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Whistler Film Festival unveils talent program shortlist

Arts news: Whistler arts organizations receive Whistler Community Foundation grants; The Radicals streams for free for Earth Day 
Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 3.28.16 PM
The Whistler Film Festival has revealed its shortlist for its Screenwriters Lab and Producers Lab.

The shortlist is in for two of the Whistler Film Festival’s (WFF) biggest talent programs: the WFF Screenwriters Lab and Producers Lab. 

This year, 22 projects have been shortlisted, along with 31 Canadian filmmakers, 21 writers, and 10 producers. 

“We saw a record number of applications for both the Screenwriters and Producers Labs this year,” says Angela Heck, WFF managing director, in a release. “The sheer number of strong, original narrative projects that were submitted, and the diversity of perspectives and experience of the talented individuals who applied is particularly encouraging for the Canadian industry. We’re thrilled to see that inspiration and creativity are thriving in our filmmaking community.”

The 12 shortlisted screenwriters—of which six will be chosen—are spread across the country including: Aisha Evlyna (Ont.), Seahorse; Andrea Feltrin (B.C.), Chum; Shauna Johannessen (B.C.), Common Grace; Sam Luk (B.C.), Torrents; Martina Munro (B.C.), Nice Jewish Girl; Nadine Pequeneza (Ont.), 1047 Days; Carla Robinson (Ont.), Bully; Bryce Sage (Ont.), Blood & Water; Tamara Segura Gonzalez (Nfld.), Migratory Birds; Ganesh Thava (Ont.), Man Abroad; Jennifer Walden (NWT), Mother; and Christopher Yip (Ont.), Fish Boy.  

The finalists will spend seven months in the online mentorship-based script development program, starting May 31.

The 10 shortlisted Producers Lab teams—of which six producer/ writer teams will be chosen—include: Catherine Carnovale (Ont.), Blood & Water by writer Bryce Sage (Ont.); Alexandra Caulfield (B.C.), Betwixt by writer Meeshelle Neal (B.C.); Rebeka Herron (Ont.), Bone Curator by writer Trish Rainone (Ont.); Andrea Hoffman (Sask.), Dark Match by writer Lowell Dean (Sask.); Mike Johnston (B.C.), Gorilla Hunting by writer Steve Moody (B.C.); Heidi Lasi (Ont.), Sweet Release by writer Meeshelle Neal (Ont.); Lauren Mackinlay (Ont.), Rearranging by writer Julia Rowland (Ont.); Colin Mercer (Ont.), The Cru by writer Stephane Garneau-Monten (Ont.); Adam Park (Ont.), Haunted by writer Matt Ralston (Ont.); and Tane Uribarren (Ont.), Without A Script by writer Shaina Follis (Ont.). 

The finalists and mentors for each program will be announced in May. 

Whistler arts organizations receive grants

The Whistler Community Foundation recently announced its spring grants, with several local arts institutions chosen to receive funding.

Under the Caring Community Grants for 2021, The Point Artist-Run Centre received $3,000 for its Sunday Artist Sessions, The Whistler Writing Society was granted $350 for a scholarship for an emerging writer who is black, Indigenous, or a person of colour, and the Whistler Arts Council received $2,000 for its self-guided cultural scavenger hunt through the Whistler Children’s Festival.

In addition, the Whistler Writing Society also received another $1,000 for its Authors in Schools program. 

Under environmental grants, the Whistler Museum was granted $6,800 for its Discover Nature Station. 

Celebrate Earth Day with film screening

Local filmmaker Brian Hockenstein is releasing his 2018 documentary (co-directed by Tamo Campos) The Radicals for free streaming in time to celebrate Earth Day.

Blending action-sports and environmental activism, the film follows four snow and surf athletes who are also social and environmental activists. In turn, they tell the stories of four First Nations facing environmental struggles, from invasive fish farms to unauthorized mining on their land. 

The film has travelled to 20 film festivals and been screened at over 100 events. Now it will stream online for free at

“The stories told in the film are more relevant than ever and to see the film now go out into the world for free streaming is very exciting,” Hockenstein said in a release.