Whistler Stories looking for storytellers 

The Whistler Film Festival Society is inviting filmmakers to submit short film proposals for the 2008 Whistler Stories filmmaking competition.

“As anyone knows who has lived here or visited, Whistler is a magical place full of great stories,” said Bill Evans, festival program director. “We are looking for films that speak to the essence of Whistler — its spectacular setting, its inhabitants, its history and what it is that draws so many creative and adventurous people to the area.”

Whistler Stories began in 2005 and will run until 2009 with the goal of building content, capacity and a legacy for the Whistler area in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Each year up to four B.C. filmmakers are awarded $5,000 in cash commissions to create a five-minute short film based on stories from Whistler or the surrounding area.

The film projects also celebrate at least one of the four Olympic pillars of culture, environment, education and/or sport. Films can be documentaries, acted, or animated, but they must demonstrate a strong creative approach to the subject.

Projects are completed under the supervision of Evans and the Whistler Film Festival Society retains all rights to the films. However, filmmakers are allowed to use the films for their own portfolios, as well as to apply to other festivals for non-commercial screenings. The completed films will receive their world premiere at the 2008 Whistler Film Festival.

Eleven films have been completed to date. Topics have included Whistler artist and adventurer Chili Thom, an investigation into the first person to ski on Whistler,   a profile of the first snowboarders to hit the slopes on Blackcomb, Whistler pioneer Myrtle Philips, the history of the Olympic movement in Whistler, Whistler sculptor Vincent Massey, a profile of the slow food program in Pemberton, Whistler Paralympic hopeful and part-time comedian Pete Crutchfield, a look at some of Whistler’s most extreme seniors, and a playful examination of winter Olympic sports amidst a battle between life and death.

Submission guidelines and forms are available at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com. The deadline for submissions is Mar. 31.


The 72-hour filmmaking shakedown

Filmmaker Showdown finalists will screen their five-minute shorts at the Celluloid Social Club Screening on Mar. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Anza Club in Vancouver.

Like the Celluloid Club, the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival aims to connect the filmmaking community with an audience.

Every April filmmakers gather up their caffeine-fueled crews to take part in the 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown as part of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Artists are challenged to produce a three to five minute digital film set within a 100 kilometre radius of Whistler over the space of 72 hours. This red-eye competition is an exercise in patience and stamina as amateur and semi-professional teams battle it out to reach the finals.

Finalist films will screen before an audience of 2,000 rowdies cheering on their favourite teams with one winning team being named Best of Show. The winners are chosen by an expert panel of judges and reap the rewards of exposure and $15,000 in prizes.

Advance online registration is available at http://whistler.mtv.ca, under the Filmmaker Showdown link, until Apr. 1. The entry fee is $50 per team.

Space is limited and with the popularity of this event ever increasing, it’s always a good idea to register early and not miss out on the filmmaking mayhem.

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