Two months following the Whistler Film Festival’s 16th edition, IndieCan Entertainment has acquired VICTOR WALK, THE WILL TO FLY, and the documentary feature film BROKEN. IndieCan Entertainment has acquired the North American and International rights to VICTOR WALK, the North American distribution rights to THE WILL TO FLY, and the Canadian distribution rights to BROKEN.
Michael David Lynch’s VICTOR WALK, which had its Canadian premiere at the 2016 Whistler Film Festival, followed former NHL All-Star, 1989 Stanley Cup winner (with the Calgary Flames) and Olympic Gold Medalist Theo Fleury’s ten day 400 kilometre walk from Toronto to Ottawa to draw attention to the light sentences meted out to convicted pedophiles in Canada. The statistics are horrific: one out of five males and one out of three females in Canada will be sexually molested before they are adults, and very few people ever report the crime. The response that Fleury and Lynch captured along the journey captured in VICTOR WALK is truly astounding. Every step of the way, hockey fans came out to show their support for Fleury, who believes that talking about it is the first step, not only to personal healing, but to changing the laws of the country so that child abuse is no longer treated as a minor crime. Fleury was in the news last fall when the coach who sexually molested him, and many other young hockey players, was let out of prison after a relatively short incarceration for his pedophilic crimes. Fleury’s walk brought attention to the plague of child sexual abuse, promoted healing amongst the survivors and aimed to lobby for stiffer laws against predators. Fleury received WFF’s 2016 Humanitarian Award for his commitment to making a difference. IndieCan Entertainment will release the film theatrically in Spring 2017 following its run on the festival circuit
THE WILL TO FLY, by Australian directors Katie Bender and Leo Baker’s, received its Canadian Premiere at the 2016 Whistler Film Festival, and won both WFF’s Mountain Culture Award and World Documentary Award. This extraordinary sports documentary focuses on the Olympic ambitions of Australian female skiing champion Lydia Lassila. Using a rich treasure trove of archival footage and more recent interviews with coaches and family members, the film presents a well-rounded portrait of sports determination and ambition. Even after fulfilling her dream of going to the Olympics three times, including winning a gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Games, and becoming a young mother, the former gymnast pursues her ambition even further. She strives to perform the most dangerous and complex manoeuvre of any Olympic event: a quadruple twisting, triple somersault on skis. This jump has only been accomplished by male competitors prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Even if you know little about the sport of ski jumping, this is a sight to behold, as Lydia trains to marry the beauty of ski jumping with the grace of acrobatics.
Lynne Spencer’s debut documentary feature BROKEN, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Whistler Film Festival, is an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Simone Orlando, Ballet BC’s lead dancer for twelve years. Can injury destroy a life’s passion? This is a question that affects every dancer, performer (or athlete) who is completely devoted to a single pursuit and is faced with an injury that threatens that very way of life. During rehearsals for a new ballet, Simone suffered an injury that was so severe; she could hardly walk, let alone dance. Hiding her affliction with painkillers, she struggled on, but an MRI made it all too evident that hip surgery was required. “All the work and all the years, and for it to suddenly just slip away, it wasn’t acceptable,” said Ms. Orlando. Simone fought for the chance to make a comeback and the film features absorbing interviews, intimate access to doctor’s appointments and stunning never-before-seen photos and footage of both rehearsals and Ballet BC’s stage performances and behind the scenes politics. This film is a one of a kind study of the devotion and dedication that artists, performers and even athletes and musicians bring to their vocation, and what happens when fate intervenes to threaten their life’s work – and their identity.
From November 29 to December 3, 2017 the Whistler Film Festival will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 17th edition featuring fresh films, special guests, epic events, unique industry and talent programs, and time to play in North America’s premier mountain resort destination. The Whistler Film Festival combines an international film competition with a focused Industry Summit dedicated to the art and business of filmmaking in the digital age.