By Nicole Fitzgerald
Please insert bad French accent here. There should be lots of phlegm racketeering, “r” rolling and rhythm ping ponging that only a Quebecer can do.
Or as writer, producer and director Shawn Divers would have subtitled in his winning film: The hilarious, French-jibberish film the Legend of Jacques Le Nards co-produced by two Vancouver brothers won the grand prize for the Filmmaker Showdown at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival Tuesday at the Telus Conference Centre.
More than 68 filmmaking teams entered the 72-hour competition that began last Friday and finished Monday morning. However, only 50 teams managed to produce, shoot and edit their five-minute short films. The 50 were then narrowed down to eight finalists. Those eight films were screened in front of 2,000 people and a panel of industry professionals to compete for $15,000 in prizes, including $2,000 cash and a $7,000 HD camera.
Shawn and Luke Divers co-produced the winning film, garnering the most votes by judges and the biggest applause from an audience whose bellies were sore from laughing.
Before we begin the Divers boys tale, Shawn would like to clarify.
“No seals were hurt in this film,” he said with all the seriousness in which the star of the film executed his lines penned in “French” jibberish with English subtitles.
The Legend of Jacques Le Nards poked fun at The CBC heritage specials that air historical moments, such as how the Canadian flag came to be or how women were given the right to vote.
Only instead of exploring how hockey was born, the mocking film delved into Whistler history — how tight ski-racing suits came to be.
“We wanted to pick something that related to Whistler,” Luke said. “Something that might come out of its history.”
So the imaginary figure and historical account was created and executed with all the flare of the heritage commercials: subtitles, the inventor seen as crazy, the painstaking process of drawing up this revolutionary invention, the failures and finally a random incident that inspired the conception.
For Jacques Le Nards, the aha! moment was water dripping off his sealskin boots. And this is where the seal comes in. We see Jacques approaching a live seal with club in hand. And voilà, in the next frame our mighty Whistler-equivalent to Samuel Morse is sporting his speeding sealskin ski-racing suit.