Whistler's Heavy Hitting HorrorFest was founded, 15 years ago, on blood, sweat and, well, more blood. Seeming to eschew the glitz and glam of its festival-circuit counterparts, HorrorFest has always celebrated B-grade flicks made on a shoestring budget. But for its 2019 edition, Western Canada’s longest-running horror-movie fest will have more money to entice participating filmmakers with than ever before.
“It’s always been about having fun with your friends and trying to make the most badass film possible with the least resources,” explains Feet Banks, who co-founded the festival with the late artist Chili Thom in 2002, in a release. “But after 15 years, everything is getting elevated. The films coming in have explosions, car chases and big, gushy exit wounds. This kind of stuff takes resources to pull off so it’s nice to be able to dangle a nice cash carrot as well as the prestige that comes with winning.”
Thanks to support from both local and national sponsors, Heavy Hitting HorrorFest has just under $4,500 in cash prizes to hand out in 2019. That includes $1,500 for Best in Show, $500 for People’s Choice, and $666.69 (nice) for the Chili Thom Memorial Award, among others.
“It’s incredible to see this kind of support,” Banks says. “Over the years, this little festival has evolved into a proper incubator of independent film talent and being able to offer this kind of prize money can actually really help people on the next step of their film careers.”
Even with the additional cash prizing, Banks (who is also Pique’s long-time movie columnist) wants to maintain the ethos that has made HorrorFest into the delightfully DIY spectacle it has become known for.
“Everyone’s a winner at HorrorFest, it’s like Sports Day at elementary school—we all get a ribbon, but it’s covered in blood,” Banks adds.
Heavy Hitting HorrorFest: Apocalypse is scheduled for Oct. 30. Film submissions are open until Sept. 15 at heavyhitting.com/submit.
For more information, visit heavyhitting.com.
Whistler Film Festival adds new board members
The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the newest members to join its board.
Following its annual general meeting on June 26, the Whistler Film Festival Society announced the addition of Daniel Cruz, CFO and board member of Liquid Media Group; Kendrie Upton, the executive director of the Directors Guild of Canada, B.C.; Nathaniel Lyman, associate at Chandler Fogden Aldous Entertainment Law; and Saad Hasan, general manager of Lodging Ovations and chair of the Hotel Association of Whistler.
The new board members join the current directors team, including Ann Chiasson, manager broker of Re/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate; Roger Soane, president and CEO of Whistler Sport Legacies; Sue Brouse, director of members services and human resources for the Union of BC Performers and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists; Sue Chappel, Ph.D and consultant; and Shauna Hardy Mishaw, the founder and executive director of the WFF.
“I would like to welcome our new members to the Whistler Film Festival Society Board of Directors,” said Chiasson in a release. “My Board colleagues and I look forward to working with them and benefiting from their extensive experience, as we set the Society’s path forward. On behalf of all at WFF, I would also like to thank our returning Directors for their commitment to the organization and their valuable work on the Board.”
The 19th annual Whistler Film Festival returns Dec. 4 to 8. Learn more at whistlerfilmfestival.com.