Ninety films, six Borsos Award contenders, 10 filmmaker workshops, one youth film production workshop and producer round tables cut together for the Whistler Film Festivals biggest celebration yet, Dec. 1 to 4.
The Borsos Award, named after Canadian filmmaker Phillip Borsos, best known for his film The Grey Fox , enters its second year, awarding $10,000 for Best New Canadian Feature Film.
The honouring of such a film industry icon has attracted a star-studded panel of judges this year along with double the number of film entries from the inaugural year.
"I hope it says we are making some waves," said Bill Evans, director of programming for the Whistler Film Festival (WFF), of the caliber of judges this year.
"I really feel strongly that this is an important competition because it gives the opportunity for filmmakers, who are pushing boundaries and working against the mainstream of filmmaking, to give them some recognition that they often dont receive."
The award has attracted three film industry legends: Don McKellar, who co-wrote Dance Me Outside and The Red Violin along with writing, directing and starring in Childstar .
Molly Parker who is currently filming the third season of HBOs Deadwood . Parkers other credits include roles in Men With Brooms , The Five Senses and Six Feet Under . She recently wrapped up her latest feature, Wicker Man , working opposite Nicolas Cage.
Robert Lantos is no stranger to the big leagues. He produced more than 30 films, including Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominated Being Julia , Golden Globe nominated Sunshine , Academy Award nominated Sweet Hereafter and Canadian box office hit Men with Brooms .
The jurors have a tough job in front of them with a well-rounded selection of finalists, spanning everything from social-commentary documentaries to poetic personal diary accounts.
"There are a wide variety of styles unified by a strong vision of the filmmaker and their embodiment of an independent spirit, which is what we want to celebrate with the Borsos Award," Evans said.
Anita Dorons The End of Silence is a love story that follows the story of a would-be immigrant and former ballerina in a multi-cultural city forced to feel poverty and obscurity for the first time.
Ilan Saragostis Exiles in Lotus Land captures the journey of two Quebec street kids who travel to Western Canada to live on the edge of society.