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Whistler Film Festival unveils first films for 21st edition

Organizers announce six world premieres and one special presentation for its hybrid online/in-person event
The-Power-of-the-Dog
The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is one of the films announced this week for the 21st edition of the Whistler Film Festival.

Movie buffs got their first glimpse at the lineup for the 21st edition of the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) this week, with a number of world premieres on tap.

Kicking off Dec. 1, the WFF will feature six world premieres and one special presentation of the acclaimed Netflix film, The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, and directed by Academy Award-winner Jane Campion (The Piano).

“After a challenging year where we truly innovated, researched and reimagined our festival, we're thrilled to be able to present a hybrid festival experience and welcome our film fans and filmmaker community back to Whistler to enjoy films in theatre while also bringing our online national audience along for the ride,” said festival executive director Angela Heck in a release. “As always, our lineup spotlights new regional, national, and international cinematic talent and amplifies diverse voices while offering connections to the industry through the Content Summit and Talent Programs. We're excited to connect our audiences with the energy and vitality of independent film.”

The six world premieres, five of which are eligible for WFF’s Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature and the $35,000 prize package, are: Altar Boy, directed by Serville Poblete; Carmen, directed by Valerie Buhagiar; Confessions of a Hitman, directed by and starring Luc Picard; Evelyne, directed by Carl Bessai; Inès, directed by Renée Beaulieu; and The Secret Society, directed by Rebecca Campbell.

“These have been exciting times for the programming team, as we were delighted to discover that the quality and quantity of new productions completed over the challenging last year were equal to, if not superior to, what we have seen in prior years,” observed Paul Gratton, WFF’s director of programming, in the release. “Creativity and inspiration, especially from the Canadian artists that we support with direct revenue-sharing, have never been more important to us as we look forward to much better days ahead. Hopefully, this year’s WFF lineup will help set the tone for recovery in the months ahead.”

Held in a hybrid online/in-person format, this year’s event will allow moveigoers to stream up to 100 films, access filmmaker Q&As and attend a virtual awards celebration through WFF’s online screening platform. The online portion of the festival is scheduled for Dec. 1 to 31. 

In-person screenings and events will take place from Dec. 1 to 5, while the industry-focused Content Summit will be presented both in-person and online from Dec. 1 to 10.

Ticket packs and passes to stream WFF online are available through the festival’s online box office at whistlerfilmfestival.com/tickets.