This year’s, 2016 Whistler Film Festival (WFF), will celebrate Alan Thicke as its Signature Series’ Tribute honoree. WFF will also honor acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Thicke and Mehta join Variety Contender John Madden, attending with the Canadian premiere of MISS SLOANE and receiving the Maverick Award for Directing, and the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch honorees already announced. WFF’s Signature Series recognizes distinguished artists of our time and honors them with an award and or intimate on-stage interview complemented by a feature presentation of their most recent film premiering at the fest.
“This year’s honorees and guests represent some of the top talent this era has to offer, with the best roster of the next generation’s cinematic storytellers, in front of and behind the camera,” says Whistler Film Festival’s Director of Programming Paul Gratton. “We are honored to recognize these talents not only as innovators, but as a much needed breath of fresh air to a franchise-driven film industry.”
Canadian actor, composer, author, game show host, talk show host and reality star, Alan Thicke and his impressive career will be recognized in an intimate evening conversation on December 2nd. Thicke will receive WFF’s Canadian Icon Award presented to an individual whose tireless work expands beyond our borders yet is someone who remains a beloved ambassador of the Canadian spirit. One of the most recognizable faces in television, he is best known for his role as America’s Dad, Jason Seaver, on the ABC television series GROWING PAINS, and has many television and film credits to his name. With music in his blood, he has also starred on Broadway and composed for artists as Spinners, Lou Rawls, Al Jarreau, Anne Murray, Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash, Jordan Knight and his son, Robin Thicke. Thicke has also penned the books “How To Raise Kids Who Won’t Hate You” and “How Men Have Babies: the Pregnant Father’s Survival Guide”. He has received many honors including Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2013. He is attending WFF with the Canadian Premiere of Chris Craddock’s offbeat comedy, IT’S NOT MY FAULT AND I DON’T CARE ANYWAY.
WFF will also celebrate one of Canada’s most beloved storytellers, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deepa Mehta, whose work is celebrated on an international scale. Mehta will receive WFF’s Trailblazer Award, presented to an actor, writer or director who has blazed a unique and inspiring trail for themselves in film and who continues to engage audiences with meaningful and impactful work, on December 3rd following the Western Canadian premiere of her latest work ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE. Her emotionally resonating, award-winning films have played every major film festival, and been sold and distributed around the globe. She is best known for her elemental trilogy: EARTH, FIRE, WATER, the final film of which received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Other films include, BOLLYWOOD/HOLLYWOOD, HEAVEN ON EARTH, and the epic adaptation of MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN – Salman Rushdie’s three-time booker prize winning novel. Her work challenges traditions and stereotypes and is always daring, fearless and provocative. It’s this spirit that saturated her last film, BEEBA BOYS, and now, ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE. She has received many honors including a Genie Award in 2003 for the screenplay of Bollywood/Hollywood, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada’s highest honor in the performing art in 2012. Mehta is also serving as the head of the jury for WFF’s coveted Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature with 19 Canadian films competing for Canada’s second largest festival prize.