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With just 12 weeks to go, the 2016 Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is offering a sneak peek of what audiences can expect at this year’s fest including the first 13 confirmed films, plus industry and event programming highlights.

WFF 2016 will feature eight juried competitive sections with 13 awards and one audience award
selected from up to 1,000 submissions. Approximately 90 films from Canada and around the world
(including 45 features and 45 shorts) will be presented.

WFF’s Director of Programming Paul Gratton had this to say about the 2016 lineup confirmed to
date: “The Whistler Film Festival continues to be a must­attend event for hip, young, film buffs and
emerging filmmakers. We have carved out our own unique niche by offering an impressive selection
of films, featuring Oscar hopefuls and emerging talent as well as a strong nod to female directors
this year. Our Summit complements our film programming by addressing key trends and opportunities facing the industry this year. While our final programming is far from complete, it looks like this will be our best year ever.”

WFF will present Canadian film director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta’s latest work,ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE, a fictional drama woven around the lives of the six rapists in the tragic event on a bus in New Delhi in 2012.

Deepa Mehta will also serve as the head of the jury for WFF’s coveted Borsos Competition for Best
Canadian Feature supported by Telefilm Canada, which honors independent vision, original
directorial style and the diversity of talent found in Canadian independent film. An international jury
of three will decide on four awards including a $15,000 cash prize presented by the Director’s Guild
of Canada, British Columbia and $15,000 production prize sponsored by Encore Vancouver, the
largest festival prize for a Canadian film in the country.

Other film programming highlights include:

MR. ZARITSKY ON TV: The World Premiere of an affectionate portrait of John Zaritsky, the only Canadian to ever win an Oscar in the Documentary category, shot during the filming of a final visit to the children of thalidomide with his beloved crew, directed by Jennifer Di Cresce and Michael Savoie. WFF and Zaritsky share 16 years of history as SKI BUMS was the fest’s first ever film in 2001.

MELODY MAKERS: SHOULD’VE BEEN THERE: The World Premiere of Leslie Ann Coles detailed history of rock ‘n roll’s most influential pop music publication during the 1970s, featuring loads of photos and backstage anecdotes about everyone from Keith Moon to Jimi Hendrix.

HOCKEY NIGHT: The World Premiere of the first theatrical and restored print of the beloved 1984 TV movie about hockey’s first female goal tender, a beloved Canadian classic with Rick Moranis and Megan Follows, directed by Paul Shapiro.

AN AMERICAN DREAM: THE EDUCATION OF WILLIAM BOWMAN: The Canadian Premiere of Ken Finkleman’s outrageous political satire on American gun culture and the NRA. Some may call it anti­American, but with Trump running for the presidency, it looks more like a slight exaggeration.

VICTOR WALK: The Canadian Premiere of Michael David Lynch’s documentary chronicling ex NHLer Theo Fleury’s historic walk from Toronto to Ottawa, designed to draw attention to the issue of pedophilia and child sexual abuse amongst hockey coaches in particular and in Canadian society at large.

MOSTLY SUNNY: The Western Canadian Premiere of Dilip Mehta’s documentary on Sunny Leone, the Sarnia­born ex­adult movie star, now a Bollywood mainstream actress.

LOST SOLACE: The Western Canadian Premiere of BC based Chris Scheuerman’s slick sci-fi thriller about a psychopath who develops empathy after ingesting a designer drug in a nightclub.

HUNTING PIGNUT: The Western Canadian Premiere of Newfoundland director Martine Blue’s first feature about a teenage runaway who takes to life on the streets, featuring a breakout performance by BC’s Taylor Hickson, a young star to watch.

KISS AND CRY: The true life bio of Carley Allison, an 18 year old figure skater and pop singer who made medical history in her fight against a rare form of melanoma, played by her real ­life friend Sarah Fisher, and directed by Sean Cisterna.

THE SPACE BETWEEN: The Western Premiere of actor Amy Jo Johnson’s directorial debut, about a young father who learns that the baby he loves may not be his own.

THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT: The Western Premiere of first time Northwest Territories filmmaker Kirsten Carthew’s beautiful tale of survival in the Far North, starring Devery Jacobs and Vancouver ­based Duane Howard.

RAW: The World Premiere of a first feature by Vancouver Film School’s David I. Strasser (and only the second feature produced by the school) tells the story of a delinquent who is sentenced by the courts to spend time at his uncle’s organic farm on BC’s Gulf Islands. This is the first feature to be shot on Salt Spring Island.

WFF’s Industry Summit will feature four days of business programs and networking sessions (Dec. 1­4) that address the business and future of Canadian film, locally and in the international marketplace.

WFF presents a slate of ten talent programs designed to provide creative and business immersion experiences for up to 64 Canadian artists:

  1. Feature Project Lab
  2. Praxis Screenwriters Lab
  3. Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship
  4. Power Pitch
  5. Doc Lab
  6. Stars to Watch
  7. Music Showcase
  8. Women in the Director’s Chair Industry Immersion
  9. Women in Film & Television Film Market Preparation Mentorship
  10. MPPIA Short Film Award Pitch (presented by Motion Picture Production Industry Association in partnership with Creative BC and WFF)
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