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Whistler Film Festival wraps up in-person events, looks to holiday livestreaming

The festival’s 22nd edition marked the last time it will host some of its films at Village 8
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The Whistler Film Festival has wrapped up in-person events, but is still livestreaming several of its films through the holidays.

 

In case you missed the news, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) isn’t over yet.

Yes, the in-person festival, which ran at various venues around the resort from Nov. 30 until Dec. 4, might have wrapped up for its 22nd season, but the festival’s online streaming is still going strong until Jan. 2, 2023.

About 75 per cent of the films that played on the big screen are now available at watch.whistlerfilmfestival.com/wff22, including all the winners of this year’s Borsos Competition.

“Most of our audience will watch between Christmas and New Year,” says Angela Heck, executive director of the WFF. “That’s when people have the downtime. There’s lots of opportunity to still take in our winners.”

As for the in-person festival, audiences might not have known it at the time, but the 2022 festival marked the last time its films will screen at Village 8 Cinemas. Imagine Cinemas, which owns Whistler’s only movie theatre, announced that the venue will close its doors on Jan. 5, 2023.

“Honestly, they were very good to us and let us have our festival there this year before deciding to close the doors,” Heck says. “I know Whistler must be very upset. We will miss [the cinema], of course, but we’re still going to have a festival next year.”

In fact, the date has already been set for Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

While the festival’s many parties and events drew large crowds, in-theatre audiences weren’t quite as big as organizers would’ve liked.

“There’s a lot competing for people’s attention,” Heck says. “People are going out to parties, but what we’re finding is because people were enjoying themselves so much at the festival, they’re appreciating being able to see the films at home now.”

Still, it was nice to be back to full-capacity, in-person events.

“The fact that I was able to run around and make things happen, that was a highlight,” Heck says. “There was a lot of energy. We have the industry après for passholders, and people didn’t want to leave. They were just exuberant. They wanted to hang out, talk, make deals. Overall, the energy was just electric. It was really great.”

Another highlight this year was attracting the CMPA Indiescreen Awards—which have been held at the Toronto International Film Festival in the past—and a “reinvigorated” partnership with Variety, which co-hosted the new 10 Canadians to Watch program.

“People had a good time,” Heck says. “Deals were made.”

Award-winning films to stream

The Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature went to Coyote, directed by Katherine Jerkovic, which came with a $15,000 cash prize and $20,000 in post-production prizes. 

In total, there were 16 awards in seven film competitions, as well as the Power Pitch Competition and MPPIA Short Film Award.

The other winners include:

Best Director of a Borsos Competition Film - Joëlle Desjardins Paquette for Rodeo. 

Best Screenplay of a Borsos Competition Film - Guillaume Lambert for Niagara.

Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film - Jorge Martinez Colorado in Coyote with an honourable mention to Viva Lee in Polaris and Lilou Roy-Lanouette in Rodeo.

Best Cinematography in a Borsos Competition Film - David Schuurman for Polaris with an honourable mention to Stirling Bancroft for Exile.

Best Editing in a Borsos Competition Film - Arthur Tarnowski for The 12 Tasks of Imelda. 

World Documentary Award - River directed by Jennifer Peedom with an honourable mention to Out in the Ring directed by Ry Levey.

Best Mountain Culture Short Film - The Trapline by Andrea Wing with an honourable mention to Snowblind directed by Anthony Bonello and Mike Douglas.

Best Mountain Culture Feature Film - Know Before You Go: To The Hills and Back, directed by Mike Quigley.

Best BC Director Award - Carl Bessai for Féline@6.15 with an honourable mention to Jules Koostachin for Broken Angel.

Canadian ShortWork Award - Tongue directed by Kaho Yoshida.

International ShortWork Award - Warsha directed by Dania Bdeir with an honourable mention to Ice Merchants directed by João Gonzalez.

BC Student ShortWork Award - Omukama directed by Zane Klassen.

Power Pitch Competition - Jonathan Chuby won the WFF Power Pitch Competition with his project Duck Race. 

MPPIA Short Film Pitch - Nessa Aref  for My Roommate Ahriman with an honourable mention to Rosie Choo Pidcock for Sorry for Your Cost

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