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Best-selling author Mazzeo comes to Whistler Reads event

Non-fiction writer's latest about a WWII intrigue at Paris' Ritz Hotel



A touch of Second World War Parisian intrigue in one of the world's most famous hotels comes to Whistler in the form of a reading by author Tilar Mazzeo.

Her narrative non-fiction book, The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, tells the story of a strange cast of residents there during Second World War, including Hermann Göring, Coco Chanel and resistance fighters.

This is the fifth book for the Saanich-based writer, who just bought a vineyard in the Vancouver Island community after relocating from the U.S.

Her first, The Widow Cliquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It, made the New York Times bestseller list on its release in 2008.

She says her work tends to cover the stories of strong women and entrepreneurs.

"It was fascinating to look at this information on the hotel. It was a great subject. In addition to the archives that I had access to, I was able to track down a number of the surviving family members of the people in the Ritz story. I think it was a cool thing about that," she says.

"Some of these people are now in their 90s and I felt very fortunate to be able to track them down and speak to them."

Mazzeo has been brought to the resort by Whistler Reads. The event takes place at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. For more information visit tinyurl.com/kjh99oo.

Pitch finalists selected for China Canada Gateway at WFF

Twelve Canadian writer/producer teams have been selected for the third annual China Canada Gateway for Film script competition at the 2014 Whistler Film Festival.

At least three projects will be selected for development in 2015, the expected project budget for each is $5 million. The films made will be suitable for both the Chinese domestic and international markets.

The finalists are Broken Bonds, Chang'an Holiday, Chinese Lesson 28, Emperors, Finding Jessie, G Force, Going Back To School, Moon Palace, The Big Winner, The Treasure Of Xi'an, and Whirlwind's Daughter.

The three Chinese production companies at the table are Hairun Pictures represented by Victoria Hon, Producer/Director of International Cooperation, Wang Lutao, CEO of BJ Fashion Stars Film Company and Jiaming Zhang, Chairman and Producer of Shenzhen Jinqiangwei Film Production Ltd.

The panel that will be vetting the 12 pitches includes Bryan Gliserman of Entertainment One Films Canada and Gregory Chou of Caspian Media Capital.

Charles Lei, founder and CEO of Thunder Communications International will moderate the competition.

Buzzworks Creative wins award

Local start-up Buzzworks Creative, which provides writing, editing and video production in the Sea to Sky region, has won the Smartest Start Award at the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on October 21.

Owner Rebecca Wood Barrett is a local writer and filmmaker.


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