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The forum lineup is the equivalent of a feature-film,
reducing this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival networking forum to
little more than a preview trailer.
Great things come in small packages. Hardy Mishaw aims to
keep the Whistler Film Festival the intimate gathering the mountain town
inspired, so filmmakers can continue to bump into contacts along the Village
Stroll in between screenings rather than get lost in the gridlocked rush hour
of film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, where
filmmakers fall through the red carpet cracks.
Echoes of a festival contact
font-family:Times'>Maybe that is why James Upton, despite attending the
Vancouver International Film Festival for three years, didn’t land his first
big break until he headed north of the city lights to a town more famous for
its great outdoors than its culture.
While the festival sparks connections, how a
filmmaker/producer follows through and what they bring to that connection
determines whether that initial meeting is going to spread like wildfire or
fade to black with the festival’s closing credits.
Talking with Upton, co-founder of Talelight Films, the level
of professionalism and organization for his young production company was
clearly evident; He explained the company’s mandate and current and future film
projects with the polish of a press release.
It was this cross every “t” and dot every “i"
dedication that closed a film deal this year. However, even with all the talent
and dedication in the world, conquering the film industry beast requires more
than a quality product, it requires contacts with the right people and being in
the right place at the right time.
And thanks to the Whistler Film Festival, all three
components — talent, contact and timing — came together, resulting
in Talelight Films landing a three-feature-film contract with Montreal-based
“I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to meet
like-minded filmmakers, sales agents and distributors,” Upton said of coming to
the Whistler Film Festival last year. “What an incredible environment to host a
festival where independent film can be celebrated in a relaxed, but
Upton approached Michael Mosca, senior vice-president of
Equinoxe Films, after attending one of the filmmaker forum discussion panels
last year. Business cards were exchanged and Upton arranged a meeting the next
day to discuss his company and a short film Talelight was currently in
post-production with called
Echoes of an Epic