Stars to Watch: Kathleen Mullen WIFTV Mentor: Tina Pehme WIDC Co-creator: Dr. Carol Whiteman
SCREENING COMMITTEE Nikki Segovia
Film Programming Manager Since 2016
Senior Shorts Programmer Since 2011
Shorts Programmer & Features Coordinator Since 2011
Brigitte Berman, Jason Whyte, Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, Karen Tusa, Kent Donguines, Susie Moloney
COMMUNICATIONS Publicity: Jive Communications - Lindsay Nahmiache, Jacki St. Thomas, Maya Sarin Production Designer: Whistler Creative Ruth Barrow
Talent Programs Manager Since 2020
Lindsay Nahmiache Publicity Manager Since 2020
Matt McKinney Tech Manager Since 2020
Content Summit Manager Since 2020
Marketing Manager Since 2016
Box Office Manager 2005-2010, Since 2016
Website: Mintstone - Ann Clifford
Industry & Guest Services Coordinator Since 2019
Marketing Coordinator Since 2019
Box Office Coordinator Since 2018
The Whistler Film Festival continues to strengthen our programming partnerships and bring our audiences unique films and events through our juried Film Competitions and Signature Series, which recognizes distinguished artists of our time and honours them with an award and or an intimate on-stage interview complemented by a feature presentation of their most recent film.
THE SYMBOL OF THE TALKING STICK The Talking Stick, the official award of the 2017 Whistler Film Festival, was created in the spirit of celebrating cinematic achievements as a symbol of the power of storytelling, vision and the ability to see the big picture. Honourees and winners of this year’s festival will each receive one of these handcrafted awards. The Talking Stick carries respect for free speech and assures the speaker they have the freedom and power to say what is in their heart without fear of reprisal or humiliation. Whoever holds The Talking Stick has within their hands the sacred power of words. Those who speak may do so with the power and strength of a great animal. WOLF – LEADER: The Wolf has the ability to be both a great team player as well as a strong leader. They are known for strength in relationships and is recognized for their strong sense of family and community values. The Wolf symbolizes perseverance, intuition and success. The teacher of new ideas and wisdom, the Wolf shows intense loyalty with a balance of independence. The Wolf is a teacher of cooperation, protectiveness and the value of extended families and loyalty. FOX – TEACHER: As a spirit animal, the Fox provides guidance on swiftly finding your way around obstacles. If you follow the fox totem wisdom, you may be called to use quick thinking and adaptability. Responsive, sometimes cunning, this power animal is a great guide when you are facing tricky situations.
RAVEN – CATALYST FOR CHANGE: The Raven teaches us about life and right from wrong. The Raven gets bored quickly, and is continually looking for ways to amuse itself. Quick to take action and extremely curious, they could be taken as a symbol of the Coastal People’s view that the world has many faces, is a place full of surprises - neither good nor bad - but often unpredictable. EAGLE - CHIEF: The Eagle is the ruler of the sky and has the ability to transform itself as they have a connection with our creator. The Eagle symbolizes grace, power, and has great intellectual abilities. The gift the Eagle shares is the ability of foresight, and an indication of good times to come. THUNDERBIRD - MAVERICK: The Thunderbird is a mountain dweller and is a highly intelligent creature. From its home, they keep a close eye over their dominion. Humans should beware not to try to outwit the Thunderbird for they are most certain to have it backfire. The Thunderbird preoccupies its time with carrying out the law and protocol and will assert justice to communities in need. BEAR - LUMINARY: The Bear symbolizes strength and learned humility through motherhood and teaching. With great self-awareness, the Bear teaches us to deliberate choices or actions. Sometimes referred to as the protector of the animal kingdom and forests, the Bear is a well-respected member of the community.
THE ARTIST – JIM YELTON Squamish Nation Artist, Jim Yelton, individually carved the Whistler Film Festival’s Talking Stick awards. Jim was born in Squamish, British Columbia in 1955 and has been carving his entire life. The skill of carving was passed down to Jim from his father, Michael Yelton, who taught him about the Northwest Coast First Nations cultural traditions and how they applied to his art form. For over 30 years, Jim has been carving cedar wood and specializes in Masks, Feast Dishes, Canoe Paddles and most of all, Talking Sticks. Jim’s influences are the traditions of his people and the natural environment surrounding him. He incorporates indigenous animals in his work, which have specific meanings and symbolism within the Squamish Nation culture. His work can be found in galleries and private collections worldwide. Jim currently resides in Sechelt, British Columbia.
WFF AWARDS & JURIES
Cinematic excellence remains at the heart of the Whistler Film Festival. To recognize the vitality of this art form. 68 films are competing in 7 juried sections for 15 awards and $146,500 in cash and prizing ($31,500 cash and $115,000 in prizes) plus one audience award. Comprised of individuals from the worldwide film community with original and diverse points of view, the Festival’s competition juries will select films from the feature, documentary and short form categories to received the following designated awards, which will be presented at the Awards Celebration on the last day of the fest.
BORSOS COMPETITION FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE Presented by
1152 Mainland Street, Suite 430 Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V6B 4X2
BEST BC DIRECTOR AWARD Sponsored by 1152 Mainland Street, Suite 430 Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V6B 4X2
The BC Directors Award recognizes the achievements of BC Directors with feature films at the festival, and selects one film for the distinction.
SHORTWORK COMPETITION WFF’s ShortWork Competition showcases a selection of 25 short films (under 50 minutes in length) within four short film programs. Presented with verve and limited only by their duration, these short films display the extraordinary talent, dynamism and creative exploration found in the work of some of the world’s most promising filmmakers. A jury of three will award the Canadian and International ShortWork Award as well as $1,000 CDN prize to the top Canadian ShortWork entry.
See page 23 for Jury.
BC STUDENT SHORTWORK COMPETITION WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION From the personal to the political, WFF’s World Documentary Competition showcases six documentary feature films from around the world. With courageous viewpoints and a deep-rooted desire to explore personalities and events that shape our lives, these films capture the human spirit in many guises and often challenge us to look at our world from a new perspective. A jury of three industry professionals from North America will award the Best World Documentary Award.
MOUNTAIN CULTURE COMPETITION Sponsored by
As a reflection of the Festival’s unique setting, WFF’s Mountain Culture Competition features films from around the world that capture mountain places and experiences with a cinematic flourish. A jury of three industry professionals will award the Mountain Culture Award sponsored by Whistler Blackcomb.
AUDIENCE AWARD All narrative and documentary feature length films in the Whistler Film Festival are eligible to receive the Audience Award. The Festival-going public casts their votes to choose the most popular film in this year’s festival, which will be announced on December 28.
WFF’s Student ShortWork Competition includes nine short films produced by post-secondary students in British Columbia. The ShortWork Competition jury will award a $500 CDN prize to the top Student ShortWork entry.
AWFJ EDA AWARDS EDA Awards will be presented for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and for Best Female-Directed Short Film. Eligible female-directed films are being screened as part of the festival’s regular program, and are being nominated for EDA Awards consideration by Whistler Film Festival’s administration and programmers. Narrative feature jury includes: Liz Braun - Post Media, Toronto; Laura Emerick - Ebert.com, Chicago; Alexandra Heller-Nicholas - Senses of Cinema, Melbourne; Jennifer Merin (Chair) - Cinema Citizen, New York; and Susan Wloszczyna - Gold Derby, Washington, DC. The Short Film Jury includes: Marina Antunes (Chair) - Row Three, Vancouver; Betsy Boszdech - Common Sense Media, San Francisco; Leba Hertz - San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco; Lois Alter Mark - Midlife At The Oasis, San Diego and Diana Saenger - East County Gazette, Alpine, CA.
BORSOS COMPETITION & JURY
For 17 consecutive years, 200 entries have competed in this coveted competition that celebrates the independent vision, original directorial style and the diversity of talent found in Canadian independent film, named in honour of legendary Canadian filmmaker Philip Borsos. 15 Canadian feature films with a Western Canadian premiere status are included in this year's Borsos Competition. An esteemed jury of three will award the prize for best feature, which includes a $15,000 CDN cash prize presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia, the country’s second largest festival prize for a Canadian film after TIFF, and the $15,000 post production prize sponsored by Company 3, as well as awards for Best Director sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia, Best Screenplay, Best Performance, and Best Cinematography.
PHILIP BORSOS Born in Hobart Tasmania, Philip Borsos immigrated to Canada at age seven. After training at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, he first gained recognition with a series of short documentaries, one of which, NAILS, was nominated for an Academy Award. His first feature film, THE GREY FOX (1982), starring Richard Farnsworth, won the Genie Award for Best Feature and Best Director. Philip went on to make several more acclaimed feature films, including THE MEAN SEASON (1985) starring Kurt Russell, ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS (1985) starring Harry Dean Stanton, and the Genie-nominated BETHUNE: MAKING OF A HERO (1990), starring Donald Sutherland. His last film, FAR FROM HOME: THE ADVENTURES OF YELLOW DOG was completed just weeks before he succumbed to leukemia in 1995. Philip Borsos remains our inspiration for this coveted award.
BORSOS COMPETITION FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE LARYSA KONDRACKI Larysa Kondracki is a Canadian producer, director and screenwriter, whose debut feature film, THE WHISTLEBLOWER, won WFF’s Borsos Award for Best Feature and the Audience Award in 2011, and received nominations for six Genies at the 32nd Genie Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Since then, she has written feature projects for Focus Features, HBO Films, Participant Media, and Showtime Entertainment.
Well known for his role in the International Emmy-nominated comedy Corner Gas, actor Lorne Cardinal has acquired more than 100 professional film, theatre and television credits and is the recipient of numerous nominations and distinguished awards. He also writes, directs and produces for television and the stage, and is currently developing new projects through his production company Through & Thru Films.
SHEILA MCCARTHY Award winning actor Sheila McCarthy has spent four decades working across the country in every major theatre including Soulpepper, Stratford and Shaw Festivals, and is the recipient of two Genie Awards for I’VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING. Other notable credits include DIE HARD 2, STEPPING OUT, BEING JULIA, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, VIRTUAL MOM (which she wrote and produced), Orphan Black, and most recently The Umbrella Academy.
SANDRA CUNNINGHAM Strada Films was founded by producer Sandra Cunningham. Sandra’s credits include the Oscar-nominated THE SWEET HEREAFTER, MOTH DIARIES, THE STATEMENT, FUGITIVE PIECES, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, and the Oscar-nominated THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS which opened the 69th Berlin International Film Festival and a WFF19 selection. She is the Supervising Producer on the CBC/Thunderbird Entertainment series Kim’s Convenience now heading into its fifth season, was a programmer at TIFF, and is a past board member and Chair of the CMPA.
WFF AWARDS & JURIES
WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION JURY SELWYN JACOB
Selwyn Jacob joined the National Film Board’s BC & Yukon Studio in 1997 and went on to produce over 50 NFB films. His many credits include Crazywater, directed by Inuvialuit filmmaker Dennis Allen; Hue: A Matter of Colour, directed by Vic Sarin; Mighty Jerome, written and directed by Charles Officer; and the digital interactive app Circa 1948, by Vancouver artist Stan Douglas. Jacob’s most recent feature documentary credits include Mina Shum’s NINTH FLOOR, about the infamous Sir George Williams Riot of 1969 that was selected to TIFF’s 2015 annual top ten list of best Canadian films. Selwyn retired from the NFB in June, 2019 and has since returned to the private sector as an independent Producer/Director.
The editor-in-chief of Gripped, Canada's climbing magazine. Brandon has been climbing around the world for the past 22 years and is currently based in Canmore.
FIONA RAYHER People know Fiona as a documentary filmmaker (FRACTURED LAND), public engagement specialist and entrepreneur (previous company, Gen Why Media). She's also a mom to two delightful girls. She studied political science and communications, and then social innovation at the University of Waterloo. Now she's the co-founder and CEO of Hoovie (hoovie.movie) a ticketing and film screening platform that gives you everything you need to watch a quality independent film with new and old friends, and talk about it, face-to-face. (Like a book club, for movies.) Her vision is to create an entirely new way of connecting online using social cinema as a vehicle for engagement and belonging.
MACKENZIE DONALDSON MACKENZIE DONALDSON is a Toronto and Los Angeles based producer, director and writer. Named “One to Watch” by Playback’s Top 5 in 2015 and a 2016 TIFF Emerging Canadian Filmmaker, Mackenzie is most well known for her work producing the critically acclaimed; Emmy, Peabody and CSA award-winning; and Golden Globe nominated show Orphan Black (S1-5), Mackenzie released her first feature film, and directorial debut, THE DEFINITES (WFF17) through Mongrel Media and Turn Key Films. Most recently, Mackenzie produced Snowpiercer for TNT/Netflix, from Tomorrow Studios/ ITV, released world-wide in May 2020. And her first feature documentary, CITIZEN BIO directed by Trish Dolman, will be released worldwide by Showtime on October 30th 2020.
MOUNTAIN CULTURE COMPETITION JURY
HEATHER MOSHER Heather is an adventure filmmaker based in Squamish, BC who loves climbing difficult finger cracks and skiing long distances to camp in the snow. As a producer, director, editor, and cinematographer, Heather weaves the stories of real people, places, and events into compelling and truthful narratives. Her work focuses on the intersection of outdoor and adventure stories with broader social and environmental themes. She has produced and sold films for national and international broadcast and distribution, including CBC, TELUS, and Red Bull TV; her films have premiered at festivals around the world; and she has screened her films on every continent - yes, even Antarctica!
NATHANIEL ARCAND Nathaniel Arcand one of Canada’s most talented and best known Indigenous actors, currently well-known for his role as "Clinton Skye" in FBI Americas Most Wanted (CBS). Nathaniel played Scott Cardinal on Canada’s beloved show “Heartland” for eleven seasons. Nathaniel has appeared in numerous major motion pictures; television shows on major networks as well as independent films. Nathaniel is from the Alexander First Nation and is Plains Cree. He is an accomplished musician, martial artist and public speaker and carries a unique bond with horses and nature.
WFF AWARDS & JURIES
SHORTWORK COMPETITION JURY
SEA TO SKY SHORTS SHOWCASE
JOHNNY MA Johnny Ma was born in Shanghai, China, and immigrated to Toronto, Canada, at age 10. In 2016 his debut feature OLD STONE premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won the Best Canadian First Feature Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Screen Awards. Johnny's TO LIVE TO SING world premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Director’s fortnight and made a short film contribution to the quarantine anthology film HOMEMADE available on Netflix.
MARY GALLOWAY Originating from Vancouver Island B.C. of the Cowichan Tribes of the unceded Coast Salish Territory Mary is paving the way for future Indigi-queer filmmakers and storytellers. In 2016 WIFTV honoured Mary with the Newcomer Award, the WFF presented her with the Talent To Watch Award, and in 2017 she was dubbed a TIFF Rising Star. She’s currently in development with her web series QUERENCIA which won the imagineNATIVE Pitch Competition, gaining her a broadcast deal with APTN/The Bell Fund, funded by Telefilm Talent to Watch.
MERYAM JOOBEUR Meryam is a Montreal based filmmaker of Tunisian origin. Her recent film BROTHERHOOD screened in over 150 festivals, winning 75+ international prizes, including a nomination for the 92nd Academy Awards for “Best live-action short", and the WFF 2018 Best Canadian ShortWork Award. She co-founded the Tunisian film production company, Instinct Bleu, with producer Sarra Ben Hassen in 2019, intending to develop young Tunisian Talent.
To celebrate its 20th edition, WFF created the Sea to Sky Shorts Showcase, a new regional filmmaking competition with a $2,000 prize for the best film. The showcase is about discovering great stories that connect us to the people and our community while highlighting filmmakers from the Sea to Sky region- from Horseshoe Bay through Squamish and Whistler to the Pemberton Valley inclusive of Birken and D’Arcy. The catch: Filmmakers only have 20 days to shoot, produce and edit their films, and they have to be shot within the Sea to Sky region! Up to 20 local filmmakers will be selected to produce a five-minute short film and premiere it as part of the Sea to Sky Shorts Showcase. Filmmakers will be selected by the WFF programming team based on the overall concept, creativity and originality presented as a 15-second video pitch, and they have to tell use how they will use own social media platforms to spread the word about their films so they can be discovered. How filmmakers interpret the theme is entirely up to them, and they can shoot live-action, animation, stop-motion, documentary, use actors, cutouts, puppets or animals. There are no restrictions on creativity; the key is to capture the magic of our Sea to Sky communities.
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT COLM FEORE
COLM FEORE SUGAR DADDY
WFF shines the spotlight on American-Canadian actor Colm Feore, who stars alongside writer Kelly McCormack’s SUGAR DADDY, which had its world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, and also was the virtual opening film. A 13-year veteran of the Stratford Festival, Colm Feore is best known for his Gemini-winning turn as Prime Minister in the television miniseries Trudeau, and his performance as Glenn Gould in Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. Feore is also known for roles such as Detective Martin Ward in BON COP, BAD COP, Lord Marshal Zhylaw in THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, Pope Julius II on The Borgias, Laufey in THOR, First Gentleman Henry Taylor on 24, General Ted Brockhart on House of Cards, Declan Gallard on 21 Thunder, Sir Reginald Hargreeves in The Umbrella Academy and Wernher von Braun in For All Mankind.
TALENT TALK December 2, 4pm PST
Colm Feore is a Prix Iris and Screen Actors Guild Award winner and a Genie Award nominee. In 2012, Colm Feore was awarded an honorary doctorate by Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, to recognize his contributions to Canadian theatre and film. Feore was honoured with the Gascon-Thomas Award from the National Theatre School of Canada in 2013, given annually to an actor that makes an exceptional contribution to the growth of theatre. In 2013, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada “for his contributions as an actor of the stage and screen, notably by bridging Anglophone and Francophone cultures as a fluently bilingual performer”, and in 2019, he received the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in Film from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. Colm Feore is the recipient of the Whistler Film Festival’s Canadian Icon Award, presented annually to an actor for career endeavors and achievements that have made a significant impact in the film industry in Canada and beyond.
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT KELLY MCCORMACK
KELLY MCCORMACK SUGAR DADDY
WFF shines the spotlight on SUGAR DADDY writer and costar Kelly McCormack, which had its world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, and also was the virtual opening film. She stars alongside Colm Feore, Amanda Brugel, Aaron Ashmore and Nick Campbell in SUGAR DADDY directed by Wendy Morgan, and produced by two WFF Alumni Lauren Grant (Clique Pictures) and Lori Lozinski (Violator Films). Vancouver born and raised, Kelly McCormack is an award winning actor, screenwriter and musician and also has credits as a director and producer. McCormack has worked in film, television, and on stage, and is the Executive Director of her production company Floyder Films. Beginning her career in classical music and theatre before moving into filmmaking, McCormack brings together a cross section of artists from traditionally separate disciplines. Her primary focus in storytelling, as in her activism, is within the realm of what she calls “gender pain” – stories that seek to illuminate and shift exceptions of masculinity and femininity. Kelly’s debut feature film PLAY THE FILM won five Best Screenplay awards internationally, and her second feature film BARN WEDDING released internationally with A71 Entertainment. She also produced and starred in the hit CBC digital original series The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island directed by Sam Zvibleman (Pen15), who won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction on the series.
As an actor, Kelly McCormack is best known for her portrayal of Zeph – the androgynous science nerd on Killjoys (Syfy/ Space), and Betty-Anne – the trash talking hockey player on Letterkenny (Hulu/CraveTV). McCormack also had a leading role in Paul Fieg’s noir thriller A Simple Favor and just finished an original opera Charlotte directed by OBE awarded director Pamela Howard which debuted at the Luminato Festival and the World Stage Design Festival in Taiwan. Other recent credits include appearing alongside James Franco in JJ Abrams’ series 11.22.63 (Hulu) and Ricky Gervais in Special Correspondents (Netflix) Guest starring in the The Expanse (Syfy), Crawford (Comedy Central/CBC), Save Me (CBC), How to Buy a Baby (CBC), Damien (Fox), Defiance (Syfy), and That’s my DJ (Neon Panther). She is slated to star in the upcoming Amazon series, A League of Their Own. Kelly McCormack is the recipient of the Whistler Film Festival’s One to Watch Award, presented to an emerging filmmaker whose immense talent has catapulted them into critical acclaim and who the industry recognizes as someone destined for great success.
TALENT TALK December 2, 4pm PST
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT GABRIEL BYRNE
GABRIEL BYRNE DEATH OF A LADIES MAN
Irish actor, filmmaker and cultural ambassador Gabriel Byrne stars as Samuel O’Shea who loses his mind to the music of Leonard Cohen in DEATH OF A LADIES MAN, which received its National Festival VOD Premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, and is from WFF alumnus writer and director Matt Bissonnette and producer Corey Marr. Gabriel Byrne’s acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1979. His screen debut came in the Irish drama serial The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. With 40 years as an actor and 30 years as a movie star, Gabriel Byrne has starred in more than 70 films for some of cinema’s best-known directors including: EXCALIBUR (1981), MILLER’S CROSSING (1990), THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995), STIGMATA (1999), END OF DAYS (1999), SPIDER (2002), JINDABYNE (2006), VAMPIRE ACADEMY (2014), THE 33 (2015), AND HEREDITARY (2018), and CO-WROTE THE LAST OF THE HIGH KINGS (1996). Byrne has also produced several films, including the Academy Award-nominated IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER (1993). In 2019, he starred in a TV series adaptation of War of the Worlds.
For his Broadway work, he received three Tony nominations for roles in the work of Eugene O’Neill as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award for A Touch of the Poet. For his television work, Byrne was nominated for three Emmys. For his performance in HBO’s American drama In Treatment (2008–2010) in the role of Paul Weston, one of his most identifiable roles, he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Satellite Awards. In 2018, he was awarded the Irish Film and Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Irish cinema, and this year, he was listed at number 17 on The Irish Times list of Ireland’s greatest film actors. Gabriel Byrne is the recipient of the Whistler Film Festival’s Maverick Award, which shines a light on a master in our industry whose bold choices have led to the creation of some of the most dynamic, memorable and beloved film moments of our time.
TALENT TALK December 9, 4pm PST
ARTIST TRIBUTE RÉMY GERARD
RÉMY GIRARD YOU WILL REMEMBER ME (TU TE SOUVIENDRAS DE MOI)
WFF pays tribute to beloved Quebec actor Rémy Gerard is featured in the Western Canadian Premiere of director Eric Tesser’s YOU WILL REMEMBER ME (TU TE SOUVIENDRAS DE MOI), which features a career-best performance for Girard as a former professor dealing with Alzheimer’s. With more than 116 film, television and stage credits to his name, Rémy Gerard has starred in some of Canada’s top films and Canada’s first Oscar winner for best foreign picture for Deny Arcand’s THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS. Gerard is the most-nominated actor in the history of the Genie Awards, and In 2019, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Rémy Girard is best known for INCENDIES (2010) and JESUS OF MONTREAL (1989) and THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS (LES INVASIONS BARBARES) by director Denys Arcand, which was awarded the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture. Girard is the most-nominated actor in the history of the Genie Awards, and won the Leading Actor award twice, for LOVE CRAZY (AMOUREUX FOU) and LES INVASIONS BARBARES, the Supporting Actor award twice, for JÉSUS DE MONTRÉAL and LES PORTES TOURNANTES, and has garnered three other nominations, for LE DÉCLIN DE L’EMPIRE AMÉRICAIN, LA FLORIDA, and as Stan, the coach and spiritual father in LES BOYS (all four movies and the TV series). Girard also starred in THE ROCKET and appeared in the Will Ferrell comedy BLADES OF GLORY. He was Papa Bougon in the cult TV series Les Bougon, and proves that he is a master of comedy in English, in the Canadian series In Security broadcast on CBC. He also stars in THE VINLAND CLUB (director Benoit Pilon), which will be released in 2021. Rémy Girard is the recipient of the Whistler Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award, which recognizes an actor whose longevity in storytelling and artistic achievement has culminated in a most prolific and inspiring career.
TALENT TALK December 11, 4pm PST
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT TZI MA
TZI MA A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL
WFF will also shine the spotlight on Tzi Ma (pronounced “Tai Ma”), who returns to the Whistler Film Festival in the Canadian Premiere of A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL from first time feature director Aimee Long. For more than four decades, Tzi Ma has blazed new trails for the representation of Asian Americans in Hollywood. Celebrated for his uncanny versatility, his body of work encompasses virtually every genre across film, television and theatre. Ma is well known for his roles in television shows, such as The Man in the High Castle and 24, and films, such as DANTE’S PEAK, ARRIVAL, and TIGERTAIL. From big-budget studio pictures like Disney’s MULAN and the RUSH HOUR series to acclaimed independent films like THE FAREWELL and MEDITATION PARK, Ma’s unforgettable performances have garnered unanimous critical acclaim and honours throughout his groundbreaking career. Long outspoken on issues of racism and media inclusivity,
Ma has been a leading voice for the Asian American community. Despite the limited number of parts for actors of Asian descent during the early part of his career, Ma vehemently refused to perform roles that he considered demeaning or stereotypical. This unwavering stance helped kickstart a newfound consciousness in Hollywood that has transformed the way Asian American characters are portrayed. Next up, Ma will star in The CW series remake of Kung Fu and appear in Lifetime’s holiday film A Sugar & Spice Holiday. Tzi Ma is the recipient of the Whistler Film Festival’s Trailblazer Award, presented to an actor, who has blazed a unique and inspiring trail for themselves in film and who continues to engage audiences with meaningful and impactful work.
TALENT TALK December 16, 4pm PST
KUDOS. 2020 WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL HONOREES
COLM FEORE Canadian Icon Award
KELLY MCCORMACK One to Watch Award
GABRIEL BYRNE Maverick Award
RÃ‰MY GERARD Career Achievement Award
TZI MA Trailblazer Award
M A K E A D O N AT I O N
w w w. a c a d e m y. c a / e q u i t y - f u n d
The Academy believes that this industry has a collective responsibility to contribute to diversity and equity. Storytellers change hearts and minds, shaping the way we perceive both individual and shared experience. We have the unique opportunity to make sure diverse voices are heard. But change must happen from both the bottom up and the top down. With this in mind, the Academy is undertaking a number of initiatives to ensure that Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and under-represented industry professionals have increased visibility, accessibility, and recognition in our industry. We have three specific goals and a strategy to make this happen. We invite you to join the Academy in making equity and inclusion a reality in our industry, ensuring that future generations engage with content that reflects the diversity of Canadian experience.
STARS TO WATCH
The Whistler Film Festival’s 7th annual Stars to Watch program is a multi-day festival immersion experience for five diverse and talented UBCP/Actra member actors, each poised for international recognition and who are all connected to features premiering at the festival. The program is part of our ongoing commitment to promoting Canadian cinema and talent on the world stage, and draws on homegrown talent from the Western Provinces, with a specific focus on British Columbia, and puts them into the bright spotlight provided by the annual December festival. This year, our five Stars to Watch are featured in three films by WFF Alumnus.
ELYSE LEVESQUE - THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Elyse Levesque began acting at an early age being cast in a local children’s TV series, The Incredible Story Studio. Upon graduating from high school, Levesque modelled around the world before settling down in Vancouver to pursue an acting career. She quickly landed leading roles on Smallville, Masters of Horror, Men in Trees and the MGM/Syfy series Stargate Universe, opposite Robert Carlyle, and the feature film NORMAL with Carrie Anne Moss. Following a move to Los Angeles, she landed the role of Genevieve in CW’s The Originals, followed by CW pilot Containment, directed by Emmy Award Winner David Nutter. Elyse Levesque is attending WFF in the National Festival VOD Premiere in the role of Danielle in THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE directed by WFF alumnus Jeremy Torrie.
ALI SKOVBYE - THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE Vancouver-born actor Ali Skovbye began her acting career at four after being scouted for a national car commercial, and went directly into film and television the following year, booking a supporting lead role in the feature film PERSONAL EFFECTS starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Academy Award winning actress Kathy Bates. A string of guest roles in television series followed, including CW’s Supernatural and Smallville, Fringe on FOX, and CTV’s Motive, as well as recurring roles on Once Upon a Time for ABC, Falling Skies on TNT, You, Me, Her for Audience, and Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart. At 11, she booked her first lead in the movie ONE CHRISTMAS EVE for Hallmark’s Hall of Fame starring Anne Heche, who mentored her throughout the six week shoot, and was nominated for a Young Artist Award for her work in the film. Another lead role in the Hallmark movie CAMPFIRE KISS opposite Danica McKellar followed, winning her a Joey Award for best leading actress for her portrayal of Lacey Reynolds. Previously, she was in a supporting lead role in the Fox feature BREAKTHROUGH opposite Chrissie Metz, and has had recurring roles on the Amazon series Man In The High Castle and A Murderer Upstairs, in which she starred alongside sister Tiera Skovbye, who was a WFF Star to Watch in 2017. She will soon be seen in the Netflix original series Firefly Lane, starring opposite Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke. Ali Skovbye is attending WFF in her first starring role of Jeanne in the National Festival VOD Premiere of THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
STARS TO WATCH
PAUL GRENIER - INDIAN ROAD TRIP Indigenous actor Paul Grenier is known for the AMC series The Killing and The 100 for CW. Born a fraternal twin in Vancouver, Paul got his first taste of the business at the age of four in the family film LOOK WHO’S TALKING TOO. A seed was planted. Growing up in foster care he was separated from his twin until they were nine. During this time, Paul assumed new identities for protection. Some were fast, some strong, others called the star-ship ‘Enterprise’ home. In 2010, after doing some background work, the seed had sprouted. After graduating from a two-year program through New Image College, he spent the next eight years working on several shows including, Blackstone, Supernatural, and Jamestown before landing the lead role of Cody Kidd in A.W. Hopkins’ INDIAN ROAD TRIP, which is receiving its World Premiere at WFF and was developed in WFF’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship in 2015 and advanced to WFF’s Screenwriters Lab in 2016.
MIIKA WHISKEYJACK - INDIAN ROAD TRIP At 16, Miika Whiskeyjack, a Plains Cree from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, is cultivating a promising career in film and television. A trained dancer in contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet and her cultural dance, fancy shawl, Whiskeyjack began performing at the age of seven in dance and film. She landed her very first audition for the role of Wendy Bull in the award-winning dramatic television series Blackstone for five seasons, and has also appeared in the LaLaloopsy animation as Fariy Z, the production of Ancestors and Elders as a dancer and countless commercials. Her first feature length film was in Jeff Barnaby’s RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS. Recent feature film roles include Loretta Todd’s award winning MONKEY BEACH (2020), the novel to film adaptation by Indigenous author, Eden Robinson, and Melanie Clement’s RED SNOW (2019), which proved to be one of her challenging roles to date as she had to learn the Inuvialuktun language for her character, Asana and dive into themes that affect Indigenous youth and communities today. Miika Whiskeyjack is attending WFF in the role of Precious in A.W. Hopkins’ INDIAN ROAD TRIP.
MELANIE ROSE WILSON - ALL-IN MADONNA Melanie Rose Wilson is an emerging Canadian actor born in North Vancouver, and raised in both Southern British Columbia and Alberta. At age nine, Melanie stepped out of her introverted shell and landed the lead role in her elementary school play, which ignited her love of performing. Throughout high school she directed and starred in numerous one act plays, garnering her multiple awards at the provincial festival level. After graduation, Melanie returned to BC to pursue acting full-time. Since 2013 when she graduated from the Acting for Stage and Screen Program at Capilano University, she has been making her mark in the Vancouver film and television industry. On television, Melanie has appeared on hit shows such as The 100, Batwoman, Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone, and Siren, and is best known for her eccentric character, Les-Lay, on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.She is attending WFF in the lead role as Madonna Croft in the World Premiere of ALL-IN MADONNA, directed by WFF alumnus Arnold Lim.
20 years ago, the Whistler Film Festival was born. It was an idea inspired by the love of film. Since that time, over 1,089 filmmakers have presented their films to audiences in Whistler. As of 2020, WFF has over 2,650 Alumni who have been part of our story to date. Some have presented films at the Festival – several on multiple occasions. Others have participated on juries, in our industry Summit or in our talent programs. Many have come back and continue to evolve as filmmakers, and some have achieved critical success or are on their way. WFF’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on select alumni, who continue to inspire us through their work, embody important voices in the cinematic landscape or who are shining examples of what the Whistler Film Festival is all about. WFF is committed to shining the spotlight on these filmmakers, their backgrounds, their work and their position on what filmmaking in the 21st century means to them. To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we shine the light on 20 of our Alumni with films premiering at the festival or participating on juries.
CARL BESSAI Alumni since 2003 Director, Writer, Producer Alumni Credits: IN HER CITY (WFF20), THE LEARS (WFF17), REHEARSAL (WFF15), BAD CITY (WFF14), NO CLUE (WFF13), FATHERS & SONS (WFF10), EMILE (WFF03)
MATTHEW BISSONNETTE Alumni since 2006 Director, Writer, Producer Alumni Credits: DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN (WFF20), PASSENGER SIDE (WFF09), WHO LOVES THE SUN (WFF06)
EMILY BRIDGER Alumni since 2017 Screenwriter, actor Alumni Credits: LITTLE ORPHANS (WFF20), Screenwriters Lab participant (WFF17)
SARA CANNING Alumni since 2014 Actor, Writer, Producer Alumni Credits: THE QUIETING (WFF20), Screenwriters Lab Participant (WFF19), I PUT A HIT ON YOU (WFF14), WFF Star to Watch (WFF14)
LORNE CARDINAL Alumni since 2013 Actor, writer, director, producer
Alumni Credits: Borsos Jury (WFF20), GOOD GIRLS DON’T (WFF17), UNINTENTIONAL MOTHER (WFF17), IF I HAD WINGS (WFF13), Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship Mentor
Carl Bessai is a director based in Vancouver and Los Angeles. Winner of WFF’s Maverick Award in 2013, Bessai is a multiple alumni who returns with the World Premiere of IN HER CITY. He is touted with bringing the idea of the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature to the WFF Founders in 2004. He sat on the Board of Directors for a decade and has been an ardent champion of all things WFF. He studied at OCAD University and at York University in Toronto graduating with a Master of Fine Arts Degree. His feature films have appeared in numerous Festivals around the world and he has directed some of the world’s leading acting talent.
Matthew Bissonnette was born and raised in Montreal, where he studied English and Film at Concordia University. He then studied law at Queen’s University, was called to the Ontario Bar, but retired two weeks later to write and work in movies. Matt is also a Find Director’s Lab Fellow. His novel, SMASH YOUR HEAD ON THE PUNK ROCK, was published in 2008. He has written and directed four feature films including WHO LOVES THE SUN (WFF06). He returns with the National VOD Premiere of DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN.
Emily Bridger is a writer, filmmaker, and actor from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Emily’s feature film screenplay LITTLE ORPHANS was part of the WFF 2017 Screenwriters Lab as well as the 2018 Telefilm Talent to Watch Program. LITTLE ORPHANS, in which Emily also stars, will have its Western Canadian premiere as part of WFF 2020.
Sara Canning has performed in film, television and theatre across North America. She was a WFF Star to Watch in 2014 with her film I PUT A HIT ON YOU. Her work ranges from Canadian independent films to the Emmy nominated A Series of Unfortunate Events. This year she stars in WFF alumni Ali Liebert’s short film, THE QUIETING.
Well known for his role as Sergeant Davis Quinton on six seasons of the International Emmy-nominated comedy Corner Gas, Lorne has acquired more than 100 professional films, theatre and television credits. Throughout his career, Lorne has received numerous nominations and distinguished awards for his body of work; he is the recipient of an honorary PhD from Thompson Rivers University and the 2020 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. Lorne writes, directs and produces for television and the stage and is currently developing new projects through his production company Through and Thru Films. This year, we are honoured to have Lorne return as a part of our Borsos Jury.
ANA DE LARA Alumni since 2015 Producer, director, screenwriter Alumni Credits: ALL-IN MADONNA (WFF20), GOOD GIRLS DON’T (WFF17), MPPIA Short Film Pitch Winner (WFF16)
SOPHIE DUPUIS Alumni since 2018 Director, Writer Alumni Credits: UNDERGROUND / SOUTERRAIN (WFF20), FAMILY FIRST / CHEIN DE GARDE (WFF18)
MARY GALLOWAY Alumni since 2016 Director, Writer, Producer, Actor Alumni Credits: ShortWork Jury (WFF20), UNINTENTIONAL MOTHER (WFF17), Talent to Watch Award (2016), Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship (WFF15)
LAUREN GRANT Alumni since 2009 Producer Alumni Credits: SUGAR DADDY (WFF20), Producers Lab mentor (WFF20 and WFF19), PICTURE DAY (WFF12), Producers Lab participant (WFF09)
MERYAM JOOBEUR Alumni since 2018 Director, Writer, Producer Alumni Credits: ShortWork Jury (WFF20), BROTHERHOOD (WFF18)
Ana de Lara is an eclectic Filipina-Canadian film director, producer, and screenwriter who has earned over two dozen awards for her short films, music videos, and first feature screenplay. Ana’s films range from hard-hitting dramas to visual poetry, to laugh-out-loud comedies and have screened at festivals worldwide. Ana was the winner of the MPPIA Short Film Award at WFF16 and had its world premiere at WFF17. ALL-IN MADONNA, which she produced, will have its world premiere at WFF20.
Quebec Filmmaker Sophie Dupuis is known for her impactful style of storytelling and her brilliant talent as an actor’s director. The intense and unsettling stories she writes are driven by human complexity and sensibility. Her first feature (and Canada’s Oscar nominee in 2018) FAMILY FIRST / CHEIN DE GARDE was part of WFF18. She returns with the National VOD Premiere of UNDERGROUND / SOUTERRAIN, a story of courage and self-discovery and arguably one of the best Canadian films of the year.
Originating from Vancouver Island B.C. of the Cowichan Tribes of the unceded Coast Salish Territory, Mary is paving the way for future Indigi-queer filmmakers and storytellers. She’s currently in development with her web series QUERENCIA which won the imagineNATIVE Pitch Competition, gaining her a broadcast deal with APTN/The Bell Fund, funded by Telefilm Talent to Watch. Her WFF credits include UNINTENTIONAL MOTHER (WFF17), which she workshopped as part of the WFF15’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship and was honoured with a Talen to Watch Award in 2016. She sits on this year’s ShortWork Jury.
The principal of Clique Pictures, Lauren Grant established her company to focus on developing fiction and documentary productions with a focus on working with female and diverse creative talent both in front and behind the camera. She was a Producers Lab participant in 2009 with GET HAPPY and later brought us PICTURE DAY (WFF12) which won the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature and Best Performance in a Borsos Film for star Tatiana Maslany. She has been an active mentor as Producer’s Lab faculty in recent years and brings us her latest feature SUGAR DADDY as our Opening Film.
Meryam is a Montreal based filmmaker of Tunisian origin. Her WFF18 film BROTHERHOOD won the Canadian ShortWork Award and screened in over 150 festivals, winning 75+ international prizes, including a nomination for the 92nd Academy Awards for “Best Live-Action Short.” She co-founded the Tunisian film production company, Instinct Bleu, with producer Sarra Ben Hassen in 2019, intending to develop young Tunisian Talent. Meryam is on the ShortWork Jury for 2020.
ALI LIEBERT Alumni since 2013 Director, Writer, Producer, Actor Alumni Credits: THE QUIETING (WFF20), AFTERPARTY (WFF13), WFF Rising Star (WFF13)
ARNOLD LIM Alumni since 2014 Director, Producer Alumni Credits: ALL-IN MADONNA (WFF20), GOOD GIRLS DON’T (WFF17), GODHEAD (WFF14)
A.W. HOPKINS Alumni since 2015 Director, Writer Alumni Credits: INDIAN ROAD TRIP (WFF20), SHIN-CHI’S CANOE (WFF19), Praxis Screenwriter Lab participant (WFF16), Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship participant (WFF15)
JOHNNY MA Alumni since 2013 Director, Writer Alumni Credits: ShortWork Jury (WFF20), A GRAND CANAL (WFF13)
GUY MADDIN Alumni since 2011 Director, writer, cinematographer, editor Alumni Credits: THE RABBIT HUNTERS (WFF20), KEYHOLE (WFF11)
Ali returns to WFF20 with THE QUIETING, a semi-biographical film made as part of Crazy8s 2020. She was a WFF Rising Star in 2013. With extensive experience as an actor (85 credits to her name) and producer of AFTERPARTY (WFF13) and COOKING WITH LOVE for Hallmark Channel, Ali’s creative evolution to directing was a natural one. Ali was also nominated for a DGC award for her first movie, AMISH ABDUCTION. With multiple projects in active development, Ali plans to continue directing and producing her own projects.
Korean-Canadian filmmaker Arnold Lim is an award-winning director, producer and photojournalist. He has directed and/or produced more than a dozen shorts, most recently winning Telefilm’s Talent to Watch twice to direct his first feature ALL-IN MADONNA which has its World Premiere at WFF20. His achievements include a BravoFACT grant, a selection to the National Screen Institute’s Features First program and working as Venue Photo Manager for two Olympic Games. He has also programmed for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival and Victoria Film Festival.
A.W. Hopkins is a writer and director. His first feature film, a comedy called INDIAN ROAD TRIP will have its world premiere at WFF20. The script began as a short film script in WFF’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. Through the WFF Screenwriters Lab the script was expanded and developed into a feature and then accepted into the Telefilm Talent to Watch Program..” Allan graduated with an MFA from the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. A.W. has a new feature film in development. In his spare time, he is working on a collection of short stories.
Johnny Ma was born in Shanghai, China, and immigrated to Toronto, Canada, at age 10. In 2016 his debut feature OLD STONE premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won the Best Canadian First Feature Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Screen Awards. Johnny’s TO LIVE TO SING world premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Director’s Fortnight and made a short film contribution to the quarantine anthology film HOMEMADE available on Netflix. Johnny’s short film A GRAND CANAL won the WFF13 International ShorWork Award. He will help decide this year’s winner as part of the WFF20 Shortwork Jury.
Guy Maddin is the director of twelve feature-length movies including KEYHOLE (WFF11) which won the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature. Since 2011, Maddin has collaborated with Galen Johnson and Evan Johnson under the banner of Development Ltd., their Winnipeg-based filmmaking collective. Guy is also a member of The Order of Canada. This year he returns with THE RABBIT HUNTERS, co-directed by Galen Johnson and Evan Johnson and starring Isabella Rossilini, a film created to celebrate Federico Fellini’s centenary.
COREY MARR Alumni since 2006 Producer Alumni Credits: DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN (WFF20), Producer Lab Participant (WFF11), PASSENGER SIDE (WFF09), WHO LOVES THE SUN (WFF06)
KAYVON SAREMI Alumni since 2018 Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Composer Alumni Credits: THE DECLINE (WFF20), F**K YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORY (WFF18)
SEAN PATRICK SHAUL Alumni since 2018 Director, producer Alumni Credits: THE DECLINE (WFF20), F**K YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORY (WFF18)
JULIA SARAH STONE Alumni since 2015 Actor Alumni Credits: MARLENE (WFF20), AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO HIGH SCHOOL (WFF20), THE QUIETING (WFF20), THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY (WFF19), HONEY BEE (WFF18), A WORTHY COMPANION (WFF17), THE SPACE BETWEEN (WFF17), ALLURE (WFF17), WFF Star to Watch (WFF17), EVERY THING WILL BE FINE (WFF15)
JEREMY TORRIE Alumni since 2016 Director, Writer, Producer Alumni Credits: THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE (WFF20), Producers Lab (WFF16)
Corey’s passion for telling great stories has enabled him to work with some of the world’s leading brands and create award-winning content that has been seen all over the world. Corey is also a partner in Canadaland Media, an independent news site and maker of Canada’s leading podcasts including the hit series Thunder Bay. He was part of WFF11’s Producer’s Lab with the feature SUMMERTEETH and will present his latest feature DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN at WFF20.
Kayvon Saremi is an Iranian-Canadian filmmaker with both an artistic and business-oriented eye. His talents revolve mostly in the areas of direction, production, cinematography and composing. His credits include F**K YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORY (WFF18) and THE DECLINE (WFF20), which he co-directed with Sean Patrick Shaul.
Sean Patrick Shaul is a Vancouver based award-winning filmmaker. He has independently produced and directed four previous feature-length documentaries including F**K YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORY which was part of WFF18. He returns with the world premiere of his latest documentary THE DECLINE, which he co-directed with Kayvon Saremi.
Named a WFF Star to Watch in 2017, Julia Sarah Stone returns in two features, MARLENE and AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO HIGH SCHOOL, and one short THE QUIETING. She received glowing reviews at the age of 11 for her debut in THE YEAR DOLLY PARTON WAS MY MOM. She has also starred in Wim Wender’s EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE (WFF15), WFF Alumni Bruce McDonald’s WEIRDOS, AMC’s The Killing and TNT’s Falling Skies. She holds a purple belt in karate and her training includes sword fighting and firearms.
For the past two decades, Jeremy (Waabishki Makwa) has worked to realize his path as the ancestors foretold, as an aadizookewinini (storyteller) through film & television. An Ojibway from Wauzhushk Onigum, Jeremy is a traditional pipe carrier. Firmly established as a multi-award winning writer, director, and producer, his stylistic vision is complemented by his pursuit of thought-provoking stories. He was a Producers Lab participant in 2016 with OLD MAGIC. He returns to WFF with the National VOD Premiere of his feature THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
DAY 1 TUE, DEC. 1
101 mins, p. xx
LIVE AT 5PM PST p. xx
EVENT: SPARK LIVE AT 4PM PST p. xx
DAY 2 WED, DEC. 2
DAY 3 THUR, DEC. 3
73 mins, p. xx
88.5 mins, p. xx
81 mins, p. xx
100 mins, p. xx
STILL THE WATER
COLM FEORE & KELLY MCCORMACK
81 mins, p. xx
FRI, DEC. 4
97 mins, p. xx
SAT, DEC. 5
83 mins, p. xx
82 mins, p. xx
SUN, DEC. 6
110 mins, p. xx
MON, DEC. 7
93 mins, p. xx
SMALL TOWN WISCONSIN
THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE
83 mins, p. xx
HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM
DAY 8 TUE, DEC. 8
WED, DEC. 9
CROCK OF GOLD 64 mins, p. xx
101 mins, p. xx
124 mins, p. xx
DEATH OF A LADIES MAN
CANADIAN ALL IN MADONNA DOC BLOC SHORTWORK 67 mins, p. xx
60 mins, p. xx
79 mins, p. xx
THUR, DEC. 10
THE PAPER MAN
FILMS FROM AWAY
TALENT TALK: GABRIEL BYRNE LIVE AT 4PM PST p. xx
SEA TO SKY SHORTS SHOWCASE
LIVE AT 4PM PST p. xx
EVENT: WHISTLER APRÃˆS DOC BLOC
DAY 11 FRI, DEC. 11
DAY 12 SAT, DEC. 12
DAY 13 SUN, DEC. 13
DAY 14 MON, DEC. 14
DAY 15 TUE, DEC. 15
DAY 16 WED, DEC. 16
DAY 17 THUR, DEC. 17
108 mins, p. xx
YOU WILL REMEMBER ME
86 mins, p. xx
80 mins, p. xx
100 mins, p. xx
LITTLE ORPHANS 88 mins, p. xx
LIVE AT 4PM PST p. xx
95 mins, p. xx
105 mins, p. xx
85 mins, p. xx
90 mins, p. xx
INDIAN ROAD TRIP 81 mins, p. xx
IN HER CITY 89 mins, p. xx
TALENT TALK: TZI MA
74 mins, p. xx
AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO HIGHSCHOOL 80 mins, p. xx
83 mins, p. xx
THE WHISPER OF SHORTWORK 4 SILENCE
LIVE AT 4PM PST p. xx
TALENT TALK: STARS TO WATCH
73.5 & 76 mins, p. xx
STUDENT SHORTWORK 1 & 2
120 mins, p. xx
104 mins, p. xx
SUN, DEC. 20
MOUNTAIN BETWEEN WAVES CULTURE SHORTWORK 1 & 2
A SHOT THROUGH THE DECLINE THE WALL
TALENT TALK: RÉMY GERARD
MERCY 90 & 101.5 mins, p. xx
FRI, DEC. 18
SAT, DEC. 19
LIVE AT 4PM PST p. xx
SMALL TIME 109 mins, p. xx
105 mins, p. xx
LIVE AT 12PM PST
GODDESS OF THE FIREFLIES
EVENT: AWARDS CELEBRATION
SUPPORT THE NEXT GENERATION OF EMERGING FILMMAKERS
Be inspired. Make a gift to the Talent Fund today.
T H E TA L E N T F U N D . C A
VIRTUAL OPENING FILM WORLD PREMIERE
SUGAR DADDY Canada | 2020 | 101 minutes Director: Wendy Morgan Producers: Lori Lozinski, Lauren Grant, Kelly McCormack Written By: Kelly McCormack Cast: Kelly McCormack, Colm Feore, Amanda Brugel, Ishan Davé, Aaron Ashmore, Hilary McCormack Executive Producer: Lisa Gutberlet, James Huntsman, Andreas Olavarria Cinematographer: Kristin Fieldhouse Editor: Christine Armstrong Distributor/Print Source: levelFilm Composer: Marie-Hélène L. Delorme
“Some films just jump off the screen and announce the arrival of a vital new talent. Such is the case with Kelly McCormack’s (LetterKenny) tour de force performance as Darren, a new age music composer and performer who is trying to break into the record industry. As the film begins, she is fired from the job that pays her rent, so she starts working as a “paid dinner companion” for older dudes. No sex, she proudly proclaims, but that doesn’t stop Darren from arguing with her feminist friends over whether she is allowing herself to be treated as a commodity. She reacts very harshly to her friends’ criticisms, and does not handle her roommate’s crush on her with aplomb. One of the wonders of McCormack’s screenplay is how flawed and cutting Darren can be. Despite her occasional nastiness, we still root for her every step of the way. Especially when everything seems to be falling apart and she seeks solace in the arms of an older man who seems to be in her corner and shares her love of music.
ONLINE Dec. 1 - Dec. 31
Colm Feore is suave and sophisticated, everything you might want in a sugar daddy who has his own connections to the music biz. The film is highlighted by some extraordinary performance segments, set to the haunting music of Marie-Hélène L. Delorme. This is director Wendy Morgan’s first full length feature, but she cut her teeth on music videos, and it shows. Produced in collaboration with WFF alumni Lori Lonzinksi and Lauren Grant, this a compelling portrait of a creative young woman trying to find her place in the world.
WENDY MORGAN Well-known for both her music video and commercial work, Wendy Morgan has a fresh style combining humor, rhythm, color and choreography to create unique films for artists and advertisers. Her video “Happy” for Paris producers C2C topped end of year lists for its unique choreography and mystical style. Her iconic video for Gnarls Barkley’s “Going On,” received multiple nominations at the UK VMA’s, was official selection at the SXSW Film Festival and was named by Time magazine in its Top 30 Music Videos list of all time. Wendy’s “Tightrope” video for Grammy-nominated Janelle Monáe was the number-one video of 2010 for UK music bible NME and received Best Choreography nominations at the MTV VMAs. SUGAR DADDY is her first feature length-film.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS A collection of notable, mostly Canadian titles that fall outside our usual parameters that are so exceptionally offbeat and original, that we just had to share them with you.
SPECIAL PRESENTATION BRITISH COLUMBIA PREMIERE
EAT WHEATIES! Canada | 2020 | 89 minutes Director: Scott Abramovitch Producers: Scott Abramovitch, David J. Phillips Written By: Scott Abramovitch Cast: Tony Hale, Elisha Cuthbert, Danielle Brooks, Paul Walter Hauser, David Walton, Sarah Chalke, Sarah Goldberg, Rizwan Manji, Alan Tudyk, Sarah Burns, Robbie Amell, Kylie Bunbury, Lamorne Morris Executive Producer: Daniel Norris Webb, Jamie Abramovitch, Andy Kurzon, Salamo Levin, Tony Manolikakis Cinematographer: Phil Miller Editor: Salamo Levin
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 17 - Dec. 31
Tony Hale, (who will be familiar to fans of television’s “Arrested Development”, where he has won Emmy Awards, and is also featured in WFF20 NINE DAY) is perfectly cast as Sid Shaw, a socially inept office worker whose life is turned upside down when he devotes himself to inviting celebrity Elizabeth Banks to his college reunion. He tries contacting her by phone and by mail, and is met with silence and cynicism. Eventually, they send him a smudged photograph. He starts sending her a regular series of notes, which become increasingly confessional, even as they try to sound upbeat and professional. His persistence, however, concerns her managers, who determine that they are dealing with a bona fide stalker. He is not a true stalker, of course, just a lonely man with OCD trying to fill a void in his life by attaching himself to a fleeting celebrity. That doesn’t stop her managers from taking him to court as a stalker and slapping a restraining order on him. Paul Walter Hauser (who starred as Richard Jewell for Clint Eastwood last year and was featured in I, TONYA WFF17) steals the show as the hilarious goofball lawyer who volunteers to represent him in court.
This is Scott Abramovitch’s first film as a director, though he has screenwriting credits on 2014’s THE CALLING. EAT WHEATIES! is a very human comedy of social awkwardness and the search for acknowledgement and respect. Heartland Film Festival San Diego Film Festival
SCOTT ABRAMOVITCH wrote, directed and produced the feature comedy EAT WHEATIES! starring Tony Hale which is set to be released in late 2020. In 2014 Scott Abramovitch wrote and produced Sony’s THE CALLING starring Susan Sarandon, Ellen Burstyn, Donald Sutherland and Topher Grace, for which he was nominated for a 2015 Canadian Screen Award in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.
SPECIAL PRESENTATION NATIONAL FESTIVAL VOD PREMIERE
DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN Canada, Ireland | 2020 | 101 minutes Director: Matthew Bissonnette Producers: Corey Marr, Don Carmody, Marie-Claude Poulin, Martina Niland Written By: Matthew Bissonnette Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Jessica Paré, Brian Gleeson, Antoine Olivier Pilon, Karelle Tremblay, Suzanne Clément Cinematographer: Jonathan Cliff Editor: Matt Lyon Composer: Stephen Rennicks VFX Supervisor: John Campfens Distributor/Print Source: Mongrel Media
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 9 - Dec. 31
Gabriel Byrne plays Samuel O’Shea, a roué professor who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. This is causing him to revel in his past and hallucinate in the present. He also has two kids and a marriage that is falling apart. A Frankenstein sidles up to the bar at one point, and his father who died when he was a boy, keeps popping up to have a chat. Often his reveries turn into joyous song and dance numbers, all of them inspired by the music of Leonard Cohen. As things get even more disorienting, Samuel decides to retreat to a rural area of Ireland. There, he meets a perfect local woman in the form of Charlotte (Jessica Paré). She is the same age as his children, but she responds to the older man’s roguish charms and intelligence, grounding him at a time when he worries he might be losing his mind.
This is not the first time director Matt Bissonnette has explored cinematic links to Leonard Cohen. In 2002, he directed a film called LOOKING FOR LEONARD in which a character obsessively reread Cohen’s Beautiful Losers novel. In 2009, he directed PASSENGER SIDE, about two brothers driving around LA trying to score drugs and find meaning in their lives. Finding meaning in a life well misspent is the fundamental theme of DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN. And sometimes that meaning is best expressed through an exploration of Leonard Cohen’s poetic musical oeuvre. This offbeat take on material that is sure to be enjoyed by Leonard Cohen fans the world over. MATTHEW BISSONNETTE was born and raised in Montreal, where he studied English and Film at Concordia University. He then studied law at Queen’s University, was called to the Ontario bar, but retired two weeks later to write and work in movies. Bissonnette is also a Find Director’s Lab Fellow. He has written and directed four feature films: LOOKING FOR LEONARD (2002), WHO LOVES THE SUN (2006), PASSENGER SIDE (2010) and DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN (2020) His novel, SMASH YOUR HEAD ON THE PUNK ROCK, was published in 2008. He lives in Los Angeles.
SPECIAL PRESENTATION NATIONAL FESTIVAL VOD PREMIERE
MARLENE Canada | 2020 | 120 minutes Director: Wendy Hill-Tout Producer: Wendy Hill-Tout Written By: Wendy Hill-Tout, Cathy Ostlere Cast: Kristin Booth, Greg Bryk, Julia Sarah Stone, Dempsey Bryk, Maxim Roy, Ryan Northcott Production Company: Voice Pictures Inc. Cinematographer: Charles Hamilton Editor: Bridget Durnford Co-Producer: Micheal Peterson Production Designer: Bobby Vanonen Cinematographer/DP: Charles Hamilton Composer: Janal Bechthold Sound Designer: Tyler Rambie
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 18 - Dec. 31
In 1959, a fourteen year-old boy was sentenced to be executed for the murder and rape of a young girl he had given a bicycle ride to. His name was Stephen Truscott, and his case became one of the most famous arguments against the death penalty, mostly because of his age. Years later, he was released from prison, got married and had a family. Truscott had never been exonerated, despite the fact that evidence was circumstantial and the police had suppressed information that may have pointed the finger at other perpetrators. This is the story of Stephen’s wife, Marlene, played with steadfast determination by Kristin Booth, who spent decades trying to prove her husband’s innocence. Thwarted at every turn, even the original DNA evidence had been destroyed. Still she persevered against all odds, convinced that her husband was not only innocent, but that the government owed Stephen an apology for railroading him for a crime he did not commit.
Too few Canadian films have focused on true heroic figures a la Erin Brockovich: the kinds of people who will not take “no” for an answer, and devote their lives to the pursuit of justice. Marlene Truscott is such a person, and this inspirational film is a tribute to her courage and determination. Julia Sarah Stone, who plays the young Marlene and falls for Stephen while he was serving time in prison, is also featured in this year’s WFF entry AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO HIGH SCHOOL.
MRS. HILL-TOUT is a writer, director, producer who started as a journalist and literary writer before turning to film. She directed a number of female driven & social issue films with the National Film Board, was nominated for Best Directing and Best Doc by the Academy of Canadian Cinema. Currently she’s directing “Insanity: What We Do To The Mentally Ill. Ms. Hill-Tout wrote and directed MARLENE her 2nd feature, based on the life of Marlene Truscott, Canada’s Eric Brockovich.
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SPECIAL PRESENTATION CANADIAN PREMIERE
PUPPY LOVE Canada | 2020 | 109 minutes Director: Michael Maxxis Producers: David Michaels, Nicolette Saina, Hopper Jack Penn, Morgan Gold Written By: Michael Maxxis Cast: Hopper Jack Penn, Paz De La Huerta, Donald Cerrone, Michael Madsen, Rosanna Arquette, Mickey Avalon Executive Producer: Sam Osman, Nicolette Saina Cinematographer: Larry Smith Editor: Wayne Wahrman
“Hopper Penn (Sean Penn’s son) plays Morgan, a mentally challenged 23 yearold virgin who gets bullied in his job as a dishwasher. As he sits in a hot tub surrounded by strangers, he shares his story of true love. True love, that is, for a heroine-using, crack-smoking street hooker named Carla, who he sees by the side of the road, after being recommended by his brother. Smitten and shy, he pays her to talk to him, and at one point, wants to maybe hold her hand. Needless to say, she is quite taken aback by his sweet innocence, and soon they are sort of dating, in a very chaste sort of way. This is director Michael Maxxis’ first dramatic feature, shot on location in Edmonton, with some scenes shot in Blackfoot, Idaho. Paz de la Huerta (a stand-out in Gaspar Noé’s ENTER THE VOID) is compelling as the prostitute, who may have a heart of gold, but is still tough-as-marbles street smart. Rosanna Arquette shines in a brief role as Morgan’s casino-addicted Mom.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 20 - Dec. 31
Love can take many forms, and in a world of venality and mendacity, it is nice to see a sweet affection develop between two people from opposite sides of the street. An overly familiar story line is transcended by the chemistry that develops between the two lead characters. Their connection, established in the worst of all possible worlds, is touching in its naivety. Oldenberg Film Festival (Winner, Best Actress, and Winner, Spirit of Cinema-German Independence Award)
MICHAEL MAXXIS is a director from Edmonton Canada, who started his career directing music videos and commercials, and just recently completed his first feature film, PUPPY LOVE. Over a ten year period, Michael directed close to 100 music videos and commercials. He has been nominated for 11 MMVA’s (winning 5), 2 Junos, and has directed videos for two Grammy nominated songs.
NATIONAL FESTIVAL VOD PREMIERE
THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE Canada | 2020 | 93 minutes
CANADIAN VANGUARD A selection of cutting-edge features from across the country with an emphasis on stories that resonate, achieved with outstanding performances and fresh directorial vision.
Director: Jeremy Torrie Producer: Tanya Brunel, Jeremy Torrie Written By: Jeremy Torrie Cast: Elyse Levesque, David LaHaye, Paul Amos, Ali Skovbye, Tantoo Cardinal, Eugene Brave Rock, Corey Sevier Distributor: Film Option
Set in a French-speaking part of Manitoba that is rarely depicted on film, this is the story of a sixteen year-old Métis girl Jeanne. She resides in a small northern town, and one day she mysteriously disappears. When she is found, she is near death and has developed what appears to be stigmata, the wounds that echo those carried by Jesus Christ in his dying moments. A number of various religious factions start laying claim to her miracle as being proof of their own beliefs. Both local and international spiritual leaders start to buzz around the small town looking for confirmation of their tenets. One television evangelist from Texas arrives in town and offers Jeanne’s father a small fortune for exclusive access. He’s the type of evangelical who preaches with a poisonous snake in his hands, to prove that God is protecting him, the righteous one. As Jeanne recovers her strength, she zeroes in on the madness and religious fanaticism that have developed around her. She will need to decide for herself what the right path is that she must follow. Torrie has directed a surprisingly slick thriller, with some scenes that even reference THE EXORCIST. The film was workshopped at WFF’s Producers Lab in 2016 in its development process. A truly original piece of cinematic exploration that asks the question: is religion there to console and offer hope? Or can it be used to beguile, manipulate and seduce? In this version, maybe only a sixteen year-old Métis woman can tell the difference.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 7 - Dec. 31
CANADIAN VANGUARD ENGLISH CANADIAN PREMIERE
NATIONAL FESTIVAL VOD PREMIERE
GODDESS OF THE FIREFLIES
LA DÉESSE DES MOUCHES À FEU
Canada | 2020 | 105 minutes In French with English Subtitles
Canada | 2020 | 97 minutes In French with English Subtitles
Director: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette Producer: Luc Vandal Written By: Catherine Léger Cast: Kelly Depeault, Caroline Néron, Normand D’Amour, Éléonore Loiselle, Robin L’Houmeau, Antoine DesRochers, Noah Parker Executive Producer: Tim Ringuette Production Company: Coop Vidéo de Montréal Distributor/Print Source: Entract Films Cinematographer: Jonathan Decoste
Director: Sophie Dupuis Producer: Etienne Hansez Written By: Sophie Dupuis Cast: Jean-François Boudreau, Guillaume Cyr, Chantal Fontaine, Théodore Pellerin Executive Producer: Dan Wechsler, Andreas Roald Distributor/Print Source: Axia Films
When this film was theatrically released in Quebec at the end of September, it quickly rose to the number one spot at the boxoffice, only to have its release truncated by the closure of Quebec cinemas in the second week of October. Yet another astutely observed coming-of-age story (see WFF18 Borsos Award winner UNE COLONIE) set in the 90s around the rise of grunge music, the film follows Catherine (Kelly Depeault), a sixteen-year-old in rural Quebec, whose parents are getting a divorce and who seems to be entering her rebellious stage. It is a familiar story that the province’s filmmakers seem to have mastered as a film genre. She is a shy high-school girl who is sometimes bullied by those around her. Hanging around with friends in shopping mall parking lots and abandoned shacks, she starts experimenting with mescaline and sex. Even when tragedy strikes within her ranks, the spiral of self-indulgence she has allowed herself to drift into will be hard to break. Depeault is simply unforgettable in the lead role.
This film was slated to be the Opening Night film at the Festival Du Nouveau Cinema, but it got cancelled when indoor theatres were abruptly shut down at the beginning of October in Montreal. A subsequent drive-in date also got cancelled for weather reasons. And it is a shame that Covid-19 is playing havoc with its release plans, because this is definitely one of the most exciting and original Canadian movies of the year. An ode to the courageous miners who work underground across Canada, it is surprising that no major Canadian film has ever been set in such an inherently dramatic and authentically Canadian setting. Written and directed by Sophie Dupuis, who graced WFF in 2018 with her Oscar submitted feature CHIEN DE GARDE, this film also has its sensitivities firmly planted in Quebec’s hard-scrabble working class realities.
Giffoni Film Festival
A mining disaster has occurred in the Val d’Or region, and five miners have not emerged from the collapsed rubble. Maxime is a troubled man, who summons the courage within himself to go in and try to save his trapped friends. The characterizations are rich and authentic across the board. We knew Dupuis was great at working class characterizations and conflicts, but here she takes on the exigencies of a minor disaster movie with aplomb and considerable conviction. Despite a limited budget, the mine collapse scenes are directed with a verve that rivals Hollywood. A story of courage and self-discovery, this is definitely one of the best Canadian films of the year.
“…a beautiful coming-of-age drama that you should watch… through the story of the teens, it feels like the film writes itself…it is the story of freedom that all teens seek. ****” Ishita Mishtra, High on Films Berlin Film Festival
Dec. 20 - Dec. 31
Dec. 5 - Dec. 31
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CANADIAN VANGUARD WORLD PREMIERE
ENGLISH CANADIAN PREMIERE
IN HER CITY
YOU WILL REMEMBER ME
Canada | 2020 | 81 minutes Director: Carl Bessai Producers: Carl Bessai, Laura Lightbown Written By: Carl Bessai Cast: Jada Rifkin, Alexa Banton, Nat Bushnik, Maeve Mayfield, Alexandria Lior, Alexa Rambarran, Yalda Homayoun, Stephanie Gong, Maddy Murden, Ellie Sanchez, Molly Robbins, Joelle Peters, Zoe Oliver, Fernanda Moya, Lory Mpiana, Nicole Rieko, Dakota Ray Hebert Cinematographer: Carl Bessai, Jay Fox
Regular WFF contributor BC filmmaker Carl Bessai has been experimenting with storytelling form and structure ever since his first film JOHNNY (1999), about squeegee kids in Toronto. In film after film like MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS, FATHERS & SONS, and SISTERS & BROTHERS, Bessai has been approaching a short story perspective where improvisation and pointed character unveiling have made working on his films an actor’s dream. But here,he has outdone himself. Bessai introduces the stories of seventeen young women in their twenties living in three cities: Toronto, Los Angeles and New York City. He is a master on how to get right into a story with no fuss or mess. The stories reflect the diversity and challenges that women of various ethnic backgrounds have to deal with. For example, an immigrant woman in New York whose mother insists passionately that she must become a doctor because that is why Mom has sacrificed her life. The film cleverly flits from one recognizable young female character to another, such as Izzy, who lives her life online, or Soreya who meets with a director (cameo by Bessai himself) looking for a job. In fact, it is a measure of the power of these short stories, that at least five or six storylines cry out for a feature film of their own. Bessai has created seventeen mini-movies for the price of one, and a rare film that cares to dive into the concerns of the young women of today with empathy and humour. With all stories developed directly with the actors portraying them, he gives voice to a new generation. IN HER CITY is Bessai at his experimental best.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 16 - Dec. 31
TU TE SOUVIENDRAS DE MOI Canada | 2020 | 108 minutes In Frech with English Subtitles Director: Éric Tessier Producer: Christian Larouche Written By: Eric Tessier, François Archambault Cast: Rémy Girard, Karelle Tremblay, France Castel, Julie Le Breton, David Boutin Distributor: Les Films Opale Production Company: Christal Films Productions Cinematographer: Pierre Gill Editor: Jean-François Bergeron Composer: Martin Léon Production Designer: Danielle Labrie
Originally scheduled to be released last March, but delayed due to theatre closings in Quebec, this is character actor Rémy Girard’s crowning achievement. One of Quebec’s most beloved screen icons, Girard has been a ubiquitous presence in most of the homegrown French- language films that have gotten the attention of English Canada: THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, DE PÈRE EN FLIC, INCENDIES, LES BOYS, LA FLORIDA, JESUS OF MONTREAL, THE RED VIOLIN, and the list goes on. Here Girard plays an arrogant university professor by the name of Edouard Beauchemin. An opinionated and judgemental academic, his character could well have been transported into the future from the ensemble cast of Denys Arcand’s seminal DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE. Only now the professor has become even more insufferable to those around him as he is battling some form of dementia. His wife leaves him, and he is put in the care of his daughter’s boyfriend’s daughter, who is not terribly impressed or deferential to an old guy that seems to live in another world.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 11 - Dec. 31
A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL United States | 2020 | 88 minutes In English & Chinese with English Subtitles
FILMS FROM AWAY Featuring a fine collection of American indie and international films specially curated for maximum appeal and extreme topicality.
Director: Aimee Long Producer: Daniel Langa, Aimee Long Written By: Aimee Long Cast: Kenny Leu, Ciara Renee, Tzi Ma, Fiona Fu, Lynn Chen, Clifton Davis Production Company: Kings Road Pictures Cinematographer: Alexander Chinnici Editor: Michael Fay, Ian Blume Production Designer: Rocio Gimenez Composer: Jon Monroe
Inspired by a true event, this is a balanced account of an Asian American police officer who accidentally discharges his weapon during an investigation, killing a black teenager through an apartment wall. The case quickly spirals out of control as Black Lives Matter and other organizations pounce on the incident as yet another example of police racial bias. His fellow cops and unions initially tell him that there is nothing to worry about, but the politics take on a life of their own, and he is soon left to his own devices. His own fiancée is an African American woman, so presumably he cannot be racist. But his reluctance to involve her in the case and use her as part of a PR defense unleashes a series of mishandled opportunities for him to defend himself. At first the film seems to play as a very sympathetic view of the men in blue. But the dramatic ending may lead to a rethinking of how A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL views very complex matters of law enforcement. Balanced and thoughtful, this very topical American Indie film tries to show various sides of the ongoing conflict between the men in blue and people of colour. Vancouver’s Tzi Ma does a great job as Officer Mike’s father, a man who doesn’t believe in bucking the system. Aimee Long’s first feature should generate vigorous debate on both sides of the polarizing police systemic bias issue.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 13 - Dec. 31
FILMS FROM AWAY CANADIAN PREMIERE
HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM
United States | 2020 | 81 minutes Director: Miguel Silveira Producer: Michael Stolnicki Written By: Michael Stolnicki, Miguel Silveira, Missy Hernandez Cast: Xisko Maximo Monroe, Khadim Diop, Ben Becher, Josefina Scaro Distributor: Film Movement Executive Producer: Mayra Auad, Aaron Scott Koen, Charles Martinez, Mario Peixoto Cinematographer: John Wakayama Carey Editor: Avram Dodson Distributor/Print Source: Film Movement
In the wake of the recent and controversial US election, this is a vital thriller torn from the headlines. It focuses on one level on a nefarious plot to use cyber-hacking as a means of stealing the 2016 election for the benefit of Donald Trump. But this film also takes to the streets, inserting its multiracial cast into actual demonstrations going on in New York at the time. In this regard, it is a rare film that recalls the trail-blazing Haskell Wexler classic MEDIUM COOL (1969), especially in the crackling energy that it conveys the very real danger that the cast was put in. Although you get the feeling that many of them would be protesting in the streets even without the movie. AMERICAN THIEF deals directly with the roots of the Black Lives Matter movement and shows obvious threats of potential police brutality against those disenfranchised protesters who are lining the streets to make their voices heard. From the â€œman in the vanâ€? dispensing anti-establishment pearls of wisdom online, to the teen hacker who is determined to avenge the police who killed his father. This is a multi-character thriller that grabs you by the throat and never lets go. But above all, this is an exciting American indie film, ignited by energy, talent and self-righteous indignation. Oldenburg Film Festival
United Kingdom | 2020 | 83 minutes Director: Edward Morris Producer: Polly du Plessis Written By: Edward Morris Cast: Ruby Barker, Lily Rose Aslandogdu Distributor: Festival Formula Composer: Nikolaj Torp Larsen Cinematographer: Ivan Bird
This is a wild romp British road movie. Faced with an upcoming separation following a bitter custody battle, an older sister kidnaps her hostile younger sibling in order to establish a sisterly connection before it is too late. The events occur over the course of a single weekend, but enough crazy incidents occur to fill up a lifetime. Things do not start off well, as the younger Kelly is stuffed in the trunk of a car while still wearing her pyjamas, and get stranger as they encounter various friendly and malevolent characters along the road. The screenplay is sophisticated, with a particularly astute ability to pick up on genuine middle-class exchanges between parents and their charges. The distraught parents soon involve the police in the search for their missing children, but the results are often just plain funny, as in trying to explain how a dildo they have never seen before ended up in their car. Ruby Baker (WOLFBLOOD) does an extraordinary job as the older sister Yakira in her first feature lead role. With her mane of long curly black hair and her brash and sassy attitude, she has an unforgettable screen presence. The film is just plain trippy at times, as many of the sequences have a dream-like visual quality, even while the scenes involving the parents seem like British kitchen-sink drama. With nuances of a British thriller and naturalistic drama, this debut feature from Edward Morris marks the arrival of a promising new directorial talent. Buffalo International Film Festival Nevada City Film Festival
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 4 - Dec. 31
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 8 - Dec. 31
FILMS FROM AWAY CANADIAN PREMIERE
SMALL TOWN WISCONSIN
Director: Niav Conty Producer: John J.A. Jannone, Niav Conty Written By: Niav Conty Cast: Audrey Grace Marshall, Kevin Loreque, Holter Graham, Dominique Johnson, Maria Hasen, Elissa Middleton, Jason Gratkowski Executive Producer: Ballibay Camps, Inc. Production Company: Broken Yolk Productions Cinematographer: Niav Conty Editor: Babak Rassi, Niav Conty Production Designer: Kate Rance Composer: john J.A. Jannone
Director: Niels Muller Producer: Scott Foley, Josh Rosenberg Written By: Jason Naczek Cast: David Sullivan, Kristen Johnston , Bill Heck Cinematographer: Nathaniel Goodman Editor: Tracy Adams Production Designer: Kelly Fallon
United States | 2020 | 104 minutes
This tragic story is a beautifully shot but disturbing look at growing up innocent in a world of rural American drug addicts. Shot over a three-year period in Pennsylvania with many locals mixed in with the professional actors, it follows communities torn apart by a legacy of pharmaceutical opioid over-prescription. Audrey Grace Marshall (who may remind you of a young Elle Fanning) gives an extraordinary performance as ten-year-old Emma. Emma is surrounded by addicted adults, not necessarily malicious towards her, but rather oblivious, neglectful, and self-involved, lost in their own black holes of opioid dependency. SMALL TIME is about childhood, family, and the role models around us. Stubborn patriotism, dogmatic faith, and the sexualization of young women are all themes that swirl around in this unforgettable movie. Director Niav Conty frequently works as a DOP on other people’s projects, so this film is breathtakingly shot. In fact, Emma could be growing up in the Garden of Eden were it not for the snake of drug addiction that is shredding the community around her. Emma goes off to do a favour and score some drugs from a sleaze-ball in a diner. She had been playing in makeup beforehand and went out looking somewhat older than her years. As the dealer hands her the stash he looks at her lasciviously and says “I’m interested”. She replies, genuinely not getting it: “Interested in what?” Your heart goes out to her. How long can innocence prevail when you are being raised in a moral swamp?
United States | 2020 | 110 minutes
Wayne is a fun-loving, heavy-drinking small-town goof who never grew up. The problem is that he has a nine-year-old son, Tyler. He is about to lose him after a custody battle following which Tyler and his Mom are planning to relocate far away from Wisconsin. So, Wayne lies to his ex and takes off with his son for an adventure in the big city of Milwaukee, something they have been saying they will do for much of their lives. But, Wayne is ill equipped to handle the big city, and ends up passed out cold even before he and his son can find a motel room for the night. A friend intervenes and the runaway father-son team end up camping out at his sister Alicia’s place. There, an attempted comic intervention gives new meaning to the word family cares. We have seen other films about perpetual adolescents who refuse to grow up, but this one has heart. Wayne’s love for his son is palpable through all the goofball hijinks, and the road to redemption is paved in the good intentions that only a loving but flawed father can have for his son. Director Niels Mueller is actually from Wisconsin, and is best known for his 2004 feature THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Joining him as executive producer is Alexander Payne known for SIDEWAYS, NEBRASKA, ELECTION and THE DESCENDANTS. Sarajevo Film Festival Boston Film Festival
Cinequest Film Festival
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 19 - Dec. 31
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 7 - Dec. 31
FILMS FROM AWAY NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
THE WHISPER OF SILENCE EL SUSPIRO DEL SILENCIO El Salvador, Canada, Columbia 2020 | 80 minutes In Spanish with English Subtitles Director: Alfonso Quijada Producer: Andy Hodgson Written By: Alfonso Quijada Cast: Laura Osma, Fernando Gaviria, Juan Carlos Velis, Emy Mena Production Company: Red Castle Films Cinematographer: Andy Hodgson Executive Producer: Adolfo Salume ArtiĂąano, Jose Robles Composer: Daniel Velasco
Josefina Moreno has been working in the coffee fields of Central America since the age of ten. Over the years, she has developed an olfactory expertise that allows her to evaluate and appreciate coffee beans with precision. This has come in handy as she has grown up within the industry. Now that she is 18, she is coveted, acting as a coffee taster in coffee bean competitions and sought out by coffee companies to work on their behalf identifying the best beans for cultivation and export. Anyone who has ever enjoyed inhaling the inspiring aroma of a fine cup of java in the morning will love the sights and sounds of this movie. The film is lush and beautiful, despite the underlying poverty of many of the natives. But a snake is in this Garden of Eden, in the form of toxic masculinity. It threatens Josefina when she is most poised for greatness in her field. This is an artful evocation of a world that we have rarely seen on film, and a reminder that evil is malevolent, and can even be found in the lush coffee fields of Latin America. Co-producer Andy Hodgson is a WFF alumnus from 2018, when he presented his film WOODLAND, which was set on an island in the Pacific Northwest, while THE WHISPER OF SILENCE is quite a world away.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 16 - Dec. 31
DOC BLOC CANADIAN PREMIERE
DOC BLOC Exploring the off-beat and shining a light on stories and cultural issues with courageous viewpoints and a deeprooted desire to explore, these thought-provoking documentary features capture the human spirit in its many guises and often challenge us to look at our world from a new perspective.
CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MACGOWAN United Kingdom | 2020 | 124 minutes
Director: Julien Temple Producer: Johnny Depp, Stephen Deuters, Stephen Malit Written By: Julien Temple Cast: Shane MacGowan, Johnny Depp, Nick Cave Executive Producer: Jonathan Blanshay, Steven Lappin, Ciaran McNamara, Gerry O’Boyle, Damien O’Donohoe, Manish Patel, Dearbhla Regan, Sam Sarkar, Jeremy Thomas, Jan Younghusband Associate Producer: Victoria Mary Clarke Co-Producer: Patrick O’Neill Distributor/Print Source: Mongrel Media Composer: Jocelyn Campbell, Jc Carroll Cinematographer: Steve Organ Editor: Caroline Richards
If this is not one the greatest rock ‘n roll documentaries of all time, then it is certainly the best punk rock documentary of all time. And who better to deliver this raucous piece of in your face musical history than Julien Temple, the director of rock classics ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS with David Bowie and THE GREAT ROCK ‘N ROLL SWINDLE with The Sex Pistols? CROCK OF GOLD is the story of Shane MacGowan, composer and lead singer of The Pogues, an Irish punk rock/folk band that took British music by storm. Using archival footage, newsreel items and original animation, the film clearly lays out the backdrop for Shane’s musical inspirations: a deep love of Irish music fully grounded in the political ‘troubles’ of the times. The film features Johnny Depp, who serves as one of the producers of the film, interacting with the somewhat frail and still perpetually sodden MacGowan. Depp’s affection for creative outsiders remains unquestioned. You don’t have to be a fan of punk to thoroughly enjoy this roller coaster ride of a movie. “A riotous piece of storytelling (…) executed in a full-tilt, hell-forleather manner recalling the frenzy of the Pogues’ performances.” Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily San Sebastian Film Festival (Winner: Special Jury Prize)
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 8 - Dec. 31
DOC BLOC WORLD PREMIERE
Canada | 2020 | 95 minutes Director: Sean Patrick Shaul, Kayvon Saremi Producer: Uwe Boll Written By: Sean Patrick Shaul Cast: Gil Kerlikowske, Donald MacPherson, Sarah Blyth, Susan Alexman, Kyle Anderson, Jeff Allison, Dr. João Goulao, Dr. Nuno Capaz, Pete Fry, Mike Harcourt, Terry Lake, Travis Lupic, Sam Sullivan, Mo Tarmohamed, Dr. Mark Tyndall Cinematographer: Dan Barham
An insider’s guide to life in the streets of drug-ravaged East Vancouver, THE DECLINE actually points to something that is surprising for people who don’t live in Vancouver but have visited or heard of the opioid crisis ravaging the city. The fact is that there are activists and residents who are actively working to get the government to pay better attention to the area’s problems. Users are interviewed, some of them quite lucid when it comes to the possible outcomes of the choices they are making. As the film points out, surprisingly, there is a sense of community in the neighbourhood. THE DECLINE explicitly argues that what is going on now is a systemic failure in the supply chain. Street drugs are being poisoned by fentanyl, which is leading to increasing numbers of overdoses. This only adds to the urgency of having governments look into supplying addicts with clean drugs to keep them safe, a policy that most people in power abhor. The film is not just about Vancouver of course. While the treatment of West Coast drug users is probably measurably ahead of that in other jurisdictions, the problems with the current iteration of extra-lethal street drugs has applications in every major city and many small towns right across Canada. THE DECLINE will have you thinking about what can be done. Co-director Sean Patrick Shaul presented F*** YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORY at WFF18. Uwe Boll serves as a producer on this film.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 13 - Dec. 31
United States | 2020 | 105 minutes In English, Italian, Arabic with English Subtitles Directed, Written, Edited and Produced by: Elisabeth Haviland James, Revere La Noue Cast: Lauren McGough, Giovanni Granati, Khalifa bin Mujren Executive Producer: Amy Tiemann, Michael Tiemann, Christopher Behlau, Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Production Company: The Falconbridge Collection Cinematographer: Benjamin Pritchard Composer: Hugo de Chaire Co-Producer: Christopher Behlau Distributor/Print Source: Cargo Film & Releasing
Hold your breath at the sheer beauty of the lands and the birds as we travel across four continents. We meet an eagle hunter, a hawk whisperer and a falcon racer, all purveyors of an ancient art that is disappearing as a way of life despite the passing down of traditions from generation to generation. Italy, Dubai, the United States and South Africa are amongst the locations where these birds of prey lovers ply their skills. In Dubai, we meet Khalifa Bin Murjen, a man so determined to keep winning competitive falcon races, he’s on a constant search for ways to give his bird a slight millisecond advantage. In Italy, a solitary Giovanni Granati seems to use interactions with his predatory companions as an opportunity to heal himself. And in the US, Lauren McGough is determined to find a way to earn a living that would allow her to devote her time to the eagles she loves, especially helping injured birds to recover from man-made accidents. At first glance, none of these three people would seem to have much in common. But they are all devoted to carrying on the traditions of their forefathers, and working to establish that special relationship between man and bird. Don’t miss this one. It’s definitely the most stunningly photographed entry in this year’s WFF. North Carolina based husband/wife Directing team includes Elisabeth Haviland James, an award-winning director and editor and visual artist Revere La Noue. OVERLAND is his first feature film.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 14 - Dec. 31
DOC BLOC WORLD PREMIERE
NATIONAL FESTIVAL VOD PREMIERE
THE PAPER MAN
LAFORTUNE EN PAPIER Canada | 2020 | 79 minutes In French with English Subtitles Director: Tanya Lapointe Producer: Tanya Lapointe, Marika Lapointe Written By: Tanya Lapointe Cast: Claude Lafortune Cinematographer: Hugo Dufort-Proulx Editor: Hugo Dufort-Proulx Composer: Viviane Audet, Robin Joël Cool, Alexis Martin Production Company: Les productions sur le toit inc. (PSLT)
An affectionate biography of 83 year-old Claude Lafortune, a pioneer of Quebec children’s television, and an accomplished folk artist, working in a medium that he called “paper sculpture”. Deeply catholic in his beliefs, Mr. Lafortune made broadcast history with his two TV specials, THE GOSPEL IN PAPER (1975) and THE BIBLE IN PAPER (1976), which used paper sculptures to illustrate classic stories from the bible. He went on to host a variety of children’s shows over the years, often with a focus on handicapped children, or children with serious medical conditions. In that sense, he was Canada’s own version of Mr. Rogers. But, as this film clearly sets out to demonstrate, Lafortune was much more than a children’s television show host. The paper sculptures that he created for his shows and for other occasions are now widely considered to be genuine works of art, their expressiveness rivaling that of more permanent methods of sculpture. His work was first exhibited at the Musée des cultures du monde in Nicolet, Quebec, and this film shows how his dream of exhibiting and being taken seriously as a folk artist in his native Montreal finally came true in the last years of his life. The exhibit has travelled extensively in Quebec and in New Brunswick, but his inspiring and original work is virtually unknown outside of Quebec, and that’s a shame. Claude Lafortune died in April of this year after contracting COVID-19. You will simply adore spending time with this gentle, compassionate and truly humble artist.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 10 - Dec. 31
United States, Turkey | 2019 | 73 minutes In Turkish with English Subtitles Director, Writer, Editor: Elizabeth Lo Producer: Shane Boris Executive Producer: Ina Fichman Co-Producer: Ceylan Carhoglu, Zeynep Köprülü Sound Designer: Ernst Karel Composer: Ali Helnwein Cinematographer: Elizabeth Lo Distributor/Print Source: Mongrel Media
In 2017, a film called KEDI (NINE LIVES: CATS IN ISTANBUL) became a surprise hit on the Canadian rep cinema circuit. Using amazing new technology with micro-cameras around and sometimes attached to the cats, it provided a feline’s view of living as a stray in the animal friendly city of Istanbul. STRAY is the canine follow-up to that extraordinary hit. To refer to it as any sort of sequel is to diminish its quality. True, it uses the same point of view camera techniques and is set in the same city as KEDI, but a dog’s life is definitely more of a struggle. Our hero, a large brown-eyed mutt with a slight limp named Zeytin has to fight it out with other street dogs for bones and scraps, and there is a lot more territoriality being tousled over. A human parallel is evoked as Zeytin finds his best resting place at night is in an abandoned tenement populated by teenage glue-sniffing refugees. The film’s main focus however is not social issues, instead it is about the struggle for survival and the inherent nobility of this beautiful abandoned creature. STRAY won the Best International Feature Documentary award at this year’s Hot Docs Film Festival, but rights were not available for the film to be shown online at that time. We are pleased to present STRAY in its first national festival VOD window in Canada. It is a film dog-lovers will not want to miss. “Lo’s compassionate and playful approach marks an auspicious feature directorial debut.” Pat Mullen, POV Tribeca Film Festival Hot Docs Film Festival (Winner Best International Feature)
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 2 - Dec. 31
Cong gratulation ns entrants s, participants, and the t entire WFF zation. Prroducing the organiz Whistler Film F Festiival this year y is an achiev vement to o be partic cularly proud of.
NEW VOICES WORLD PREMIERE
ALL-IN MADONNA Canada | 2020 | 87 minutes
NEW VOICES Presenting quality first and second features from the most promising of emerging filmmakers, these new voices will form the vanguard of the next generation of Canadian storytellers.
Director: Arnold Lim Producer: Ana de Lara Written By: Susie Winters Cast: Melanie Rose Wilson, Adam Lolacher, Celine Stubel, Jacki Gunn, James Dean, Arabella Costello, James Hutson Executive Producer: Robin Chan Production Company: Blue Lake Films LTD Cinematographer: Daniel Carruthers Editor: Daniel Martin, Arnold Lim, Ana de Lara
Maddie is a seventeen year-old teenager who has been homeschooled since childhood. Maddie has been raised with her younger sister by a rather hard-edged father Paul in a remote rural area in a rainforest. When she insists that the time has come to attend public school and make friends, she finds that her father’s warnings that it will not be so easy start to make sense. The community seems to have a rather negative view of Maddie’s family, and seems to believe that Paul has been involved in a murder. Maddie is forced to look at her father in a whole new way, and must reconcile the man she thought she knew with the man that he might well be. Lead actress Melanie Rose Wilson is definitely a rising young talent to watch, as the film relies on her gradual awakening to the truths about the adults that have surrounded her. This is Korean-Canadian director Arnold Lim’s first full-length feature after completing a number of shorts over the years. His short “Cameraman” played at WFF in 2014, and ALL-IN MADONNA is an expanded version of a short he made a few years ago. Lim is a recipient of the Telefilm Talent Fund, and we are proud to present the World Premiere of this moving coming-of-age story
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 9 - Dec. 31
NEW VOICES WORLD PREMIERE
AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO HIGH SCHOOL
Canada | 2020 | 74 minutes
Director: Sophie Harvey Producer: Laura Good Written By: Sophie Harvey, Rachel Talalay Cast: Julia Stone, Raven Brooks, Dominic Chan, Hannah Dubois, Vivan Full, Charles Haycock, Laine MacNeil, Donnie MacNeil, Liam Ritchie, Tyler Ritchie, Sam Schimmer, Lucy Talalay, Julie Tao, Krista Magnusson Executive Producer: Rachel Talalay Production Company: Marakanda Entertainment Inc Cinematographer: Avery Holliday Editor: Kelvin Tseng, Chadderton Thornton, Rachel Talalay, Liam Sherriff
A very funny fast-paced first feature from Sophie Harvey, WFF almuna producer Rachel Talalay’s daughter. The film takes a very funny look at a six week course offered in American high schools to help students prepare for their SAT tests. Former WFF Star to Watch Julia Sarah Stone plays Ava, a very introverted girl who suffers through high school more intensely than most. The film has been largely improvised, and was inspired by the director’s own hellish experiences in high school. In fact, upon graduating at the age of seventeen, it has been Sophie’s intention to make a comedy about scholastic institutions’ inability to adapt to the needs of less outgoing students. It has taken her six years to realize her dream with this, her first film. Many people collaborated on this comic improvisation film, including singer Lucia Fasano, puppeteer Valerie Meiss and standup comic KC Novak. A diverse cast makes up the bulk of the student body and is a source of some laughs, as the vacuous blonde goddess can’t figure out why her boyfriend dumped her for a rich Asian girl, one whose definition of the perfect man is someone “who will carry my shopping bags”. Mean girls, popular girls, shy girls, and the goofus guys who pursue them are all part of the horrors of high school, as told from a storyteller that has experienced angst in the hallways herself, not that many years ago. A fresh take on familiar comic turf is the result.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 15 - Dec. 31
Canada | 2020 | 100 minutes Director: Virginia Abramovich Producer: Alex Jordan, Virginia Abramovich Written By: Katherine Andrews, Virginia Abramovich Cast: Fiona Graham, Luke Robinson, Sebastian Deery, Stacey Bernstein Distributor/Print Source: Vortex Pictures Associate Producer: Jorge Contras Executive Producer: Susan Curran Cinematographer: Jason Webber Editor: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux
Director Virginia Abramovich is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s First Films directing residency. For her first full-length dramatic feature, she has taken on a most challenging and difficult genre: a sci-fi romance. Jamie, a female photographer, is missing her boyfriend Isaac, who is presumed dead. Except that he keeps showing up in her visions, entreating her to join him in some sort of parallel universe. She travels to the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores in order to explore a possible cross over. Interestingly, and increasingly commonly in Canadian films, this is a multi-racial romance, which is never mentioned as an issue at any time. Isaac was a nuclear physicist, so his dreamlike entreaties for Jamie to come join him may be more than mere longing for a departed one. As Jamie visits the island and takes stock of how she got there, she begins to suspect that she may have been more complicit in her lover’s vanishing than she had perhaps realized. The cinematography is stunning as the film was shot on over thirty-five locations spanning two continents. The whole concept of a multiverse that may exist as a direct result of our choices is a fascinating one. Is a character like this functioning in an enlightened realm, or are they just mentally deranged? And what’s love got to do with it? This is a cerebral, fast-paced science fiction story, with romantic longing at its core. One of the most original first-time features at this year’s WFF.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 12 - Dec. 31
NEW VOICES WORLD PREMIERE
WESTERN CANADIAN PREMIERE
INDIAN ROAD TRIP
Director, Writer: A.W. Hopkins Producer: A.W. Hopkins, Amy Fox, Ingo Lou Cast: Ajuawak Kapashesit, Paul Grenier, Dale Hunter, Evan Adams, Miika Whiskeyjack, Shayla Jade Stonechild, Nathaniel Arcand, Nathan Alexis, Jorydan White, Erin Higginbottom , Kindall Charters Distributor: Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Executive Producer: Andrew Currie Production Company: Trembling Void Cinematographer: Vincent De Paula Editor: Jeffery Lando
Director: Ruth Lawrence Producer: Jennifer Hawley Written By: Emily Bridger Cast: Emily Bridger , Rhiannon Morgan, Marthe Bernard , Andy McQueen, Kyra Harper Distributor: Game Theory Films Executive Producer: Sherry White Cinematographer: Stephanie Weber Biron Editor: Kimberlee McTaggart
Canada | 2020 | 90 minutes
This is a comic tall-tale about two Indigenous con artists, forced to drive a cranky elder across the reserve so she can make peace with her dying sister. Along the way, they encounter what might be supernatural forces and a stash of stolen loot in a car seat from a wreck they come across. In the opening, cousins and best friends Hank and Cody set up road inspection stops on the way into the reserve. Here they dubiously extract money from frightened white tourists, inspired by a real-life stunt that the filmmakers used to pull growing up. This is a first-time feature with a goofy charm of its own from writer-/ director A.W. Hopkins, a member of the N’Quatqua and St’at’imc First Nations peoples. The film’s very distinct comic point of view stems from the Indigenous community’s sense of otherness, being seen as living outside the mainstream norm. It deals with First Nations poverty and lack of opportunity, but does so with humour and spirit. INDIAN ROAD TRIP has just as distinct a point of view, but makes its points while offering laugh-out-loud guffaws. The film was developed through WFF’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship first as a short in 2015 and then as a feature at WFF’s Screenwriters Lab in 2016, and was nominated for seven Leo Awards in B.C. in 2020. Its’ comic tone may remind you of the classics DANCE ME OUTSIDE and especially SMOKE SIGNALS.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 15 - Dec. 31
Canada | 2020 | 80 minutes
A common theme in Maritime cinema is the dysfunctional family getting together for some occasion in the town or rural area where they grew up in. This one, about three sisters getting together for a wedding, is different because it tells that story from an entirely female point of view as the writer, producer, director, and cast are all female. As a result, there is a delicacy of observation and compassion for the characters that is rarely found to the same degree in male-driven story-telling. Based on a play, the film tells the story of three sisters who suffered abandonment at a young age. Gwen (played by Emily Bridger) returns for her younger sister’s wedding in St. John’s Newfoundland. Janet, the younger sister who is getting married, tries to hide the family’s problems, while sibling Kay just creates chaos wherever she goes. Kay has a daughter, Billie, whom she doesn’t pay much attention to. Aunt Maureen is around, but mother is absent. The dynamic leads up to a hellish wedding reception. For these three sisters, unresolved conflicts, jealousies and secrets remain buried just beneath the surface. The three lead actresses not only play siblings on screen, but are reportedly best of friends in real life, which may account for their undeniable rapport. Most viewers, if they are honest, will recognize some part of themselves in this drama about a broken-up family struggling to reunite.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 12 - Dec. 31
NEW VOICES ENGLISH CANADIAN PREMIERE
Canada | 2020 | 81 minutes In French with English Subtitles
Director: Sam Flamont Producer: Dawn Bird Written By: Dustin Griffin Cast: Bryan Englund, Logan Mainil, Josh Strait, Matthew Wilson, Dawn Bird, George Grassick, Duane Leicht, Jason Truong, Micaele Johnson, Shawn Koch, Ron Anderson, Darren Zimmer, Bongani Musa, Omari Wilson, Geri Hack, Ryland Alexander, Shaun Salen, Jason Bryant, Angus Vincent, Devon Oman, Joey Reynolds Executive Producer: Lioz Bouganin Production Company: DBD Productions Inc. Cinematographer: Mohammad Daud Editor: Trevor Aikman
Director: Étienne Galloy, Christophe Levac Producer: Étienne Galloy, Nicolas Fontaine Written By: Étienne Galloy, Christophe Levac Cast: Rémi Goulet, Rose-Marie Perreault, Madani Tall, Anthony Therrien, Marguerite Bouchard Cinematographer: Fred Gervais-Dupuis Editor: Laurent Ouellette, Fred Gervais-Dupuis Production Designer: Maxime Normand Composer: Maxime Carpentier Distributor/Print Source: Les Films Opales
On his nineteenth birthday, Charlie decides to visit his cousin Noah in Chambly. He has been recovering from a wakeboarding accident and doesn’t know if he will ever be able to resume the sport he loves. He meets Juliette at the local marina, where wakeboarding is a popular sport. Constant reminders from his past abound, especially when an ex-wakeboarding rival shows up to remind him of his failings. Charlie spends the rest of his summer falling in love and summoning up the desire to overcome his mental blockage and resume his favourite sport. Writers and directors Etienne Galloy and Christophe Levac are amongst the youngest participants ever in Telefilm’s Emerging Talent program. They completed a five minute short together entitled TANDEM prior to receiving funding for their first feature, THE MARINA. They have both worked as actors in front of the camera in such films as JEUNE JULIETTE and AVANT QU’ON EXPLOSE. That may explain their ease with the actors in this film, who give natural, believable performances. This is an entertaining summer themed, slacker film for Canadian youth about to enter their 20s. Fantasia Film Festival New Filmmakers Festival from Middlebury, Vermont
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 3 - Dec. 31
Canada | 2020 | 86 minutes
Shot in Regina, and financed by the Telefilm Talent Fund, this is an astute first feature from Sam Flamont about a young man named Finn who is sent to a medium security prison for six months for killing a wounded deer. Finn is a quiet boy who likes to keep to himself, but there are some very scary fellows in the prison., including big hairy men who threaten the lives and the sexuality of their fellow inmates. Soon after arriving, Finn meets M, a charismatic inmate that Finn immediately bonds with, who shows him the ropes. Finn runs afoul of Tony, a violent predator who doesn’t take it kindly when Finn dares to ward off his advances. Shot in the square 1:33 ratio, MERCY is an old-fashioned guy-inprison movie that may recall SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION in the minds of some viewers.. The cast is multiracial, with Indigenous, black and Asian actors. In fact, producer Dawn Bird, with roots in Nelson, BC works as an Indigenous actor when not producing Regina based films for others. Shawn Koch who plays the scary Tony character actually made another movie this year with lead Logan Mainil called CAGEFIGHTER. With MERCY, there are frequent cutaways to open fields and scenes from Finn’s past, so the film does not feel overly claustrophobic given its subject matter. Finn’s search for inner peace culminates in a rousing indigenous song and dance ceremony. Like all good prison movies, MERCY is as much about the search for internal peace as for external liberation.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 11 - Dec. 31
NEW VOICES WESTERN CANADIAN PREMIERE
NATIONAL FESTIVAL VOD PREMIERE
STILL THE WATER
Canada | 2020 | 100 minutes Director: Susan Rodgers Producer: Rick Gibbs, Susan Rodgers Production Company: Susan Rodgers Cast: Ry Barrett, Colin Price, Christina McInulty, Spencer Graham, Sherri-Lee Pike Executive Producer: Nicolle Morrison Production Company: Mighty Ocean Film Inc. Cinematographer: Christopher Ball Editor: Mike Gallant Distributor/Print Source: IndieCan Entertainment
“Three young men from a dysfunctional family background reunite in Malpeque, Prince Edward Island dredging up unresolved issues from the past. Jordie is a semi-pro hockey player who got fired from his team, presumably for fighting, and returns aimlessly to his hometown. He is the prodigal son with anger and resentment issues that have eaten away at his adult self. Jordie meets his brothers Nicky and Noah, and an ailing alcoholic father, who abused the family growing up. His brothers seem to have made more peace with their shared past, but Jordie just can’t seem to move on. The performances ring true, and the film captures the local colour of the community with a rich and observant eye. The cinematography reveals the truly breath-taking beauty of PEI. A morning shot of lobster fishing boats taking off into the fiery rising sun, as loved ones wave them off in silhouette on the shore, is simply breathtaking. It is a classic tourist image of everything we hold as quaint and beautiful about the Maritimes, and it places the characters within a very specific dramatic setting. A very accomplished first feature from writer/director, Susan Rodgers. “The characters are rich, their interactions human. And the film, in many ways, insightful…It will make waves. And if you’re not ready, your heart is going to be swallowed up in its undertow. 4/5 stars.” Jordan Parker, Parker and the Picture Shows
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 3 - Dec. 31
Canada | 2020 | 83 minutes In English, French, Cree with English & French Subtitles Director: Joshua Demers Producer: Shannon Fewster Written By: Gail Maurice, Xavier Yuvens, Joshua Demers Cast: Gail Maurice, Alison Louder, Xavier Yuvens, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Daniel Gravelle, Alexandre Côté, Mélanie Bray, Voytek Skrzeta, Indy Saluja Executive Producer: Daniel Morin, Avi Federgreen Production Company: Coconut Effect Productions Inc. Cinematographer: Elisa L. Iannacone Editor: Joshua Demers Distributor/Print Source: IndieCan Entertainment
What a hilarious conceit for a political satire! Under the pretext of having a vaguely worded referendum on a pipeline passing through Quebec, the Legault government quickly declares that the referendum was also on sovereignty, and declares Quebec an independent nation. There are enough sympathizers within the Canadian Army that they break off and form an Independent Quebec Army. Canadian Forces send in a contingent to confront them on an isolated road dividing Quebec from New Brunswick. What ensues is a rather hilarious confrontation between the two solitudes who don’t really have it within them to raise arms against fellow former countrymen. However, they are not above hurling a few choice epithets at each other, fully multi-lingual of course. Things get really complicated with the addition of two Indigenous women who are in the habit of crossing that border point frequently. The film eloquently summarizes the totality of Canadian political history in one little microcosm. This is indeed the first truly multi-lingual feature film to cross our paths since BON COP, BAD COP, and in the true spirit in which the film is intended, viewers will be able to stream the English version (English subtitles on spoken French/Cree) or the French version (French subtitles on spoken English/Cree). Shot on a micro-budget of $125,000, this is a labour of love from co-writer and director Joshua Demers, who was part of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 6 - Dec. 31
The WFF Content Summit presents a snapshot of the most transformative ideas shaping the future of screen entertainment and creates an inclusive environment for industry professionals at every level to network, connect, and advance their careers. Across borders, on any platform, WFF connects storytellers to dealmakers.
Featuring more than 36 regularly-scheduled sessions over three weeks, industry delegates will have access to high-level keynote presentations, workshops and moderated discussions on topics that range from finance, marketing, distribution, gender and inclusion to co-production, and the art and craft behind the screen. The Content Summit will also feature WFF’s Power Pitch Competition with participants competing for a $36,000 producer prize package as well as networking events including morning Coffee Talks, weekly Après events and 1+1 Market Meetings round out the experience.
This year’s Content Summit is taking place exclusively online and available world-wide for the first time. From December 1 to 20, the Whistler Film Festival Content Summit welcomes over 100 established industry leaders and content creators to our virtual mountain home to discover, network, and explore the ideas and actions shaping our new reality. From the global pandemic to calls for social action, along with policy changes in the Canadian media landscape, 2020 is a transformative year for the screen-based industry. Here’s your chance to keep your finger on the pulse and get a look at what the future holds.
Additional industry guests featured in WFF’s Content Summit will be announced in the coming weeks. Sign up for the Power Pitch Workshop, Coffee Talks and 1+1 meetings with industry executives will be available for Industry Pass holders with demonstrated industry experience effective November 19. Discover more. Go to the Content Summit Schedule and Industry Guests on our website.
CONTENT SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS:
CONTENT SUMMIT SCHEDULE
KEYNOTE CONVERSATIONS: Featuring inspired thinkers and speakers covering a range of compelling topics, experience these powerful presentations by diverse visionaries from the ever-evolving worlds of the cultural industries are a cornerstone of the WFF Content Summit.
MASTERCLASSES & CASE STUDIES: Go deep into the experiences of the experts and learn from the best with enlightened masterclasses and case studies that take you where you haven’t gone before. Join us for documentary and co-production case studies, an editing masterclass, and more. PANEL SESSIONS: Don’t miss this slate of lively, moderated discussions that feature industry pros sharing different perspectives and opinions on topics from international co-production to how to maximize your IP. PITCH WORKSHOP*: LA-based industry veteran and pitch master, Carole Kirschner, will direct participants on the ins and outs of how to successfully pitch their projects for success with a focus on pitching online. * Pre-registration is required and access is limited. Sign up begins November 19. Additional for pass holders.
NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES: * Pre-registration is required and access is limited. Sign up begins November 19. 1+1 MARKET MEETINGS*: 1+1 meetings allow you to get in front of industry executives and decision-makers, seek inspiration, and find opportunities to collaborate across a wide range of industries, interests, and groups. COFFEE TALK*: Is there a question that’s been bugging you, or an area of the business you’d like to know more about? Join us for intimate coffee chats that bring industry experts together with WFF attendees for informal and enlightening discussions. Whether it’s working with broadcasters, gap financing, business affairs, or how to get that shot, industry insiders will share their insights and advice over a cuppa joe for some early morning inspiration. APRÉS RECEPTIONS: Cap off the week with a lively virtual Après each week during the fest. Mix and mingle with industry insiders and fellow delegates in designated meeting rooms. You never know who you’ll meet! BYOB. CONNECT: Use the virtual Industry Hub to network with other guests and find your perfect production partner.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1 9:00AM - 10:00AM | THE NEW CREATIVE ECONOMY Sponsored by:
With an unprecedented global pandemic nipping at our heels, where do we go from here? How do we strategize for future prosperity with so many unknowns looming before us? In this content rich culture, can we predict what audiences will watch? From equity to sustainability, to employment security, our industry is rethinking the way we make content, for whom, and where they are watching it. In this inspiring discussion, we’ll hear from forward thinkers about the big picture view of the unique challenges and opportunities facing the media and arts sector, across Canada and beyond. MODERATOR: Prem Gill - CEO, Creative BC GUESTS: Valerie Creighton - CEO, Canada Media Fund • Brenda Gilbert - Co-Founder and President, BRON Media Corp • Gave Lindo - Director of Content Programming Canada, TikTok • Jesse Wente - Chair, Canada Council, and Executive Director, Indigenous Screen Office
10:00AM – 1:30PM | WORKSHOP: PERFECTING YOUR PITCH* Sponsored by:
Join Power Pitch finalists for a workshop and training under the direction of LA-based industry veteran and pitch master, Carole Kirschner, former development executive at CBS and VP of Steven Spielberg’s first Amblin Entertainment Television. Kirschner will direct participants on the ins and outs of how to successfully pitch their projects for success with a focus on pitching online. FACILITATOR: Carole Kirschner - Director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program & CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, and Entertainment Career Coach
PART 1: HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN PR STRATEGY Congratulations! You have a blazing hot project. That’s just the first thing you need to sell projects and/or get hired. In order to compete in the entertainment industry, you have to subtly “sell” yourself without being obvious or annoying the one thing most writers, producers and directors hate to do. This hands-on seminar helps you get over that feeling by giving you the tools to create your own personal PR strategy, so you can easily answer questions about: “What do you do?”; “Tell me about yourself”; and “What makes you memorable?”
PART 2: MASTERING THE PITCH WORKSHOP Because not all creators are great salespeople, pitching can be a challenge. Successful pitching is an art, but it can be learned. This part of the workshop will help demystify the process by teaching you, step-by-step, the essential elements of a successful pitch; what goes in it, how to structure it and how to present it for maximum impact. * Registration is required. Access is limited to 40 participants and not included with Industry passes. Workshop tickets will be available for sale to existing industry pass holders on November 19.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2
MODERATOR: Melanie Windle - Content Summit Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Christine Armstrong - Editor • Marie-Hélène L. Delorme - Composer • Lauren Grant - Producer • Jessica Jerome - Production Designer • Lori Lozinski - Producer • Kelly McCormack - Writer, Actor (Darren) • Wendy Morgan - Director
1:00PM - 2:00PM | DISTRIBUTION EVOLUTION PVOD, STREAMERS & DRIVE-INS. OH MY! Sponsored by: There is an accelerated evolution occurring in film and content distribution. With Premium VOD (PVOD) releases on the rise, and most theatres shuttered or operating at minimal capacity, what’s in store for producers and content creators? Are exclusive deals with rigid limitations becoming more flexible to compete with the streamers’ increasing demand for global rights? Get the insider scoop from these industry experts on the innovative ways they are delivering entertainment to audiences. We’ll dive into what home theatre looks like during the pandemic, the resurgence of drive-ins, and the trends that are going to reshape viewership and monetization for the foreseeable future. MODERATOR: Susan Boshcoff - General Manager, Animiki See International Distribution
GUESTS: John Bain - Head of Distribution, LevelFilm • Hilary Hart - Director of Distribution and Acquisitions, Game Theory • Naveen Prasad - Founder, Impossible Objects • Justin Rebelo - CEO, Vortex Media
* Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3
Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat.
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #APTN #LUMI
MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade, Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival
GUESTS: Zach Feldberg - Executive in Charge of Production, Digital Originals at CBC • Mehernaz Lentin - Senior Director, CBC Films / CBC Gem
* Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate.
9:00AM - 10:00AM | SPOTLIGHT ON: SUGAR DADDY
Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat.
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #CBC #GEM
In an acting tour de force, Kelly McCormack (writer/ lead actor) takes us on a darkly beautiful journey of self-discovery, survival, and finding her voice. In this very special presentation, we meet the stellar creative team that brought SUGAR DADDY to our screens and delve into the challenges of making this film, and why this story is important in today’s tumultuous times.
MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade - Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUEST: Karine Tremblay - Manager of OTT Programming, APTN
9:00AM - 10:00AM | CO-PRODUCING WITH LUXEMBOURG: A CASE STUDY
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4
Local stories, global reach. What’s the secret sauce and how do creators engage in the global marketplace now? As financing structures continue to shift, the co-production funding model is increasingly popular and successful. So what can be learned from similar experiences in Europe? In this dynamic conversation, hear from Luxembourg filmmaker Adolf El Assal as he embarks on his Canada/Luxembourg/ Egypt co-production, and gain a broader view of working with EURIMAGES, Film Fund Luxembourg, and Telefilm’s Treaty Co-Production program, with a look at how to make a co-production partnership sing.
WOMEN IN FOCUS: BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS TO MAKE MEDIA EQUITABLE
MODERATOR: Dennis Foon - Writer, SAWAH
GUESTS: Guy Daleiden - Managing Director, Film Fund Luxembourg • Adolf El Assal - Director/Producer, SAWAH • Roberto Olla - Executive Director, EURIMAGES • Marielle Poupelin International Business Development Specialist, Telefilm Canada
1:00PM - 2:00PM | MIND THE GAP - MANY PATHS TO FINANCING Sponsored by:
How did that project get financed? How did they get the green light?! In this candid chat, we tap into industry experts’ unique knowledge about how to get a project fully financed. With advice from producers, funders, financiers, and investors; find out what you need to attract attention to your project, the key role investors play, and how to bridge that inevitable gap. Learn what it takes to increase investor confidence and maximize your potential. MODERATOR: Michael Steinberg - Senior Account Manager, Creative Industries Group, National Bank GUESTS: Julie Bristow - Founder, Catalyst Content Fund • Trish Dolman - President, Screen Siren Pictures • Dina Subhani Co-Founder and COO, Bossa Nova Media
WFF’s Women in Focus series returns for 2020 to inspire ongoing dialogue and action in an environment that promotes networking, learning, and growth around the issues of gender, diversity, equity, and inclusion in media, both on-screen and behind the scenes. The series aligns several industry-wide mandates that share the goal of addressing the imbalance of diversity in film, television and digital media and supporting collaborative efforts to achieve a more accurate, gender-balanced, diverse portrayal of society. Marking its ongoing commitment to championing these issues in the industry, WFF continues to present this series featuring informative sessions, active workshops, mentorship programs and a keynote presentation that welcomes back special guest Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Chair of the Television Academy Foundation. The keynote will be followed by the Women in Focus industry session entitled TOOLS FOR OVERCOMING BIAS & AFFECTING SYSTEMIC CHANGE, followed by the workshop EMPOWERING EACH OTHER, TOGETHER. WFF’s Women in Focus series ties directly to three of its female-focused Talent Programs, including the WFF Women in Focus Mentorship; WFF WIFTV Market Preparation Mentorship; WIDC WFF Industry Immersion.
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #BELL MEDIA #CRAVE Sponsored by: * Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat. MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade, Talent Program Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Tory Jennings - Director of Programming, Bell Media Pay & SVOD • Gosia Kamela - Production Executive, Drama & Feature Film Original Programming, Bell Media
9:00AM - 9:45AM | WOMEN IN FOCUS - KEYNOTE: MADELINE DI NONNO - CEO, GEENA DAVIS INSTITUTE ON GENDER IN MEDIA Sponsored by:
11:00AM - 12:00PM | WOMEN IN FOCUS - PANEL: TOOLS FOR OVERCOMING BIAS & AFFECTING SYSTEMIC CHANGE “How are we willing to change to empower Black, Indigenous, and People Of Colour producers and creators of all genders, sexual identities, and disabilities in Canadian Film & TV?” That’s the premise of the Producers Pledge and other initiatives that seek to make media equitable. Anti-bias training, core funding, data collection, and making sure these conversations lead to concrete actions are essential next steps. Here’s a chance to discuss best practises for unpacking privilege and dismantling systemic barriers on-screen and behind the scenes and from different perspectives, to bring more context, nuance, and understanding to the work ahead. MODERATOR: Joan Jenkinson - Executive Director, Black Screen Office GUESTS: Grace Chin - Interim Managing Director, WIFTV • Samantha Kaine - Executive Director, Founder, Independent Media Producers Association of Creative Talent (IMPACT) • Liv Mendelsohn - Director, Accessibility and Inclusion Miles Nadal JCC, Artistic Director, ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto • Jhanik Bullard - Writer, Treasurer, BIPOC TV& Film
1:00PM - 3:30PM | WOMEN IN FOCUS WORKSHOP: EMPOWERING EACH OTHER, TOGETHER Supported by: KEYNOTE GUEST: Madeline Di Nonno - CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Join WFF’s talent program participants, faculty, and supporters as they gather for our annual Women in Focus Keynote presented by Madeline Di Nonno, CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Di Nonno, a guest at the 2018 fest, returns to speak about the Institute’s latest research on gender representation in media, what is being done to address it, and why making media equitable matters.She brings thirty years of successful international executive and strategic advisor leadership experience in entertainment, non-profit, digital, and consumer packaged goods industries, and now leads the Institute’s strategic direction, research, education, advocacy, financial and operational activities.
*Registration required. Open to industry pass holders. This interactive workshop offers industry a chance to gather virtually for a collaborative “4-D” experience of ‘Discovering’, ‘Dreaming’, and ‘Designing’ our ‘Destiny’. Looking through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion, we’ll examine key take-aways from 2020. Through a facilitated dialogue, participants will be invited to share their dreams for an empowering future. Collectively, we will co-design pathways to bring these dreams to reality through actionable goals. With an emphasis on peer-ship and empathetic communication, this workshop aims to refresh our individual and collective resolve to tackle 2021 with renewed energy, together. This engaged workshop will include polls and data gathering, breakout rooms, as well as viewing our top cultural institutions’ progress reports on gender and equity. FACILITATOR: Carol Whiteman - Co-Creator, Executive Producer, WIDC
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK
9:00AM - 4:00PM | 1+1 MARKET MEETINGS
Stay tuned for more information about registration and featured industry guests.
* Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat.
9:00AM - 10:00AM | THE CHANGEMAKERS - THE INDIGENOUS NEW WAVE In this dynamic conversation, we’ll hear from a group of award-winning creators, each whose work transcends the activism in its DNA. From an Indian Road Trip, to recent award winners and Stars to Watch, this Indigenous New Wave is unstoppable. Let’s celebrate and amplify each of these unique storytellers and their compelling offerings. MODERATOR: Shane Belcourt - Writer, Director, Producer GUESTS: Tracey Deer - Filmmaker, MOHAWK GIRLS, BEANS • Paul Grenier - Actor (Cody Kidd), INDIAN ROAD TRIP, STARS TO WATCH • A.W. Hopkins - Filmmaker, INDIAN ROAD TRIP • Alex Lazarowich - Filmmaker, FAST HORSE
1:00PM - 2:00PM | STORY & COLLABORATION WITH CARL BESSAI Canadian filmmaker and auteur, Carl Bessai, brings his unique and pioneering style of discovery to bear in his latest film, IN HER CITY. Bessai continues to draw stories with unexpected characters that delight audiences. In this inspiring conversation we’ll delve into Bessai’s unique process with his collaborators and why this tapestry of voices was needed to weave this fine tale. MODERATOR: Ingrid Veninger - Filmmaker GUESTS: Carl Bessai - Director • Stephanie Gong - Actor (Michelle) • Fernanda Moya - Actor (Fernanda) • Lory Mpiana - Actor (Adowa) • Maddy Murden - Actor (Maddy) • Rumbie Muzofa - Associate Producer
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8 9:00AM - 4:00PM | 1+1 MARKET MEETINGS Stay tuned for more information about registration and featured industry guests.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9 8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #DOCFUNDS Sponsored by: * Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat. MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade - Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Julian Carrington - Distribution Manager & Industry Programmer, Funds, Hot Docs • Monica Keen - Business Analyst, CMF Program Administrator • Lisa Valencia-Svensson - Acting Industry Programs Director, Hot Docs
9:00AM-10:00AM | DOC TALK: STORIES THAT HEAL The intermingling of art and storytelling can bring healing and exaltation. Thankfully, these beautiful and sometimes difficult stories have made their way to our screens, so that we may share in the revelry and poetry they bring. Join this eclectic group of documentarians programmed at this year’s festival, to learn about their process and insight in witnessing and sharing such fine art. MODERATOR: John Ritchie - President, John Ritchie Productions GUESTS: Alex Anna - Director, SCARS • Taylor Crowspreadshiswings - Director, HEALING BELLS (SOKINAA’ PASSKAAN AASSISSTOI) • Tanya Lapointe - Director, THE PAPER MAN (LAFORTUNE EN PAPIER) • Bruce Marchfelder - Director, A WINDWARD CALM
1:00PM - 2:00PM | INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY READY, SET, GO Sponsored by: Our industry’s understanding of IP and its value has grown exponentially lately, and extends from a producer’s IP strategy to government advocacy for funds and incentives, to finding a new story in a podcast or live stage play. In this prescient discussion, hear from Canadian innovators who will share their insight on IP procurement, development, and expansion. MODERATOR: Liz Shorten - Chief Operating Officer, CMPA GUESTS: Simon Barry - Showrunner, WARRIOR NUN • Tecca Crosby - Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs, Entertainment One • Erin Finlay - Partner, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP • Nicole Mendes - VP, Scripted Development, Lark Productions
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10
1:00PM - 2:00PM | SPOTLIGHT ON: DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN In this special presentation, meet the phenomenal creative team behind DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN. Hear about the nuts and bolts bringing this Irish / Canadian Treaty Co-Production to the big screen, being inspired by one of Canada’s most beloved poets, Leonard Cohen, and the intermingling of a mid-life crisis and terminal diagnosis, in Matt Bissonette’s hotly anticipated new film. MODERATOR: Janet Smith - Co-founder & Editorial Director, Stir Publishing Vancouver Inc. GUESTS: Matt Bissonnette - Director • Brian Gleeson - Actor (Ben O’Shea) • Corey Marr - Producer • Jessica Paré - Actor (Charlotte) • Karelle Tremblay - Actor (Josée)
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11 8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #FACTUAL Sponsored by:
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK Sponsored by: * Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat.
9:00AM - 10:00AM | ADAPT & THRIVE: BOOKS TO SCREEN The adaptation of books to screen is an ever growing facet of IP development. The benefits are undeniable. Not only can you tap into an already existing audience, but the underlying source material is often very rich. It’s a Win-Win. But what about the process of adaptation and how you bring words on a page into a visual storytelling format. In this energizing conversation, we’ll examine THE MARROW THIEVES, authored by Cherie Dimaline, and delve into how this group of creatives is approaching their formidable task. MODERATOR: Anna Archer - Literary Agent, Lucas Talent GUESTS: Cherie Dimaline - Author, MARROW THIEVES • Jennica Harper - Showrunner, MARROW THIEVES • Alex Raffe - Producer, MARROW THIEVES
* Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat. MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade - Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Tina Apostolopoulos - Production Executive, Original Programming, Factual and Reality, Bell Media • Jessica Schmiedchen - Executive in Charge of Development, CBC Unscripted Content
9:00AM-10:00AM | AIRING OUR SHORTS Short films are an essential part of the process of growing your profile and filmmaking skills. They can be a great way to win accolades and critical reviews, and are often used as a proof of concept on the long road to funding a feature film. But there is also an essential ability to explore and take risks inherently difficult, some might say impossible, in a feature film format. In today’s exciting panel discussion, we’ll hear from directors with shorts in this year’s festival, and some alums who go back to the short format, about the ongoing process of developing the filmmaker’s arsenal. MODERATOR: Kristyn Stilling - Senior Shorts Programmer, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Ashley Eakin - Director, SINGLE • Ali Liebert - Director, THE QUIETING • Guy Maddin - Director, THE RABBIT HUNTERS
10:30AM – 12:00PM : POWER PITCH COMPETITION
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK Sponsored by: The Power Pitch gives seven Canadian producers the opportunity to master the art of the pitch. The main event is a livepitch competition where finalists have six minutes to pitch their feature film to three senior executives, who will provide feedback on the quality and marketability of the projects presented, and select the winning project. The winner will be awarded a $36,000 grand prize package that includes a $25,000 post-production credit from Company 3, and a $1,000 cash prize plus a $10,000 lighting and grip production credit from William F. White International Inc. The winner also receives the opportunity to meet privately with each jury member to receive invaluable feedback and advice. FACILITATOR: Carole Kirschner - Director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program & CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, and Entertainment Career Coach JURY: Gosia Kamela - Production Executive, Drama & Feature Film Original Programming, Bell Media • Naveen Prasad - Co-Founder, Impossible Objects • Will Machin - Partner and CEO, Metro International Entertainment (UK)
1:00PM - 2:00PM | COMING OF AGE IN 2020 Coming of age in 2020 is a complicated kaleidoscope of experiences and points of view, woven together by universal truths. In this dynamic discussion we’ll gather a group of talented directors programmed @ WFF20, who explore the themes of youth and coming of age in their films. We’ll discover more about what drew them to these stories, as well as get an insider view of what it took to get these films made. MODERATOR: Paul Gratton - Director, Programming, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Niav Conty - Director, SMALL TIME • Étienne Galloy - Director, LA MARINA • Arnold Lim - Director, ALL-IN MADONNA • Miguel Silveira - Director, AMERICAN THIEF
* Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat.
9:00AM - 10:00AM | BEHIND CLOSED DOORS INSIDE THE WRITERS’ ROOM Sponsored by:
There are many steps to reaching the coveted “written by” credit on a hit show, and the key lies behind closed doors, in the writers room. In this candid chat, we’ll hear from Canadian scribes working in TV rooms on both sides of the border, who’ll share insight on what the future may hold for writing teams over zoom and in a room. MODERATOR: Manal Hammad - Television Agent, Verve Talent GUESTS: Sonja Bennett - Writer, KIM CONVENIENCE, FAMILY LAW • Katherine Collins - Writer, BLINDSPOT, LOST IN SPACE • Elan Mastai - Writer, THE F WORD, THIS IS US
1:00PM - 2:00PM | HORROR PEOPLE ARE THE NICEST PEOPLE We’ve seen how genre filmmaking not only allows for parables and metaphors but often can bring forth radical social commentary; infiltrating an audience’s psyche with unprecedented ease. Don’t miss this dynamic and sharp conversation with seminal filmmakers, Karen Lam, Danishka Esterhazy, and Nyla Innuksuk, who are pushing the boundaries in their communities and in their work. MODERATOR: Natasha Negovanlis - Writer, Host, Actress GUESTS: Danishka Esterhazy - Filmmaker, I WAS LORENA BOBBITT • Nyla Innuksuk - Filmmaker, SLASH/BACK • Karen Lam - Filmmaker, THE CURSE OF WILLOW SONG
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14 9:00AM - 4:00PM | 1+1 MARKET MEETINGS
1:00PM - 2:00PM | THE FUTURISTS - USING ANALYTICS AND DATA TO STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Stay tuned for more information about registration and featured industry guests.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15
From community building, to programming mandates, from removing barriers, to designing platform agnostic viewing, Data Analytics is a formidable force in discovering opportunity, understanding trends, and building meaningful audience experiences.
9:00AM - 4:00PM | 1+1 MARKET MEETINGS Stay tuned for more information about registration and featured industry guests.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16 8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #DGC-BC
Digital platforms have opened up a range of new and exciting opportunities for storytellers looking to make their mark. New models exist not only for distribution and financing but also for creating authentic connections between audiences and storytellers. Hear from the people who use analytics and audience development for success and discover how to get your project in front of the viewers you need to engage. MODERATOR: Deb Day - CEO, Innovate By Day
Sponsored by: * Space is limited. Registration opens November 19. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat. MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade - Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Zach Lipovsky - Director • Heather Hawthorn Doyle Director • Nimisha Mukerji - Director
9:00AM - 10:00AM | GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY GETS REEL The screen-based industry is facing a moment of reckoning and there has never been a better time to implement new sustainable practices. Calls for collective action to reduce the impact of the screen-based sector are sounding around the world. In this engaging discussion, experts in sustainable production practices will share their strategies, practical, and long-term solutions. Learn how to become a climate champion and green your production in a safe, cost-effective way.
GUESTS: Richard Koo - Senior Manager, Media Analytics, Canada Media Fund • Aron Levitz - Head of Wattpad Studios • Christina Litz - Vice President, Business Development, Revenue & Media at Woodbine Entertainment Group • Keegan McColl - Director of Business Development, Reelhouse Live
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17 8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK #NFB MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade - Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUEST: Shirley Vercruysse - Executive Producer, BC & Yukon Studio, National Film Board Sponsored by: Space is limited. Sign-up required. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat.
MODERATOR: John Galway - President, Harold Greenberg Fund GUESTS: Bassam Alasad - Co-Founder, Managing Director, Greener Screen • Clara George - VP, Studio & Sustainable Production Services, SIM International • David Hardy - Vice President, Sustainability & Stakeholder Affairs, William F. White International Inc. • Zena Harris - President, Green Spark Group
9:00AM - 10:00AM | SOUNDTRACKS THAT SOAR: THE COMPOSER’S CRAFT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18
Even with a great script, direction, and photography, a cookie-cutter soundtrack can sink an otherwise compelling movie. Don’t let this happen to you! Hear from composers programmed in the festival, whose soundtracks and music makes the story soar and elevate the films to a whole new level.
8:00AM – 8:45AM | COFFEE TALK: #REELHOUSELIVE
MODERATOR: Ari Wise - Agency Director and Owner, Core Music Agency GUESTS: Viviane Audet - Composer, THE PAPER MAN (LAFORTUNE EN PAPIER) • Robin-Joël Cool - Composer, THE PAPER MAN (LAFORTUNE EN PAPIER) • Hugo de Chaire - Composer, OVERLAND • Mathieu Charbonneau - Composer, GODDESS OF THE FIREFLIES (LA DÉESSE DES MOUCHES À FEU ) • Alexis Martin - Composer, THE PAPER MAN (LAFORTUNE EN PAPIER) • Stephen Rennicks - Composer, DEATH OF A LADIES MAN
1:00PM - 2:00PM | A NEW ERA OF SAFETY AND RESPECT Sponsored by: From intimacy coordinators and extensive Covid cleaning protocols, to medical professionals administering rapid tests and mental health check-ins. We hear from top industry line producers and union reps about these new roles designed to keep your cast and crew safe and healthy. Get your checklist ready and your budgeting software booted up, you’ll want to take notes about what is working and what isn’t, and boost your learning curve as you finance and prep your next project, with health and safety top of mind. MODERATOR: Anand Kanna - Manager, Motion Picture Programs and Services, Actsafe Safety Association GUESTS: Brian Dennis - Producer, WYNONNA EARP • Daryl Litke - Business Manager, ACFC West, Local 2020 Unifor • Lindsay Somers - Founder & CEO, Intimacy Coordinators Canada
Sponsored by: Space is limited. Sign-up required. Limit two sessions per delegate. Bring your coffee and spend some quality time with an industry mentor or key decision maker to start your day in a small group chat. MORNING HOST: Shelly Quade - Talent Labs Manager, Whistler Film Festival GUEST: Keegan McColl - Director of Business Development, REELHOUSE LIVE
9:00AM - 10:00AM | THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT - FUNDING FOR SHORTS Get to the point! Short films know how to do that. Funding for shorts may seem elusive, and yet there are some terrific funds and organizations that specialize in short form content. Check out this informative chat, and learn tips and tricks for your next application. Mark your calendars for those upcoming funding deadlines! MODERATOR: Kristyn Stilling - Senior Shorts Programmer, Whistler Film Festival GUESTS: Alan Bacchus - Program Manager, Harold Greenberg Fund • Neil Haverty - Senior Manager, MVP Project, Canadian Academy • Erin Mussolum - Co-Executive Director, Crazy8’s Film Society • Paige Murray - Executive in Charge of Productions, YA Digital Originals
1:00PM - 2:00PM | STORIES THAT TRAVEL Documentaries offer unique opportunities to share stories that travel across the world. The light footprint, small crew, and dedication of documentarians to their subjects have brought us a beautiful view into cultures, worlds, and problems that can remain in the dark. This is especially true in this inspiring discussion with documentarians who spent years travelling globally to bring us these two films; OVERLAND and STRAY. We’ll hear their journeys to highlighting our furry and feathered friends. MODERATOR: Ina Fichman - Chair, Documentary Organization Canada/Producer, STRAY GUESTS: Elisabeth Haviland James - Director, OVERLAND • Revere La Noue - Director, OVERLAND • Elizabeth Lo - Director, STRAY
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19 9:00AM - 10:00AM | MASTERCLASS: THE FINEST CUT WITH JULIAN CLARKE
Hilary Hart - Director of Distribution and Acquisitions, Game Theory Jackie Pardy - Chief Content Officer, Super Channel Jamie Brown - CEO & Executive Producer, Frantic Films Jessalyn Dennis - VP, Scripted, Seven24 John Bain - Head of Distribution, LevelFilm
Jordan Drage - Integral Artists Karen Tsang - VP, Development | Pier 21 Films
DEADPOOL, DISTRICT 9, and ROBOCOP RETURNS are just three credits on Julian Clarke’s IMDb. In today’s high-profile chat, we’ll take a unique look into the super star editor’s process and journey from Vancouver to Hollywood.
Kathleen Meek - Manager, Original Content, Drama and Factual for Corus Entertainment
MODERATOR: Dev Singh - Picture Editor, RESIDENT EVIL, LITTLE DOG, PICTURE DAY (2012 Borsos Best Canadian Film)
Kerry Moraes-Sugiyama - Associate Manager of Programming West, APTN
SPECIAL GUEST: Julian Clarke - Picture Editor, DEADPOOL, DISTRICT 9, TERMINATOR : DARK FATE
Lauren Davis - Regional Feature Film Executive – Western Region, Telefilm
11:00AM - 12:00PM | MASTERCLASS: LIGHTING THE DARK WITH GREGORY MIDDLETON From GAME OF THRONES to the KILLING and WATCHMEN, Gregory Middleton is known for his ability to light the darkness and propel the narrative with his artful choices. Join us for an insider look at how Gregory approaches the art of cinematography and storytelling, with a specific focus on light & dark, and the shades in between. MODERATOR: Carolyn Wong - Cinematographer / Social Media Coordinator, Canadian Society of Cinematographers SPECIAL GUEST: Gregory Middleton - Cinematographer, GAME OF THRONES, WATCHMEN
1+1 MARKET MEETING GUESTS: Aaron Champion - Director of Development, Alibi Entertainment
Keegan McColl - Director of Business Development, REELHOUSE LIVE
Lauren Whitelaw - Head of programming, OUTtv Network Inc Lee Dinstman - EVP, APA Talent and Literary Agency Matt Orenstein - VP, Acquisitions and Strategy, Vortex Media Mehernaz Lentin - Senior Director, CBC Films Mélanie Lê Phan - Executive in Charge of Production, Scripted Digital Originals | CBC Michael Paszt - Managing Partner, Raven Banner Entertainment Inc. Michael Steinberg - Senior Account Manager, Creative Industries Group, National Bank Noah Segal - Co-president, Elevation Pictures Paige Murray - Executive in Charge of Productions, YA Digital Originals Sarah Fowlie - Director, Original Programming Comedy, Bell Media Sardé Hardie - Director Acquisitions & Sales | Pacific Northwest Pictures
Adam Feigen - Development Executive at Incendo Media
Susan Boshcoff - General Manager, Animiki See International Distribution
Adam Garnet Jones - LEAD – INDIGENOUS INITIATIVES, Telefilm
Teri Snelgrove - Producer, NFB, Canada’s BC & Yukon Studio
Adam Steinman - VP, Creative, Format, Development & Sales, Warner Bros. International Television Production
Tina Apostolopoulos - Production Executive, Original Programming, Factual and Reality, Bell Media
Alan Bacchus - Program Manager, Harold Greenberg Fund
Todd Brown - Head of International Acquisitions, XYZ Films
Ari Wise - Agency Director and Owner, Core Music Agency
Tory Jennings - Director of Programming, Bell Media Pay & SVOD
Avi Federgreen - President, Indiecan Entertainment Beth Iley - Director, Development, New Metric Media Caroline Landry - Analyst Business Affairs, Program Administrator, CMF Emily Alden - Vice President, Development, Brightlight Pictures Glenn Cockburn - President, Meridian Artists
Vanessa Case - SVP Studio Canada, Vice Media Vibika Bianchi - Content Catalyst Fund Will Machin - Partner and CEO, Metro International Entertainment (UK) Zach Feldberg - Executive in Charge of Production, Digital Originals at CBC
Gosia Kamela - Production Executive, Drama & Feature Film Original Programming, Bell Media Guy Daleiden - Managing Director, Film Fund Luxembourg
Nurturing talent has always been at the heart of the Whistler Film Festival. Poised to bring content creators to the ‘pinnacle of success’ in the film, television and digital media space, WFF Talent Programs have become a cornerstone for independent Canadian storytellers seeking to expand their knowledge and make the important connections required to advance their projects and careers. To date, WFF has successfully delivered 80 dedicated talent programs for 454 Canadian artists with several projects currently in production or advanced development or completed. For 2020, WFF offered a slate of nine talent programs to provide creative and business immersion experiences for 56 Canadian artists - including screenwriters, directors, producers and actors, with 66% of the talent pool coming from British Columbia and 63% being female. Geared towards the advancement of business and creative opportunities for emerging and mid-career Canadian screen content creators and their projects, programs include the Producers Lab, Screenwriters Lab, Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship, Power Pitch, Doc Lab, Stars to Watch, and Women in Focus Mentorship. WFF also collaborates with several industry organizations by hosting third-party initiatives including the Women in the Director’s Chair Industry Immersion, and the Women in Film & Television Film Market Preparation Mentorship. The MPPIA Short Film Award Pitch presented in partnership with the Motion Picture Production Industry Association and Creative BC, and the Music Showcase have been postponed for 2020. Poised to bring content creators to the ‘pinnacle of success’ in the film, television and digital media space, WFF’s talent programs are open to Canadian independent filmmakers, creators and talent at various stages in their careers and are offered at a nominal cost to participants beyond an application fee. Worthy projects are considered for showcasing at the Whistler Film Festival, where selected creators are presented with further opportunities to advance their current and future projects. Program participants receive year-round support as well as access to the festival in the year of their program, and to its Alumni community, which is over 2,650 strong.
TALENT PROGRAMS 365 SCREENWRITERS LAB Sponsored by:
FACILITATORS Ruth Atkinson (LA) – Script Consultant and Story Editor Patricia Gruben (BC) – Retired Associate Professor of Film at SFU’s School of Contemporary Art & Director of the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters
MENTORS A two-phased script development program designed to facilitate six writer’s unique voice through the development of a single feature project. A two-phased project development program for independent Canadian producers prepping independent feature films. Phase I takes place in June and includes four months of mentorship. Phase II takes place during the Whistler Film Festival + Content Summit in December.
PARTICIPANTS Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh (BC) with BROTHER, MAN (Winner of WFF19’s Power Pitch Competition) Brendan Brady (ON) with MIRACLE MOTHER Gemma Holdway (BC) with REMINISCENT Scott Jones and Richard Martin (ON) with MY FABULOUS NEW ORGASM Jessica Landry (MB) with MY ONLY SUNSHINE Victor Nicolle (BC) with IT’S ALL TOO BEAUTIFUL
Ruth Atkinson (LA) – Script Consultant and Story Editor Dennis Foon (BC) – Canadian Screenwriter (INDIAN HORSE), TV Writer, Producer and Novelist Patrick Whistler (ON) – Screenwriter (DREAMLAND, MOBILE HOMES & WEIRDOS) and Story Editor
Sibel Guvenc (ON) with LOYA Camille Hollett-French (BC) with MAN IN PIECES
Alex Duong (BC) with BREAKING BREAD
Kate Kroll (BC) with RED WINGS Todd McCauley (BC) with THE MEDICINE LINE
A two-phased project development program for independent Canadian producers prepping independent feature films. Phase I takes place in June and includes four months of mentorship. Phase II takes place during the Whistler Film Festival + Content Summit in December. William F. White International Inc. has come on board to support the Producers Lab and will provide each producer moving on to phase two with a $10,000 production credit until Dec. 31, 2022.
Krista Rand (BC) with RE:UNITING
FACILITATOR John Galway – President, The Harold Greenberg Fund
MENTORS Lauren Grant (ON) - Producer, Clique Pictures (RIOT GIRLS) Jason James (BC), Producer/Director, Resonance Films Inc. (ENTANGLEMENT)
Damon D’Oliveira (ON), Producer/Founder, Conquering Lion Pictures Inc. (BOOK OF NEGROES).
TALENT PROGRAMS AT WFF INDIGENOUS FILMMAKER FELLOWSHIP
This year saw an unprecedented number of high-quality submissions for the 8th edition of the Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. With the additional support of our sponsors, twelve Canadian filmmakers were selected to participate in the program, which focuses on strengthening and advancing short form scripted projects over six months.
An intensive multi-day immersion and mentorship program for up to 10 Canadian documentary filmmakers, which focuses on advancing projects in development.
PARTICIPANTS Cole Vandale (BC) with INDIAN IN THE CHILD Jonelle Belcourt (AB) with MY ROOMMATE Dawn Nagazina (AB) with The SUPERLATIVE Jordan Waunch (BC) with FROM THE SHADOWS Rachelle George (BC) with SEE THE WOMAN Whitney Horne (YT) with JUHWEHNNI Nicholas Marinos (BC) with A.I. WINTER Eva Grant (BC) with MEDICINE LINE Joyce Delaronde (MB) with AQQALU INTRODUCTION Shaelyn Johnston (BC) with MEMEGWESI Chantelle Marie Anderson (AB) with BALLS OUT Odessa Shuquaya (BC) with SKIN OF A DRUM
PARTICIPANTS: Ryan Reaney (ON) with WRECKS! Ashley Hirt (MB) with FIP WARRIORS Michelle Ouellett (ON) with FOUR YEARS LATER Sophia Biedka (BC) with IF YOU MUST Ana Carrizales (BC) with SHAMAN’S SHADOW Tristan Oliver (BC) with UNDIAGNOSED
FACILITATORS: Deb Wainwright - Director, Young Minds Entertainment Inc.,
MENTORS: John Ritchie (BC) - Executive Producer, John Ritchie Productions Cari Green (BC) - Producer Julia Ivanova (BC) - Director
FACILITATOR & MENTOR Camille Beaudoin - Co-founder & CEO, Mosaic Entertainment
MENTORS: Jules Arita Koostachin - Filmmaker, VisJuelles Productions Inc. Sheldon Elter - Producer, Writer & Performer
WOMEN IN FOCUS MENTORSHIP
A pitch workshop and competition for Canadian producers with feature projects in development, designed to set them up for success by fine-tuning their project packages and pitching skills. This program culminates in a pitch competition where one producer wins a $36,000 grand prize package that includes a $25,000 post-production credit from Company 3 Method Ltd., and a $1,000 cash prize plus a $10,000 lighting and grip production credit from William F. White International Inc. Additionally, the winner will receive the opportunity to meet privately with each jury member to receive invaluable feedback and advice on their project as well as forge formidable relationships with key industry executives.
Provides female filmmakers from BC the opportunity to participate in the Women in Focus Series and be matched with an executive mentor leading up to, during and after WFF to help guide their projects to include a diversity and inclusion mandate as well as to support their projects to advance to screen.
PARTICIPANTS Jason Karman (BC) with GOLDEN DELICIOUS Krista Rand (BC) with RE:UNITED Bryan Demore (BC) with THE GATE Sibel Guvenc (ON) with LOYA Simon Paluck (ON) with PAPER CRANES Todd McCauley (BC) with THE MEDICINE LINE Jaskaran Singh (ON) with JERSEY BOY
FACILITATORS Carole Kirschner (LA)– Director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program & CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, and Entertainment Career Coach
MENTEES Joy Haskell (BC) - Producer, Director, Screenwriter, COOKIES OR CRACK Lauren Marsden (BC) - Director, Screenwriter, MAMA D’LO Amanda Verhagen (BC) - Producer, Screenwriter, SAVING FOR SPACE Luvia Peterson (BC) - Producer, Director, HAPPINESS.
MENTORS Emily Alden (BC) - VP of Development at Brightlight Pictures Maureen Levitt (BC) - Producer and Story Consultant Kathleen Meek (ON) - Manager of Original Content, Drama & Factual at Corus Entertainment.
STARS TO WATCH Sponsored by:
JURY Naveen Prasad - (ON) Co-Founder, Impossible Objects Will Machin - (UK) Partner and CEO of Metro International Entertainment Gosia Kamela - (ON) Production Executive, Drama & Feature Film Original Programming, Bell Media
A four-day immersion experience for four UBCP/Actra member actors, all of who are poised for international recognition, with features premiering at the festival.
ACTORS Elyse Levesque (BC) - THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE Ali Skovbye (BC) - THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE Paul Grenier (BC) - INDIAN ROAD TRIP Miika Whiskeyjack (BC) - INDIAN ROAD TRIP Melanie Rose Wilson (BC) - ALL-IN MADONNA
FACILITATORS Sue Brouse (BC) - Director Member Services and Human Resources, UBCP/ACTRA Angela Heck (MB) - Managing Director, WFF Kathleen Mullen (BC) - Guest Manager, WFF
JURY Paul Gratton (ON) - Director of Programming, Whistler Film Festival Ben Silverman (BC) - Managing Director, Integral Artists & Partner, LevelFILM Diana Bang (BC) - Actor & Writer, UBCP/ACTRA Member Zak Santiago (BC) - Actor & Writer, UBCP/ACTRA Member
WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR STORY & LEADERSHIP - WFF INDUSTRY IMMERSION Supported by:
CBC Films, AFBS, Independent Production Fund A 4-month intensive program for eight women screen directors focusing on feature film and web series development that takes place in part at WFF.
DIRECTORS Rachel Beaulieu (MB) with Coupon Kids Liz Cairns (BC) with Inedia Rachel Cairns (ON) with Glo, In the Dark Hayley Gray & Michelle Muldoon (BC) with Dry Year Lindsay McIntyre (BC) with The Words We Can’t Speak Emily Diana Ruth (ON) with I Can’t Even ZhiMin Hu (BC) with Under the Red Umbrella Michelle Muldoon (BC) with Last Stand to Nowhere
FACILITATOR Dr. Carol Whiteman (BC) - Co-Creator, Women In the Director’s Chair
WIFTV FILM MARKET PREPARATION Sponsored by:
A mentor focused program that prepares one director’s film project for market during WFF under the guidance of a senior female producer or director.
MENTEE Sophie Kokott (SK) – BUTTER
MENTOR Tina Pehme (BC) – Co-Founder/Producer, Sepia Films
RUNNING TIME: 88.5 MINUTES
YOU WIN USA VACATION RESORT
BENJAMIN, BENNY, BEN
Canada | 2020 | 7 minutes Director: Paul Shkordoff
Canada | 2020 | 15 minutes Director: Ali Liebert
INUIT LANGUAGES IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Canada | 2020 | 9 minutes Director: Ulivia Uviluk
THE LIGHTHOUSE MAN
Canada | 2020 | 5 minutes Director: Matt Walton
An unexpected event threatens to undo the job interview preparation of an anxious young man.
On the eve of a life changing event, a newly queer woman in the throes of self-doubt and fear is confronted by an unexpected guest. Sara Canning and Julia Sarah Stone star in this psychological thriller by Ali Liebert that snaps the struggle of identity sharply into focus. Ulivia explores what is accessible via the Internet in relation to Inuktitut, a complex language with several dialects, which varies from one generation to the next. Inuktitut is threatened by dominant languages, are there solutions so that these technologies are allies and not enemies? Utilizing his size and strength to help the citizens of this small fishing town is the Lighthouse Manâ€™s pride and joy. However, when the town develops beyond the giantâ€™s analog ways and space gets a little tighter due to increased boat traffic and infrastructure, he feels like he has become more of a hinderance than a help.
YOU WIN USA VACATION RESORT
Mei is a young immature pregnant Chinese girl dreaming about becoming a real American. When the immigration police raid her maternity hotel, she escapes only to find herself stuck with a Chinese boy belonging to one of the other residents. Caught between taking responsibility for the boy or preserving her American dream, Mei learns the American experience is not all that she hoped for.
THE DANGER IN FRONT (LE DANGER EN FACE)
While observing life outside his shop, a barber thinks he sees someone who is after his life and his family. Confronted with imminent danger, the barber decides to react.
THE BATH (LE BAIN)
A young father, Imed, finds himself alone for the first time with his 5-year old son for a few days while his wife is away on a business trip. After a short moment of resistance, Imed seems to appreciate the opportunity of a privileged time with his son, but this simple and banal interlude in the life of a family reveals in Imed a dark side tied to a heavy secret.
USA | 2019 | 20 minutes Director: Georgia Fu
Canada | 2020 | 17 minutes Director: Alexis Chartrand
Tunisia | 2020 | 16 minutes Director: Anissa Daoud
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 2 - Dec. 31
SHORTWORK 2 RUNNING TIME: 82 MINUTES
OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR (ZCHUHIT BAYAM)
SHOOTING STAR (COMME UNE COMÈTE)
On a family trip to observe the shooting stars, Chloé, a withdrawn teenager, discovers a dazzling attraction for her mother’s new boyfriend.
Canada | 2020 | 23 minutes Director: Ariane Louis-Seize
THE LORD’S DAY (LE JOUR DU SEIGNEUR)
To get over his Sunday boredom, a young Atikamekw spends time with friends, reminiscing about his dogs.
Canada | 2020 | 7 minutes Director: Simon Weizineau
During a PowerPoint presentation, statistical diagrams are breaking free from the strait-jacket of their coordinates. A trip into the sensual world of statistics begins. Pie charts are melting, arrow diagrams twisting, scatter plots, bar graphs and stock market curves join in a collective climax.
AN UNINVITED GUEST
When a Black man is viciously assaulted by police right outside their window, all of the guests at a dinner party seem to consider the attack unremarkable except for one.
Switzerland | 2019 | 7 minutes Director: Maja Gehrig
Canada | 2020 | 3 minutes Director: Richard B. Pierre
Canada | 2020 | 17 minutes Director: Aerlan Barrett
THE RABBIT HUNTERS
Canada | 2020 | 9 minutes Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson
OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR (ZCHUHIT BAYAM)
AFTER THAT weaves together three timelines of Cassie’s life, two which take place after the event of being assaulted. We see how memory and flashbacks are persuasive in life after a traumatic event and how isolating that experience can be. A dead filmmaker (played by Isabella Rossellini) experiences a posthumous dream in which every attempt to reunite with his wife is thwarted by obstacles that rise from various layers of his past. A short film in honour of Federico Fellini’s centenary.
With his eyes in a fantasy book and his ears to the horrific testimony of an Eritrean refugee, nine-year-old Sinai falls asleep at his mother’s workplace, and his mind drifts away.
Israel | 2020 | 15 minutes Director: Elinor Nechemya
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 6 - Dec. 31
SHORTWORK 3 RUNNING TIME: 85 MINUTES
YOU WILL STILL BE HERE TOMORROW
Canada | 2020 | 13 minutes Director: Michael Hanley
During multiple visits, a son is forced to put his father through a series of emotional journeys in order to maintain his self-identity and the integrity of his husband. But as his father’s health deteriorates, he must decide if he’s willing to sacrifice his own needs in order to ensure his father’s last memory is a happy one. Odehimin is reconnecting with oneself and relearning to love oneself.
Canada | 2020 | 3 minutes Director: Kijatai Alexandra Veillette Cheezo
WHEN THE NIGHT HAS COME Canada | 2020 | 7 minutes Director: Janice Mingas
THE BEST ORCHESTRA IN THE WORLD (DAS BESTE ORCHESTER DER WELT)
WHEN THE NIGHT HAS COME sheds light on the dangerous reality of systemic racism and police brutality. It tells the story of Matt, a young Black man whose life is forever changed after he is stopped by the police for an identity check. Ingbert, the sock, applies for a position as double bass player at the Vienna State Orchestra. Bad idea.
Austria | 2020 | 14 minutes Director: Henning Backhaus
Canada | 2020 | 12 minutes Director: Emily Dickinson
4 NORTH A
Canada | 2020 | 11 minutes Directors: Jordan Canning, Howie Shia
Iran | 2020 | 25 minutes Director: Panahbarkhoda Rezaee
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 14 - Dec. 31
MARCH takes place in 2024, and follows an American woman in her mid-twenties, as she travels to Canada to get a now-illegal abortion.
A woman sits in a hospital room, alone with her dying father. As the din of hospital noises pushes her to confront her inevitable loss, she escapes into a series of lush childhood memories. 4 North A is a celebration of the fleeting joys of life and a bittersweet reminder that we don’t always get the closure we seek. Gates fell apart. Evil stormed through the city. The wall fell over...and killed so many. This is his nature.
SHORTWORK 4 RUNNING TIME: 83 MINUTES
USA | 2020 | 15 minutes Director: Ashley Eakin
Ghana/Belgium | 2019 | 21 minutes Director: Anthony Nti
Canada | 2020 | 13 minutes Director: Marcus Newman
Canada | 2020 | 9 minutes Director: David Findlay
ON THE LINE (AU BOUT DU FIL)
Canada | 2020 | 8 minutes Director: Marc-André Girard
SINGLE confronts the complexities of being disabled and dating. Kim, who was born with one arm, gets set-up to go on a blind date. When she finally meets Jake, to her horror - he only has one hand. Unable to get over the apparent ignorance of the matchmaker, as well as her own insecurities about being different, Kim tries to bail on the date. On a sunny day in Ghana, a foreigner approaches two children and takes them on an unexpected trip. The three of them get along so well that “Bogah”, the foreigner, starts to question his initial intentions... The middle of nowhere seems the perfect location to dispose of a corpse; but the middle of nowhere calls all sorts. Fresh in the act of burying her victim, a killer is caught red handed by a hovering drone. Covering up her crime just became a lot more bloody complicated. In the foggy, twilight, arctic, dead of winter of Quebec City, Mitch’s life takes a turn after unwittingly stumbling upon the world of underground wrestling. During a period of confinement, a man poses as a Canadian public health official to offer a new Covid-19 test kit.
WASTE AWAY is a surreal stop motion short about a homeless woman who becomes pregnant with a fish. The responsibility of motherhood gives her the strength to fight for survival, while the forces of nature threaten to overtake her. The setting of urban neglect emphasizes the pervasive alienation between people, and humanity’s destructive impact on their environment. Relevant to today’s crisis, at a time when nature is undermining our position as its ruler, this animation tells a vivid story of disaster and rebirth.
Nestled between a beautiful lake and the Himalayas, thirteen-year-old Ashmina, lives with her family at the outskirts of Pokhara Nepal, the paragliding capital of the world. The remote and traditional town is also a busy tourist destination where the locals are profoundly affected by the swarms of tourists, who visit daily. Forced to skip school, Ashmina helps her family make ends meet by working at the landing field, packing the parachutes of foreign pilots in return of small change.
Canada | 2020 | 5 minutes Director: Elly Stern
UK/Nepal | 2019 | 15 minutes Director: Dekel Berenson
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 16 - Dec. 31
STUDENT SHORTWORK 1
RUNNING TIME: 73.5 MINUTES
SFU | 2019 | 7 minutes Directors: Amber Nordstrand, Rowan Landaiche
VFS | 2019 | 14 minutes Director: Brandon Wheeler
Steeped in 90s skater aesthetic, two rollerblading girls discover an item that transforms the way they see the world— and the way they see themselves.
David Marsh is overburdened with emotional baggage and sits in the park feeding the birds to distract himself. David is approached by Noah, an inquisitive child from an abusive home, who is late for school. David agrees to drive Noah to school. David, touched by and reflected in Noah’s unhappy home life, decides to take Noah on a special day out. A tormented action hero finds out he’s more powerful than he thought.
Langara College | 2020 | 4 minutes Director: Elizabeth Ababio
Emily Carr | 2020 | 13 minutes Director: Sarah Genge
UBC | 2020 | 18 minutes Director: Cindy Hojung Hah
THE DAY THE ROCKET LEFT
CapU | 2020 | 3 minutes Director: Benjamin McGregor
THE SUNDAY CYCLE
Templeton Secondary School | 2020 11 minutes Director: Jane Bau
UBC | 2019 | 13 minutes Director: Emily-Anne Mikos
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 17 - Dec. 31
I sent over 300 letters — these 10 people responded. Do they share anything in common but the frames of their house? Su-Hyun, a Korean immigrant who just arrived in Canada, is suffering from postpartum depression, and struggles between her other-self that sees her baby as a burden and her ego that tries to be the real “mother”. She misses her old days, old body, and her old self. Will she be able to find her? As humanity takes its next step, leaving behind a crumbling planet, a young woman reconciles her past through a recorded message. This story follows the seeming monotony of a laundromat and its customers. It is told through the eyes of a narrator who speculates on these people all the time, but never interacts with them until the sudden death of the laundromat’s owner. A young girl learning how to Greek dance finds herself struggling to understand her father when he is suddenly admitted into the hospital.
STUDENT SHORTWORK 2
RUNNING TIME: 76 MINUTES
THE WALKING MAN
VFS | 2019 | 14 minutes Director: Inda Macias Garcia
Templeton Secondary School | 2020 7 minutes Director: Taea Friesen
THE WALKING MAN UBC | 2020 | 10 minutes Director: AnaĂŻsa Visser
UNKNOWN BEING SFU | 2020 | 12 minutes Director: Inanna Cusi
ACROSS THE BRIDGE
Emily Carr | 2020 | 5 minutes Directors: Alisha Steinberger, Goody (Chao) Wu
UVic | 2020 | 28 minutes Director: James Weicker
Recently wheelchair-bound, Ezra discovers he has feelings for his new physiotherapist, Michael, whose influence could push Ezra out of seclusion.
Four children, on the run from their war-torn city, find safety in a small cabin in the woods. Their getaway soon escalates to something worse than the war they escaped from.
Jan Visser has been tracking his steps since 1994, and has now completed the equivalent of nearly four times the circumference of planet Earth.
An unknown being emerges into the streets of Vancouver, lost, cold, and alone â€“ he reaches out, but finds it difficult to find a friend.
ACROSS THE BRIDGE follows two siblings, who have fallen apart. Trying to beat the video game by himself, Sunny, the younger brother, quickly realizes how much he relied on his older sister Ana to succeed. He then fights will all he has got to try to overcome the gatekeeper in the game, growing into a stronger warrior in the process. Jess is trapped. Approaching her mid-twenties, she still lives in her hometown on Vancouver Island with her college boyfriend Scott. The only good times in her life are party nights with her newly-single friend Kayla. But soon a pattern of self-destruction forces Jess to face her apathy towards life and the creeping discomfort that comes any time she is sober.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 17 - Dec. 31
MOUNTAIN CULTURE SHORTWORK 1
RUNNING TIME: 90 MINUTES
WITHOUT A PADDLE
SHAPED BY DESCENT
USA | 2020 | 23 minutes Director: Mattias Evangelista
USA | 2020 | 4 minutes Director: Josh Berman
END OF THE ROAD: A DISCOVERY OF SKIING WITHOUT EGO USA | 2020 | 14 minutes Director: Jacob Oster
Canada | 2020 | 14 minutes Director: Zoya Lynch
WITHOUT A PADDLE
Canada | 2020 | 41 minutes Directors: Johan Rosen, Nick Khattar
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 12 - Dec. 31
SHAPED BY DESCENT follows professional skier Lexi DuPont over the course of ten years in Haines, Alaska. For Lexi, skiing has always been a family affair. From her early days in Sun Valley skiing with her mom and sisters, to learning the ropes in Haines from her brother in-law Reggie Crist, skiing is deep in her blood. Through the film we watch Lexi overcome the trials and tribulations that come with skiing in Alaska for ten straight years as she evolves into one of the best female big mountain skiers on the planet. Five years after breaking his back in a snowboarding accident and being left paralyzed from the waist down, Trevor Kennison returns to the backcountry facing a new set of challenges. This first day out helps Trevor to redefine his perspective on the limitations of his injury, and what heâ€™s truly capable of. The Road. It takes us from point A, through point B, and all the way to point C. In a small nook of Oregon lies a hidden gem. The cows outnumber the humans and itâ€™s wilderness landscape has ingrained itself as a spiritual guider of the local population. As the majority goes one way, we go another in search of skiing at its purest. Maybe, just maybe, the end is actually the beginning. It is often said that the hardest part of any adventure is getting out the door. Planning and packing are tedious and time consuming. But the moment you cross over the threshold from the distractions of the real world to the freedom of the hills, everything seems to just fall into place. WITHOUT A PADDLE is a canoe film about snowboarding. A crew of four friends set out on a 140 km paddle down the Columbia river, with the ambition to camp and snowboard the mountains surrounding the river.
MOUNTAIN CULTURE SHORTWORK 2
RUNNING TIME: 101.5 MINUTES
MADE IN VOYAGE
Canada | 2020 | 26 minutes Director: Graeme Meiklejohn
BORN FROM JUNK
USA | 2020 | 15 minutes Directors: Mike Horn, Galin Foley
Canada | 2019 | 14 minutes Director: Josephine Anderson
12 000 KM
Russia, Japan, Estonia, Sweden 2020 | 28 minutes Director: Erik Nylander
MADE IN VOYAGE
USA | 2020 | 25 minutes Directors: Joey Schusler, Wiley Kaupas
Mac Marcoux is one of Canada’s most decorated para-athletes. Now, after a year sidelined by injury and skiing with a new, unproven guide, he will attempt to redefine himself as a skier by taking his racing pedigree into Whistler Blackcomb’s extreme alpine terrain.
BORN FROM JUNK traces the outlaw roots of mountain biking back to its raw beginnings in Crested Butte, where a crew of unlikely pioneers in pursuit of wild times in the mountains blossomed into a global phenomenon.
In this short documentary, three women reflect on their willingness to sustain broken bones, concussions, and organ damage as professional mountain bikers. On Falling is a dreamy, unorthodox glimpse into the inner landscapes of those immersed in a subculture where falling is normal. Blending white-knuckle riding, crashes, and quiet self-examination, the film unfolds as a sensory meditation on the rush of control that comes with completely letting go. On Falling features downhill world champion Miranda Miller, Enduro World Series medalist Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, and pro rider/Winter Olympic medalist Brittany Phelan. The prevailing climate threat has made a bunch of Swedish extreme skiers and boarders travel with trains and boats from Stockholm through Russia all the way to Japan, in search of deep powder and the adventure of a lifetime.
A trip where time stands still, far removed from the responsibilities, social engagements, and smartwatches of today’s fast-paced 21st century lifestyle.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 12 - Dec. 31
S: Ian Mcintosh P: Eric Berger
WE CHOOSE STORIES The stuff of local lore comes to life in a 5-part video series about the people and the stories at the heart of Whistler Blackcomb. Watch them today at whistlerblackcomb.com/ourchoices.
CANADIAN DOC BLOC SHORTWORK RUNNING TIME: 64 MINUTES
HEALING BELLS (SOKINAA’S PASSKAAN AASSISSTOI)
Canada | 2020 | 10 minutes Director: Alex Anna
A WINDWARD CALM
Canada | 2020 | 8 minutes Director: Bruce Marchfelder
HEALING BELLS (SOKINAA’S PASSKAAN AASSISSTOI)
Alex Anna’s body is a canvas: her scars come to life to tell a new story of self-harming. Live action and animation intertwine in this short and poetic documentary, both intimate and universal.
What is the role of public art? Especially now, with social distancing and limited gatherings the norm, what is at stake when we are not able to share artistic experiences with others? A WINDWARD CALM draws on the reflexive power of film to place one art form in dialogue with another and suggest that there is value in work that affects a gathered audience... be it in person or virtually. This film is inspired by true events. Through an emotional approach, we discover resiliency through dance.
Canada | 2020 | 4 minutes Director: Taylor Crowspreadshiswings
Canada | 2020 | 11 minutes Director: Nicole Bazuin
THE PAINTER FROM NOWHERE Canada | 2020 | 30 minutes Director: Christian Trineer
University student by day, escort by night, Andrea Werhun led a secret life under the alias “Mary Ann.” To her horror, Andrea discovers outrageous online reviews of Mary Ann’s sexual performance written by self-proclaimed “hobbyists.” In this hybrid documentary, hobbyist and escort perspectives collide with hilarious and revealing results. And when the sex work narrative is controlled by johns, there are darker consequences than just a bad review. MODERN WHORE is a rare sex work narrative told and performed by the sex worker herself. At 90 years old, Polish-Canadian painter Zbigniew Kupczynski asks a young filmmaker to make a film about him. The film follows Zbigniew and Eva, his wife of 50 years, as they tell the story of how they met, how they ended up in Canada, and how they’ve managed to stay together all these years.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 9 - Dec. 31
SEA TO SKY SHOWORK SHOWCASE RUNNING TIME: XXXXXXX MINUTES
2 GIRLS & 1 IDEA
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Talia Wittenberg and Thea Torn
CAUTION: FLYING DISCS Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Wesley Finck
FINDING A HOME
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Paul Haysom
A guy encounters an unfamiliar looking object while driving. After returning the item to the original owner, he ends up making a new friend and learning a new sport.
“The Sea To Sky is full of people that have moved here trying to find a place where they belong. This area of BC has become the epicentre of mountain biking for the world, it calls to every rider. The magnitude of the trail network is astounding. Showing every discipline of mountain biking, I recorded a conversation with my pal Trish about what makes this place so special and reflect on why so many are drawn here.”
MAKING MIKI’S MAGIC
After a local young Olympic prospect dies in a mountain bike accident, the community of Squamish rallies together and builds a mountain bike trail to honour her legacy.
NATURE ENTWINED is a visual love letter to womanhood and how it is intimately intertwined with the Squamish landscape. The two cannot be considered separately.
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Steve Andrews
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Amanda Palmer
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 12 - Dec. 31
During the global pandemic, two teenage girls started to run out of things to do. The two girls also believe it is important to help the environment. They come up with the idea to start a reusable mask business. Here is their story with a funny twist.
SEA TO SKY SHOWORK SHOWCASE RUNNING TIME: XXXXXXX MINUTES
PLEASE TRY AGAIN
An agoraphobic artist battles her demons as she struggles to create on the fine line between dark depression and creative genius. It is an artistic, quirky fictional film starring local Whistler artist, Feral Nifty.
A high school student, Sam, is forced to re-imagine fun when his best friend, Gavin, gets them both suspended.
TECH CHRON A WELL BASED STORY
A run down broke Private Investigator seeks new work since his CERB has run out and nobody is cheating on their partners or losing jackets/phones at Garfs.
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Janalee Budge
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Hugh Saint-Jacques and Kieran Ross-Kelly
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Kyle Killeen
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Roshan Beaven
Canada | 2020 | xxx minutes Director: Anna Dziczkaniece
Three months pregnant, Sami finds herself alone after COVID 19 takes over her life. She imagines what her life would have been like had the pandemic never happened.
By the age of 14, girls are dropping out of sport at twice the rate of boys. Hilltop Mountain Biking creates opportunities for girls to stay outside and thrive. UTOPIA explores the life story of Jaime Hill, who grew from an Olympic level gymnast to founder of Hilltop Mountain Biking.
AVAILABLE ONLINE Dec. 12 - Dec. 31
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Stories, opinions, reaction! We’ve got the Whistler Film Festival covered.
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WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL
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Call for Entry 150 International Jurors, 40+ Countries Final Entry Deadline: February 5th 2020 Winners
Limited Series: Chernobyl
Comedy and Variety: Baroness von Sketch Show
Lifestyle: Employable Me
Arts and Music: Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening
Pre-School: Peppa Pig
Social and Current Affairs: Surviving R. Kelly
HOW TO FESTIVAL
With a new model designed to deliver an online virtual experience, we’ve made this year’s festival more accessible and ticketing more flexible so you can watch our films, talent talks, events and Content Summit for the entire month of December.
Before viewing, learn about the technical requirements required and test your system for our virtual festival, and review our online code of conduct.
WHAT’S NEW FOR WFF20 ONLINE: •
Your film ticket supports WFF’s filmmakers, who will receive 50% of net ticket proceeds
Expanded Ticket Package options available
Accessible Pricing: Film Tickets Just $15 ($17 in 2019)
Films premieres, talent talks, events and Content Summit sessions are scheduled daily between December 1 to 20, and will be available for online viewing within Canada until 11:59pm PST on December 31 *
Each film will be available for 24 hours once ordered *
Only three films will be unavailable to watch in Quebec. *
Viewing information will be available on the individual film pages.
Looking for the most up-to-date Whistler Film Festival information? Follow us on twitter and instagram @whisfilmfest Like us on Facebook facebook.com/Whistlerfilmfestival
* Note: Some restrictions may apply on a film by film basis.
Disconnect Completely TRADITIONAL THERAPY FOR MODERN TENSIONS
We could all use a getaway from the everyday. Give yourself permission to unplug, embrace silence and experience complete relaxation. Hydrotherapy in the heart of nature to soothe mind, body and soul.
SC A N D I N AV E.COM | 1 8 8 8 935 242 3 8010 Mons Road, Whistler, BC
BOX OFFICE INFORMATION
www.whistlerfilmfestival.com Open: 24/7
BASIC: $2 - INCLUDED IN ALL ONLINE FILM TICKETS
PHONE 1-838-877-FILM (3456) Open: November 5 – December 31: 9:00am – 6:00pm
INSIDER PASS: $1,000 - $500 CHARITABLE TAX RECEIPT
INDUSTRY PASSES: INDUSTRY PASS: $150 (EARLYBIRD $100)
PREMIUM INDUSTRY PASS: $350 (EARLYBIRD $250)
SINGLE FILM TICKETS: $15 INDUSTRY SESSION TICKETS: $20
All passes must be purchased online at whistlerfilmfestival.com, Pass holders must be 18 years or older, unless films are classified. See website for pass benefits.
3 PACK $40 $13.30 PER FILM SAVE $5 6 PACK $75 $12.50 PER FILM SEE 6 FILMS FOR THE PRICE OF 5 10 PACK $120 $12 PER FILM SEE 10 FILMS FOR THE PRICE OF 8
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
20 PACK $200 $10 PER FILM SEE 20 FILMS FOR THE PRICE OF 13
SPECIAL EVENT TICKETS
All sales are non-refundable. Please check your order carefully before you process it.
Passes are non-transferrable.
Each registration includes a one-year membership to the Whistler Film Festival Society.
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TALENT TALKS + MASTERCLASSES.
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APTN (Aboriginal People Television Network) Tel: +1 204 947 9331 Email: email@example.com Website: aptn.ca
Game Theory Films Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: gametheoryfilms.com
Axia Films Tel: 1-514-884-5447 Website: axiafilms.com
H264 Distribution Tel. +1 514 247 9096 Email: email@example.com Website: h264distribution.com
Cargo Film & Releasing Tel: +1 212 995 8139 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: cargofilm-releasing.com
IndieCan Entertainment Tel: +1 416 898 3456 Email: email@example.com Website: indiecanent.com
Christal Films Tel:+1 514 336 9696 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Crazy 8s Film Society Website: crazy8s.film
Filmoption International Tel: +1 514 931 6180 Website: filmoptioninternational.com
Entract Films Tel: +1 514 847 1136 Website: entractfilms.com Festival Movement Tel: +1 866 937 3456 Email: email@example.com Website: filmmovement.com
Level Film Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: level.film MIYU Tel: +33 (0)9 84 07 04 41 Email: email@example.com Website: miyu.fr/distribution Mongrel Media Tel: +1 416 516 9775 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: mongrelmedia.com
National Film Board of Canada Tel: +1 416 436 0105 Email: email@example.com Website: nfb.ca Salaud Morisset Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: salaudmorisset.com Spira Tel: +1 418 523 1275 Website: spira.quebec Travelling Distribution Tel: +1 514 467 8160 Email: email@example.com Website: travellingdistribution.com Vortex Media Tel: +1 416 778 5571 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: vortexpix.com Wapikoni Mobile Tel: +1 514 276 9274 Email: email@example.com Website: wapikoni.ca
BY TITLE: 12 000 KM, p 95 2 GIRLS & 1 IDEA, p 98 33’ LOT, p 92 4 NORTH A,p 90 A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL, p 57 A WINDWARD CALM, p 97 ACROSS THE BRIDGE, p 93 AFTER THAT, p 89 ALL-IN MADONNA, p 65 AMERICAN THIEF, p 57 AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO HIGH SCHOOL, p 66 AN UNINVITED GUEST, p 89 ASHMINA, p 91 AU BOUT DU FIL (ON THE LINE), p 91 AVERAGE HAPPINESS, p 89 BABY BLUE, p 92 BENJAMIN, BENNY, BEN, p 88 BETWEEN WAVES, p 66 BLIND FAITH, p 95 BORN FROM JUNK, p 95 BOTTLENECK, p 93 CAUTION: FLYING DISCS, p 97 COMME UNE COMÈTE (SHOOTING STAR) CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MACGOWAN, p 61 DA YIE,p 91 DAS BESTE ORCHESTER DER WELT (THE BEST ORCHESTRA IN THE WORLD),p 90 DAY 1, p 94 DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN p 48 DETECTIVE ULTRA, p 92 EAT WHEATIES!, p 47 EL SUSPIRO DEL SILENCIO (THE WHISPER OF SILENCE), p 58 END OF THE ROAD: A DISCOVERY OF SKIING WITHOUT EGO, p 94 FINDING A HOME, p 97 FOUND ME, p 91 HELEN, p 92 HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM, p 57 IN HER CITY, p 55 INDIAN ROAD TRIP, p 67 INUIT LANGUAGES IN THE 21ST CENTURY, p 88 LA DÉESSE DES MOUCHES À FEU (GODDESS OF THE FIREFLIES), p 53 LA MARINA (THE MARINA), p 68 LAFORTUNE EN PAPIER (THE PAPER MAN), p 63 LE BAIN (THE BATH), p 88 LE DANGER EN FACE (THE DANGER IN FRONT), p 88 LE JOUR DU SEIGNEUR (THE LORD’S DAY), p 89
LITTLE ORPHANS, p 67 MADE IN VOYAGE, p 95 MAKING MIKI’S MAGIC, p 97 MARCH,p 90 MARLENE p 49 MERCY, p 68 MODERN WHORE, p 97 MOTHERLOAD, p 94 MUSCLE MEMORY, p 93 NATURE ENTWINED, p 97 ODEHIMIN,p 90 ON FALLING, p 95 OVERLAND, p 62 PELICAN MILKSHAKE,p 91 PLEASE TRY AGAIN, p 99 PUPPY LOVE, p 51 QUÉBEXIT, p 69 ROLLERBLADIES SAM’S SUSPENSION, p 99 SCARS, p 97 SHAPED BY DESCENT, p 94 SINGLE,p 91 SMALL TIME, p 58 SMALL TOWN WISCONSIN, p 58 SOKINAA’ PASSKAAN AASSISSTOI (HEALING BELLS), p 97 SOUTERRAIN (UNDERGROUND), p 53 STILL THE WATER, p 69 STRAY, p 63 SUGAR DADDY, p 45 TECH CHRON A WELL BASED STORY (SEA2SKY P.I), p 99 THE CORRUPTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, p 53 THE DAY THE ROCKET LEFT, p 92 THE DECLINE, p 62 THE LIGHTHOUSE MAN, p 88 THE PAINTER FROM NOWHERE, p 97 THE QUIETING, p 88 THE RABBIT HUNTERS, p 89 THE SUNDAY CYCLE, p 92 THE WALKING MAN, p 93 TILL MORNING, p 93 TU TE SOUVIENDRAS DE MOI (YOU WILL REMEMBER ME), p 55 UNBROKEN, p 92 UNKNOWN BEING, p 93 UNPARALLELED, p 99 UTOPIA, p 99 VAYU,p 90 WASTE AWAY, p 91 WHEN THE NIGHT HAS COME,p 90 WITHOUT A PADDLE, p 94 YOU WILL STILL BE HERE TOMORROW,p 90 YOU WIN USA VACATION RESORT p 88 ZCHUHIT BAYAM (OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR), p 89
BY DIRECTOR Elizabeth Ababio, p 92 Virginia Abramovich, p 66 Scott Abramovitch, p 47 Josephine Anderson, p 95 Steve Andrews, p 97 Alex Anna, p 97 Henning Backhaus,p 90 Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, p 53 Aerlan Barrett, p 89 Jane Bau, p 92 Roshan Beaven, p 99 Josh Berman, p 94 Dekel Berenson, p 91 Carl Bessai, p 55 Matthew Bissonnette p 48 Janalee Budge, p 99 Nicole Basuin, p 97 Jordan Canning,p 90 Alexis Chartrand, p 88 Niav Conty, p 58 Taylor Crowspreadshiswings, p 97 Inanna Cusi, p 93 Anissa Daoud, p 88 Joshua Demers, p 69 Emily Dickinson,p 90 Sophie Dupuis, p 53 Anna Dziczkaniece, p 99 Ashley Eakin,p 91 Mattias Evangelista, p 94 Sean Fiamont, p 68 Wesley Finck, p 97 David Findlay, p 91 Galin Foley, p 95 Scott Foley, p 58 Taea Friesen, p 93 Georgia Fu, p 88 Étienne Galloy, p 68 Inda Macias Garcia, p 93 Maja Gehrig, p 89 Sarah Genge, p 92 Marc-André Girard, p 91 Cindy Hojung Hah, p 92 Michael Hanley,p 90 Sophie Harvey, p 66 Elisabeth Haviland James, p 62 A.W. Hopkin, p 67 Evan Johnson, p 89 Galen Johnson, p 89 Nick Khattar, p 94 Paul Haysom, p 97 Wendy Hill-Tout p 49 Mike Horn, p 95 Wiley Kaupas, p 95 Kyle Killeen, p 99 Rowan Landaiche, p 92 Revere La Noue, p 62 Tanya Lapointe, p 63 Ruth Lawrence, p 67 Christophe Levac, p 68 Ali Liebert, p 88
Arnold Lim, p 65 Elizabeth Lo, p 63 Aimee Long, p 57 Ariane Louis-Seize, p 89 Zoya Lynch, p 94 Guy Maddin, p 89 Bruce Marchfelder, p 97 Michael Maxxis, p 51 Benjamin McGregor, p 92 Graeme Meiklejohn, p 95 Emily-Anne Mikos, p 92 Janice Mingas,p 90 Wendy Morgan p 45 Edward Morris, p 57 Niels Muller, p 58 Elinor Nechemya, p 89 Marcus Newman, p 91 Anthony Nti,p 91 Amber Nordstrand, p 92 Erik Nylander, p 95 Jacob Oster, p 94 Amanda Palmer, p 97 Sean Patrick Shaul, p 62 Richard B. Pierre, p 89 Alfonso Quijada, p 58 Panahbarkhoda Rezaee,p 90 Susan Rodgers, p 69 Johan Rosen, p 94 Josh Rosenberg, p 58 Kieran Ross-Kelly, p 99 Howie Shia,p 90 Miguel Silveria, p 57 Hugh Saint-Jacques, p 99 Kayvon Saremi, p 62 Joey Schusler, p 95 Paul Shkordoff, p 88 Alisha Steinberger, p 93 Elly Stern, p 91 Julien Temple, p 61 Éric Tessier, p 55 Jeremy Torrie, p 53 Thea Torn, p 97 Christian Trineer, p 97 Ulivia Uviluk, p 88 Kijatai Alexandra Veillette Cheezo,p 90 Anaïsa Visser, p 93 Matt Walton, p 88 James Weicker, p 93 Simon Weizineau, p 89 Talia Wittenberg, p 97 Brandon Wheeler, p 92 Goody (Chao) Wu, p 93
“One of 50 film fest worth worth the entry fee.” - MOVIEMAKER
“One of 10 amazing film festivals worth traveling for” - USA TODAY
“Whistler Film Fest Fetes 20 Years of Spotlighting Homegrown Canadian Content” - VARIETY
“The Whistler Film Festival marks 20 years of movie magic” - PIQUE NEWSMAGAZINE
“Going digital on its 20th anniversary, Whistler Film Festival welcomes back old friends and new talent.” - VANCOUVER SUN
“Whistler Film Festival comes of age featuring more high-profile premieres, filmmakers, artists and industry executives in attendance than ever before” - SYDNEYSBUZZ
“From B.C. to Newfoundland: The 2020 Whistler Film Festival offers a cinematic cross-Canada trek” - GEORGIA STRAIGHT
SAVE THE DATE: LET’S HOPE WE CAN BE TOGETHER IN WHISTLER!