More films than ever, this year’s Whistler Film Festival caters to all film tastes: comedy, drama, mainstream, political, documentary and just plain totally out-there experimental.
"We’ve tried to provide as much opportunity as we can for everybody to enjoy something," said Bill Evans, program director of the Dec. 1-4 festival. "They are entertaining, challenging and sometimes provocative in subject matter. It’s a four day feast of film."
Evans gave the fast track low down on some films to look out for, depending on film-going habits. But don’t forget to step out of the regular routine, some films may surprise you.
Evans’s top two documentaries to check out include Favela Rising , Dec. 4 at 5 p.m., and Borradaile’s Century , Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. Favela Rising documents the empowerment through music in Brazil’s crime-ridden ghettos.
Counterpoint to Jeff Zimbalist’s film is Borradaile’s Century , highlighting the remarkable life of Canadian cameraman Osmond Borradaile. The Nova Scotia-born man worked in Hollywood’s silent films, was a war photographer during World War II, traveled the world filming exotic locations and then settled in Chilliwack, B.C. to live out his remaining days as a dairy farmer.
New this year is the Mountain Culture category, expanding films beyond the stereotypical action sports film – but don’t worry, the festival throws in a couple for good measure, including snowboard flick White Air Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at MY Place. Sanctified showcases backcountry skiing Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. at MY Place. However, global warming issues are intertwined with epic mountainscapes.
Movies to laugh about include Tristram Shandy Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. at Village 8. The satirical film is based on the hilarious film adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s 18th-century novel. Love is Work , one of six Borsos Award contenders, tells the comical and often painful truth about love Dec. 3. At 1 p.m. at Village 8.
Films addressing political issues include This Revolution Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at MY Place. This Sundance Festival favourite questions the responsibility of the media in issues such as the Iraq War and the 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. Academy Award winner Haskell Wexler blurs fiction with reality by shooting the film during a real Democratic convention using both actors and people off the streets.
For totally-out-there films, Breakfast on Pluto Dec. 4 at 5:15 p.m. at Village 8 tells the tale of a transvestite who hooks up with the Irish Republican Army in 1970 Ireland – brought to you by the same director as the Crying Game and Interview with a Vampire .
Newly added late night films offer zombie wars and group sex flicks. Loggers and tree huggers come together to fight off zombies in Severed Dec. 3 at 11:30 p.m. at Village 8. The Cabin Movie Dec. 2 at 11:30 p.m. at Village 8 grapples with the question, "What would you do if you had to go all the way?" when several couples meet in a cabin and perform randomly-chosen sexual acts.
The short film route is perfect for expanding your film-viewing repertoire. And if you find you don’t enjoy a particular film, it is over in a few minutes and on to the next one.
"It’s a great opportunity to see films from around the world," Evans said. "That what I really like about this year’s program. We’ve got films from Turkey, Japan, Germany and the U.S. We’ve got a lot of really talented filmmakers who mostly for economic reasons were not able to make a full feature film."
Short films are grouped into four showings at Village 8 Cinemas: Good Times, Bad Blood, What’s Up with Kids? and The Big Thing.
For more information, visit www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.