Lights, camera, action… Organizers are gearing up for the
8th annual Whistler Film Festival (WFF), which runs from Wednesday, Dec. 3
until Sunday, Dec. 7, and offers up an impressive array of parties and
premieres. And this year, they’re breaking new ground with the festival theme
“It’s a new theme, but in a way, it kind of sums up what
we’ve been doing for the past four years and where the festival has been
heading,” said Bill Evans, director of programming for WFF. “We are interested
in presenting new films to the general public and also to the film industry in
They’re hosting more Canadian premieres, and films that are
different from those being shown at other film festivals.
“We’re expanding our reach,” Evans added. “We’re showing
more films that have come to us from smaller distributors from other festivals
like Tribeca, American Film Market, and then in terms of our industry
programming we are embracing, I guess, the challenges and opportunities that
are presented by new forms of technology that are transforming the industry.”
Evans believes there are even parts of the industry portion
of the WFF – the Filmmaker Forum – that will appeal to the
film-loving public. One of which is the Director Master Class with Bruce
MacDonald, an engaging speaker, and the well-known independent cult director
who created, “Hardcore Logo.”
“He’s really kind of a do-it-yourself filmmaker,” Evans
explained, “He just picked up a camera and started shooting, didn’t go to film
school, didn’t get a government grant, just went out in did it, and I think his
kind of approach is something everyone can learn from.”
The Short Film Pitch Session also promises to be
entertaining – four short-form filmmakers pitch scripts, with only one
walking away with a $15,000 prize to help produce their project.
“Stakes are high, and the winning film from last year is
actually going to be playing at the festival this year,” he added.
There are also quite a few special events on the WFF
schedule that are perfect for the public.
The opening gala on Thursday, Dec. 4 ($25), features the
B.C. premiere of the Michael McGowan directed “One Week,” starring Joshua
“Basically, the opening night, it’s a big party,” Evans
But the highlight of the festival this year for both the
public and members of the industry, Evans speculates, will be the Tribute to
Donald Sutherland ($52.50) on Saturday, Dec. 6.