Festivals are a great way for filmmakers to have their latest
works unveiled to crowds of hundreds, if not thousands, of buffs and
aficionados. But what if there was a way to gain exposure to millions of people
throughout the world?
It looks like one local company, Resort TV, has tapped into the
web to not only promote their own business and services, but to help filmmakers
from the Sea to Sky region display the projects they’ve poured their heart and
soul into, launching the Whistler Online Local’s Film Festival.
Meredith Rozbitsky, station manager for Resort TV, explained
that last year, which was the first for the festival, the network was in the
process of building their website, and realized that an online film competition
could be a great way to attract visitors to the site while providing a service
and venue for local filmmakers.
“There are so many talented people in the Sea to Sky corridor
who do make films, and that’s evident with all the competitions throughout the
year here, and we thought it would be a great way to showcase local filmmakers
and kind of launch our website,” she said.
The content of the films is left entirely up to filmmakers and
last year, they received 14 submissions, which ranged from thrillers to
comedies to documentaries.
“(There were) quite a wide range of different subject matter,
and even styles and genres of film,” Rozbitsky said, adding that they only had
to turn down a few additional entries because they didn’t meet submission
People can view, share, e-mail, embed or download films to
their mobile phones, iPods and computers directly from Resort TV’s website.
“The idea is that filmmakers can then e-mail, download, put on
YouTube, their videos, and kind of reach a wider audience,” Rozbitsky
explained. “One of the filmmakers last year, she said that she was able to send
her film out to hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn’t make it to Whistler
to see her film.”
Since last year was the first for the competition, producers
weren’t really expecting an overwhelming number of submissions. But they were
pleasantly surprised by the turnout, and are hoping to grow the number of
applicants as the annual online festival progresses.
“Each year, technology grows and grows, and we are developing
our website to meet the needs of visitors and locals alike, and so we thought…
it would be great to once again do it again this year, because we’ve got new
developments on our website,” Rozbitsky said.
Submissions also don’t have to be brand new — they can be
films that have already been filmed, edited, and even entered into another
“I think for a lot of people last year, they thought… it needed
to be new, and that doesn’t need to be the case,” Rozbitsky said.
Last year, Doug Kerr’s film, “3 a.m.,” took home top honours at
the festival, and Kerr received a sweet prize pack, including a Coast Range
Heliskiing adventure trip for his efforts.
His film featured two characters in a hospital waiting room,
awaiting news about their loved ones who were involved in a car accident.
Little do they know that one of their family members was responsible for the
accident, while the other was the victim.
“It was shot very beautifully, and it was one of those kind of
ironic storylines,” Rozbitsky added.
All of the films were screened at the GLC with audience members
voting, plus an online voting competition. This year, things are being run
similarly, but a jury will pre-select the top videos, which will be screened to
an audience, coupled with the online voting, again.
“We’re looking for original ideas, new storylines, things that
will catch the audience,” she explained. “…We are opening it up to so many
different genres and not being specific, in that it has to be a documentary or
it has to be a drama or comedy, so I think we’re looking for originality, most
The top films will be screened during the first week of
December, which is also the same time the Whistler Film Festival activities
will be going on, though the competition is in no way affiliated with the
Submissions should be made no later than Nov. 1. For detailed guidelines, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .