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Heavy Hitting horror wanted

Whistler's evening of mayhem and gore may be a few months away, but the men of Heavy Hitting Films are already calling on local filmmakers to get started on their submissions for the eighth annual B-Grade Horrorfest.

Whistler's evening of mayhem and gore may be a few months away, but the men of Heavy Hitting Films are already calling on local filmmakers to get started on their submissions for the eighth annual B-Grade Horrorfest.

Feet Banks and Chili Thom launched the Heavy Hitting B-Grade HorrorFest back in 2001 as an excuse to make a short horror movie and since then the event has blossomed into one of the most popular nights on the calendar of Whistler residents.

"Every year gets better and better as the local filmmakers step it up and learn new tricks," Banks said in a recent release. "It's gone from just a few of our friends dicking around with their video cameras and some fake blood to a whole shitload of our friends dicking around and producing outstanding films that would shock and awe most audiences at any other festival."

The HorrorFest garners entries from across the province and even a few from overseas, but the focus of the event has always been fun and a celebration of local filmmaking.

"What we're hoping for once more is budget B-grade horror movies, not the boring crap you see at the Oscars," Banks said. "I'm talking zombies and aliens, monsters and murderers, blood, guts, token nudity, whatever. Anything goes, just make it scary, gory, funny, short and just giv'r. We're accepting trailers for movies as well, if people have a hard time getting a whole movie done. Try to scare us, try to make us laugh, but please, this year, try to hand it in on time."

Organizers are stepping up their game for this edition of the HorrorFest, teaming up with Whistler Creek Productions to elevate the event's status within the film industry.

"They will be able to help with organization and production details like DVD creation to help us step it up this year," Banks said. "We're stoked to be working with them."

The festival will once again take place around Halloween, with the best in show awarded a killer trophy and a cash prize. For information and guidelines, e-mail or go to . Submission deadline is Oct. 15.

"The best thing about a summer full of record-breaking heat waves is that when you're filming your B-Grade Horror Movie, it's way easier to get people to do nude outdoor death scenes," Banks said.

Putting Features First

The National Screen Institute is calling on all Canadian filmmaking teams who are in the midst of developing their first or second feature film to apply for training opportunities through their NSI Features First program.

Their professional development program, NSI Features First, is designed to help filmmakers with a feature film script to advance their project by honing their scripts and gaining a better understanding of the business aspects of the industry.

Eleven feature films developed through this program have been produced, some going on to win awards, play in commercial theatres, and debut at prestigious festivals.

Up to five teams are chosen for this 10-month, three-phase program. Guidelines and application information can be found at .

Celebrating mountain culture

In the midst of Crankworx craziness, Squamish is also hosting its summer celebration: the third annual Squamish Mountain Festival.

The five-day festival focuses on climbing culture, with an assortment of events including film festivals and photography contests like the Steep Shot Photo Shoot Out, plus educational climbing clinics and competitions for the pros. The festival kicks off on Aug. 12 and runs to Aug. 16, with events taking place at venues throughout Squamish, including the Eagle Eye Theatre, Squamish Adventure Centre, and Howe Sound Brew Pub. This year, the festival party is themed, so dig out your trashiest togs for the "Trailer Trash Super Heroes" theme.

For a detailed lineup of films to be screened at Eagle Eye Theatre, or to find out more about each of the events in store during the upcoming Squamish Mountain Festival, visit .

What's going on down under (in the mine)

The B.C. Museum of Mining is launching its summer art series, Copper & Fire, Sunday, Aug. 9 with live demonstrations with metal artists, a stone carver, potters and a chainmail artist.

On Aug. 16, the museum in Britannia Beach will celebrate its 35 th birthday with on-site entertainment by a firespinner and kid's activities. Finally, on Aug. 23, Copper & Fire features art demonstrations and an impressive lineup of live musicians to entertain the crowd inside the mill from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Summer of Funny deadline extended

Pique Newsmagazine's Summer of Funny writing contest is well underway and great submissions are already coming in. However, given the late announcement of the contest, we've decided to move the deadline date back a month to give people more time to prepare. The new deadline is Friday, Aug. 28, with the winning submissions running in our Labour Day issue.

Pique is accepting humorous short stories, scripts, long format jokes and poems, and will be giving $400 in prize money to the top submissions. Pique's editorial staff will determine the winners, with a maximum prize of $250 for an outstanding submission.