Whistler Film Festival puts its money where its mouth is 

New scriptwriting competition accompanied by $20,000 prize package

The Whistler Film Festival has teamed with the non-profit Canadian script-reading and promotion society Alibi Unplugged to present the festival’s first Short Scripts competition – the winner of which receives a production package to bring their script to life on the big screen.

In line with the festival’s mandate to encourage and develop quality Canadian films, the contest is requesting submissions from B.C. screenwriters for eight-minute dramatic scripts based on the theme "Canadian Adventure." The submission deadline is Oct. 25.

Three writers will be short-listed for an intensive scriptwriting workshop at the 2004 Whistler Film Festival, Dec. 2-5.

Following a live presentation of the three semi-finalists’ work, one project will be selected and awarded a production package valued at approximately $20,000 to bring the screenplay to life as a short film.

The competition even guarantees a screening for the film, as the project must be completed by Aug. 27, 2005 and submitted for presentation at the 2005 Whistler Film Festival’s Shortfest.

Now entering its fourth year, the Whistler Film Festival is receiving both national and international attention and is making strides toward establishing itself as a premiere stop on the North American film festival circuit by putting its money where its mouth is. Along with this new exceptional opportunity for filmmakers specializing in short films, this year’s festival features the first ever $10,000 Philip Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature Film.

Short Scripts is towing the line set by last year’s festival which promoted accessible filmmaking technologies in several hands-on workshops. The sentiment was reflected by the tremendous successes of homegrown projects such as Squamish-set climbing documentary In the Shadow of the Chief (People’s Choice Prize), and Nathaniel Geary’s hard-hitting, East Vancouver-set dramatic film On the Corner (Best Canadian Film).

The choice of Alibi, a Vancouver organization that solicits and develops Canadian scripts, then casts them for the consideration of the film and television industry, is indicative of the festival’s stated desire to keep local and Canadian content a focus even as international interest grows.

For Short Scripts guidelines and an application form, check out www.whistlerfilmfestival.com or www.alibiunplugged.com.

The festival will release its 2004 program in early November.

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