A B-Grade bloodbath 

How a short film about a weed-smoking Jesus evolved into an annual festival with an audience of over 1,000


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"So, with low expectations comes greatness, I think. When there is no bar, you can do whatever you want, and that's where genius is allowed the freedom to shine."

The organizers are, however, occasionally surprised by the quality of some of the submissions.

"When we first started out, we were constantly surprised at how every year, people were stepping up and stepping up. And it still goes that way. The locals all get better every year."

And in recent years, they've begun receiving submissions from serious filmmakers around the country. But usually, they don't quite get what the B-Grade crowd is looking for.

"The guy with the slickest looking movie last year almost got booed out of the theatre because it was too much talking, too much storytelling, not enough blood, guts and awesomeness. So it's definitely a tough crowd. The B-Grade Horror Fest crowd, they don't want epiphanies. You can sneak those in there if you know what you're doing, but they tear people apart that come from a real filmmaking past or that have big crews and expensive films.

"I don't think you could pull this festival off in most other towns, because even though we have had people who have gone on and are serious about their filmmaking career, a lot of the filmmakers are doing it just for fun...

"So if you're doing it just for fun - which most of the Whistler filmmakers are - then that makes it kind of special."

In the process, the founders have also discovered that people are actually pretty twisted; hence the 19+ age restriction tied to the event.

"Our only rules are with the length and to not steal people's music. And as far as content, it's been carte blanche - and it's weird because you give people that freedom year in and year out and it seems like it's the sexual deviancy stuff that really gets pushed, not the violence, not the gore!"

Banks expects 12 to 14 submissions for this year's festival. And provided all the filmmakers stuck to the 10-minute time limit, they should have time to show them all. As of late last week, he hadn't seen any of the completed films, but was intrigued by Killer Pussy, a project by a newcomer to the event.

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