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A feast for the senses

Whistler Film Festival Society launches new end-of-season fundraiser to support programs

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Film aficionados and foodies alike will unite at the Whistler Film Festival Society’s newest fundraiser, the Spring Fling, a Taste of B.C.

Presented by the Artisan Wine Co., this new event promises an evening of fine wine, food, and fun, all in support of the Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS), a non-profit cultural and educational organization which aims to promote the film industry in Western Canada and showcase the best films from around the world. The society produces the Whistler Film Festival each year and offers professional development opportunities to filmmakers.

“As a charitable organization, we are always looking for creative ways to support our programs,” Shauna Hardy Mishaw, executive director of the society, said in a recent press release. “Spring Fling has the potential to become Whistler’s most festive end of winter celebration and one of our most successful annual fundraising initiatives.”

Hardy Mishaw said the Mouton Cadet Spring Festival, which was cancelled about eight years ago, was the inspiration behind the new Spring Fling fundraiser.

“The Mouton Cadet Spring Festival had a 10-year run in Whistler,” she explained. “It was like the après event of the season, so it was kind of the big closing bang to the winter season, and everyone came out to dance in their ski boots and drink great wine and had tons of fun and it was just a blast.”

So, they decided it was time to bring this favourite event back to wrap up the season for locals, weekend warriors and second homeowners who are still trying to enjoy the final days of skiing and snowboarding before they dig out their mountain bikes and golf clubs for spring, and to gather financial support for their programs for filmmakers and youth.

Last year, the WFFS ran a youth film program that produced an environmental film called, Going, Going, Gone, which actually helped to initiate a new media program at Whistler Secondary School.

“Definitely, the work that we’re doing is having a positive impact on our community, and we want to make sure that we can keep doing it,” said Hardy Mishaw.

The fundraiser will feature delectable treats from some of Whistler’s finest restaurants, including the Wildwood, Bearfoot Bistro, Araxi, Wildflower, and Cinnamon Bear, paired with wines from Mission Hill Family Estate and Artisan Wine Co.

To round the evening out, organizers also plan to hold a silent auction and a grand prize auction while Whistler’s favourite local entertainers, The Hairfarmers, entertain the crowd.

The WFFS just received its charitable status last February, so they haven’t held many fundraising events yet, but Hardy Mishaw said they are hoping the Spring Fling will follow in the footsteps of the Mouton Cadet festival, and end up being an annual favourite. They also plan to hold an auction and gala in Vancouver during the summer.

Tickets to Spring Fling are $50 and are available online at www.whistler.com/springfling .

 

(Snippet to run with Spring Fling)

 

Filmmakers far and wide are being invited to submit their masterpieces to the eighth annual Whistler Film Festival, which will run from Dec. 4 to 7.

Whether the films are long or short, or fall under the category of drama, documentary, mountain culture or animated, filmmakers are encouraged to submit their work for consideration at this competitive festival. There are five distinct awards: the $15,000 Borsos Award for Best New Canadian Feature, an Audience Award for Best Feature, $5,000 Best Documentary Award, $1,000 Best Short Film Award, and the $500 Best Mountain Culture Award.

“Every year the quality of submissions we receive increases exponentially,” Bill Evans, Whistler Film Festival Director of Programming, said in a press release. “We are looking forward to presenting the work of some very talented filmmakers in our competitions, especially in the Borsos Competition for Best New Canadian Film.”

The 2007 Whistler Film Festival showcased 92 films — 37 feature and mid-lengths, as well as 55 short films — and awarded more than $42,000 in prizes and commissions and attracted over 7,000 attendees.

For more information on submissions guidelines, visit www.whistlerfilmfestival.com .

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