Reel Alternatives: bringing indie film to you 


What: The Kids Are Alright , Reel Alternatives screening

When: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

Where: Village 8 Cinemas

Cost: $12 at the door

Most of us make our way to Village 8 to unwind and check out the latest box office hit - rom coms, slasher and blockbuster action flicks. But starting this week, the Whistler theatre will also be offering an opportunity for residents to get a taste of some of the best in Canadian and international independent cinema, with the launch of the Whistler Film Festival's (WFF) annual Reel Alternatives screening series.

Stacey Donen is the artistic director of the Whistler Film Festival. He has a pretty sweet job, traveling around to film festivals across the country and picking the best films to feature at our annual film festival. Last week, Donen was in Toronto, getting ready for the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicked off on Sept. 9.

"I've seen a fair bit of stuff now," he said. "There have been some press screenings here and I've seen a lot of the Canadian things already, so it's looking like a good year!"

Donen is also tasked with handpicking films for the Reel Alternative series. The annual series is entering its seventh year, and is sponsored by Village 8 Cinemas and supported by the Film Circuit, an initiative of the Toronto International Film Festival Group that promotes and facilitates screenings of Canadian and international independent films.

"There are a lot of great films that are made out in the world and not all of those films are able to get out to all the communities," Donen explained. "So there's a lot of very good independent films... that don't have the opportunity to be seen and discussed and loved in a community like Whistler."

Reel Alternatives gives WFF the opportunity to bring some of the best independent films of the year to town, and help to create a bit of a buzz for the festival itself, which takes place from Dec. 1 to 5 this year.

Organizers are starting the Reel Alternatives series off with a screening of The Kids Are Alright , a film by Lisa Cholodenko, featuring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo. It was one of the most talked about films at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and won the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. The Kids Are Alright tells the story of Nic and Jules, a married lesbian couple who share a cozy suburban Southern California home with their teenage children, Joni and Laser. They gave birth to and raised their children, building a family life for the four of them. Now, as Joni prepares to leave for college, 15-year-old Laser presses her for a big favor: he wants Joni to help him find their biological father. Combining comedic surprise with poignant emotional truth, this film paints a vibrant and rich portrait of a modern family.

Tickets are available one hour in advance of screenings for $12 at the door, but WFF also offers four subscription packages to the series that can save you money and also give you access to film festival events and screenings. Subscriptions range in price from $10 to $180.

The remainder of the Reel Alternatives screenings will take place on the third Wednesday of each month until March, with the films programmed and announced one month in advance of the screening date. Check for up-to-date, detailed information.



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