KEYHOLE, directed by Guy Maddin, beat Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, Canada’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, to win the $15,000 Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film, at the eleventh annual Whistler Film Festival.

KEYHOLE, which had its Western Canadian premiere at the festival, stars Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini and Udo Kier.

It is a rousing 1930s gangster picture set in a haunted house in which dream and waking life are seamlessly blended to isolate and expose universal feelings. The Jury says “Yahtzee!” and awarded KEYHOLE the Borsos award “for its inventiveness, audacity and humour.”

The other 2011 Borsos Competition finalists were 388 ARLETTA AVENUE, dir: Randall Cole, (ON – Western Canadian Premiere); CAFÉ DE FLORE,dir: Jean Marc Vallee (QC, Western Canadian Premiere); DOPPELGANGER PAUL, dir: Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand (BC, Western Canadian Premiere); MARILYN, dir: Christopher Petry (BC – World Premiere); and MONSIEUR LAZHAR, dir: Philippe Falardeau, (QC, British Columbia Premiere) – Winner of Best Canadian Film At TIFF and Canada’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

MACHETE LANGUAGE (dir: Kyzza Terrazas)

MACHETE LANGUAGE (dir: Kyzza Terrazas) was awarded the winner of Whistler’s second annual $10,000 New Voices International Feature Competition. The film, which is from Mexico and had its Canadian premiere at the fest, is about a young couple named Ray and Ramona who are unhappy with the injustices of the society they live in and try to fight for a more just world. Ray, devoted to self-sabotage, fails in his rebellion, dragging Ramona into a downward spiral that culminates in an act of poetic terrorism.

The other 2011 films in the competition included Edwin Boyd – dir: Nathan Morlando (Canada – Western Canadian Premiere); Hail – dir: Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Australia – North American Premiere); In The Family – dir: Patrick Wang (USA – Canadian Premiere); The Invader – dir: Nicolas Provost (Belgium – Western Canadian Premiere); and Laurentie – dir: Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie (Canada – English Canadian Premiere)

The $2,500 Best Documentary Award was awarded to KIVALINA V. EXXON (dir: Ben Addelman). The jury unanimously recognized KIVALINA V. EXXON for “humanizing global warming and bringing home the fact that global warming is now, not somewhere in the distant future.”

The $1,000 Best Shortwork Award went to THE PARIS QUINTET IN PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (dir: Benny Schuetze) “for it’s infectious collaborative spirit, original concept and joyful execution.”

The $500 Best Student Shortwork Award went to Ryan Flowers and Lisa Phams’ NO WORDS CAME DOWN. The Jury praised the film for “it’s courage and compassion and being a film that surprised and moved us with its mature take on an unlikely encounter.”

The $1000 Best Mountain Culture Film Award presented by Whistler Blackcomb went to RAINFOREST: THE LIMIT OF SPLENDOR, directed by Richard Boyce. The Jury praised the film for “re-exposing our most critical environmental issue while at the same time pushing the cinematic experience and limits of storytelling, cinematography and editing.”

MPPIA Short Film Award, presented by MPPIA and British Columbia Film, was won by Mark Ratzlaff for BEAUTY MARK. The award consists of a $10,000 cash award from MPPIA, a $5,000 cash award from British Columbia Film and up to $100,000 in-kind services. The completed project will have its world premiere screening at next year’s 2011 Whistler Film Festival.

The Jury Special Documentary Mention went to THE VANISHING SPRING LIGHT (dir: Fish Yu) “for its uncompromising aesthetic, and rigorous commitment to the observational form.”

The other Festival’s Tribute recipients include:

Actor Patton Oswalt – Supporting Performance of the Year – (Young Adult, Big Fan, The Informant and Ratatouille, as the voice of Remy)
Actor Michael Shannon – Spotlight Tribute – (Revolutionary Road, Take Shelter, Boardwalk Empire)
Actor/Writer Jay Baruchel – Whistler’s first Screenwriter to Watch Award – (Goon, Almost Famous, She’s Out of My League, Million Dollar Baby, Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up, The Trotsky and the Oscar-nominated feature How to Train Your Dragon)
Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson – First ever Trailblazer in Animation Award – (Kung Fu Panda 2)
Actor/director/author Andy Serkis – Variety’s Tech Pioneer Award – (The Lord of the Rings film trilogy)


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