Coldfront Online Film Festival launched by Whistler Blackcomb 

Six local filmmakers vie for $10,000 first prize in month-long competition

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Lift off Whistler filmmaker Benjamin Webb (right) at work last season on his short film for Coldfront, a new online competition.
  • Photo submitted
  • Lift off Whistler filmmaker Benjamin Webb (right) at work last season on his short film for Coldfront, a new online competition.

Ready for a tantalizing taste of powered snow? Whistler Blackcomb has heard you and is launching a new online film festival to get people ready for the coming season.

Six of the resort's best filmmakers are vying for a $10,000 first prize in the Coldfront Online Film festival, which takes place from late September to the end of October.

The festival features the work of Olliepop Films, Heart Films, Ryan Kenny & Benjamin Webb, Geoff Hewat, Nuulife Cinema and Graeme Mieklejohn.

Each of the competitors' six short films showcases the resort's winter wonderland. All films were shot between February 2014 and the end of last season.

"We pit them head-to-head in a battle, with the winner at the end of the month taking home $10,000. It's a good prize for the filmmakers," says Chris McLeod, the film industry and communications supervisor for Whistler Blackcomb.

Coldfront kicks off on Monday, Sept. 29. Each week, two films on the Whistler experience compete with the cyber-public selecting the winner who moves on to the next round. Week one sees Olliepop Films vs. Geoff Hewat.

The link taking people to the films and voting can be found at

Votes can be cast once per week, and voters will be entered into a draw for a Whistler Blackcomb season pass, equipment, a GoPro camera, and a $500 gift certificate.

The films run three to five minutes. Each had to feature at least 70 per cent Whistler Blackcomb footage, with up to 30 per cent from outside the ski area boundary.

"There's always such great winter content that comes out in the fall and we wanted to pull together all that amazing footage and work with some of the great local filmmakers in order to put all that content together and really build up the hype for winter," says McLeod.

"By having it online, it just opens it up outside of Whistler. It really helps blast it all over the place with Olliepop Films having a presence in Australia; Heart Films is originally from Japan. It's great Whistler Blackcomb footage being seen all over the world."

Competitor Benjamin Webb, who has entered a short with Ryan Kenny, says they worked together for Coldfront as well as the Intersection film competition during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April.

"I was working on a couple of different projects last winter and couldn't put a full effort into Coldfront," Webb says. "Same with Ryan. We decided to combine forces. It was pretty awesome to work on the two projects together last year."

Webb started filming snowboarding friends until it "snowballed" into a career.

"What we're trying to portray is that we're out there, we're doing it and we love it. You see that," Webb says. "We're pretty stoked with what we've put together."

Geoff Hewat has been a filmmaker since moving from Toronto to Whistler five years ago. He developed a web series called Westward about Ontario skiers who moved to B.C. to make names for themselves. He is currently a freelance.

"This is a great opportunity for all the filmmakers. I'm just happy to be invited, I'm a bit younger and have a little bit less means than some of the competitors," Hewat says.

His film for Cold Front is called Frontcountry, a play on backcountry.

"It's all based in the Whistler Blackcomb Terrain Park," he says. "Our crew just focuses on park skiing. We don't have any trucks or sleds, like some of the other crews do."

winter sports film premieres

Red Bull Media House, in association with MSP Films, presents Days of My Youth, a new film that examines every skier's lifelong love of the sport.

It is showing at Millennium Place on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (all ages) and 10:30 p.m. (19+). Tickets are $20.

Super Proof is holding its premiere for their first-ever full-length film, The Recruitment, written by Sean Pettit, Max Hill and Leigh Powis. It features seven pro skiers, an untold story, Hollywood stylization and epic ski action.

There are two shows at the Rainbow Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Garfinkel's and El Furniture Warehouse. For the trailer, visit

Teton Gravity Research and are bringing two premieres to Millennium Place. There will be swag and door prizes.

Almost Ablaze cheers on local freeskiers Dana Flahr, Nick McNutt, and Ian McIntosh alongside their world-class peers as they shred around the world. There are two shows on Friday, Oct. 3 — an early show for all ages at 7 p.m. ($17) and a late show for 19+ at 9:30 p.m. ($19).

And the third and final installment of Jeremy Jones's backcountry snowboarding trilogy is called Higher. It was filmed in the Tetons, Alaska and Himalayas. There are two shows on Saturday, Oct. 4 — an early show for all ages at 7 p.m. ($17) and a late show for 19+ at 9:30 p.m. ($19).

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