What’s The Buzz? 

Filmmaker Norman Jewison honoured at festival event

By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Whistler Film Festival

What: Tribute to Norman Jewison

When: Friday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m.

Where: MY Millennium Place

Tickets: $15

In the words of the Apostles from his film version of Jesus Christ Superstar , “What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening?”

And there is plenty to buzz about at the Whistler Film Festival, with Canadian filmmaking icon Norman Jewison bringing more than four decades of film and television stories to Whistler — including the rock opera hit carried over from Broadway to the big screen under his direction.

The Emmy, Oscar and Academy award toting filmmaker will discuss his life and work at the Tribute to Norman Jewison on Friday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.

“We are incredibly honoured and excited that he is coming here,” said festival programmer Bill Evans. “It doesn’t get any bigger than him in the film industry…. He’s worked with everyone from Al Pacino and Denzel Washington to Steve McQueen and Cher. He’s an amazing storyteller, an amazing man. People will be very entertained. He’s got a great sense of humour and some wild stories.”

Jewison is also president of the jury overseeing the festival’s Borsos Award for Best New Canadian Feature. The $15,000 award honours filmmaker Phillip Borsos, best known for his film The Grey Fox .

“It’s about linking their achievements to the idea of passing on the baton to the next generation,” Evans said. “He was interested in the idea of giving something back to the next generation of filmmakers coming up.”

Jewison also has a lot to give. The early days of his career were spent working with the CBC and CBS. Since then his films have wracked up 46 Oscar nominations and 12 Academy Awards, and he has himself been personally nominated for four Oscars. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982 and awarded the Companion to the Order of Canada in 1992. He received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2004.

Your Hit Parade, The Andy Williams Show , Judy Garland specials, 40 Pounds of Trouble starring Tony Curtis, The Cincinnati Kid starring Steve McQueen, Agnes of God, Moonstruck, Other People’s Money, Rollerball, Only You, The Hurricane, For Richer or Poorer and The Statement are only a few film/television shows to his credit. He also directed big screen versions of Fiddler on the Roof and Jesus Christ Superstar .

In addition to filmmaking, Jewison founded the Canadian Film Centre in 1986. The centre is hosting two workshops as part of the festival’s Filmmaker Forum, including low-budget independent filmmaking and a director’s master class with Andrew Currie.

Tickets to the tribute are $15.

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