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Sea to Sky Film Fest screens lucky 13

Squamish’s plucky little Sea to Sky Film Festival, a one-night gala of independent short filmmaking, is celebrating its ninth birthday next Friday evening with a 13-film lineup that includes three world premieres.

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What: 9 th Annual Sea to Sky Film Festival

Where: Eagle Eye Theatre (Squamish)

When: Friday, Sept. 24

Tickets: $8/$5

The lineup is an increase from last year’s 11-film offering, however festival director and creator Adriane Polo said the overall running time will be similar since this year’s films are shorter on the whole.

"We have a lot more variety this year," commented Polo. "We went with more fantasy and myth and more comedy. We’re heavy on comedy.

"It’s got to do with the general audience and the general audience likes comedy and drama the best."

A feature filmmaker and children’s theatre director from the Howe Sound area, Polo started the annual festival as a way to expose the average filmgoer in Squamish to a more quirky, non-Hollywood style of filmmaking.

With this in mind, even the two experimental "art films" included in this year’s festival have been selected to have wide appeal.

All films are what Polo considers "rated G." Special efforts were taken to build a lineup with no foul language and no nudity. One entry from West Vancouver considered brilliant by festival programmers was axed due to an effusive use of the "F-word." Even the risque-themed experimental entry The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is suitable for a mainstream audience, Polo assured.

While last year’s lineup included films from California and Australia, this year is an all-Canadian affair with four Quebecois films and one entry each from Toronto and White Fox, Sask. The remainder hails from B.C., mostly the Lower Mainland, with the exception of The Story of Whistler Mountain , a world premiere documentary by Edward Homer of Gabriola Island. Polo is confident most of the B.C. directors will be in attendance.

The films will compete for prizes in drama, comedy, documentary and experimental categories, judged by a festival panel. The event will be hosted by Mountain FM personality Steve Hainsworth.

The festival is more than twice the age of Whistler’s four-year-old film festival, although it remains a fraction of the size and scope. But Polo asserts that the local mindset is served by the event’s intimacy.

"We’re smaller," she stated matter of factly. "And we’re geared more toward the audience in Squamish. Whistler gears toward worldly audiences. We do it very much for a local audience and that’s the difference. It’s more indigenous to Squamish and what we would like to see here."

The 9 th Annual Sea to Sky Film Festival screens at 7 p.m. at Squamish’s Eagle Eye Theatre next Friday, Sept. 24. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 students and seniors, available in advance from Mostly Books and Highland Video and at the venue.

For more information call 604-898-5930.

SIDEBAR

9th Annual Sea to Sky Film Festival lineup

(WP indicates a world premiere screening)

Trois Façons

Steve Asselin - Que.

(Drama) 5:00 min

Loose adaptation of the literary work Thus Spoke Zarathustra , by

Nietzsche.

Simple Favour (WP)

Gary Hawes - Vancouver, B.C.

(Comedy) 12:00 min

In order to commit his long-time girlfriend, Steve must know that she will be faithful. To find out the answer he enlists the help of his best friend Phil.

This Bleeding Place

Susan Cormier - Burnaby, B.C.

(Drama) 5:35 min

As a young woman repaints the apartment where she and her abusive former partner used to live, her strokes are significantly out of synch with her present situation.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Terry Mialkowsky - White Fox, Sask.

(Experimental) 10:00 min

Henry and Olivia exchange gifts of suicide in this grimly beautiful retelling of the classic O. Henry Christmas story The Gift of the Magi .

The Mall Man

Matthew J. Blecha - N. Vancouver, B.C.

(Comedy) 15:00 min

A comedy about a disgruntled mall security guard who finds new meaning by helping a reality TV show hostess and her uptight husband make it to their fertility clinic appointment.

L'Empire du Brien

Louis-Andre Lebrun - Que.

(Documentary) 5:00 min

The Faust myth is examined as it applies to the human condition.

Le Horla

Philippe Gagnon - Que.

(Drama) 5:00 min

Based on the novel "Le Horla", the story deals with a man testing his reality.

The Story of Whistler Mountain (WP)

Edward Homer - Gabriola, B.C.

(Documentary) 30:00 min

From secluded wilderness to world class resort with an Olympic future – a look at the largest ski facility in North America over the past 40 years.

Pits

Gary Hawes - Vancouver, B.C.

(Comedy) 8:00 min

Already running late for his interview at a prestigious law firm, Adam

Chapin soon discovers that he has two large sweat stains on his dress shirt. Determined to make a strong first impression, he tries to solve his sweaty problem before going in.

Icare

Stephane Houle - Que.

(Drama) 5:00 min

Dramatic short film exploring the myth of Icarus.

Road Kill

Gary Hawes - Vancouver, B.C.

(Comedy) 10:00 min

Three buddies are on their way to the perfect barbecue until they run over a raccoon.

Headlessness (WP)

Luke Gustafson - Vancouver, B.C.

(Experimental) 3:39 min

Animated experimental film about a lone monk on a pilgrimage to the 'holy mountain' who has psychedelic visions of dissemination. The film uses drawn and flash animation.

The Obstacle Course

Cameron Tingley - Toronto, Ont.

(Comedy) 5:22 min

Inside a modern convenience store aggressive advertising displays and seductive point-of-purchase gimmicks compete for the attention of the vulnerable consumer.

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