Quebec director Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, starring Fellag, Marie-Ève Beauregard, Marie Charlebois and Evelyne de la Chenelière, took home the Audience Award at the eleventh annual Whistler Film Festival (WFF), which wrapped on Sunday night. Winner of Best Canadian Film At TIFF and Canada’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Monsieur Lazhar follows Bachir Lazhar, a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, who goes to a Montreal elementary school to offer his services as a substitute teacher having learned of a teacher dying abruptly in the newspaper. Quickly hired to replace the deceased, he finds himself in an establishment in crisis, while going through his own personal tragedy. WFF Audience Award runner up was Rasta: A Soul’s Journey (dir: Stuart Samuels). Other audience favorites included three BC films: Foreverland (dir: Maxwell McGuire), and Marilyn (dir: Christopher Petry), which both had their world premieres at the Festival, and Doppleganger Paul (Or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself), directed by Dylan Akio Smith and Kris Elgstrand.


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