Second Whistler Film Festival runs Dec. 5-8 

Industry workshops, filmmaker panel part of educational component

With a host of budding and established filmmakers in the Whistler Valley, it only makes sense that the second annual Whistler Film Festival continues to expand its program.

Festival co-organizers Shauna Hardy and Kasi Lubin have included educational components, industry workshops and panel discussions as part of this year’s program.

"We are encouraging patrons to get their tickets early, as we expect attendance to almost double over last year," says Hardy.

The festival runs from Dec. 5 to 8, and will showcase more than 20 feature and short films in the categories of Adventure, Culture and Mountains.

The event opens with a Tribute to the Mountains evening, in keeping with the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the International Year of the Mountains. An exhibition of mountain culture photography will be part of the evening.

This year's lineup of films includes an impressive selection of features and shorts from around the world, including some of the best films from the 2002 international festival circuit.

Hardy emphasizes the festival is not limited to adventure sports movies.

"Adventure could be any theme – sex, adventure sports – we’re looking for something that fits into themes of adventure, culture and mountains but we want people to submit films in all categories," says Hardy.

The WFF is building relationships with filmmakers in Central Canada as well.

"It’s the most exciting new film festival in the country – a great opportunity for filmmakers and audiences to share in the adventure of film," says Peter Rowe, a filmmaker and the Ontario Chair of the Directors Guild of Canada.

Two industry workshops, Hands-On Digital Cinematography and The Digital Middle - Above & Below the Line Talk about Digital Filmmaking, are part of the educational component of the festival. Those workshops will be presented by members of Vancouver’s Digital Film Group.

The workshops will discuss the pros of digital filmmaking, as well as the transfer process from digital to film format.

The Digital Film Group will also present a DV Short Film Contest, in conjunction with the festival.

The winner will receive a 35 millimetre print, and a premiere screening at the festival.

The workshops are in keeping with part of the festival’s mandate to provide educational opportunities.

"Our goal is to help put Whistler on the map for arts and culture, and to produce a world-class film event," says Lubin, producer of the festival.

Also new this year is an educational forum which will focus on digital filmmaking with an industry emphasis.

"That panel is geared towards the aspiring filmmakers who feature the adrenaline-action (type of films).

"It’s an opportunity for them to listen to some of the best in the business," says Hardy.

Up to 10 film awards will be presented during the festival, including the People's Choice Award for the Best Mountain Photo, showcased at the Tribute to the Mountains Photography Exhibit.

The Festival's official film lineup, schedule and venues will be announced in early November, with advance tickets and festival passes going on sale shortly thereafter.

The 2002 festival is presented by the Whistler Film Festival Society, which is currently being registered as a non-profit society.

Their mission is to encourage the development of arts and culture in Whistler; to support the art of cinema and the film industry; and to provide an educational and entertaining environment for film enthusiasts and industry professionals.

Film and photography entries are currently being accepted.

The deadline for film submissions in the categories of Adventure, Culture and Mountains is 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25.

Submissions for the DV Short Film Contest are due at the Digital Film Group office by Oct. 16.

Submissions for the Mountain Culture photography exhibit will be accepted until Nov. 22.

In other film news, Hardy says the Moving Pictures festival will return to Whistler in May of 2003. The program was part of the first Whistler Film Festival in 2001.

For more information contact Shauna Hardy 604-938-3200 or e-mail shardy@direct.ca , or log on at www. whistlerfilmfestival.com.

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