Actress Kim Cattrall, How to Train Your Dragon animator and director Dean DeBlois and film producer Don Carmody are coming to the Whistler Film Festival (WFF).
"We've worked extremely hard to compile our list of signature series honorees, to recognize distinguished artists of our time and honour them with an award and onstage interview," says WFF executive director Shauna Hardy Mishaw.
"And we have an amazing film lineup. I am really excited about everything."
Cattrall has had an extensive acting career that spans film, stage and television. The British-born, Canadian-raised actress is perhaps best known for playing Samantha on Sex in the City on TV and in film, but she also has had a long stage career and is a best-selling author.
She grew up in Vancouver.
Her work and career will be celebrated in a Tribute conversation with actor-director Jason Priestley, the WFF's ambassador on Dec. 6. Cattrall is also on the jury for the WFF Boros Film Award for best Canadian feature.
The event will be co-hosted by Rick Campanelli of ET Tonight and WFF's four Rising Stars of Western Canadian film — Camille Sullivan, Dustin Milligan, Sara Canning and Niall Matter — will also be introduced.
Animator DeBlois, whose films have taken in over $500 million in box office receipts, is taking part in a Variety contender conversation and interview. He will be presented with a Trailblazer in Animation award on Dec. 6.
"We are really excited about that," says Hardy Mishaw. "How to Train Your Dragon is an award season contending film and that's huge for us. And he happens to be Canadian born."
Carmody will receive a career achievement award and take part in an in-conversation event on Dec. 4. He has produced over 100 films, including Oscar-winning films Good Will Hunting and Chicago. He is also behind the Resident Evil franchise.
"He is Canada's most successful producer. He is coming to the festival with a world premiere, After the Ball, which is in this year's Boros competition (for best Canadian feature)," says Hardy Mishaw.
"Having this level of talent in a room is really reflective of the progress that we've made in terms of our programming. This year we've taken it to a new level."
The festival takes place from Wednesday, Dec. 3 to Sunday, Dec. 7.
As well, there are four winners for the Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship this year. Damien Eagle Bear with The Bannocking, Kelly R. Roulette with Sometimes She Smiles, Steven Davies with The Re-naming of Pkols and Eva Thomas with Ancestral and Unceded.
Taking place on December 5 and 6 during the festival, the four fellows will gain feedback and support from professionals in the Canadian film industry.
Mentors for the program include actor-director Lorne Cardinal, producer Cynde Harmon, director Carl Bessai and APTN's executive director of programming and scheduling Monika Ille.
WFF has also announced for the first time a B.C. Music Café during the festival to showcase the province's musical talent across all styles.
The event, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Garfinkel's. The lineup includes Wil, Chersea, Zaac Pick, Rococode and Humans, each playing a live 30-minute set.
"Music BC is really pleased to be partnering with the Whistler Film Festival to help produce the WFF Music Café," said Bob D'Eith, Executive Director, Music BC in a release.
"Showcasing music at the festival to music supervisors and film producers will inevitably lead to placements of songs created by B.C. songwriters and performers on films and television shows seen around the world, which will help to give great exposure and revenues to these artists. It will also be a fantastic concert for the festival delegates and attendees."
Tickets for films, talks and other events, including passes, can be purchased at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.
And stay tuned, more announcements are expected shortly and will be reported at www.piquenewsmagazine.com.