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Off the cutting room floor

50+ Showdown films screened over two nights

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What: Film Nights 2006 Showdown

When: May 5 and 8

Where: Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC)

Tickets: $9

More than 50 teams of filmmakers rolled out last month to produce five-minute short films over 72 hours for the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s Filmmaker Showdown. Only eight finalists were screened, one best of show picked and the rest of the 45 films lay on the cutting room floor gathering dust.

The Whistler Independent Filmmakers Society stepped in last year, hosting a screening night for all of the showdown films after the festival. Anyone who survived last year’s four-hour-plus showcase will be relieved to learn the society is showing the 53 films produced for this year’s Showdown over two nights.

Film Nights 2006 Showdown packs in more local films in two nights than any other filmmaker event in Whistler, on Friday, May 5 and Monday, May 8 at the Garibaldi Lift Company.

"People started pulling out guns trying to kill themselves because the night was so long last year," said Ryan Edward Harris, co-founder of last year’s Film Nights Showdown. "It was just painful. We are breaking down each evening into three shows, each show averaging eight films."

Each of the three nightly shows will be broadcast live by Whistler Cable 6. The one-hour productions will include an interview with the filmmaker as well as a screening of their work.

"It’s a wonderful opportunity for young filmmakers to get their work shown," Harris said. "I think it is important that they are all seen. It’s a shame to work your ass off all weekend and it gets stuck in a brown envelope at the back of the conference centre. It’s such a fun night: the pressure of 72 hours makes people do some bizarre films."

Lizards, lesbians, time-travel outhouses and sasquatches are just some of the characters. Films know no boundaries and the filmmaking stories that go along with the flicks are often more entertaining than the films themselves.

Last year’s showdown shenanigans winners were a team that filmed a mock hold up at the 7-Eleven convenience store. They didn’t need to cast RCMP when officers showed up to what they thought was a real crime.

This year one team rented a dead coyote from a taxidermist, but was unable to get on a bus to transport it when a driver refused to let them board.

"It takes all kinds," Harris said of the showdown producing experience. "The evenings are always diverse, so come out and celebrate the whole spectrum. You will never see more local films at any other time of the year, so come out support your local filmmakers."

Different films will be screened each night, including four showdown finalists each evening. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with screenings beginning at 8 p.m. sharp.

Visit www.bcfilmmakers.com for a rundown of films for each evening.

Each evening of approximately 25 films is $9 a ticket, with proceeds benefiting the filmmakers society.

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